Tag Archive | "body"

chest-press-with-resistance-band

Chest press with resistance band

How to

1. Attach the centre of the band to a stationary object and hold one end in each hand

2. Stand with your back to the attachment, elbows bent and shoulders abducted to 90 degrees (upper arm level with shoulder) so that your hands are next to your chest.

3. Push forwards and straighten your arms out in front of you.

4. Slowly return to the starting position.


Why use resistance bands?

They are super affordable and the ideal fitness multi-tasker. Just choose the right band based on your weight – it’s all written on either the packaging, online or ask in store. As you get stronger you’ll need to lower the assistance to account for your new strength.

For example, a robust general tension band combined with a heavy band offers roughly the same amount of resistance as a power band, but the combination gives you three different levels of assistance (one with the heavy band, one with robust, and one with both bands). Colours denote the different band strengths and vary between brands.

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fast-fatloss-alexa-towersey

Top fat loss tips

1. Complete a lifestyle diary

This includes what you eat, when you go to bed, how often you go to the bathroom and how much water you drink. This will make you accountable and aware of any bad habits outside of the gym that could be hindering your results.

2. Schedule at least two recovery sessions per week

I liken your body to a bank balance.  Every training session is a withdrawal; every recovery session is a deposit. If you are always training (withdrawing) and never recovering (depositing), you will eventually end up overdrawn and injured. Recovery practices include foam rolling, contrast showers, ice baths, massages and long walks.

3. Embrace hot yoga

The hot room allows for increased range of movement (which will translate into better range in your weight training), the heat enhances detoxification processes and the twisting movements improve digestion and lymphatic drainage in addition to massaging the internal organs.  Yoga is also great for stress management, and when you are stressed you will hold fat.

4. Test for food intolerances

Just because a food is ‘healthy’, doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you. If it doesn’t make you feel good, don’t eat it. Some of the most common intolerances include eggs, gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, corn and nuts. Intolerances can also be a result of eating too much of the same foods, so try and rotate your meal options regularly.

5. Support your liver and your detoxification channels using alternative body treatments

Think acupuncture, lymphatic drainage massage, Epsom salt baths, body brushing and infra-red saunas. Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins and try starting the day with a glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice.

For more fat loss tips, visit our weight loss section.

 

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Top fat loss tips

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joanna-turner-breathing

Joanna Turner: I lost 25 kilos with deep breathing

“It took me a while to hear the message about breathing that everyone kept talking about. I was ‘hearing’ the message but not actually doing it. After a stressful day at work (I was formerly a corporate accountant), I would literally say, ‘I haven’t even breathed today!’

I am a firm believer that stress makes you fat. The right breathing – proper belly breaths – is a quick way to calm stress, and reduces all that cortisol that’s pouring in to our body (when you’re in the ‘fight or flight’ stress response mode).

I have a new career as a health and life coach, and now actually teach my clients how to breathe. Breathing the right way has calmed me down and helped me lose weight.

So far I’ve lost 25 kg and find myself spending less time doing excessive long-distance sports, like triathlons and half-marathons, and spend more time doing yoga, Pilates, weights and short HIIT-style (high intensity interval training) workouts for fast results. This change has given me better results, in much less time.”

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Joanna Turner: I lost 25 kilos with deep breathing

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Image joni-workouit-main.jpg

Sculpting lower body circuit

Carve your buns, quads, and hamstrings (plus a little bit of core) with this killer lower-body circuit courtesy of trainer Joni Ortiz. Power through the exercises quickly using your own bodyweight, or take it at a slower, harder pace by adding a set of dumbbells into the mix.

Model/Trainer: Joni Ortiz //  Photography: James Patrick

This lower-body circuit is great for strengthening and toning your lower body and, considering some of the largest muscles of the body can be found in your legs, you get the added bonus of serious calorie burn.

Complete 15 repetitions of each exercise with good form before moving on to the next exercise. Complete each exercise back-to-back with no rest in-between to ensure your heart rate is kept high. At the end of the circuit, rest for 30 seconds (advanced) to 1 minute (beginner), before starting the circuit again. Four rounds.

