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    Consider This Yoga HIIT Workout A Total-Body Shred

    Yes, yoga HIIT exists! Like strength-training moves, it’s possible to up the ante and turn your yoga flow into a sweaty interval training session. How? By upping your pace. Yoga works particularly well for this, since each pose is meant to flow into the next, creating a pacey workout that gets your heart racing.

    Plus, every move is done without a single weight, so you’re able to use your own body weight to strengthen your muscles. But don’t be fooled: this challenging flow, while mostly bodyweight, can up your heart rate and doubles as a hybrid strength-cardio workout.

    How to do this yoga HIIT workout

    Personal Fitness Trainer Phia-Lee Rabie came up with this workout. Each move blends into a circuit that you can repeat four or five times, making up a complete total-body workout. You’ll engage your core and tone your arms and legs.

    To complete the yoga HIIT workout, do each of the five exercises for 40 seconds and take 20 seconds rest. Repeat for four or five rounds.

    Move 1

    Start in a down dog position and from there, move to plank, pulling the right knee to chest.

    Allow the right leg to move to a down dog split. From there, your right leg comes back to plank, knee to chest ending in down dog. Repeat the sequence on the left side, alternating for 40 seconds.

    READ MORE: Exactly How To Train For A Handstand Or Pull-Up, Per Experts

    Move 2

    Start in an upward-facing dog position. Jump or step to a resting squat position placing your hands on the floor.

    Jump or step to an upward-facing dog position and repeat for 40 seconds.

    Move 3

    From a down dog position, bend your knees and sit back onto your heels.

    With your right leg, step out into a low lunge keeping your left hand on the floor. With your right arm, reach up to the sky forming a straight line from one hand to the other and feel the nice stretch in your spine.

    Bring the right hand back to the ground. Step your leg back and return to the bent-knee downward-facing dog. Repeat everything on the left side, alternating for 40 seconds.

    READ MORE: This Scalable HIIT Workout Will Be Your New Go-To For All-Over Gains

    Move 4

    From a forward fold starting position, walk out on your hand to a plank.

    Lower your body to perform a push-up in a ripple-like manner with your hips first.

    Walk back to forward fold. Do one quick jump or step to plank and back.

    Keep repeating the flow for 40 seconds.

    Move 5

    Lie on your back with feet apart and arms overhead.

    Do a crunch or sit-up while lifting both legs, reaching your hands to toe-tap. Knees may bend, depending on your flexibility. Keep the rhythm for 40 seconds.

    For detailed demos of the moves, watch PT Phia-Lee do the moves here:

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    Try these workouts, too: More

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    How To Get Fit At 40 – And Thriving Healthy Tips

    This is the prime of your life – yes, your 40s are it! It’s a time when staying active and taking care of your health becomes even more crucial. As your body goes through changes, it’s essential to understand how to adapt your fitness routines accordingly.

    Engaging in physical activity also supports cognitive function, keeping your mind sharp and focused as you navigate the challenges of work and family life. It can improve sleep quality, which becomes increasingly important as hormonal changes may disrupt your rest.

    By incorporating exercise into your routine, you’re investing in a healthier future self by promoting cardiovascular health and supporting bone density. Plus, staying active can enhance flexibility and balance to prevent injuries that may be more common as we age.

    “If you’re not engaging in regular aerobic and strength training by your forties, it’s possible there may be a shift towards insulin insensitivity,” says Dr Amal Hassan, a sports and exercise medicine consultant. Oestrogen optimises insulin levels (the hormone needed to move glucose out of your bloodstream and keep blood sugar levels regulated)

    Unilateral Training

    In your forties, unilateral (single-sided) moves should be front and centre of your strength training routine. “Exercises such as single-leg Romanian deadlifts and single-arm dumbbell rows, are great for improving balance and ironing out any muscular imbalances,” says McGowan. “By doing them, you test your balance and work oneside of your body at a time, which isolates and strengthens weak muscles.” It’s a game changer for injury prevention, too.

