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Barbell Workout

Strong is sexy! Sometimes big heavy metal weights can be a little bit daunting, but combining weight training into your workout will help you burn more calories and tone your body. So bust your fears, check out this barbell workout to get summer ready!How to do it: Perform 8-10 reps of each move one after the other in a circuit, resting between sets if you need to. Once a circuit is complete, return to the start and repeat. Keep going until you’ve reached the time recommended for your level.Beginner: 10 minsIntermediate: 15 minsAdvanced: 20 minsSquat (Areas trained: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Calves)Technique-       Holding the barbell resting on your shoulder muscles, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart-       Bend your knees and hips to lower your body until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor-       Reverse the position, extending your hips and knees to return to the start position.Romanian Deadlift (Areas trained: Hamstrings, Lower back, Glutes)Technique-       Hold the bar with an overhand grip approximately shoulder-width (your thumbs should brush the outside of your thighs)-       Place your feet approximately hip-width apart, with knees soft and your feet straight ahead-       Maintaining a flat back position, bend forward at the hips, lowering the bar towards the floor-       Reverse the position, extend your hips and return to the start positionHip Thrust (Areas trained: Glutes, Hamstrings, Core) Technique-       Set up with your shoulder blades in with the bend an holding a barbell to your hips.-       Place your feet close to your bottom, so that at the top of the hip thrust, your calves are at 90 degrees to the floor-       Drive through your heels and focus on using your glutes to pish your hips straight up. Finish with your hips as high as possible while maintaining a neutral spine.-       Lower; repeat. 

The best running shoes for you

Get race-ready with this selection of running trainers designed to match the type of runner you are. Does it really matter what kind of trainer I wear? Surely all running trainers are the same? Absolutely not. These trainers are designed to suit your running style and experience perfectly.The Marathon TraineeHard-working shoes are a must if you’re training for a marathon. The Saucony Redeemer ISOs are super supportive while maintaining great flexibility. They’re also really comfortable so ideal for clocking up the miles in. (Saucony Redeemer ISO RRP £130, saucony.com)The Barefoot RunnerIf you're not going to go the whole hog and get your jog on with your tootsies out, a great pair of minimalist shoes are essential. We love the VivoBarefoot Pure Speed shoe. It’s the ‘purest’ shoe in the range and gives you a really stripped-back ‘barefoot’ running experience. Sold! (Evo Pure Ladies, RRP £90, vivobarefoot.com)The Running ClubberThese trainers come in some fabulous colourways – we’re digging the fluoro pops and bright laces. These lightweight, responsive shoes are perfect for the style savvy. (Sketcher GOrun 4 running shoes, RRP £94, sketchers.com)The Newbie RunnerA good pair of trainers is key, but we understand you might not want to break the bank on that first pair of kicks. These purse-friendly Asics runners fit the bill. (Asics Gel Oberon, RRP £65, asics.co.uk)The ‘Action Woman’ RunnerThe Saucony Nomad TR is part of Saucony’s hard-wearing Run Anywhere line and offers awesome traction and durability on the trail. Perfect for acing every adventure run that comes your way. (Saucony Nomad TR, RRP £95, saucony.com) The Smiley RunnerThese Gorun Ultra Road shoes have been updated to be even more durable – perfect for you, the energizer bunny runner who gets the bug and just keeps running! The dual-density Resalyte midsole and enhanced traction outsole make them super comfy to run in. They’re also breathable, lightweight and boast winter-ready reflective detailing. (Sketchers GOrun Ultra R, RRP £89, sketchers.com)  

Dead strong

Never tried a deadlift before? You're missing out. 'You need to be doing this move,' says Richard Tidmarsh, lead trainer at London's Reach Fitness. Here at WF, we've long been huge advocates of lifting weights, but it's nice to see such a huge phenomenon take off thanks to its benefits for strength, fat loss and wellbeing.But let's get one thing straight: you can only reap these amazing benefits if you're doing it properly. 'Awful form, wasting time on isolate movements and using weights that are too light or too heavy are all common mistakes,' says Richard.So let's take a step back and look at the humble deadlift. 'It works pretty much every major muscle group in your body hitting your back, glutes, legs and core. So, if you get it right, it'll improve your posture and strength – and, with time and the right training plan, will be a huge weapon in your armoury to add lean tissue to your body.'DeadliftTechnique-Set up behind the bar with it touching your shins. Hinge at the hips and knees taking a grip a little wider than shoulder-width apart. With your weight in your heels and spine long and straight, prepare to lift with your chin in a neutral position.-Now with a deep breath in that you will hold tight during this phase, simultaneously push down through the floor with your heels and drive up with your hips and legs to lift the bar. Maintain a straight spine with your shoulder blades pulled together throughout with your core and back engaged.-Finish the lift by locking out to full hip extension and standing up straight with the bar tight against you, your back and glutes engaged. You then return the bar in reverse order to the floor, maintaining the positive spine position to execute the lift.Safety tipStart with a weight you are comfortable with to get your form perfect. If you have poor spine and hip mobility, you will not be able to get into a good lifting position. So work on these areas of movement before even considering doing this lift.Meet our expertRichard Tidmarsh is the owner and lead trainer of Reach Fitness London and trains international athletes such as UFC fighter Jimi Manuwa, as well as celebs such as Jessie Ware and Millie Mackintosh.Check out Reach at r4reach.com or follow Richard's Twitter and Instagram for news on his forthcoming training events and seminars.