Forward lunges

joni-lunges.jpg

Stand holding your dumbbells by your side (if you have them) and step forward, lowering your back knee down to the ground and keeping your front knee in alignment with your ankle. Push through your heel back into standing position. Repeat for 15 reps, alternating legs

Good morning – squat Rotation

joni-squatrotation.jpg

Start in a standing position. Move into a good-morning with a slight bend in your knees, hinging at the hip and with your back straight. From here, sit back into a squat (hold this for a couple of seconds) and then move back into a good morning.  Return to a standing position. This is one rep. Repeat for 15 reps, moving at a moderate to quick pace.

joni-singlelegdeads.jpg

Start in a standing position, holding dumbbells at your sides. Shift weight onto one leg, lower dumbbells down, keeping a slight bend in the stationary leg, while kicking alternate leg back. Upon rising, push through the heel and squeeze your glute muscle for two seconds before lowering back down. Repeat.

Bench step-ups with kickback

joni-stepups.jpg

Stand facing a bench. Step up with your right foot and kick your left leg back at the highest point of the movement, squeezing your glute. Step back down to the ground and repeat with your opposite leg. Alternate legs until you have completed 15 reps.

Spiderman plank

joni-spiderplank.jpg

Begin in plank position, holding dumbbells. Bring your right knee towards your right elbow with a slight squeeze in your oblique, before returning back to plank position. Repeat on your left side and alternate sides until you have completed 15 reps.

Bench jumps

joni-benchjumps.jpg

Stand facing the bench. Squat down and jump up onto the bench into a squatted position. Think ‘light knees’ – you should not be banging into the bench with force, as this puts undue pressure on your joints. Step back down to the ground and repeat until you have completed 15 reps

Alien squats

joni-aliensquats.jpg

Get into a squat position with knees wide. Kick feet out without raising your upper body, before moving back down into the squat position. Repeat for 15 reps. This exercise should be completed quickly for best results.

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Sculpting lower body circuit

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stubborn-fat-loss-dan-t

The key to targeting stubborn fat

The term ‘stubborn’ almost creates an unnecessary mental predisposition when it comes to fat loss. Clients are often too quick to assume they have ‘stubborn fat’, when most people simply have more fat to lose before they can start burning fat in those notorious areas, such as the belly and hips.

The average fat loss dieter should not be thinking they can strategically target specific areas of fat. When losing weight, your body wants to save calories, so areas such as the arms, neck, fingers, face and feet tend to lean out quicker than the belly, butt and thighs, as having fat in these areas will burn more calories. The body is always adapting to be more efficient.

Clients that have already been training and/or dieting for fat loss from anywhere between eight to 16 weeks and are close to their desired body fat percentage can consider some of their fat as ‘stubborn’. In this case, a little more strategy can be employed.

I find that, for women, the upper body often needs to be almost completely depleted of fat stores before the lower body really becomes active. We store excess energy as fat based on two types of cell receptors: alpha receptors and beta receptors. Alpha promotes fat storage, while beta metabolises fat and makes it available to ‘burn’ as energy. Generally, women have much higher densities of alpha sites in the legs, butt and thighs.

If you want to burn fat from stubborn areas, decreasing alphas and increasing betas is the goal. This could perhaps be related back to our external and internal hormonal environment – basically our oestrogen to progesterone ratios. There is a lot of current research on this matter, and protocols that can help with this hormonal balance include: cutting down on non-organic food and coffee, increasing consumption of cruciferous vegies, drinking lemon water, reducing use of plastics and dry brushing. A useful website is ewg.org and their app Skin Deep, which indicates the toxicity level, effect on the body and potential for harmful additives found in your primary cosmetic and cleaning products.

Another specialised practice that can shed some light on potential imbalances and obstacles to fat loss is Applied Muscle Testing (AMT). Muscle testing works in the same arena as kinesiology, by testing your body for feedback to identify deficiencies in nutrients, problematic foods, potential beneficial supplements and even helping provide information on specific training protocols that may suit you personally.

Three easy things you can do today to expedite stubborn fat loss:

1. Exercise two to three hours after your last meal or on an empty stomach. This may reduce alpha receptor activity. It also causes us to increase catecholamine hormone production (adrenaline/noradrenaline), which may increase beta receptor activity.