    Quick, Short Bursts of Activity

    Giving your metabolism a boost is the name of the game, here. “Regular activity is vital for reducing the risk of insulin insensitivity, which could lead to diabetes and weight gain, as exercise moves blood sugar into the muscles for storage and promotes an immediate increase in insulin sensitivity, rather than leaving excess insulinfloating in your body,” explains Dr Hassan. “Short walks after meals and reducing alcohol intake to within the guidelines (or lower) are powerful ways to improve your metabolism.” The thinking is that rather than aiming for longer 20-minute sessions, know that four five-minute bursts could also work wonders.

    Do More Balanced Moves

    Your balance may also begin to wobble a little. Research in Frontiers In Neurology found that the ‘vestibular threshold’ was more than 80% higher in participants over the age of 40.

    Get Fit In Your 40s: The 10 Minute Stretch

    Instructions: Complete the exercises in this yoga workout in order. Move from one to the next without resting. Rest 45 to 60 seconds at the end of the circuit, then repeat for up to three rounds

    READ MORE: The 14 Yoga Stretches To Do Daily If You Want To Become More Flexible

    1. Sukhasana To Half Moon

    Start in an easy seated pose (Sukhasana). Sit like this for a minute with your eyes closed and hands in your lap, breathing deeply. Raise your arms to the sky and then over to your right into half moon.

    Repeat on the left, then inhale, raising your arms up again and lengthening your spine. Exhale as you reach your hands in front of you.

    2. Cat And Cow

    Place your hands on the floor, then walk them forward and move onto all fours. Spend a few breaths performing cat and cow: inhale and arch your back, sticking your tailbone up.

    Exhale and round your back, tucking your tailbone. Continue alternating.

    READ MORE: Boost Your Morning Routine With This Easy 15-Minute Yoga Flow

    3. Downward-facing Dog To Standing Mountain

    From cat and cow, push up into downward-facing dog .

    Walk your hands back towards your feet, or your feet towards your hands, and exhale into forward fold, then roll up into a standing mountain pose.

    READ MORE: This 6-Move Yoga Sequence Will Seriously Strengthen Your Tummy

    Foods You Should Be Eating In Your 40s

    Proper nutrition plays a critical role in staying fit and healthy, especially as you hit your 40s. As your metabolism starts to slow down, it becomes even more important to fuel your body with the right nutrients. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains can help maintain a healthy weight and provide sustained energy throughout the day.

    In your 40s increasing your protein intake from 15 percent of your total calories to 30 percent can help you boost the calories your body burns during digestion.

    Switch to low-GI foods rich in soluble fibre, which helps to lower bad cholesterol. These include: Green vegetables, some fruits, kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils.

    Hydration is another essential aspect of proper nutrition that often gets overlooked but is crucial for maintaining energy levels and supporting bodily functions.

    Habits To Avoid In Your 40s

    “I often see clients putting pressure on themselves when they notice that their bodies are changing due to hormones,” says McGowan.

    “Consistency is key but going all out isn’t necessary. I recommend two or three moderate to intense workouts per week, but the most important thing is to reduce sedentary behaviour – stand as often as you can and always walk to your destination if it’s an option.”

    Bragg agrees: “Your body is going through a huge hormonal shift – oestrogen and progesterone levels decrease as ovaries stop producing them, and the control hormones (FSH, follicle-stimulating hormone and LH, luteinising hormone) released by the pituitary gland in the brain shoot up. This all contributes to the most common menopausal symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain and hot flushes. Doing intense workouts will only send hormonal imbalance further off-kilter as they increase the stress hormone cortisol.” Try incorporating at least one yoga session per week.

    This article written by Bridie Wilkins first appeared in the July/August 2022 Issue of Women’s Health UK additional reporting by the Women’s Health SA team.

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    How To Get Fit At 30 – And Important Healthy Habits

    How to get fit in your 30s is as simple as listening to your body’s cues. As you transition into your 30s, staying active becomes more crucial than ever. Not only does regular exercise help maintain a healthy weight and build strength, but it also plays a significant role in preventing age-related health issues. By incorporating physical activity into your daily routines, you can boost your metabolism, improve heart health and increase overall energy levels.

