Health and fitness with Alexa Towersey We chat to September cover model, Alexa Towersey about all things fitness, health, career and self-love. Check out the exclusive cover story interview below!ON CAREERI’ve been in the health and fitness industry for over 15 years. I’ve played pretty much every sport known to man including American football, boxing, soccer, skiing and horse-riding. I completed a Bachelor of Science in biology and psychology and went on to do a post-graduate diploma in sports management and kinesiology, and then I interned with an All Blacks-endorsed Pilates studio.ON EXPERIENCESWhen I was 27 I moved to Hong Kong, where I was the senior strength and conditioning coach at a mixed martial arts (MMA) gym. I decided to get into half-Ironman events and I took two years to qualify for the world champs.
A strong core will support everything else you do, but when most people think of core they only think of abs. Head trainer Alexa Towersey and Jenna Douros show us how to build up your core.The core includes all of the abs (deep and superficial) in addition to the muscles of the hips and lower back. These four exercises are designed to target as much of the core as possible.
Top fat loss tips From recovery sessions to food intolerances, trainer and IsoWhey sports ambassador Alexa Towersey shares her top five tips for fat loss.1. Complete a lifestyle diaryThis includes what you eat, when you go to bed, how often you go to the bathroom and how much water you drink. This will make you accountable and aware of any bad habits outside of the gym that could be hindering your results.2. Schedule at least two recovery sessions per weekI liken your body to a bank balance. Every training session is a withdrawal; every recovery session is a deposit
Top 3 training tips by Alexa Towersey September cover model and celebrity trainer Alexa Towersey shares her top training methods to burn fat and tone.1. Resistance Training:Combine four compound exercises in one giant set:8–10 x Barbell Back Squats»8–10 x Barbell Bent-Over Rows»8–10 x Deadlifts»6–8 x Pull-ups»24 x Barbell Walking LungesTIP: Rest for 2 minutes between rounds and complete 3 to 5 rounds2. HIIT Training: I like 400m sprint repeats the best. Start with 5 to 7 and increase each week. 60 to 90 seconds rest between.TIP: Don’t do these on the same day as your weight training.3.
Warm up your muscles with September cover model Alexa Towersey’s favourite warm up sequence.Alexa always incorporates a structured dynamic warm-up before every training session. It’s the perfect opportunity to prime the nervous system and prepare the muscles, reinforce correct movement patterns and identify and address any structural imbalances or weaknesses. Learning how to switch ‘off’ the wrong muscles, and switch on the ‘right’ muscles, for the workout to come is the key to making your workouts more efficient and effective.HOT TIPIf your hip flexors are tight, they can inhibit the glutes from firing, so you need to include a dynamic warm-up that focuses on opening up the hips first and then isolating and activating the glutes.Overhead Reverse Lunge x 10Step back into a reverse lunge, bringing the knee down to graze the ground as you reach your arms up and out of your hips towards the ceiling.
How to lose the last two kilos They say the last two kilograms are the hardest to lose, but we’ve found a loophole.STEP 1.Calculate your baselineBasal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories you’d burn per day if you were to lie in bed 24/7. It’s based on various factors including your height, age and body composition (a higher muscle to fat ratio will burn more calories even at rest). To calculate your BMR, plug your deets into this equation (known as the Harris-Benedict equation):BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)e.g. a 30-year-old female measuring 167 cm tall and weighing 54.5 kg would compute 655 + 523 + 302 – 141 to get a maintenance level daily calorie need of 1,339, or 5,624 kJ, per day (multiply calories by 4.2 to convert to kJ lingo).STEP 2.Body auditIf your numbers come in low, don’t panic. In addition to what you burn to maintain basic bodily functions, you need to add your other energy usage.
How to use your resistance bands for recovery and toning You’ll be suprised at how resistance bands can come in handy when it comes to activation, recovery and toning.Also known as physio bands or Thera-Bands, resistance bands are often used to improve flexibility or for rehabilitative purposes.“Resistance bands are great for rehabilitation from injury as they don’t load the spine or put pressure on the joints to the same extent as heavy weights,” says elite trainer of over 15 years Matthew Strickland.“When added to your stretching routine, they can allow you to reach a deeper stretch than you might otherwise be able to achieve, aiding recovery and improving flexibility.”While resistance bands do not correspond to a specific weight and cannot load the muscle to the same extent as a dumbbell, they can also be used to add tension and tone specific muscle groups, such as the glutes, calves, shoulders, back and biceps, and are perfect if dumbbells or similar are out of reach at home or while travelling. They can also aid in activating muscle groups in preparation for heavier lifts.Resistance bands come in varying levels of stretch, from light to heavy, and are usually colour coded.“Heavier bands should be used for larger muscle groups such as the legs or glutes, while lighter bands can be used for muscles that don’t require a heavy load to work them, such as the shoulders,” says Strickland.For activation/toning: Warm-ups that are dynamic, rather than static, can help to increase movement ranges and activate the muscle groups that your workouts will target. “Dynamic warm-ups are important as they prepare the muscles, prime the nervous system and give you an opportunity to reinforce proper technique,” says trainer Alexa Towersey. To prime the glutes and hamstrings for a lower body session, try glute raises with a resistance band tied around the knees; concentrate on pushing your knees outwards, against the bands, as you raise your hips upward to really get the booty working.