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Pick ’n’ mix Pilates moves

Get your best body ever with these pick ’n’ mix Pilates moves tailored to your natural shape

While there are no specific exercises that should or shouldn’t be performed depending on whether you have an apple, pear, hourglass or athletic 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.’

That’s not to say all women with the same body shape have the same goals, but certain moves can help apple shapes to define their curves, for example, and athletic figures to focus on their glutes. What’s more, everyone can benefit from the postural power of Pilates! ‘Pilates is great for sculpting as it focuses on the stabilising muscles deep in the body,’ Nadine adds. ‘This allows each muscle and joint to work with minimal stress and maximum effort in order to increase strength, flexibility and length.’ The workout as a whole is suitable for all body types, but if you’re short on time, just pick the exercises for your body type.

How to do it

Complete the allotted reps and sets of each exercise before moving on to the next. Perform these exercises in the order they appear.

1. Toe taps

Best for: apple, pear, hourglass

Areas trained: stomach, core, hips

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 repeating 10-12 reps on each side, bring feet to the floor to rest. Repeat for 2 sets.

2. Criss-cross

Best for: apple, hourglass, athletic, pear

Areas trained: core, sides

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

Areas trained: core, bottom, hips, lower back

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Your shape sessions: Oblique Exercises

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The 7-minute workout

Sculpt in 7 Minutes!

Your best body in less than 10 minutes, you say? it can be done- Wahoo’s 7 Minute Workout app shows us how.

Whether you’e a full-time mum or busy office worker, we’re pretty sure a short and sweet workout  you can get done in under 10 minutes will sound appealing. Well good news, it can be done. If you’re prepared to go hard and give it your all, it is possible to have an effective workout in 7 minutes, and with Wahoo Fitness’ 7 Minute Workout, which combines aerobic and resistance training to work your heart as well as your mules, you don’t need to leave the house to make it happen. This high-intensity form of training is popular for a reason, but you need to work hard if you want to see results.

Try the workout here to reap serious rewards asap!

Perform each move for 30 seconds at a time with a 10 second rest in between each. Try to do as many as possible in 30 seconds. keep going for seven minutes in total.

Kit you’ll need: Chair/step

Squats, Areas trained: Bottom, Quads

Technique

Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and your toes pointed slightly out.

Keeping your back straight, bend your knees and bend at the hips to lower until you are parallel with the floor.

Push back up to th orginial standing poisition and repeat.

Step-Ups {onto a chair), Areas trained: Bottom, Legs

Technique

Stand in front of the chair.

Step up onto the chair with one foot, followed by the other.

Pause and then step off with the opposite foot first.

Repeat, changing sdes with each rep.

Side Plank, Areas trained: Core, sides

Technique

Form a straight line with your body on its side, resting on one forearm with your feet stacked on top of each other.

Hold for 30 seconds.

High knees, Areas trained: Legs, Bottom, Core

Technique

Run on the spot lifting your knees as high as possible.

Swing your arms as if you were running normally.

Tricep Dips, Areas trained: Triceps

Technique

Sit on a chair with the heels of your hands on the edge.

Slide your bottom off the seat and support your weight with your hands.

Bend your elbows back and slowly lower your bum toward the floor while keeping your elbows tucked in.

Push back up to the start and repeat,

Lunge, Areas trained: Legs, Bottom

Technique

Stand with your shoulder back and relaxed, and your chin up.

Take a large stap forward with one foot.

Bend both knees to about 90-degree angle, with your back knee just about the floor.

Push back up to the starting position, then repeat on the opposite leg, alternating legs with each rep.

Jumping Jack, Areas trained: Bottom, Legs, Core

Technique

Start with your feet together and arms at your sides.

Slightly bend your knees and jump up in the air.

As you are jumping kick your legs out and bring your arms up and out to for a ‘star’ shape.

Land softly and repeat exercise.

Press-up Rotation, Areas trained: Chest, Triceps, Core, Sides

Technique

Starting in a plank poisition with your hands directly under your shoulders, bend your arms to lower your chest towards the ground.

Push back up to the start.

At the top, rotate your body into side-plank position with one arm on the ground and the other extending towards the celing.

Rotate back to plank position.

Repeat, this time rotating to the opposite side, continue to alternate with each rep.