    Globally, the average age at which women become first-time mothers is 30+, even though it ranges between 20 and 29 in South Africa. “Only 3 to 15 percent of pregnant women meet the suggested physical activity guidelines, which decreases further postnatally,” says Dr Amal Hassan, a sports and exercise medicine consultant.

    When it comes to getting fit in your 30s, finding the right workout routine is key. With a plethora of options available, it’s essential to choose a plan that suits both your body and goals. Consider factors like your current fitness level, any injuries or health concerns and what you enjoy doing.

    HIIT The Workouts Hard

    “As oestrogen levels drop and bone density reduces, strength training helps keep bones strong, as the stress that comes from tugging and pushing on bones nudges bone-forming cells into action,” explains personal trainer Caroline Bragg.

    Incorporate high-intensity aerobic efforts to keep your heart and lungs functioning at optimum capacity, too, as the risk of cardiovascular disease increases with age as blood vessels stiffen, and exercise, which pushes blood around the body, keeps vessels nice and flexible. Try fitting in two strength training sessions with one high-intensity 30-minute cardio session, such as a spinning class or a run, per week.

    Do Some Breathwork

    Stress spans every decade, but if you’re juggling more responsibility than ever in your thirties, it might be timefor some new management techniques. “Focused breathwork can curb stress by increasing your oxygen intake, which in turn reduces blood pressure, slows your heart and releases tension in your body,” says Dr Hassan.

    There are plenty of free guided breathwork sessions on YouTube, while Breathwrk, Calm and Headspace all have their own. Start with one 10-minute session per week and see how you go.

    Just Move It

    NEAT, otherwise known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis, is basically the energy used for everything that’s not formal exercise – the stuff you do without realising it, such as walking around, hauling the washing up the stairs or using a standing desk.

    A study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that two hours of sitting could cancel out the benefits of a 20-minute workout, so the goal with NEAT is to reduce sedentary time – less about going hard in the gym and more about simply getting yourself moving. Set yourself a realistic daily step count to keep track.

    Get Fit In Your 30s: The 15 Minute Bodyweight Home Workout

    Instructions: Complete the exercises in this bodyweight home workout in order. Move from one to the next without resting. Rest 45 to 60 seconds at the end of the circuit, then repeat for up to five rounds.

    Make it harder: Feeling extra fired up for your bodyweight home workout? Increase the cardio challenge by adding 30 seconds of star jumps or running in place between each move. Get the best out of your chill with this couch workout.

    READ MORE: A 4-Week Home Workout Plan To Get Fit And Strong AF

    1. Bulgarian Split Squat

    Stand about 60 centimetres in front of your couch and extend your left leg behind you, placing the top of your foot on the seat (A). Keeping your chest upright and core tight, bend both knees to lower your hips as much as you can (B). Push through your right heel to return to start. That’s one rep. Do eight to 12, then repeat on the other side.

    READ MORE: Try This 30-Minute HIIT Workout At Home For A Total-Body Burn

    2. Travelling Plank With Leg Raise

    Get into push-up position with your toes on the couch (A). Raise your right arm and rotate your torso to the right until your feet are stacked and your body forms a T. Without dropping your hips, lift your right leg (B). Hold for 20 seconds. Reverse the movement to return to start and hold for 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

    READ MORE: 9 Bodyweight Exercises That Will Improve Your Mobility

    3. Single-Leg Hip Thrust

    Lie on your back on the floor in front of your couch with your left heel on the edge, knee bent about 90 degrees and your right leg straight up, arms at your sides (A). Press through your left heel and raise your hips as high as possible, keeping your right foot in the air (B). Slowly lower your hips back down. That’s one rep. Do eight to 12, then repeat on the other side.

