Get stronger, fitter and feel more confident in the gym with this exclusive full-body workout by the Base Body Babes.”The barbell is our favourite piece of training equipment, as it can be used for such a great range of exercises. We like to say that ‘Load is King’ – the exercise that allows you to lift the heaviest loads will ultimately give you the best results, and the barbell allows you to do just that. Although there is no magical number, we love the eight rep range as it allows you to build strength while still keeping the heart rate elevated for optimal calorie burn,” says the ladies, Felicia Oreb and Diana Johnson.Here’s what you need to doA1 Barbell Back Squat A2 Barbell Military Press A3 Barbell Romanian Deadlift A4 Barbell Bent-Over Row A5 Barbell Split Squat A6 Barbell Glute Bridges Perform each exercise A1–A6 back to back, with no rest in between exercisesComplete 8 repetitions of each exercise Rest for 4 minutes after A6 Repeat 4–6 times NOTE: Choose weights that you believe you can complete all repetitions and sets with without failing, yet still keep the weight challenging enough to complete a great workout. Technique is most important when lifting heavy, so don’t compromise your form. Ensure you are completing all repetitions and sets with perfect technique before increasing the weight.Let’s do this!Words/Workout: Felicia Oreb and Diana JohnsonPhotography: Vanessa Natoli / @vanesSanatoliphotography
Leg raises are a great way to target the stomach, strengthening lower abdominals and hip reflexors, plus it doesn’t require any gym kit. Add these moves to one of your home workouts for a simple, effective way to tone your tummy. Try 10 reps to start with, and progress to more once you’ve perfected your form.
Try out these different variations of leg raises to challenge yourself, make sure you’re also hitting your fat-burning workouts hard, as you need to torch that fat to reveal your new toned tum!
Lying down leg raises:
-Lie on your back with your hands on the floor or under your bottom.
-Keeping a slight bend in the knees and feet together, start with both feet up towards the ceiling.
-Without allowing your lower back to overarch, slowly lower your legs towards the floor without bending the knees any more than they already are.
-When legs are almost on the floor, squeeze the abs and lift them back up to the start and repeat.
Hot tip: if these aren’t challenging enough for you, why not add some ankle weights?
Leg raises with a ball
Add a bit of weight to make your leg raises more challenging
-Start similar to the lying down leg raises
-With your feet on the floor, place an exercise or medicine ball between your feet, griping it firmly
-Begin to raise your legs up, then slowly lowering your legs down, the weight will cause you to use more control
-The weight will cause this exercise to me more challenging than the regular leg raises but effective works the abdominals.
Hanging leg raises
You can perform this exercise at the gym, in the park or at home if you have a door pull up bar
-Hanging from a bar with your arms- grip firmly wide or medium
-Begin to raise your knees/legs so that your body makes a 90 degrees angle
– Lower your legs down and repeat the exercise
This exercise can be difficult, some gyms provide a padded bench that can support your back and padded arm rests for your elbows.
Side leg raises
This exercise can be performed lying or standing
– Standing on one leg, raise the opposite leg to the side as far as you can
– Bring it back to the standing position and repeat this exercise for both legs
-Lie down on one side- with legs extended and stacked on top of one another
-Raise the top leg up as high as you can, lowering it back down to the first poistion.
How to stay slim in your 30s, 40s and 50s Can you beat age-related weight gain? We asked the experts for their diet and exercise tips for women in their 30s, 40s and 50s.What is the ‘middle age spread’?The term ‘middle-age spread’ has been etched into ageing lore, yet unflattering connotations ignore the naturalness of physiological change. Expecting to weigh the same at 30 as 18 is folly according to clinical psychologist Louise Adams from Treat Yourself Well.”Our body weight at age 18 is for many of us the lightest we have ever been,” says Adams. “We may not have stopped growing at that point and may not have reached full maturity.
Hands up if you find the rowing machine a little daunting?
We don’t blame you. On a treadmill, you run. On an exercise bike, you cycle. Perfect rowing technique, however, can seem far less straightforward, which means many people are steering clear of this effective piece of gym kit – and missing out on its big-time benefits.
But, master the moves for this machine and you can expect weight loss, better fitness and increased upper and lower-body strength – all without the harsh impact that some cardio exercise can have on joints.
‘Indoor rowing is a complete form of exercise,’ explains Olympic rowing coach and Concept2 fitness expert Terry O’Neill (concept2.co.uk). ‘Rowing is a combination of cardiovascular and strength conditioning, making it a great addition to any fitness regime or training programme – for people of all ages with a wide variety of goals.’
Whether you’re a beginner or an Olympian, there’s a way to make rowing a key player in your workouts.
One of the main reasons that people opt for a workout on the rower to get their cardio fix is because – unlike the treadmill, stepper and stationary bike – it offers plenty of added value. Using correct technique harnesses the power of both the upper and lower body, so your bum, thighs and calves will get a real push as well as your arms and shoulders. Rowing also requires solid activation from your core and back to maintain good form (particularly in the upper back) with each and every stroke, which means that a good session on the rower can hit almost every muscle, offering total-body conditioning. Plus, the cardiovascular movement of rowing gives your heart and lungs a great workout, too.
‘Indoor rowing is great for toning up, as it involves more muscle groups over a wide range of movement, with little pressure on the joints,’ says Terry. ‘No matter why you choose to row, the rowing machine will offer just the right level of resistance for your goals, as well as an infinite variety of workouts.’
If you think rowing is just for steady-state fitness, think again – the machine is great for both endurance and interval training. ‘Because the rowing machine activates a large muscle mass, it helps you achieve better cardio results in less time,’ Terry explains. ‘It can also provide excellent anaerobic workouts complementary to explosive power sport training. Plus, indoor rowing is a great endurance exercise that really helps to boost both your heart and lung functions.’
If you’ve ever tried high-intensity interval sprints on the treadmill, you’ll know how annoying it is having to repeatedly press buttons while you’re trying to run to adjust the speed of the belt. One of the great things about the rowing machine is that – although the resistance can be tricky to adjust once you’ve got going – you can control the speed simply by increasing or decreasing your own work rate. So, while some people enjoy longer, steady-state sessions on the rower, those looking for a heart-pumping interval session
can get on with focusing on their technique, instead of pushing buttons.
Of course, the crucial element here is technique – the better your form, the more efficient your workout. Use the steps below to perfect your stroke and practise rowing at a comfortable pace until you’re ready to up your speed.
The rowing masterclass
Use these simple step-by-step instructions to get to grips with perfect rowing technique. Remember to avoid letting your shoulders round or your lower back arch beyond its neutral position. Ready, set, row!
• Keeping your legs straight, lean back slightly with the handle close to your body and your forearms parallel to the floor.
• Extend your arms fully, rocking your body forward slightly and keeping your arms extended.
• Slide your lower body forward from the hips until your knees are above your feet, keeping your arms extended.
• Push down on your feet to drive your body back, straightening your legs and leaning your body back slightly as you do so.
• Pull the handle back past your knees towards your body to return to the starting position. Repeat.
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.’
–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.
Start 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 expert
Richard 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.
Resistance band bent over row Focus on your back muscles with this bent over row workout.Targets: Lats, Rear Delts, Erector SpinaePerks: Builds a strong, toned back and reinforces proper hip flexion. The bent-over row requires flexion at the hips and not the waist. This is often a strange and difficult position to get into for a beginner, but with practice and constant form checks the position will become second nature.