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The 7-minute workout

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How to get rid of cellulite

Most of us are plagued by dreaded cellulite, but before you pack away those shorts or dresses, we’ve got the latest science-backed solutions that could help. Here, sports scientist Ross Edgley rounds them up so you can win the war on cellulite if you’re one of the 87 per cent of women in the UK affected by the orange peel effect.

What is cellulite?

Cellulite is basically a term used to describe the dimpled and uneven appearance of skin caused by fat deposits that are just below the surface of the skin. Although scientists don’t know exactly what causes it, it’s believed to be related to the body’s inability to get rid of toxins, fat and fluid which becomes trapped under the skin and cause fibrous tissue to become hard, which is responsible for producing the dreaded dimpling effect. So what methods can you use to combat it?

Roll with it

Try moving on a foam roller and stretching more often to loosen your muscle fascia. This is the tight, interwoven fibres of the muscles and when loosened up it allows nutrient-rich blood to circulate through those fibres, which not only helps rid the body of toxins but also increases the resting metabolic rate and breaks up fatty tissues.

Eat and drink away cellulite

Eating more brightly coloured fruits such a papaya and mango has been shown to help prevent and reduce tissue damage due to the high content of antioxidants. Also, berries that are darker in colour such as blueberries and blackberries also help boost the antioxidant level in the body and stimulate the production of collagen, which may lessen the appearance of cellulite. One of the quickest ways to smooth out the appearance of your skin is to amp up collagen production with sulfur-packed foods, including cucumbers, black olives and celery. Vegetables that are rich in vitamin A may also aid in boosting collagen production in the human body, so incorporate more cantaloupe, raw carrots and sweet potatoes into your weekly food plan. There are endless ways you can eat yourself smooth!

Although green tea has not yet been specifically tested as a treatment for cellulite it has received a lot of recognition as being a possible treatment for obesity. Whilst losing fat won’t completely solve cellulite, it’s been shown to help, according to research conducted at the Laboratoires Arkopharma in France. Try sipping on 2-3 cups a day (but avoid it too close to bedtime due to the caffeine content). Green tea has a distinct bitterness to it, so for those who don’t enjoy the taste, try The Protein Works Green Tea Ultra capsules (£10.49, theproteinworks.com)

Increase your heart rate

One of the simplest ways to combat cellulite is to stimulate the lymphatic system. This is because the lymphatic system serves as a drainage system to rid the body of toxins and if running efficiently prevents the fibrous tissue under the skin from hardening and therefore causing the dreaded dimpled cellulite effect. So how do you stimulate your lymphatic system? Get exercising and breathing heavier. It really is that simple since studies show exercise can increase lymph activity by 10 to 30 times its activity at rest. Another good reason to get moving! Check out our cellulite workout to get going.

Fight it with fat

Lastly, science shows eating fat could help with cellulite. Yes, really. But not just any fat – a special kind of fatty acid known as CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) that’s found in beef. Most notably, in a study conducted in Beverly Hills, California (and published in the Advances in Therapy Journal by Dr Lawrence Birnbaum) 60 females were given CLA for 60 days and ‘in as many as 75% of the women, the appearance of the skin improved significantly, and thigh circumference was reduced by an average of 0.88 inch.’ For an easy CLA hit, try the capsule form (£7.99, theproteinworks.com)

For more information from sports scientist Ross Edgley visit www.rossedgley.com

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How to get rid of cellulite

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Mindfulness exercises

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There are tonnes of ways to get pumped using exercise, a HIIT class with booming music that shakes the floor, sprinting your morning run because your so pumped because your earphones are so loud they’re practically bursting your ear drums, or signing up for another spin class knowing full well that the instructor will be screaming at you the whole time. But, it’s important to make sure you’re getting a healthy balance of exercise and rest or relaxation to achieve good health – that’s why we love methods that combine the two.

If you thought ‘inner energy’ was all about sitting on a yoga mat in the lotus position while chanting ‘om’, then think again. Those familiar with the Chinese martial art tai chi may have come across qigong before. Sometimes known by its full name of taiji qigong, it consists of 18 exercises that are used to promote the body’s natural healing energy to reduce stress levels and increase your quality of life.

How does it work?