    READ MORE: 10 Best Kettlebell Core Exercises For Strong, Sculpted Abs, From A Trainer

    4. Reverse Inch Worm

    Get into push-up position with your toes on the couch (A). Bracing your core and glutes, slowly walk your hands towards the couch, lifting your hips into the air and keeping your legs as straight as possible (B). Pause, then walk your hands back out to start. Make it harder by adding a push-up here. That’s one rep. Do four to eight.

    Excerpted from the Women’s Health Little Book of 15-Minute Workouts.

    READ MORE: 4 Easy Exercises You Can’t Ignore If You’re Walking For Weight Loss

    Foods You Should Be Eating In Your 30s

    When it comes to maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle in your 30s, nutrition plays a crucial role. It’s essential to fuel your body with the right foods that provide energy and support for your workouts.

    It’s recommended that women ages 31-50 consume 25 g of fibre per day. Examples include: oats, legumes, seeds, nuts, breads, cereals and pasta.

    Women should include omega-3s to help with inflammation and reducing heart disease risk. This fatty fish, algae, flaxseeds, chia seeds and some nuts.

    Your 30s are the time to focus on preserving bone density to prevent loss—and getting enough calcium is the best way to do so.

    Aim for a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.

    Habits To Avoid In Your 30s

    Finally found an exercise routine you genuinely enjoy? The last thing you’re going to want to do is change it, but that could be where you’re going wrong. The loss of muscle mass and bone density that marks this decade is your cue to stop going hell-for-leather in HIIT classes, or at least not so often. “If you regularly put your body through intense workouts in your twenties and are still keen to get your HIIT fix, once a week is enough. A reduction in oestrogen also means that recovery will come slower, as muscle regeneration relies on stem cells called satellite cells, which need oestrogen to function optimally,” says personal trainer Samantha McGowan.

    This article written by Bridie Wilkins first appeared in the July/August 2022 Issue of Women’s Health UK, additional reporting by Women’s Health SA team.

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    How To Reclaim Your Fitness Routine

    We’re halfway through the year and the fitness resolutions that you set at the beginning of the year now seem like a far-fetched idea. According to Enterprise Apps Today, only 9% of people are successful in keeping with their New Year’s resolutions. Most people quit by the second Friday of the month. Therefore, you’re not alone. Don’t berate yourself too much and in the words of the late Aaliyah, “If it at first you don’t succeed, then dust yourself off and try again!”

    “As a fitness instructor, I’ve witnessed first-hand the enthusiasm that comes with setting New Year’s especially when it comes to health and fitness. Yet, by February a lot of people’s new year’s resolutions start fading, and by the time June rolls around, many of us have fallen into old habits,” says Colleen Petersen, owner of CrossFit AniWaya in Ruimsig, Johannesburg, who has cultivated a thriving community around health and wellness over the years.

    READ MORE: How To Get Fit In Your 20s – This Is Your Healthy Routine

    Whether it’s discipline, a lack of motivation. or time constraints, Petersen suggests these five steps below to beat any excuse that’s holding you back from working out:

    1. Not Enough Time

    “I don’t have time to exercise, I wear many hats.” But the truth is, we make time for the things we value. If exercise is an important aspect of your life, you will find the time for it. Whenever I hear someone say they don’t have enough time, I always recommend challenging that notion. I recommend a “reality check”, which is simply starting a day plan, where you list all your day’s activities and the amount of time you spend on each activity – from the time you wake up to when you go to bed.

    When you put pen to paper and break it down, it’s a big eye opener to where we’re spending our time. When you have this information in front of you, you can find places where you can carve out time for activities that nourish your soul, like fitness. It’s about prioritising and recognising that investing in your health is worth the time.

    READ MORE: Get A Full-Body Workout In Just 15 Minutes With Only 2 Household Items

    2. Too Exhausted

    I’ve heard this line more times than I can recall. Many people find that fitness ends up being the last item on the to-do list, meaning that it frequently gets bumped off the list because, by the end of the day, we’re just too tired.

