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Tricep exercises

Want to look strong and sexy in your summer Tees? Arm yourself with our tricep workout…

Short sleeve season is on us, so it’s time to have serious words with our upper arms. Grab those dumbells and wave goodbye to bingo wings. Just incorporate these three of our favourite tricep exercises into your regular workouts to fire up the backs of those arms and, by summer, you’ll have the confidence to rock those dresses and vest tops in no time at all.

 

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Tricep exercises

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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

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Flat tummy exercises for women

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Strike a balance with this Inner thigh exercise

Want to boost gym performance? It’s time to balance out your intense workouts with a good old dance-inspired stretch

Blocking out the time to really delve into a stretching session can seem hard to justify if your busy schedule already makes squeezing workouts in difficult.

But if you’ve found yourself hitting a wall when it comes to results, or you’re constantly plagued by niggling injuries, it might just be what the doctor ordered. US-based Lastics has taken inspo from the long, lean and limber bodies of dancers to come up with classes and online videos to help regular gym-goers get the most out of their workouts. ‘Dancers epitomise the balance between strength and flexibility to the extreme,’ says Lastics founder Donna Flagg. ‘Their bodies are graceful, sculpted and powerful.’

Rather than overhauling your entire workout routine to emulate that of a ballerina, Lastics instead allows you to simply take a leaf out of their book, providing stretching-focused classes to help you develop an improved range of motion. This is essential to anyone who’s looking to prevent injuries, boost conditioning and balance out strength training – as well as achieve a slender silhouette. ‘Lastics enhances all other activities, improves posture and circulation and gives you more freedom to move in your body,’ Donna adds. So if you’re intrigued by the slenderness and strength of a dancer but don’t necessarily have any goals to make it as one (bar the occasional tear-up on the dance floor on a Friday night), this is the perfect middle ground.

If you’re interested in subscribing to Lastics, trying out the DVD or even just having a taster of what it might be like, give this workout a go. Donna has devised it especially to supplement WF’s workouts, but it’s a wise and healthy addition to any active woman’s weekly routine. It can even be added to the end of a workout if you don’t want to dedicate an entire session to it.

How to do it

Breathe into the stretch and release when the body starts to resist. Then take a few breaths and release deeper into the stretch on each exhale. Repeat as desired.

Technique

Sit in a straddle and let your head hang between your legs, rounding your back. Release any tension you may be holding.

After you’ve been hanging there totally relaxed, reach your nose a little closer to the floor. Hold your upper body where it is and press the backs of your knees down into the floor.

Hold your body and knees in place and flex your feet, making sure your knees don’t pop back up.

Finally, hold all of that and lift your chin to flatten your back. Hold for a few seconds.

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Strike a balance with this Inner thigh exercise

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Break Through Plateauing Results by Training Smarter

Stuck in a rut? If you exercise regularly but can’t figure out how to smash plateaus, you’re in the right place. This plan, by IFBB fitness pro Fiona Harris, will trim inches off your thighs, tone and sculpt your arms, perk up your glute-ham tie-in, and create definition like your Insta-idol @NicoleMWilkins.

By manipulating variables such as intensity and frequency and incorporating different training techniques—like heavy/low-rep and light/high-frequency body-part splits, plus cardio, HIIT, and plyometrics—you WILL keep your body progressing right to the top.

RECOMMENDED WORKOUT WEEKLY SPLIT

  • DAY 1: Lower-Body Workout 1, Heavy Weights; 35 minutes steady-state cardio
  • DAY 2: Chest/Shoulders, StepMill HIIT Cardio
  • DAY 3: Plyometric Whole-Body Workout, Rower HIIT Cardio
  • DAY 4: Rest
  • DAY 5: Lower-Body Workout 2, High Volume; 35 minutes steady-state cardio
  • DAY 6: Back/Arms, Treadmill HIIT Cardio
  • DAY 7: Rest

Harris recommends one day of heavy lifting and one day of higher volume, as well as pairing plyo with traditional lower-body moves. Mixing high-rep training and plyometrics with heavy lifting helps provide a new stimulus to muscles.