Focusing on postures and breathing, qigong is aimed at improving physical and mental health. ‘The exercises can help to promote the body’s natural healing energy, reduce stress and create a feeling of wellbeing,’ explains Ronnie Robinson the director of Taiji Europa, (taiji-europa.eu).
If you know a little about acupuncture, you may be familiar with the Chinese theory of internal energy pathways, or meridians, through which ‘qi’ or ‘chi’ – energy – flows through. ‘Each meridian connects to different internal organs and ensures a healthy energy flow to the connected organ,’ Ronnie explains. ‘When the chi flow is regular the body will remain healthy. However, if there are blockages in this energy flow, problems can result.’
The theory goes that ailments occur because there is disruption to the energy flow in the meridian associated with that particular area. The disruption can be due to stress, poor eating habits, or even being too hot or too cold, creating a build-up which energy can’t freely flow through. Qigong helps to clear these blockages so energy can flow through the meridians with as little disruption as possible.

How to do it

The movements are simple, slow and gentle, yet effective in restoring energy. The body is kept in alignment throughout, and breathing is soft and natural. You may not get your heart racing in qigong, but you’ll certainly benefit physically. ‘Think about the natural movements of animals,’ says Ronnie, ‘like how birds take off and fly. They don’t carry the stresses and strains in their bodies that we humans do. Try to emulate the smooth, easy, natural movements that you see in the rest of nature.’
Want to give qigong a go? Perform each move 8-10 times one after another to create a flowing routine. It’s ideal performed in the morning for a gentle start to the day, or a good option if you need to unwind after work.

Qigong decoded

Beihui: A pressure point at the central part of the top of the head
Dantian: A pressure point just in front of your tummy
Laogong: A pressure point on the centre of the palm of the hd
Zusanli: A pressure point a few inches below the outside of the knee

Top tips for qigong

Listen to your breath Adopt a soft, natural breathing during the movements.

Be aware of your body Although aches and pains are sometimes normal, don’t overdo it. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you.

‘Sink’ your weight and ‘lighten’ your upper body Establish a connection with the ground by imagining your weight dropping deep into the earth while your upper body floats upwards. In reality, your upper body may be heavy with tension while you find it hard to keep your feet firmly on the ground.
Maintain alignment Keep a natural arch in your back and neutral spine, the way we’ve evolved.
Focus and intent Connect with all the movements you’re making and the directions you’re going.
Be natural Think of the movements you see taking place in nature and try to follow suit.

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Mindfulness exercises

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Flat tummy exercises for women

Want to rock a flat stomach but sick of your usual abs routine? Hula hooping is a fun way to tone the whole body while focusing on the abdominal and core muscles and cinching in that waist. It’s quick, easy and can be done anywhere from the park to your own home. So take yourself back to the days of the playground, de-stress and tone up that tum.

How to do it

Perform each exercise for the required amount of time for your level, doing as many reps with good form as possible. Repeat the workout two or three times a week to upbeat music for the best results.

Kit you’ll need

Adult hula hoop

Source article –

Flat tummy exercises for women

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Your bikini body plan!

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The 12-week Body Plan will have you feeling and looking amazing this Summer.

PT and Instagram star @EmFurey has developed 12 weeks of awesome workouts that will get you in great shape and leave you feeling stronger, fitter and more confident and looking fierce. Combined with the seriously tasty and healthy mix and match eating plan from our nutritionist and foodie experts and you’ll be well on your way to the best summer ever!

So, if you want to feel amazing buy the plan now it’s a steal at only £24.99 for 12 weeks of hard-hitting workouts and delicious healthy recipes!

Below are just a few of the great comments we’ve received about the plan, plus a seriously fab review pitching the plan up there above Kayla’s. So, what are you waiting for – get your summer body started now and buy the plan here.

I honestly LOVE THIS PLAN. I used to feel so confused as what to do at the gym. Should I do HIIT? Should I lift heavy? I started to hate the gym (SO unlike me) and often left feeling like I shouldn’t have even bothered going. But Emily’s plans are amazing. They combine strength and HIIT training. It’s all planned out for you. She leaves space to CREATE YOUR OWN GOALS based on strength rather than aesthetics – IT’S SO POSITIVE! I love it!
10/10 Georgina

Super easy to download! Not too much information is thrown at you! EASY AND AFFORDABLE RECIPES that people can have time to cook and prepare! EASILY LAID OUT AND REALLY LIKE THE STYLE!
9/10 Saffron

I found it EASIER TO STICK TO THAN OTHER PROGRAMS
 BUT STILL TOUGH! It’s easy to t into your schedule and builds up strength progressively.
10/10 Sandrine

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Your bikini body plan!