    So, finding the right time to prioritise exercise is crucial – whether it’s waking up 30 minutes earlier or squeezing in a short workout between meetings. It also doesn’t need to be at a gym, it could be a quick workout video online. Making fitness a non-negotiable part of your day can lead to improved energy levels and overall well-being.

    3. No Motivation Whatsoever

    Sometimes, the hardest part is getting started. As human beings, our innate nature is to be social beings, which is why sometimes exercising by yourself can get monotonous. This is where finding a supportive community can make all the difference – whether it’s joining a running club or finding a workout buddy who will keep you accountable.

    Another tactic to get out of your own way is through the 5-second rule. Author Mel Robbins describes this rule as ‘The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must 5-4-3-2-1 and physically move or your brain will stop you. There’s one thing that is guaranteed to increase your feelings of control over your life: a bias toward action.’ 

    So, if today is the day you have determined that you want to reclaim your fitness, the minute you think about it, you must physically do one small action, even if that means researching what you are going to do next.

    4. Fear Of Looking Silly

    Depending on your fitness journey, it is easy to fall prey to your own mind where you feel like you will look silly exercising, especially in a gym or training environment. The fear of judgement can be paralysing, but it’s essential to remember that everyone starts somewhere. There is also a physiological way to “get out of our own heads.” When we are excited or scared, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol. It’s released in the same way, but the difference is what our brains do with the information. It’s important to realign our thinking and give our brain the correct information by being determined to turn fear into excitement. By reframing fear as excitement and creating positive pathways in our brains, we can overcome self-doubt and take the next step towards growth.

    READ MORE: Scalable HIIT Workout Will Be Your New Go-To For All-Over Gains

    5. Budgeting

    Many people view fitness as a luxury rather than a necessity. We need to start changing the narrative and categorise fitness as a top priority, because investing in our health is one of the most valuable investments we can make. It doesn’t have to break the bank either; there are so many cost-effective training activities that you can participate in, and one of the great things about our information-age is that we have knowledge right at our fingertips so access to information, training programmes or motivation is easily available.

    One way to start is by finding someone who has a fitness platform online, follow them, and start doing their home-workouts. When you are ready, investigate what fitness options suit your needs and find an environment that matches that, within your budget.

    In essence, we need to change the narrative of how we view fitness; it’s about overcoming mental barriers and finding balance in our busy lives. By addressing common obstacles and implementing practical strategies, we can reignite our motivation and get back on track towards a healthier, happier lifestyle. Fitness can be as simple as spending 20 minutes playing ball with your children or taking a brisk walk in the park. Remember, every step, no matter how small, brings us closer to our goals. So, let’s lace up our sneakers, embrace the journey, and reclaim our fitness one day at a time. More

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    How To Get Fit In Your 20s – This Is Your Healthy Routine

    How to get fit in your 20s? Easy. This is the decade in which you’re most likely to be in your peak physical condition; your reaction times are at their fastest, you can build muscle quicker and recover from tough sessions faster. You’re also developing your musculoskeletal strength. “Because bone density peaks in your twenties to early thirties, undertaking weight-bearing activity [where your bones are supporting your weight] like running, soccer or netball, in combination with a strength programme, can maximise your bone health for life,” says Dr Rebecca Robinson, consultant physician in sport and exercise medicine.

    Embracing an active lifestyle now will not only benefit you in the present but will also pave the way for a healthier future. Let’s dive into how you can kickstart your fitness journey in your 20s and make lasting changes that will impact both your body and mind positively.

    Strength Is Key

    The workout you want to do is the one you should do (it’s the one you’ll keep up), but there’s resounding encouragement around strength training. “It’s great for increasing muscle mass and boosting metabolism and confidence,” says personal trainer Samantha McGowan.

    The latter is particularly important in your twenties: several studies have shown that women’s confidence increases with age, while others show that strength training can seriously bolster self-esteem, as lifting heavier and achieving goals gives you a sense of achievement. Dr Hassan concurs. “Finding a balance of basic activity forms (cardio and strength) is key, but your weekly schedule should include at least one strength training session. The type is up to you – body weight, free weights or weight machines all reap the same rewards. I’d advise a combination.”

