1 of 9 No Time For A Full Workout Today? Squeeze in this fast and furious fat blaster, designed to work every major muscle while burning mega calories. “Every move here is explosive — you’re working different muscle groups in a variety of directions for optimum conditioning,” explains New York-based trainer Holly Rilinger. Do each move for 30 seconds, resting as little as possible (up to 10 seconds) between each one. “Because you’re rotating between lower body, upper body, and core moves you’re already getting rest, so you can keep downtime to a minimum,” adds Rilinger.
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 itComplete the allotted reps and sets of each exercise before moving on to the next
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.
Most of us will have a goal to work towards on our journey to becoming fitter and healthier – we wouldn’t be motivated without it! But while these may vary from weight loss to building strength, there’s no denying that a flat stomach remains the stamp of what many consider a ‘fit’ bod. If it’s not a rigorous bout of abs-focused classes that we put our bodies through, it’s the yo-yo dieting in a bid to banish the bloat as fast as humanly possible.
Separate the freezing facts from fiction with the low down from a Fitness First expert:
1. Burning more calories in the cold is actually a myth, the body actually uses more energy cooling down in the heat than it does in the cold.
2. As per point one, exercising in colder temperatures is healthier than exercising in summer because we use less energy to warm up in winter than we do to cool down in summer
3. As per evolutionary theory, we tend to store more fat in winter to keep ourselves warm and with that comes weight gain, so exercising in the winter is actually more relevant for that reason
4. In the winter most of us divulge in alcohol and enjoy ourselves more, alcohol actually encourages heat loss in the body, so when we do exercise outside it makes it harder to stay warm
5. In summer we drink a lot of water, whereas in winter we’re not as aware that we’re dehydrated. This is dangerous as when we reach this point the body loses the ability to regulate temperature, so hydrating in winter is actually more important
6. Static stretching in the cold brings an injury risk, because muscles have the same elastic properties as a band if you stretch too quickly without the appropriate range of movement, the muscle can tear. Aim for dynamic movements as these will increase blood flow to muscle and therefore warm them quicker, whilst improving joint flexibility as well. They will also activate more muscles rather than isolated stretching.
7. Protect hands and feet. Heat loss tends to come from the hands, feet and head, so wear gloves, good socks and a hat and you’ll tend to find it easier to regulate temperature. It’s not about wearing a fleece, it’s about protecting the places that heat escapes from.
8. Stay dry. If you run in the winter and you sweat into cotton, it will stay wet and won’t dry. Therefore your body struggles to heat up due to the wet cotton. Wear dry fit material which will dry quickly as you work out.
9. Avoid over dressing. A lot of people wrap up warm when they work out outside. You risk excessive sweating which can cause dehydration and use excessive amounts of energy. It’s ok to start a run cold as you will warm up and your body will self-regulate your temperature.
10. There is a risk of slipping in the winter so wear a rubber studded sole to ensure you have grip.
Not long ago kettlebells were somewhat of an oddity in the gym.
But these days, almost every health club has a set of them – some even run classes focused on them. But, even though they’re now commonplace in gyms, people often get the basic moves very wrong, says Richard.
A favourite move when it comes to the kettlebell is the swing. ‘It forms the base for all your kettlebell training, so before you try different moves, your swing has to be on point,’ says Richard. Honing in on your swing technique could really pay off. ‘If you get it right, you can go heavy and use the swing in your strength workouts to target your hamstrings, glutes and core,’ adds Richard. ‘Or you could reduce the weight, increase the reps and use the swing in your conditioning workouts.’ It’s important to remember that the movement mainly
targets the lower body. ‘You’re not pulling the kettlebell up with your shoulders – instead, you’re creating a force that does the work for you,’ Richard explains.
Classic kettlebell swing
Areas trained: Bottom, hamstrings, core, back
In a standing position, grip the kettlebell handle in an overhand grip and pull back your shoulder blades. The kettlebell will be just below your waistline.
Put your weight back into your heels and then drop and pivot your hips backwards. Keeping your back flat at all times, move your weight forward, thrusting your hips back into a strong standing position. The speed and power of this movement should bring the kettlebell up to chest height, with your arms stretched out in front of you.
This is where your core kicks in to control the swing back under you, with the kettlebell passing through your legs, before hitting the
Once you have this mastered, build up your weights. For strength training and to create some lean gains, you can and should go heavy
on sets of swings between 6 to 10 reps. Get confident and then put down that 8kg plastic kettlebell. Get some chalk and swing heavy!
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.uk
For more information on cars in the Ford EcoBoost range, visit ford.co.uk/ecoboost
What’s not to love about cycling? There’s no greater pleasure than the feeling of freedom you get pedalling out on the open road.
And let’s not forget that cycling – whether on an indoor bike in the gym or touring the streets – is the perfect way to get your exercise fix. Here are our favourite reasons to saddle up today.
Reason 1: Stay slim
Want an awesomely fit body? Hit the spin bike! High-intensity spinning classes offer a great head-to-toe toning workout and they’re suitable for everyone – regardless of your fitness level. The interval sessions really challenge your lower body and the calorie-burning potential is pretty impressive, too. ‘The most beneficial part of spin classes is the intervals, as they challenge the body so you can get the most out of your workout,’ says Chris Foster, professional head of fitness at nuffield health (nuffieldhealth.com). Looking for a fresh alternative to your regular spin class? Check out BOOM Cycle, it’s an awesome indoor cycling class with an emphasis on fun and great music, it’s a firm team WF favourite (boomcycle.co.uk).
Reason 2: It’s better for the environment
Nobody wants to live in a world clogged up with unhealthy carbon emissions that wreak havoc on health. So ditch your car and get on your bike instead. A study by the European Cyclists Federation found that Europe could reduce its CO2 emissions by a quarter if its population cycled as regularly as the Danes. In Denmark the average person cycles almost 600 miles annually, while the average Brit logs in a meagre 46 miles each year.
Reason 3: See the world
Whizzing around on two wheels is the perfect workout to take you away from home and out exploring new places. ‘Cycling lets you see the world – whether you want to hit the MTB trails or head out for a ride on the road. You can travel to places that you didn’t even realise existed and appreciate buildings and views that you have only ever bypassed in the car,’ enthuses Wiesia Kuczaj, cyclist and Sigma Sport Team MuleBar Girl (mulebar.com).
Reason 4: Add years to your life
Turn your commute into your workout and not only will you save money, you could also lengthen your lifespan. A 20-year study by Copenhagen’s Bispebjerg University Hospital found that women who cycled every day at a vigorous pace lived on average 3.9 years longer than slow cyclists. So get pedalling hard, people!
Reason 5: Improve joint health
The low-impact nature of cycling makes it an accessible sport for those who are at risk of joint injury and also enables them to increase the volume and intensity of their riding at a faster pace. ‘Consequently, cycling may help you to reach your health and fitness goals more quickly than is possible in more technical and/or weight bearing sports, such as running,’ explains performance coach James Hewitt (jameshewitt.net).