Lower Body

Workout 1 (Heavy Weights)

  • Leg Extensions: 1½ reps (1 rep from full flexion to full extension, then ½ rep to halfway down, then up to full flexion); 1 warmup set; 7 sets of 12–15 reps.
  • Barbell back squat: 5 sets of 8–12 reps.
  • Leg press: Narrow stance (feet/ knees together) 4 sets of 10–12 reps.
  • Hack squat: Wide stance, toes pointed out, 4 sets of 8–12 reps.
  • Lying hamstring curl: 1½ reps; 4 sets of 8–12 reps.
  • Barbell hip thruster: 4 sets of 10–12 reps.
  • *Rest 45-60 seconds betweetn sets

Workout 2 (High Volume)

  • Leg extension superset with pop squat:** 1 warmup set; 4 sets of 12–15 reps/20 reps
  • Smith machine sumo squat with pulse: 4 sets of 15 reps.
  • DB reverse lunge to curtsy squat: 4 sets of 12–15 reps per leg.
  • Single-leg cable hamstring-curl superset with bent-knee kickback: 3 sets of 15 reps/15 reps.
  • Abductor machine superset with side-walking squat with resistance band: 4 sets of 15 reps/10–12 reps each direction.
  • DB walking lunge: 3 sets of 20 reps per leg.
  • *Rest 30–45 seconds between sets
  • **Superset: Do one set of each move with no rest in between sets.

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Break Through Plateauing Results by Training Smarter

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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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Fitness model healthy food swaps

Fitness website founder and model  //  Sporteluxe.com and biancacheah.com.au

“I eat a high-protein, low-carb diet. I don’t eat dairy foods like milk, cheese and yoghurt. Chicken and fish are my top protein picks and with them I always eat plenty of fresh vegetables – particularly the vegies in season as they are grown more naturally. I eat very little sugar and minimise intake of carbs as they make me feel bloated and lethargic.

I avoid processed foods, which really make me feel hungover. Vegies are on high rotation in my diet; the fresher the meal, the better I feel. I feel good knowing I’ve nourished my body with a huge vitamin boost, but I also believe it’s really important to allow yourself treats in moderation, otherwise abstaining can lead to binge eating. I like to snack on chocolate-covered goji berries, which are full of antioxidants.”

Cow’s milk 

»

Lactose-free almond or soy milk

Green vegies 

»

Green juices (broccoli, broccolini, spinach, cucumber)

Sugar 

»

Honey

Dried fruit  

»

Fresh fruit

White carbs 

»

Quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato

Bland food 

»

Flavoursome food (spices)

Fruit juices

»

Water

Wine

»

Biodynamic and organic red wine

Pasta

»

Steamed broccolini

Milk chocolate

»

Chocolate-covered goji berries

 

Sophie Guidolin

sophie

fitness blogger  //  sophieguidolin.com.au

“I overhauled most of my habits, which meant I cut back on sugar, reduced my intake of carbs, started avoiding processed foods, reduced my intake of preservatives, colours and additives, added more lean protein, reduced my intake of dairy foods and ate a bigger variety of vegetables.”

Liquid kilojoules (cordial, soda, milk)

»

Water

Brownies

»

Protein brownies

Flour pancakes

»

Quinoa pancakes

Cake

»

Low-carb cake (e.g. coconut flour)

White rice

»

Couscous

 

Emily Skye 

emilyskye

Fitness model  //  emilyskye.com

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Fitness model healthy food swaps

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5th Element Wellness Modified Strongman Workout

5th Element Wellness Modified Strongman Workout

5th Element Wellness helps us build strength with this modified strongman workout.Fitness Manager and Co-Founder of 5th Element Wellness David O’Brien takes trainer Alexa Towersey through a challenging yet rewarding workout.

Be sure to check out 5th Element Wellness @5elementwellness for upcoming events and more!

Visit our Youtube channel for more workout videos.

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5th Element Wellness Modified Strongman Workout

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Weight loss tips for women

Weight loss tips for women

Article
Use these tips to put your fat loss in the fast lane

1 Do compound exercises
Working your bigger muscle groups and performing exercises that target several areas of your body at once ensures a higher fat burn, as you will be recruiting more muscle mass.

2 Focus on tempo
Don’t rush through the lowering part of an exercise. By putting your muscles under tension, rather than allowing gravity to do the work, you’re forcing them to build. Building muscle helps to speed your metabolism – and burn fat!

3 Don’t rest for too long
Of course you need time to recover (it’s important to rest so you can make the next set count!), but only take short breaks between sets to keep your heart rate up and ensure the workout hits the right intensity.

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Weight loss tips for women

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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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