    Understand Your Body

    Track your menstrual cycle and practise pelvic floor exercises. Contract for three seconds, then relax and repeat. Do eight to 10 daily. Around 21 percent of women in South Africa suffer from a form of incontinence, but strengthening the pelvic area can be game-changing. “Monitor your workout performance during your monthly cycle and see if there are any patterns,” advises Dr Hassan. The four phases: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory and luteal affect hormones, energy levels, strength and endurance. For example, the rise in oestrogen levels post-menstruation means you may have more energy.

    Make Time For Rest

    While this is a great time to fall in love with exercise, over-exercising is common among women of this agegroup. For many of the 20-something patients Dr Nicky Keay, an exercise endocrinologist, sees for amenorrhoea (loss of periods), it can be directly attributed to relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S, pronounced ‘reds’). “It’s a disparity between food intake (the energy and micronutrients you’re consuming) and the nutrition required to cover the energy demands of exercise and the basic ‘housekeeping’ tasks in the body,” she explains. If you’re concerned that your workouts are taking their toll, Dr Keay suggests ditching high-intensity exercise and building in some slow strength and conditioning sessions, too.

    Get Fit In Your 20s: How To Do This Bodyweight Mobility Workout

    Each exercise done for 45 seconds with a 15-second rest. Repeat the circuit 3 times for a sweaty bodyweight HIIT session. If you have any injuries, please check with your medical practitioner to see if it safe for you to do the following bodyweight exercises. Remember to have fun!

    1. Rolling cobra

    Start in a hovering child’s pose and extend your legs up to a down dog (A) Shift your weight forward, round your back as you move through a plank, and then a hanging cobra-style position (B). Continue for 45 seconds.

    READ MORE: Your 4-Week Home Workout Plan To Get Fit And Strong AF

    2. Beast reach to high plank

    From hovering child’s pose spring your knees forward to a high plank. Reach and repeat for 45 seconds (A).

    3. Beast reach, high plank, runners lunge

    Move from hovering child’s pose to high plank and then step your foot on the outside of the same side hand for runners lunge (A). Reach back to hovering child’s pose (B). Repeat alternating sides for 45 seconds.

    READ MORE: The Best Back Stretches To Tackle Upper And Lower Back Pain, From A Yoga Instructor

    4. Beast reach, high plank, runner lunge to sit through

    Once in runner lunge, lift your back foot up through the middle of the body (A). Lift the opposite hand off the floor too, balancing on one hand and foot (B). Come back to your starting position and repeat for 45 seconds.

    Foods You Should Be Eating In Your 20s

    Remember, balance is key! Allow yourself occasional treats but aim for consistency with nourishing foods that support your fitness journey. Your body will thank you for it!

    Go for food high in fibre like beans, fruits, veggies and whole grains. High-fibre foods digest more slowly and are also more filling, which means they’re a good option for weight control.

    Calcium plays a role in heart health, muscle function and nerve signalling. Many seeds are good sources of calcium. Cheese, yoghurt and sardines are also great sources of calcium.

    Eat the rainbow. Aim for five servings of vegetables a day (1 serving = ½ cup cooked or 1 cup salad) and try to have a bigger variety of veggies each week.

    Habits To Avoid In Your 20s

    Overtraining. The idea that you’re near-invincible during your twenties is only natural – you’ve got energy for days and can sail through any sweat session with a hangover like it’s nothing, but the ‘too much of a good thing’ adage may apply. Over-exercising is something personal trainer Caroline Bragg sees in plenty of her clients in their twenties. “Overtraining can lead to RED-S [relative energy deficiency syndrome], when the body isn’t taking on enough energy to meet demand,” she says. “This can lead to your body fat dropping so low that you stop producing oestrogen, which in turn can nix your periods (amenorrhea). Later on, this lack of oestrogen can cause loss of libido, trouble sleeping and difficulty concentrating.”