2. Train intensely: use compound multi-muscle, multi-joint movements. For lower body, try lunges, squats and deadlifts. Include some type of interval training into your cardio workouts and then cool down with a 30 minute walk: this can assist in dipping further into fat for fuel now it has been released into the blood stream during training.

3. Stay positive: what your mind believes, your body achieves. If you tell yourself you can’t get rid of that last little bit of fat over and over, you’ll convince your subconscious mind that it’s true and it will obey you. Keep an open mind, visualise the results you want and don’t settle for ‘almost there’.   

 

 

Originally posted here –

The key to targeting stubborn fat

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Image shutterstock_91908686.jpg

Running tips for women

Ace your next race with these top tips

Going for a run is probably one of the most popular ways to get your workout on, whether it’s hitting the roads or jumping on a treadmill when the weather’s gross outside. If you sometimes find running a little tedious, why not challenge yourself to go faster or further?

Here are our top tips to smash your run.

To the gym

Weight training could make you a better runner. A Norwegian study found that resistance training three times a week for eight weeks significantly improved running efficiency and endurance in well-trained, long-distance runners.

Uphill battle

Want to conquer the hills? To race uphill, run with a short stride while pushing off the balls of your feet and pumping your arms. Then relax your arms and use a longer stride to go downhill.

Ready, set, splash!

Getting wet could make you a better runner. Swimming increases your upper body strength, making your runs more efficient, while aqua jogging mimics your usual movement sans impact – reducing the risk of injury.

Bright idea

‘Watch your stance when running,’ tips Fitness First trainer Andy Hall. ‘Leaping forward and striding too far will drain your energy fast. Instead, make sure you stand tall and lean slightly forward, so when you feel like you’re going to fall, you step forward just enough to catch yourself. This should be the length of your stride.’

Take five

Listen to your body! If you’re feeling under the weather or if your body is sore and ready for a rest, take a recovery day. Only you know if those aches and pains are from a good run or the sign you need to rest.

Sand storm

Here’s a good excuse to book a beach getaway – running on sand can improve your speed and muscle tone. A study from St Luke’s University Clinic in Belgium found that pounding the sand requires 1.6 times more energy than running on pavements as your body has to work harder to deal with the soft, unstable surface. That adds up to more defined muscles and a swifter run when you get back to solid ground. Neat!

Drink up

Hydration is key for runners, but plain old water is best if you’re only doing short runs. Upgrade to a sports drink if you’re running for longer than an hour to help shuttle glucose to your muscles and combat fatigue.

Play it safe Protect yourself – the great outdoors brings potential hazards:

Navigate new destinations Make use of online running forums and social media groups to discover popular routes. Clearly defined, well-lit roads are a must when running in the dark, and remember there’s safety in numbers. Recruit a running buddy or join a club to improve your technique with like-minded enthusiasts – it’s way more fun than going solo!

Ditch your headphones An uplifting playlist can send motivation soaring, but when you’re running outside you need to be aware of your surroundings so you can rely on your senses when you need them. Save the tunes for your indoor workout and shift your attention to your breathing and form – or if you feel you really can’t run without music just keep the volume low.

Check the forecast We all know the British weather is unpredictable. It’s worth checking the forecast before you lace up so you don’t get caught in heavy rain that could hamper your performance and increase your risk of injury.

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Running tips for women

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pullups

Bar pull-ups: tips and perks

Increase your back strength with bar pull-ups. Here’s how to get it right.

A strong back is integral to a strong, high functioning, lean body, and pull-ups are like a laser pointer for your flip side. They’re also bloody tough.

“Pull-ups are one of the toughest bodyweight exercises you can do and they do take a long time to master,” says  PT and founder of business KE Fitness Kris Etheridge.

Yet beginners who withstand the burn will witness rapid gains. “You’re going to have to be patient, but you should be improving in strength each week when you first start out.” Etheridge advises strengthening your biceps and upper back using the assisted pull-up/chin-up machine, lat pull-down machine and seated row machine. “If you don’t have access to these machines, a great way to work on your chin-ups or pull-ups is to loop a large power band (a thick circular rubber band) over a chin-up bar and put one of your feet in it,” Etheridge says. “This will help lift some of your body weight. As you get better, you can change to lighter bands until you’re achieving this all on your own.” When performing pull-ups, remember to use your lats (the broadest muscle on your back) and not just your arms.