Train like an elite

Your goal doesn’t have to be to make it to the Olympics in order to get the most from your workouts.Whether you’re training for a race or simply looking to stay active, why shouldn’t you at least be able to train like your favourite athletes? Fitness expert and coach Nick Grantham – who has worked with many top athletes and Olympians – thinks we should all be able to train to our full potential regardless of our individual goals. His new book The Strength & Conditioning Bible: How to Train Like an Athlete is designed to give you everything you need to make it happen. ‘Anyone who wants to improve their fitness levels and is willing to invest some time and effort can optimise their training and performance,’ he says. ‘And that’s pretty much anyone!’Gone are the days when you needed the most expensive training tools and elite trainers by your side to train smart. From guide books to online personal trainers, there are increasingly easy and effective ways to get training – but with Nick’s experience working in high-performance fitness and sport science, you can really count on The Strength & Conditioning Bible to not only explain what to do and how to do it, but also why you’re doing it.‘As a coach I know the power of understanding,’ Nick says. ‘If you understand why you’re performing an activity, you’re far more likely to stick to the training programme.’As well as giving you the chance to take exercises up or down a notch, it also preps you to continue your training confidently on your own. ‘It offers sample sessions, and appropriate progressions and regressions,’ he adds. ‘It also provides the reader with an understanding that will allow them to develop their own effective programmes.’The workout over these pages, devised by Nick, will allow you to train your body from head to toe in a fuss-free, effective way. In Nick’s own words, no matter what your level or experience, ‘anyone can train like an athlete’.SquatAreas trained: glutes, quads, hamstrings, calvesTechniqueHolding the barbell resting on your shoulder muscles, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at your knees and hips to lower your body until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor.Reverse the position, extending your hips and knees to return to the start position.Perform 8-10 reps of each move one after the other in a circuit, resting between sets if you need to. Once a circuit is complete, return to the start and repeat. Keep going until you’ve reached the time recommended for your levelPress-upAreas trained: chest, triceps, coreTechniqueStart in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Tighten up through your core, ensuring your back is flat.Bend your arms to lower your body until your chest is about 1cm from the floor.Drive back up to the starting position where your arms are extended.Romanian deadliftAreas trained: hamstrings, lower back, glutesTechniqueHold the bar with an overhand grip approximately shoulder-width (your thumbs should brush the outside of your thighs).Place your feet approximately hip-width apart, with knees soft and your feet straight ahead.Maintaining a flat back position, bend forward at the hips, lowering the bar towards the floor.Reverse the position, extend your hips and return to the start position.AleknaAreas trained: core, stomachTechniqueLie on your back with your hips and knees bent at a 90-degree angle with arms fully extended towards the ceiling.Simultaneously lower your arms behind your head and your legs out fully until they are both close to the ground, without touching it.Return to the start position and repeat.Get-upAreas trained: shoulders, core, glutes, sidesTechniqueLie on your back and hold a kettlebell in your right hand, straight above your shoulder, arm vertical. Position your left arm out to the side and bend your right leg so that your right foot is alongside your left knee.Pushing off your right foot, roll onto your left hip and up onto your left elbow.Push up onto your left hand and holding yourself up on your left hand and right foot, lift yourself up off the ground, then thread your left leg back to a kneeling position.You will be in a kneeling position with your left knee on the floor, right foot on the floor and the kettlebell locked out overhead in your right hand.From the kneeling position, move into a standing position.Reverse the movements to come back down to the starting position on the floor.Perform on the opposite side for the next rep.Hip thrustAreas trained: glutes, hamstrings, coreTechniqueSet up in the position shown – your shoulder blades in line with the bench and holding a barbell to your hips. Place your feet close to your bottom, so that at the top of the hip thrust, your calves are at 90 degrees to the floor.Drive through your heels and focus on using your glutes to push your hips straight up. Finish with your hips as high as possible while maintaining a neutral spine.Lower; repeat.2-point dumbbell bent-over rowAreas trained: upper back, bicepsTechniqueHolding a dumbbell in your right hand, start with your feet hip-width apart in an offset stance with your right foot slightly staggered behind the left.Take up the same position as you would for a bent-over row (your knees slightly bent and your torso bent forwards at your hips at a 45-degree angle).Row the dumbbell up to your ribcage and then return to the starting position.Repeat all reps in the set and then switch sides.Kettlebell swingAreas trained: glutes, hamstrings, back, coreTechniqueHold a kettlebell with both hands and bend your knees so you are in an athletic position.Bring the kettlebell through your legs, so your forearms are in contact with your inner thighs.Swing the weight upward and out to eye level, using the extension of your hips to movethe load.Return to the start position and go straight into another rep.Buy the bookPacked with plenty more workouts just like this one, The Strength & Conditioning Bible: How to Train Like an Athlete by Nick Grantham is published by Bloomsbury (£18, bloomsbury.com). Get your copy now!

Great serve!

Can’t wait for Wimbledon? Neither can we! Will current favourite and world number one Serena Williams win this year’s final? Or maybe French Open winner Garbine Muguruza will take the title. One thing’s for sure, with Serena knocking out serves in excess of 200mph this year’s Wimbledon is sure to be a head-turner and we’d love to be there, especially for the big matches.Luckily for you, the Championships' soft drink supplier Robinsons Squash – which has been quenching the thirst of players and spectators since 1935 with it’s real fruit juice drinks – is giving away a pair of tickets to the Wimbledon Ladies’ Final every day on its Facebook and Twitter pages.For your chance to win, visit facebook.com/Robinsons or @DrinkRobinsons from June 27-July 2.All you need to do is share your Real Taste of Wimbledon using the hashtag #tasteofwimbledonSee you courtside!