    This article written by Kirsti Buick first appeared in the July/August 2022 Issue of Women’s Health UK, additional reporting by Women’s Health SA team. More

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    Exactly How To Train For A Handstand Or Pull-Up, Per Experts

    We reckon there’s been a time when you envied the women nailing handstands on your feed, or you’ve oggled at someone effortlessly bashing out pull-ups at the gym. The good news: these gymnastics-based movements not only deliver body benefits but are totally doable! Here, how to train for a handstand or pull-up, step by step.

    Why is training for a handstand or pull-up good for you?

    From increased flexibility to all-over body conditioning and beyond, gymnastics training – like tackling a handstand – delivers it all in bucket loads. And you don’t need to master a full twisting layout to reap the benefits. We’re talking the absolute basics: hanging from bars, getting inverted against a wall and increasing that arm strength will, over time, reap rewards. Think: being able to do a handstand, a pull-up or go toes-to-bar at the gym. Yes, these are gymnastics moves! And they build strength, flexibility, balance and a rock-solid core. A 2018 study found that bone mass increased after doing adult gymnastics, something that otherwise decreases with age.

    Train for a handstand

    Safety first: Eva Thornton, gymnast and coach at CrossFit Algoa in Gqeberha, warns that gymnastics can be tricky if you work unassisted. Always get a pro to watch your back as you tackle new skills, then work on them yourself when you’re more confident. Also, remember that when you train for a handstand, progress may be slow. Don’t give up – every workout brings you closer to that goal.

    How long does it take to nail a handstand?

    Well… it takes a while. “I think the biggest difficulty many people have is not understanding that gymnastics skills take time and require consistent practice,” explains Thornton. Most of the time, it can take months or years, depending how much time and effort you put in. So go get it!

    Nail The Basics

    You’ll have to start with the absolute basics first. Practise the hollow hold position where you lie on the floor with legs and shoulders lifted, says National Gymnastics Coach Luitha Roux. This builds core strength to be able to balance when upside down. Do it as often as you can and aim to complete 30 seconds at a time, building up to longer holds.

    READ MORE: 8 Ways To Build Stronger Thighs

    Build Shoulder Mobility

    In order to support your weight upside down, get your shoulders mobile, says Thornton. Good shoulder mobility allows for that straight line from hands to toes and it also is crucial to prevent injury in this position.

    To train for a handstand, stand facing a wall with your arms held out in front of you. Practise pushing against the wall with your hands while moving your shoulder blades backwards.

    Get Upside Down

    Next, do drills against the wall. This specific drill, with your face to the wall, allows you to properly mimic the position of an unassisted handstand while building shoulder, arm and core strength.

    With your back facing the wall, walk your hands down to the floor. Now, walk your legs up against the wall. Walk in and out on your hands, repeating as long as you can.

    Try It Unassisted

    Now for the challenge – trying to hold your handstand without the wall. Try pushing up and hold your handstand against a wall, then remove one foot and then the other, seeing how long you can hold it without the wall.

    READ MORE: Tone-Up From Head To Toe With This Killer 15-Minute Workout

    Train for a pull-up

    Build Arm Strength

    Per Thornton, start building upper arm strength with ring rows. You can do these with suspension cables or rings hanging from a bar, feet on the floor, pulling yourself up. “That’s your first step to developing pulling strength,” says Thornton. The lower down your body, the harder the pull. Focus on keeping your core tight throughout and go slow – you want every muscle to take the time to grow.

    Get the hang of it

    Next, graduate to the bar, doing pull-ups using a thick resistance band. The thicker the band, the easier the lift. Loop the resistance band around the bar and slip your one knee into the other end of the band. You’ll feel supported throughout and the pull-up will become much easier to execute. Keep going, and the easier it gets, the lighter you can make the resistance band, says Thornton. Another option? The assisted pull-up machine at the gym.

    READ MORE: This Scalable HIIT Workout Will Be Your New Go-To For All-Over Gains

    Pull Through!