Perks: “Pull-ups target the upper back, particularly the lats, and also work the biceps and abdominals,” Etheridge says. Not only will pull-ups become easier the more you practise due to the increased muscle you’re producing in conjunction with a loss of body fat, but these will also help for advancing in other exercises. “Having a strong upper back will allow you to progress to more challenging exercises like Olympic lifting,” Etheridge says. 

Injury insurance:  If you’re overweight, be careful not to overdo this exercise at the start, as pull-ups are very demanding. Generally speaking, the bigger you are, the more difficult you will find pull-ups as you have more weight to lift. There’s a reason most rock climbers are lean after all! If you have shoulder, upper back or neck injuries, ask a professional if pull-ups are an appropriate exercise for your needs. 

Pull-up challenge

Instructions: Emphasising the correct technique, INCLUDE PULL-UPS IN YOUR WORKOUT TWO TO THREE TIMES PER WEEK.

Week one–two – Using the heavy power band, perform two sets of 15 reps.

Week three–four – Change to the moderate strength resistance band, and perform three sets of eight reps.

Week five – Reduce the resistance to the light band and perform four sets of three reps.

Week six – Perform three sets of three reps of negative pull-ups. Here you’re avoiding the pulling up phase and just doing the lowering movement without a band to help. It should take you three to five seconds to lower, and the slower, the better! 

Once you can perform the above comfortably, you’re ready to try the real thing!

Looking for more upper body workouts? Try this toning upper body workout.

 

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Bar pull-ups: tips and perks

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yoga

Yoga poses

While yoga is undoubtedly known as the go-to for limbering up, de-stressing and boosting flexibility, it’s less known for its contribution to cardio fitness. Wild, a new class from Fierce Grace (fiercegrace.com), is looking to change that, though. Taking inspiration from martial arts, ballet, qigong, physiotherapy, resistance exercises and, of course, traditional yoga, Wild is a functional-based workout designed for anyone and everyone. Try this workout for a taster of what this innovative class offers. Ready?

Ragdoll jumps

Technique-

With your feet hip-width apart and arms loose, perform continuous little jumps for 30 seconds.

Straddle reach-through

Technique-

Stand with feet wider than hips. Bend your knees if you need to.

Hinge at the hips, reaching your arms out. Graze the floor with your hands as you go, exhaling all the way to reach your arms through your legs. 

Inhale to bounce back, then reach through again, taking a second to complete each reach-through.

Do 15 reps in total.

Straddle push-up

Technique-

Standing up straight with your feet wide, reach down to the floor by your toes.

Walk forward with your  hands until your body is in a straight line.

Bend your arms to lower your chest, then push back up.

Walk your hands back to the start.

Repeat for 10 reps.

Spine flex

Technique-

Sit cross-legged on the floor with your hands on your ankles.

Exhale, round your spine and relax it, look down and feel the stretch in your upper back.

Inhale and arch your spine, look up and push your chest forwards, using your hands to help you.

Repeat, performing one rep per second for one minute.

Corkscrew twists 

Technique-

Sit cross-legged with your hands resting on your shoulders – fingers in front, thumbs at the back and elbows out to the sides. Keep your eyes and head forward throughout.

Inhale to twist left, then exhale right.

Pull your belly in and lift your chest.

Repeat once per second.

Fire plank

Technique-

Hold a plank with hands under your shoulders, fingers spread, tailbone tucked under, abs and quads tight.

Practise ‘fire breath’ (drawing breath from your navel area, quickly breathe in and out through your nose, pulling your belly in as you exhale).

Hold for 45 secs.

Now, without losing form, lift your left leg and right arm.

Bring them back to the plank then do the same with the opposite limbs.

Do this twice more on each side.

Fast scissors

Technique-

Lie on your back with your palms under your hips for support and legs off the ground.

Scissor your legs up and down, performing fire breath through your nose once each rep.

Go for one minute.

Bum lift 

Technique-

Lie on your front with your arms beside you, palms down, elbows locked and forehead on the floor.