Get fit for summer

Summer is on its way (we hope!). Maybe you’re planning to go away and have been fretting about gaining a few extra pounds around your waistline. Not to mention the dreaded cellulite you discovered when when you got your bikini out.There’s nothing like a beach holiday to get you motivated to loose weight so, before you pack your shorts and skimpy dresses, maybe it's time to get rid of toxins, fat and fluids trapped under the skin. The quickest way? Up your fitness regime. Using the right fitness equipment, at home or in the gym, will help you reach your fitness and weight-loss goals.Whether it’s a bike, treadmill or simply a fitness mat to do leg raises, the right equipment and exercise all help the battle against cellulite. Eating coloured fruits such as papaya and mango is another way to get to grips with unsightly orange peel, while green tea has long been recognised as a natural fat buster.But don’t think you’ll have to go hungry – there are plenty of foods you can eat that won't make you pile on the pounds. There's everything from brown rice to fruit and vegetables, nutritional yoghurts and even healthy popcorn, while lean protein such as fish and chicken is perfect for keeping hunger pangs at bay. You can find healthy, tasty recipes online.If you haven't exercised for a while, start off with easy leg raise repetitions, sit-ups and calf stretches. These can be done at home or at your local gym. When out and about, take the stairs instead of using the elevator, leave the car at home and cycle to work and go swimming instead of staying at home and watching TV. A change in lifestyle and a positive attitude will go a long way, as will having a session with a PT or working out in a group. So, to look good, in shape and ready to go for the summer, intensify your workout.Need a bit of inspiration? Strengthen glutes and hamstrings with the Roman deadlift. It's one of the most effective moves, using muscles that are essential for other exercises that involve lifting, jumping or sprinting. It won't be long before your overall body strength and conditioning improves dramatically, making you feel and look good.If you really want to go for it, training for a half marathon will take your fitness workout to the next level, help you lose weight and give you the body you’re looking for. What are you waiting for?

The ultimate squat challenge

The original squat should always be a move that features in your workouts, but sometimes shaking things up a little can help you achieve new goals, break through plateaus and add extra challenges.For those who find regular squat technique tough, this is the ultimate squat challenge and handy way to work those same muscle groups. ‘Single-leg movements areknown to help you make big strength gains and will also improve your balance and posture as you target the quads and glutes,’ explains lead trainer at Reach Fitness, Richard Tidmarsh.Finding your balance and controlling the movement might take a little practice, but like they say, practice makes perfect. ‘Control tends to improve quickly, and you can then progress from using just your bodyweight to holding dumbbells, all the way through to using a barbell inside a rack to keep things moving forward,’ adds Richard. When it comes to lifting weights and working your lower body, inching your way to constant improvements is key to gaining strength and mastering the move.Split squatAreas trained: bottom, quads TechniqueStand facing away from a box that’s 15-30cm from the floor. Too high, and your back will arch. Place the ball of your right foot onto the box behind you and your left foot into a lunge position, a good distance away from the box.Keeping your body in a strong upright position, bend your left knee, keeping your heel flat onthe floor, until your back knee gently touches the floor.Push back up to the start and repeat.Beginners should start with eight reps on each side for three to four sets, to get used to the movement pattern. Once you’ve mastered this, hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides, increasing the weights as you get stronger. Advanced lifters can work inside a rack and backload a barbell.

The sound of success

We know how much of a motivator music can be – whether you’ve got a special ‘power song’ up your sleeve saved for the home stretch, or you just need something upbeat blasting at all times to distract you from the hard work, there’s no denying that music and fitness are a match made in heaven.That’s probably why Ministry of Sound is onto a winner with its new FIT IN 4 workouts.Firstly, getting a workout done and dusted in four minutes is appealing enough, no matter how hard you have to push. After all, it’s only four minutes of your day, right? ‘Working hard enough during a four-minute Tabata workout gives you the aerobic benefits of your usual steady-state cardio session,’ explains Lindsay Jay, who devised the workouts for Ministry of Sound. ‘But if you work to your max, you’ll also burn extra calories by raising your metabolism for the following 12 hours.’ This after-burn effect – burning calories even after your workout is over – is the reason why HIIT training is such a hit (excuse the pun). Shorter workouts, bigger results? It’s a no-brainer.And while having any old tunes blasting in the background can sometimes be enough to energise you, you’d be surprised at how choosing the right music can influence your workout. ‘People often want to work out to their favourite music, but when doing HIIT or Tabata you’ll feel significantly increased benefits from working out to dance music like hard house or drum and bass, which are fast, intense and sometimes aggressive,’ explains Deborah McCartney, product manager at Ministry of Sound. ‘For the FIT IN 4 workout, we sped each track up to hit the stringent timing grid for the workout (10 seconds off, 20 seconds on), meaning each track plays at 192 BPM.’So if you’re looking for that next push to progress in your workouts, give this super simple yet effective workout from Lindsay a try. No matter how busy you are, this speedy workout only takes up four minutes of your time and energy. Plus, it’s completely kit-free, so you don’t even need to take the time out for a trip to the gym.How to do it Working at the highest intensity and fastest pace you can manage, perform each move for 20 seconds non-stop, with 10 seconds’ rest between each exercise.ABSMountain climbers Area trained: coreTechnique - Start in a high plank with your hands under shoulders, ensuring your core is engaged.Bring one knee to your chest then switch legs with speed.Change over as fast as possible while maintaining your form.Star Crunch Area trained: stomachTechnique -Lie on your back, forming a star shape with arms and legs wide.As fast as you can, draw your knees to your chest and raise your upper body so your chest comes to your knees, forming a ball.Slowly return to the start and repeat.LOWER BODY Lunge JumpAreas trained: glutes, hamstrings, quadsTechnique - Take a large step forward, drop into the position until your legs form 90-degree angles and the back knee is just above the floor.Power through your legs and jump up as high as you can, changing sides in the air.Land softly in a lunge on the opposite side and repeat.Cat walk Areas trained: glutes, core, shouldersTechnique - Start on all fours, tuck your toes and lift your knees just off the floor.Walk hands and feet forwards for two strides then back.CARDIOBurpeeAreas trained: glutes, quads, core Technique - Feet together, jump as high as you can. Land softly and drop your palms to the floor.Jump your legs backwards into a plank. Jump them back towards yout hands and repeat.Running Man Areas trained: glutes, core, shouldersTechnique - Start on all fours, tuck your toes and lift your knees just off the floor.Walk hands and feet forwards for two strides then back.TOTAL BODYSquat Jump Areas trained - glutes, quads, hamstringsTechnique - Start standing with your feet hip-width apart.Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, pushing your bottom down and out behind you while keeping your chest as upright as possible.Power up through the heels and jump as high as possible.Land softly, straight back into the squat to repeat.Speed Skater Areas trained: glutes, quads, sides, coreTechnique - Take one leg behind the other, bending both knees to reach your opposite hand to touch the front foot.Jump laterally as far as you can, with as much height as possible, landing with your feet the opposite way round and the other hand on the floor.Get it!Check out Ministry of Sound’s curated music. The FIT IN 4 mixes and step-by-step videos are available on iTunes for £9.99.

