Tag Archive | "pilates"

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Top butt-lifting exercises

The ultimate butt workout builds a perky butt that not only looks the biz in skinnies but is structurally sound to facilitate optimal biomechanical function (free and resilient movement to you and us). You had no idea how important your booty was, right?

Try: Barre  

The Barre class trend is sweeping the nation with the ballet-based workout becoming available at gyms and Pilates studios across the country. The classes aim to increase core strength, develop long, strong limbs and increase flexibility. If you don’t have access to a Barre class, you can channel some of the signature moves in your own workout.

How: You need to complete a range of butt-lifting exercises!
a.    Supine glute bridges – 20 reps with 20 small pulses at the top
b.    Single-leg glute bridges – 5 each leg (ensure hips are level)
c.    90-degree back extension – 10 reps (squeeze at the top)
d.    Cable kickbacks – 10 reps each leg

Try to contract your glutes throughout the entire exercise. Keep the movements small and controlled to focus on the constant tension.
Why: Most people have under-developed glute muscles and struggle to activate their glutes properly during exercises. This can result in not only a flat derriere, but also injuries, which is why glute isolation work is important.

INSIDER’S TIP: You should aim to do these 10 times per week if you really want to build a booty.

 

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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.”

Link:

Joanna Turner: I lost 25 kilos with deep breathing

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4 ways to increase fat loss

Progressively burn more fat with these top tips from personal trainer, Pilates instructor, and owner of KE Fitness Kris Etheridge.

Body fat is simply stored energy, so giving your body a reason to use it is vital. This can be done through diet or exercise, but most commonly a combination of the two.

“To lose body fat, you need to place your body into a calorie deficit, forcing it to use its fat for energy. Muscle is also your body’s engine – the bigger the engine, the more fuel it uses and the more calories you burn, making it easier to lose fat,” says Etheridge, who suggests any good fat loss plan contains gradual progressions in both fat-burning cardiovascular activity and resistance training.

“Strength training is the most important element; the amount of cardio you need to do to achieve fat loss depends on how strict you are with your diet and what kind of strength and conditioning program you’re doing,” he says.

“Utilise progressive overload to make your resistance workout more difficult than what you can comfortably perform in your current program. Whether it be using different training principals, such as supersets and circuits, or increasing the weight or reps, keep progressing by asking more from your body.”

Etheridge suggests increasing your weight, sets, reps or intensity each week for six weeks, followed by one week of lighter training (aka. a deload week) to allow the body to recover.

“Lighter weeks or rest weeks are imperative to minimise overtraining and reduce the chance of overuse injuries. This is the optimal way to increase your strength,” says Etheridge.

“For weight loss, it’s not as important to use progressions with your cardio. The cardio is purely for fat burning – but if you want to continue to improve your cardiovascular fitness, aim to increase your workout intensity by approximately five per cent each week for six weeks. Take a week off and then start your new program.”

Here are her top four tips:

1. Change your exercises from basic compound movements to compound movements that require a higher level of skill, coordination or strength. For example, single leg or unilateral work. Examples:think pistol squat, TRX suspended lunge, Bulgarian split squat, single-leg deadlift, squats and step-ups using a bosu ball; single arm work such as one arm dumbbell or chest press on a fitball, single arm rows or renegade rows.

2. Reduce rest periods. Depending on how much rest you’re currently having, aim to drop it by five per cent per week for six weeks, or until you’re only having approximately 40 seconds rest (if performing straight sets) and 20 seconds rest between exercises (if you’re performing a circuit).

3. Split your program up and focus on two to three muscles groups per workout rather than full body. This is a more advanced way of training and a great way to continue progressing. Splitting the body parts up means you can perform more volume (sets) on each muscle group in each workout, and workout more days each week while still allowing adequate recovery time.

4. Add plyometrics to your workouts. Plyometric training is high impact and high intensity, and involves a lot of jumping where your muscles exert maximum force in short intervals – great for power and agility, and can be a quick and fun way to burn fat given its higher calorie output.

In order to track your progress, keep yourself accountable. Regularly weigh yourself or take measurements, and keep a food and training diary to understand how training and nutrition protocols affect you on a weekly basis.

 

Source: 4 ways to increase fat loss

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5 exercises for at-home reformer Pilates

If reformer Pilates sounds like your kind of deal, you better be prepared to part with a pretty penny. An hour-long private lesson can set you back hundreds of dollars, while group classes are still quite pricey. But for those without the watertight income, exercise physiologist Jennifer Smallridge and physiotherapist at Sportsmed biologic, Rebecca Huppert put together five spins on classic reformer moves to have you reaping all the benefits in the comfort of your own home:

1. Reformer lunges

This move is traditionally performed with one foot on the carriage, one foot on the stable platform, and the lunge pushes the carriage back (creating instability). This can be reproduced with XR Slides on a carpeted area (xrslide.com) by placing one foot on the ground and the back foot on the slide, lunging and then swapping sides. You could also use a book to gain the sliding motion.

2. Hands in straps – pullovers

Without a reformer, a resistance band can be wrapped around a steady object (table leg, tied tightly around a door handle). Lie with your body facing away from the band, ensure there is tension in the band, extend both arms up to the ceiling and pull the band down towards your sides while keeping your pelvis neutral. Challenges to this move include putting the legs up in tabletop, and/or adding an abdominal curl.

3. Leg press

This is one of the foundation moves in reformer Pilates. Without the footbar to put the feet on, you can lie on a mat and place your legs in tabletop, then try to keep the pelvis level as you tap one foot down on the mat at a time. You must engage your core muscles for this to be effective and safe. Add difficulty by straightening the leg each time it lowers, or lifting up the head and chest.

4. Reformer row

Again, wrapping a resistance band around a fixed object will allow a row type movement to be performed. The reformer works well by challenging the core, so to get the same benefits, stand on an unstable surface (BOSU, cushion, one leg stand) or complete a squat at the same time, with your core muscles active.

5. Scooter

This exercise involves one leg firmly on the floor and the other on the carriage, pushing it back against resistance and challenging the gluteal muscles on both sides. Without a reformer, arabesques are a nice way to work these muscles. Stand on one leg, hands on hips and lower your chest/lift your back leg at the same time, so that you feel it working all of the stabilisers of your stance leg. Rise up and repeat.

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5 exercises for at-home reformer Pilates

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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

Link:

Your shape sessions: Oblique Exercises

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