Strictly’s Karen Clifton: 10 exercises you can do at home

Strictly Come Dancing fans have watched in awe as Karen Clifton flaunts her lean, dance-honed legs in figure-hugging outfits each week. 

Now the show-stopping senorita, who hopes to cha cha her way to the final with her dance partner TV chef Simon Rimmer, has taken to social media to reveal how she stays in such great shape.

The 35-year-old salsa queen favours workouts that build strength and improve her balance and flexibility to stay on on top form on the dance floor.

The Venezuela-born beauty does 15-20 minutes at a time of a full body workout. In her videos, she shows her variations on the traditional squats for a more effective burn.

Karen’s videos shows how simple yet effective her approach is – she’ll grab a jump rope for a cardio kick and create resistance by using her own body weight, bands or by working out on a chair.

She’s also a fan of planks, push ups and mountain climbers and is a stickler for a good stretching routine to stay supple.

Here are ten videos Karen has shared on her Instagram account, which has attracted more than 98,800 followers.

Karen Clifton has been a big hit with viewers since joining Strictly as one of the professional dancers – alongside her husband Kevin – in 2012

Simon, 54, and Karen, 35, didn't let the judges disappointing scores get them down when they appeared on the Sunday Brunch TV show in London last Sunday

The dancer has made it to the final previously but is yet to get her hands on the Glitterball Trophy

Simon Rimmer, 54, and Karen are at the bottom of the leader board after a disappointing performance on Strictly Come Dancing on last Saturday’s live show

1. Resistance bands 

Karen uses the Thera Band. These are made of top quality latex that can be stretched up to 300 per cent.

Resistance bands are extremely versatile and portable, and allow you to increase the intensity of your workout safely without having to add more weights to bars. 

They come in a variety of different resistances. Using the proper resistance can help boost your workout and prevent you from injuring yourself. 

2. Skipping using a rope 

Skipping is fun and an effective cardio workout that sculpts your shoulders, chest, arms, and legs.

According to the British Rope Skipping Association, 10 minutes of skipping can have the same health benefits as a 45-minute run. 

It’s also a serious calorie-torcher – your body burns 800 to 1,000an hour. Compare that to 200 to 300 calories per hour while walking.

3. Core exercises

Karen’s exercises here strengthen your core muscles, including your abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles around the pelvis.

Strengthening the core will make it easier to do many physical activities and helps correct bad posture by distributing weight evenly throughout the body.  

4. Push ups 

A push-up is a total-body functional movement that is brilliant for increasing strength and has the added advantage of engaging the core and lower body. Since it’s a body weight exercise, it can be done just about anywhere.

5. Squats with twists

Squats are also one of the best functional exercises out there, promoting mobility and balance. 

Although they are often regarded as ‘leg’ exercises, they actually offer benefits throughout your entire body. 

By adding in a twist, and you have the ultimate muscle-building move that really works your abs as well as well as sculpting the legs. 

6. More squats

Karen begins with leg lifts to make sure her limbs are fully warmed up. Then she reveals some more variations on the traditional squat, including keeping her legs in a static held position while raising her arms up and down. 

Make sure you keep your core engaged throughout.  

7. Mountain climbers 

Mountain climbers are a killer exercise that get your heart rate up fast while also working out nearly every muscle group in the body including your glutes, legs and upper arms.

This work out also challenges your balance, agility, and coordination.

8. Pilates

Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. 

These moves are an important addition to your fitness routine, because a body with flexibility is less likely to be injured.

9. Foam rollers

Foam rollers are an inexpensive, versatile piece of equipment that can help you with everything from working out the knots in your muscles to sculpting an amazing set of abs.

They are also said to help your muscles recover, easing pain and inflammation by removing lactic acid.

10. Stretching and balancing 

Stretching your muscles is crucial when warming up, during a workout, and when cooling down. 

It is recommended we stretch each of the major muscle groups at least two times a week for 60 seconds per exercise.