Heatwave SALE!

The sun's shining and we're stripping off! Ok, not right this moment (in the office) but it's happening ASAP! To celebrate summer's imminent arrival we're giving you a whopping £10 off our Body Plan to help you look and feel fab this summer.With easy to follow, hard-working workouts, and delicious healthy recipes and meal plans, it's the easiest way to shape up this summer.The workouts are devised by super-fit PT and Instagram star Em Furey and will get you burning calories and toning up quicker than you can say yellow polka dot bikini! The recipes are devised by or very own editor Joanna and nutritionist nicola Shubrook of Urban Wellness.GET £10 OFF YOUR BODY PLAN NOW - simply use WFHEATWAVE at checkout to get £10 OFF!

Train like a pro

Imagine training as part of a real squad, just think about those body and mind benefits. We sat down with Team Ford EcoBoost riders Sophie Fennell, Julie Erskine, Nikki Juniper and Charlotte Broughton to find out about their goals and gains.How does training as part of the team help your training? Sophie: ‘I think you benefit a lot from training with others especially on the road because it allows you to understand how other riders ride. It develops your own skills as you pick up techniques from the other riders; it both pushes and motivates you; and it allows less experienced riders to gain experience from those with more.’What’s the best piece of advice you can give to women who are inspired to get into cycling now? Julie: ‘Invest in a decent pair of cycling shorts.  Lots of women are put off when it gets sore and uncomfortable sitting in the saddle, so a good pair of cycling shorts is key! Don’t worry about how far or how fast you go, just go for it and have fun!’ What do you enjoy the most about training/racing? Nikki: ‘I love the feeling when I’m finished that I’ve pushed myself as hard as I can.  I just love riding my bike and in a sick kind of way I love the pain it inflicts on my body because then I know that I’ve given everything I possibly can.’ When it comes to race nutrition, what really counts for you? Julie: ‘Team Ford EcoBoost are really lucky to have HIGH5 as our nutrition sponsor this season. I love its EnergySource 4:1 drink especially for back-to-back races or hard blocks of training. It has whey protein and carbohydrate in it so as well as providing you with energy to keep going, it also helps to start your recovery process.’What’s the best advice you’ve ever received when it comes to training? Charlotte: ‘If your body starts giving you red flags, address them. Now I’m older and understand my body better it keeps me healthy and my training consistent.’ What drives you to train, other than winning? Nikki: ‘I’m not just training for myself now, I’m training for the team and the fear of failure that if I don’t train then I won’t back up all the hard work the girls do for me.’Essential kit picks ► Giant Envie Advanced Pro bike, £3,299, echeloncycles.co.uk► Kask Bambino TT Helmet, £299, echeloncycles.co.uk► Kalas LADY A-5 Titan X6  cycling Shorts, £65, kalas.co.uk► HIGH5 EnergySource 4:1, from £16.99, highfive.co.ukFor more information on cars in the Ford EcoBoost range, visit ford.co.uk/ecoboostAnd find the Team on Facebook and Twitter.