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5 ways to stay motivated to exercise

Staying motivated is essential for your exercise goals, and there are simple changes you can make to keep moving forwards. Stuck for ideas? We’ve got a few to get you started.

 

1. Find a workout buddy

Exercising with a friend who has similar goals to you can be more fun and motivating for the both of you. Working out together will help push you both in the right direction to reach your shared goals.

 

2. Create your own workout playlist

Whether it’s on iTunes, Spotify or another music programme, creating the perfect playlist will give you the motivation to get up and get moving while listening to it. Listening to the right upbeat music while working out has also been suggested to increase the length of your workout!

3. New workout gear

You don’t have to spend loads of money, but treating yourself to some new workout kit is an exciting prospect and will spur you on to get them on as soon as possible and to have yourself a confident workout! Plus, you’ll look good doing it.4. Change it up

We all need change and variety to keep ourselves motivated, so whether it’s taking on a new workout class, joining a sports group or a change of scenery when outdoor exercising, do something different and new that you will thank yourself for later.
5. Reward yourself

Find something you’d like to work towards so you can strive to achieve just that, such as fitting into a pair of jeans you’ve bought yourself. Maybe even treating yourself to something new each month to enjoy and reward yourself for your exercise.

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5 ways to stay motivated to exercise

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Get your best body ever with Pilates exercises

Get your best body ever with these Pilate moves tailored to your natural shape

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.

 

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Pilates exercises

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Follow these easy Bum Exercises #GluteGains

Buns of steel aren’t the only benefits of this workout from Insta-star Zanna van Dijk. Expect to radiate confidence, too

Looking at Zanna van Dijk’s Instagram feed, you’d think that she’s lived and breathed fitness her whole life. 

But what makes the health and fitness blogger, Instagrammer and all-round ‘influencer’ so relatable is that she really is just like the rest of us. ‘I actually hated exercise at school and would find any excuse to avoid PE,’ she reveals to WF in an exclusive interview. ‘I only started getting into it at university. I heard about the benefits of eating well and training and decided to give it a shot.’ And if you thought she took to it like a duck to water, think again. Like the rest of us, Zanna made mistakes along the way. Now? She’s a full-time fitness professional working as a personal trainer – not to mention one of the most popular health and fitness bloggers and Instagrammers out there, with 115,000 followers and counting. She puts her success down to passion, consistency and realness: ‘I have a no-nonsense approach to social media, fitness and life,’ she says. ‘There’s no smoke and mirrors and I’m very honest about my lifestyle.’

For anyone who’s kept their ear to the ground with fitness trends for a while now, it’s impossible not to have noticed the fast pace at which the industry has changed since the rise of social media.

Trends come and go – but it seems that bloggers and influencers are definitely having their time. Zanna is riding the wave better than any of them, proven by the launch of #GirlGains – an online community she co-founded with fellow social media influencers Tally Rye and Victoria Spence.

‘It’s for women who are interested in bettering themselves in all areas of their lives, not just fitness,’ explains Zanna. ‘We educate, empower and inspire women to be healthy, happy and confident, to look after themselves and to love themselves.’ And judging by the turnout at their events, the number of followers they have on Instagram and the use of their hashtag #GirlGains, they’re doing just that.

For someone as driven as Zanna, though, that’s still not enough.

‘We’d like to see #GirlGains spread across the world, to reach as many women as possible and to be able to have a positive impact on their self-worth, ambition and happiness.’

 

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Follow these easy Bum Exercises #GluteGains

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The Truth About Weight Loss

 

The start of every health kick can be a glorious time, with your motivation at its highest and the fitness gains at their easiest to come by. Your muscles might be aching, and your diet could be missing a few unhealthy favourites, but the weight will be dropping off like nobody’s business.

At some point, however, you might find that whatever efforts you make in the gym or the kitchen do not result in any further losses when you step on the scales.

Your weight plateaus, or perhaps even nudges slightly upwards. Obviously, this can be the ultimate motivation killer if your main goal is weight loss, but a simple scales reading can be misleading when it comes to your general health.More important than how much you weigh is your body composition – namely how much of your body is made up of fat, muscle, bones, water, assorted organs, and so on.

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The Truth About Weight Loss

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