Bend your knees to take your feet off the floor, keeping them together.

Inhale and squeeze to lift your knees off the floor, then lower them straight back down to finish the rep.

Do 30 reps.

Check out www.fiercegrace.com for more information on yoga, classes and training

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Yoga poses

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Image samly-abs-plank.jpg

15-minute ab workout

Want a strong core?

Add this high-energy workout to your workouts and boost fat loss, muscle gain and strength.

All you need is 15 minutes two to three times a week and a medicine ball.

Words/workout: Sam Ly (pictured)Photography: Jamie Watling

1. Straight-arm plankLie on a flat surface.

Position hands directly under shoulders and legs, shoulder-width apart

 

2. Mountain climbers

For the next 30 seconds, incorporate spider mountain climbers, alternating movements on each side with the knee to elbow, back into the straight-arm plank for a total of one minute. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

samly-abs-medballcrunch1.jpg

samly-abs-medballcrunch2.jpg

 

3. Medicine ball crunches

Start with feet on the floor at a 90-degree angle. Lean back onto tailbone and lift feet off the floor at 45 degrees. Hold a 4 kg medicine ball at your chest. With knees bent and toes pointed upwards, extend arms with the medicine ball while bringing the knees towards the chest.

Keeping the abdominal muscles contracted, bring the medicine ball back to chest and extend the legs without letting your feet touch the ground. Stay in that position and preform a Russian twist with the medicine ball for weighted resistance.

Twist core with medicine ball from side to side. Keep legs as steady as possible while twisting without touching the floor. Do this as one motion for one minute, rest for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times.

 

samly-abs-highknees.jpg

 

4. High knees

Standing on a flat surface with feet hip-width apart, comfortably jump on one foot, lifting your knees as high as possible. Let arms flow with the motion of the opposite knee. Alternate legs for one minute at maximum speed and drop to the floor into the straight-arm plank. Perform spider mountain climbers for one minute, alternating movements on each side with the knee to elbow, back into the straight-arm plank. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

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15-minute ab workout

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Gym free circuit

Get sculpted with this exclusive gym free circuit by the Tone It Up Girls. All you need is your yoga or exercise mat.

 

Move 1

Downward dog & butt kick

Move 1 - Downward dog and butt kick - Women's Health and Fitness magazine

Warms up your body, engages core and lifts butt

HOW: Begin in a downward dog position. Slowly and with control, lift your right leg up towards the sky, keeping your shoulders square and both hands firmly planted on the ground. Engage that butt! Lower your leg and repeat 10 times before alternating sides.

Move 2

Butt lifter & arm cincher

Tone It Up Girls - Home workout - move 2 - Women's Health and Fitness Magazine

Tones arms and butt and tightens core
HOW: Begin in a high plank position, drawing a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Lift your left leg up as you lower your right knee to the ground. Next, perform a tricep push-up by kissing your elbows to your waistline.

Complete 10 reps as you keep your left leg up and lifted. Repeat on the other side.

Heat wave

Tone It Up Girls - Home Workout - Move 3 - Women's Health and Fitness Magazine

Targets butt and core

HOW: Begin in a standard bridge position, on your back with feet directly below your knees. Keep you butt up, pressing up through the front of your hips. Keep your abs tight and butt engaged as you rotate your hips from side to side. Repeat 20 times.

 

Photography: Ashley Streff.

Words: Katrina Hodgson and Karena Dawn

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Gym free circuit

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Paige Hathaway

11 hours 20 minutes ago

You can do so much in 5 weeks! 💪🏼
Angelica Ramirez (@instaang87) was a top 10 finalist in my last 5 weeks challenge... I'm so excited for her transformation!

A healthy lifestyle is a work in progress, with ups and down but hopefully always moving forward toward learning more, making better choices, and living mindfully! If you make small changes and stay consistent you'll see incremental progression which will increase the likelihood that you will stick with the change and want to do more! 👉🏼 It all starts with a choice and your health should be your first priority!

Join the thousands who have transformed their life in the #Fitin5 community! ....LIVE BOLD AND BLOOM.... 🌸✨

Paige Hathaway

17 hours 57 minutes ago

You're right... Guys don't like muscles on a girl.... They LOVE them 😝

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