Pilates exercises

24 July 2016

While there no specific exercises that should or shouldn't be performed depending on whether you have a apple, pear, hourglass or atheltic figure, there certainly are some that can help to make your workouts more effective. Pilates can really help you to focus on specific exercises in order to enhance your particular shape, says Nadine McCann, instructor at Bootcamp Pilates (bootcamppilates.com) 'All bodies are different and it pays to know what works for you'. Certain moves can add definition to your body and everyone can benefit from postural power of pilates. 'Pilates is great for sculpting the body and stabilising muscles deep in the body'.The workout is suitable for all body types, but if your short of time, just pick the exercises for your body type. 1) Toe taps (Best for: apple, pear, hourglass) Technique: Start lying on your back with legs lifted and knees bent above your hips, shins parallel to the floor and arms relaxed at your sides, palms down. Keep your lower abs engaged and your back flat on the mat. Inhale, then exhale as you hinge at your hip, lowering your right leg toward the mat. Inhale to return the leg to start position and change sides. Alternate legs repeat 10-12 reps pm each sides, bring feet to the floor to rest. Repeat for 2 sets  2) Criss- cross (Best for: apple, pear, hourglass, athletic) Technique:Lying on your back, interlace your hands behind your head to support your head. Lift your knees and feet off the ground with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Inhale as you twist your ribcage to the left and extend your right leg forward. Exhale as you take your body through the centre, twisting your ribcage to the right while extending your left leg to complete the exercise on the opposite side. Do 6 twists alternating sides. Do 3 sets in total. 3) Glute bridge (Best for: hourglass, athletic)Technique: Lie on your back, with your knees bent. Place your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, with your arms at your side. Exhale as you lift your hips off the floor until your ribcage is in line with yur hips and knees. Press down evenly through both feet. Inhale as you squeeze your glutes for three seconds and then exhale as you lower your hips slowly back down to the mat. Do 15-20 reps, the rest pulling your knees to your chest, then repeat once more. 4) Side plank twists (Best for: apple, hourglass)Technique: Starting in a side plank poisition, with one hand directly under your shoulder, place your top hand behind your head, with yur elbow pointing straight up. Inhale and twist your chest upward. Exhale and rotate your chest toward the floor. Do 5-8 reps per side and rest before repeating on the other side. 5) Side reach (Best for: apple, pear, hourglass, athletic)Technique: Sit with your knees bent and legs tucked behind you to the right,  supporting your weight with your left hand and keeping your arm straight, Inhale to prepare. Exhale you lift your hip away from the mat, extending your top legs as your top arm reaches overhead. You're aiming to lift your side up toward the ceiling. Inhale to return to the start position. Do 6-8 reps on each side and rest, before repeating the whole thing once more.  6) Swimming (Best for: apple, pear)Technique:Lie on your stomach with your forehead down and arms extended out in front. Extend your legs with your toes pointed out. Focus on pressing your pelvis into the mat  while drawing your belly button away from the mat. Squeeze your inner thighs and lift your arms, legs, chest and head from the mat. Inhale and exhale as normally as possible as you alternate lifting opposite arm and leg without touching the mat. Count down from 10 to one then relax onto the mat to rest  7) Side-lying leg tap (Best for: hourglass, athletic)Technique: In a side plank, place your top hand on your top hip to help stabilise you. Pull in your abs and lift your waist off the mat. Dip your top big toe down in front of your body to tap the floor then move the foot backward over your bottom leg and tap the floor behind you. Repeat for 12-15 reps each side then rest. Repeat again. 8) Plank double pulse (Best for: all types)Technique:Start in plank position, with hands directly under shoulders and your body in a straight line. Inhale to prepare and as you exhale draw your left heel toward your glutes, bending at the knee. Pulse in twice, squeezing your glutes, before setting your foot back down without letting your hips drop. Do 8-10 on each leg, rest sitting back on your heels. Now repeat. 

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Barbell Workout

24 July 2016

Strong is sexy! Sometimes big heavy metal weights can be a little bit daunting, but combining weight training into your workout will help you burn more calories and tone your body. So bust your fears, check out this barbell workout to get summer ready!How to do it: Perform 8-10 reps of each move one after the other in a circuit, resting between sets if you need to. Once a circuit is complete, return to the start and repeat. Keep going until you’ve reached the time recommended for your level.Beginner: 10 minsIntermediate: 15 minsAdvanced: 20 minsSquat (Areas trained: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Calves)Technique-       Holding the barbell resting on your shoulder muscles, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart-       Bend your knees and hips to lower your body until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor-       Reverse the position, extending your hips and knees to return to the start position.Romanian Deadlift (Areas trained: Hamstrings, Lower back, Glutes)Technique-       Hold the bar with an overhand grip approximately shoulder-width (your thumbs should brush the outside of your thighs)-       Place your feet approximately hip-width apart, with knees soft and your feet straight ahead-       Maintaining a flat back position, bend forward at the hips, lowering the bar towards the floor-       Reverse the position, extend your hips and return to the start positionHip Thrust (Areas trained: Glutes, Hamstrings, Core) Technique-       Set up with your shoulder blades in with the bend an holding a barbell to your hips.-       Place your feet close to your bottom, so that at the top of the hip thrust, your calves are at 90 degrees to the floor-       Drive through your heels and focus on using your glutes to pish your hips straight up. Finish with your hips as high as possible while maintaining a neutral spine.-       Lower; repeat. 

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The best running shoes for you

24 July 2016

Get race-ready with this selection of running trainers designed to match the type of runner you are. Does it really matter what kind of trainer I wear? Surely all running trainers are the same? Absolutely not. These trainers are designed to suit your running style and experience perfectly.The Marathon TraineeHard-working shoes are a must if you’re training for a marathon. The Saucony Redeemer ISOs are super supportive while maintaining great flexibility. They’re also really comfortable so ideal for clocking up the miles in. (Saucony Redeemer ISO RRP £130, saucony.com)The Barefoot RunnerIf you're not going to go the whole hog and get your jog on with your tootsies out, a great pair of minimalist shoes are essential. We love the VivoBarefoot Pure Speed shoe. It’s the ‘purest’ shoe in the range and gives you a really stripped-back ‘barefoot’ running experience. Sold! (Evo Pure Ladies, RRP £90, vivobarefoot.com)The Running ClubberThese trainers come in some fabulous colourways – we’re digging the fluoro pops and bright laces. These lightweight, responsive shoes are perfect for the style savvy. (Sketcher GOrun 4 running shoes, RRP £94, sketchers.com)The Newbie RunnerA good pair of trainers is key, but we understand you might not want to break the bank on that first pair of kicks. These purse-friendly Asics runners fit the bill. (Asics Gel Oberon, RRP £65, asics.co.uk)The ‘Action Woman’ RunnerThe Saucony Nomad TR is part of Saucony’s hard-wearing Run Anywhere line and offers awesome traction and durability on the trail. Perfect for acing every adventure run that comes your way. (Saucony Nomad TR, RRP £95, saucony.com) The Smiley RunnerThese Gorun Ultra Road shoes have been updated to be even more durable – perfect for you, the energizer bunny runner who gets the bug and just keeps running! The dual-density Resalyte midsole and enhanced traction outsole make them super comfy to run in. They’re also breathable, lightweight and boast winter-ready reflective detailing. (Sketchers GOrun Ultra R, RRP £89, sketchers.com)  

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Dead strong

24 July 2016

Never tried a deadlift before? You're missing out. 'You need to be doing this move,' says Richard Tidmarsh, lead trainer at London's Reach Fitness. Here at WF, we've long been huge advocates of lifting weights, but it's nice to see such a huge phenomenon take off thanks to its benefits for strength, fat loss and wellbeing.But let's get one thing straight: you can only reap these amazing benefits if you're doing it properly. 'Awful form, wasting time on isolate movements and using weights that are too light or too heavy are all common mistakes,' says Richard.So let's take a step back and look at the humble deadlift. 'It works pretty much every major muscle group in your body hitting your back, glutes, legs and core. So, if you get it right, it'll improve your posture and strength – and, with time and the right training plan, will be a huge weapon in your armoury to add lean tissue to your body.'DeadliftTechnique-Set up behind the bar with it touching your shins. Hinge at the hips and knees taking a grip a little wider than shoulder-width apart. With your weight in your heels and spine long and straight, prepare to lift with your chin in a neutral position.-Now with a deep breath in that you will hold tight during this phase, simultaneously push down through the floor with your heels and drive up with your hips and legs to lift the bar. Maintain a straight spine with your shoulder blades pulled together throughout with your core and back engaged.-Finish the lift by locking out to full hip extension and standing up straight with the bar tight against you, your back and glutes engaged. You then return the bar in reverse order to the floor, maintaining the positive spine position to execute the lift.Safety tipStart with a weight you are comfortable with to get your form perfect. If you have poor spine and hip mobility, you will not be able to get into a good lifting position. So work on these areas of movement before even considering doing this lift.Meet our expertRichard Tidmarsh is the owner and lead trainer of Reach Fitness London and trains international athletes such as UFC fighter Jimi Manuwa, as well as celebs such as Jessie Ware and Millie Mackintosh.Check out Reach at r4reach.com or follow Richard's Twitter and Instagram for news on his forthcoming training events and seminars.

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Train like an elite

24 July 2016

Your goal doesn’t have to be to make it to the Olympics in order to get the most from your workouts.Whether you’re training for a race or simply looking to stay active, why shouldn’t you at least be able to train like your favourite athletes? Fitness expert and coach Nick Grantham – who has worked with many top athletes and Olympians – thinks we should all be able to train to our full potential regardless of our individual goals. His new book The Strength & Conditioning Bible: How to Train Like an Athlete is designed to give you everything you need to make it happen. ‘Anyone who wants to improve their fitness levels and is willing to invest some time and effort can optimise their training and performance,’ he says. ‘And that’s pretty much anyone!’Gone are the days when you needed the most expensive training tools and elite trainers by your side to train smart. From guide books to online personal trainers, there are increasingly easy and effective ways to get training – but with Nick’s experience working in high-performance fitness and sport science, you can really count on The Strength & Conditioning Bible to not only explain what to do and how to do it, but also why you’re doing it.‘As a coach I know the power of understanding,’ Nick says. ‘If you understand why you’re performing an activity, you’re far more likely to stick to the training programme.’As well as giving you the chance to take exercises up or down a notch, it also preps you to continue your training confidently on your own. ‘It offers sample sessions, and appropriate progressions and regressions,’ he adds. ‘It also provides the reader with an understanding that will allow them to develop their own effective programmes.’The workout over these pages, devised by Nick, will allow you to train your body from head to toe in a fuss-free, effective way. In Nick’s own words, no matter what your level or experience, ‘anyone can train like an athlete’.SquatAreas trained: glutes, quads, hamstrings, calvesTechniqueHolding the barbell resting on your shoulder muscles, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at your knees and hips to lower your body until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor.Reverse the position, extending your hips and knees to return to the start position.Perform 8-10 reps of each move one after the other in a circuit, resting between sets if you need to. Once a circuit is complete, return to the start and repeat. Keep going until you’ve reached the time recommended for your levelPress-upAreas trained: chest, triceps, coreTechniqueStart in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Tighten up through your core, ensuring your back is flat.Bend your arms to lower your body until your chest is about 1cm from the floor.Drive back up to the starting position where your arms are extended.Romanian deadliftAreas trained: hamstrings, lower back, glutesTechniqueHold the bar with an overhand grip approximately shoulder-width (your thumbs should brush the outside of your thighs).Place your feet approximately hip-width apart, with knees soft and your feet straight ahead.Maintaining a flat back position, bend forward at the hips, lowering the bar towards the floor.Reverse the position, extend your hips and return to the start position.AleknaAreas trained: core, stomachTechniqueLie on your back with your hips and knees bent at a 90-degree angle with arms fully extended towards the ceiling.Simultaneously lower your arms behind your head and your legs out fully until they are both close to the ground, without touching it.Return to the start position and repeat.Get-upAreas trained: shoulders, core, glutes, sidesTechniqueLie on your back and hold a kettlebell in your right hand, straight above your shoulder, arm vertical. Position your left arm out to the side and bend your right leg so that your right foot is alongside your left knee.Pushing off your right foot, roll onto your left hip and up onto your left elbow.Push up onto your left hand and holding yourself up on your left hand and right foot, lift yourself up off the ground, then thread your left leg back to a kneeling position.You will be in a kneeling position with your left knee on the floor, right foot on the floor and the kettlebell locked out overhead in your right hand.From the kneeling position, move into a standing position.Reverse the movements to come back down to the starting position on the floor.Perform on the opposite side for the next rep.Hip thrustAreas trained: glutes, hamstrings, coreTechniqueSet up in the position shown – your shoulder blades in line with the bench and holding a barbell to your hips. Place your feet close to your bottom, so that at the top of the hip thrust, your calves are at 90 degrees to the floor.Drive through your heels and focus on using your glutes to push your hips straight up. Finish with your hips as high as possible while maintaining a neutral spine.Lower; repeat.2-point dumbbell bent-over rowAreas trained: upper back, bicepsTechniqueHolding a dumbbell in your right hand, start with your feet hip-width apart in an offset stance with your right foot slightly staggered behind the left.Take up the same position as you would for a bent-over row (your knees slightly bent and your torso bent forwards at your hips at a 45-degree angle).Row the dumbbell up to your ribcage and then return to the starting position.Repeat all reps in the set and then switch sides.Kettlebell swingAreas trained: glutes, hamstrings, back, coreTechniqueHold a kettlebell with both hands and bend your knees so you are in an athletic position.Bring the kettlebell through your legs, so your forearms are in contact with your inner thighs.Swing the weight upward and out to eye level, using the extension of your hips to movethe load.Return to the start position and go straight into another rep.Buy the bookPacked with plenty more workouts just like this one, The Strength & Conditioning Bible: How to Train Like an Athlete by Nick Grantham is published by Bloomsbury (£18, bloomsbury.com). Get your copy now!

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Great serve!

24 July 2016

Can’t wait for Wimbledon? Neither can we! Will current favourite and world number one Serena Williams win this year’s final? Or maybe French Open winner Garbine Muguruza will take the title. One thing’s for sure, with Serena knocking out serves in excess of 200mph this year’s Wimbledon is sure to be a head-turner and we’d love to be there, especially for the big matches.Luckily for you, the Championships' soft drink supplier Robinsons Squash – which has been quenching the thirst of players and spectators since 1935 with it’s real fruit juice drinks – is giving away a pair of tickets to the Wimbledon Ladies’ Final every day on its Facebook and Twitter pages.For your chance to win, visit facebook.com/Robinsons or @DrinkRobinsons from June 27-July 2.All you need to do is share your Real Taste of Wimbledon using the hashtag #tasteofwimbledonSee you courtside!

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Get fit for summer

24 July 2016

Summer is on its way (we hope!). Maybe you’re planning to go away and have been fretting about gaining a few extra pounds around your waistline. Not to mention the dreaded cellulite you discovered when when you got your bikini out.There’s nothing like a beach holiday to get you motivated to loose weight so, before you pack your shorts and skimpy dresses, maybe it's time to get rid of toxins, fat and fluids trapped under the skin. The quickest way? Up your fitness regime. Using the right fitness equipment, at home or in the gym, will help you reach your fitness and weight-loss goals.Whether it’s a bike, treadmill or simply a fitness mat to do leg raises, the right equipment and exercise all help the battle against cellulite. Eating coloured fruits such as papaya and mango is another way to get to grips with unsightly orange peel, while green tea has long been recognised as a natural fat buster.But don’t think you’ll have to go hungry – there are plenty of foods you can eat that won't make you pile on the pounds. There's everything from brown rice to fruit and vegetables, nutritional yoghurts and even healthy popcorn, while lean protein such as fish and chicken is perfect for keeping hunger pangs at bay. You can find healthy, tasty recipes online.If you haven't exercised for a while, start off with easy leg raise repetitions, sit-ups and calf stretches. These can be done at home or at your local gym. When out and about, take the stairs instead of using the elevator, leave the car at home and cycle to work and go swimming instead of staying at home and watching TV. A change in lifestyle and a positive attitude will go a long way, as will having a session with a PT or working out in a group. So, to look good, in shape and ready to go for the summer, intensify your workout.Need a bit of inspiration? Strengthen glutes and hamstrings with the Roman deadlift. It's one of the most effective moves, using muscles that are essential for other exercises that involve lifting, jumping or sprinting. It won't be long before your overall body strength and conditioning improves dramatically, making you feel and look good.If you really want to go for it, training for a half marathon will take your fitness workout to the next level, help you lose weight and give you the body you’re looking for. What are you waiting for?

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The ultimate squat challenge

24 July 2016

The original squat should always be a move that features in your workouts, but sometimes shaking things up a little can help you achieve new goals, break through plateaus and add extra challenges.For those who find regular squat technique tough, this is the ultimate squat challenge and handy way to work those same muscle groups. ‘Single-leg movements areknown to help you make big strength gains and will also improve your balance and posture as you target the quads and glutes,’ explains lead trainer at Reach Fitness, Richard Tidmarsh.Finding your balance and controlling the movement might take a little practice, but like they say, practice makes perfect. ‘Control tends to improve quickly, and you can then progress from using just your bodyweight to holding dumbbells, all the way through to using a barbell inside a rack to keep things moving forward,’ adds Richard. When it comes to lifting weights and working your lower body, inching your way to constant improvements is key to gaining strength and mastering the move.Split squatAreas trained: bottom, quads TechniqueStand facing away from a box that’s 15-30cm from the floor. Too high, and your back will arch. Place the ball of your right foot onto the box behind you and your left foot into a lunge position, a good distance away from the box.Keeping your body in a strong upright position, bend your left knee, keeping your heel flat onthe floor, until your back knee gently touches the floor.Push back up to the start and repeat.Beginners should start with eight reps on each side for three to four sets, to get used to the movement pattern. Once you’ve mastered this, hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides, increasing the weights as you get stronger. Advanced lifters can work inside a rack and backload a barbell.

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The sound of success

24 July 2016

We know how much of a motivator music can be – whether you’ve got a special ‘power song’ up your sleeve saved for the home stretch, or you just need something upbeat blasting at all times to distract you from the hard work, there’s no denying that music and fitness are a match made in heaven.That’s probably why Ministry of Sound is onto a winner with its new FIT IN 4 workouts.Firstly, getting a workout done and dusted in four minutes is appealing enough, no matter how hard you have to push. After all, it’s only four minutes of your day, right? ‘Working hard enough during a four-minute Tabata workout gives you the aerobic benefits of your usual steady-state cardio session,’ explains Lindsay Jay, who devised the workouts for Ministry of Sound. ‘But if you work to your max, you’ll also burn extra calories by raising your metabolism for the following 12 hours.’ This after-burn effect – burning calories even after your workout is over – is the reason why HIIT training is such a hit (excuse the pun). Shorter workouts, bigger results? It’s a no-brainer.And while having any old tunes blasting in the background can sometimes be enough to energise you, you’d be surprised at how choosing the right music can influence your workout. ‘People often want to work out to their favourite music, but when doing HIIT or Tabata you’ll feel significantly increased benefits from working out to dance music like hard house or drum and bass, which are fast, intense and sometimes aggressive,’ explains Deborah McCartney, product manager at Ministry of Sound. ‘For the FIT IN 4 workout, we sped each track up to hit the stringent timing grid for the workout (10 seconds off, 20 seconds on), meaning each track plays at 192 BPM.’So if you’re looking for that next push to progress in your workouts, give this super simple yet effective workout from Lindsay a try. No matter how busy you are, this speedy workout only takes up four minutes of your time and energy. Plus, it’s completely kit-free, so you don’t even need to take the time out for a trip to the gym.How to do it Working at the highest intensity and fastest pace you can manage, perform each move for 20 seconds non-stop, with 10 seconds’ rest between each exercise.ABSMountain climbers Area trained: coreTechnique - Start in a high plank with your hands under shoulders, ensuring your core is engaged.Bring one knee to your chest then switch legs with speed.Change over as fast as possible while maintaining your form.Star Crunch Area trained: stomachTechnique -Lie on your back, forming a star shape with arms and legs wide.As fast as you can, draw your knees to your chest and raise your upper body so your chest comes to your knees, forming a ball.Slowly return to the start and repeat.LOWER BODY Lunge JumpAreas trained: glutes, hamstrings, quadsTechnique - Take a large step forward, drop into the position until your legs form 90-degree angles and the back knee is just above the floor.Power through your legs and jump up as high as you can, changing sides in the air.Land softly in a lunge on the opposite side and repeat.Cat walk Areas trained: glutes, core, shouldersTechnique - Start on all fours, tuck your toes and lift your knees just off the floor.Walk hands and feet forwards for two strides then back.CARDIOBurpeeAreas trained: glutes, quads, core Technique - Feet together, jump as high as you can. Land softly and drop your palms to the floor.Jump your legs backwards into a plank. Jump them back towards yout hands and repeat.Running Man Areas trained: glutes, core, shouldersTechnique - Start on all fours, tuck your toes and lift your knees just off the floor.Walk hands and feet forwards for two strides then back.TOTAL BODYSquat Jump Areas trained - glutes, quads, hamstringsTechnique - Start standing with your feet hip-width apart.Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, pushing your bottom down and out behind you while keeping your chest as upright as possible.Power up through the heels and jump as high as possible.Land softly, straight back into the squat to repeat.Speed Skater Areas trained: glutes, quads, sides, coreTechnique - Take one leg behind the other, bending both knees to reach your opposite hand to touch the front foot.Jump laterally as far as you can, with as much height as possible, landing with your feet the opposite way round and the other hand on the floor.Get it!Check out Ministry of Sound’s curated music. The FIT IN 4 mixes and step-by-step videos are available on iTunes for £9.99.

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Heatwave SALE!

24 July 2016

The sun's shining and we're stripping off! Ok, not right this moment (in the office) but it's happening ASAP! To celebrate summer's imminent arrival we're giving you a whopping £10 off our Body Plan to help you look and feel fab this summer.With easy to follow, hard-working workouts, and delicious healthy recipes and meal plans, it's the easiest way to shape up this summer.The workouts are devised by super-fit PT and Instagram star Em Furey and will get you burning calories and toning up quicker than you can say yellow polka dot bikini! The recipes are devised by or very own editor Joanna and nutritionist nicola Shubrook of Urban Wellness.GET £10 OFF YOUR BODY PLAN NOW - simply use WFHEATWAVE at checkout to get £10 OFF!

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