    Once you’re strong enough (after months of practice), you can try your hand at an unassisted pull-up. Remember this is all core and upper body strength, so if you can’t nail it the first time around, keep practising the foundational moves. More

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    This Scalable HIIT Workout Will Be Your New Go-To For All-Over Gains

    Looking for a low-intensity scalable HIIT workout that works for beginners and advanced fitness enthusiasts? Look no further than this workout, which prioritises speed over power for all-over toning and of course, hitting those heart rate goals.

    What exactly is HIIT?

    Essentially interval training on speed, HIIT involves bursts of flat-out exertion alternating with rest periods. The best part: a workout can last anything from 30 minutes to just four.

    Added to that, a flurry of studies has shown that you get all the benefits (and more) of an hour-long steady-state workout in a fraction of the time. The catch? You have to be prepared to push yourself close to your drenched-in-sweat, heart-pounding max for the high-intensity periods. But it’s doable since your time in all-out effort lasts just 30 seconds.

    How to do this scalable HIIT workout

    Do this scalable HIIT workout two or three days a week in place of your usual cardio days (don’t skip strength training). Starting with the first exercise, complete as many reps as you can in 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Continue until you’ve finished all the exercises. That’s one circuit. Repeat three more times. Good news: you can tailor high-intensity interval training to your fitness level. Use these guidelines from trainer and group exercise instructor Rachel Vaziralli.

    Beginner:  Ratio: 1:3 (Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 90 seconds)

    Intermediate: Ratio: 1:2 (Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 60 seconds)

    Fit: Ratio: 1:1 (Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 30 seconds)

    Super-Fit: Ratio: 2:1 (Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 15 seconds)

    You’ll need: Floor space; a kettlebell (challenging, but not so heavy that you struggle to lift it).

    1. Squat Thrust

    Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Squat down to the floor and place your hands in front of your feet (A). Jump your legs back into push-up position (B), then quickly reverse the movement and stand to return to start. That’s one rep.

    READ MORE: Food, Fitness & Family: How Zinhle Masango Juggles It All

    2. Prisoner Squat

    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands behind your head, elbows out (A). Keeping your chest up and back flat, push your hips back and bend your knees until your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor (B). Push through your heels to return to start. That’s one rep.

    READ MORE: Get A Full-Body Workout In Just 15 Minutes With Only 2 Household Items

    3. Prone Hand Touch

    Get into push-up position, your hands shoulder-width apart and your body forming a straight line from head to heels (A). Keeping your body stable and hips parallel to the floor, lift your left hand and touch your right hand (B), then return to start. Repeat with the right hand. That’s one rep. Continue alternating.

    READ MORE: Tone-Up From Head To Toe With This Killer 15-Minute Workout

    4. Alternating Kettlebell Clean

    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, a kettlebell (or dumbbell) sitting between your feet. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower and grab the weight with your right hand (A). With your back flat and core tight, stand and raise the weight to shoulder height (B). Reverse the move to return to start. Repeat with your left hand. That’s one rep. Continue alternating.

    READ MORE: 30 Plank Variations That Will Transform Your Core From A Trainer

    5. Alternating Reverse Lunge

    Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips, chest up and shoulders back (A). Keeping your upper body still and core tight, take a large step back with your right foot, then bend both knees to lower into a lunge (B). Press through your left heel to return to standing. Repeat, stepping back with your left foot. That’s one rep. Continue alternating. More

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    This One-Dumbbell Workout Is Perfect For Home Or A Packed Gym

    Whether you’re in a packed gym and could only find one lonely dumbbell or if you’re working with a sparsely-stocked home gym, there’s a lot you can accomplish with this one-dumbbell workout.

    Using just one piece of equipment doesn’t mean you can’t get a good workout. In fact, when you’re short on time, stuck at home, or navigating a packed gym, scaling back can make you more efficient. Added to that, using one weight allows for unilateral moves that challenge your balance, firing up your core and stabiliser muscles in your legs and elsewhere. Simplify your routine without sacrificing results with this one-dumbbell workout from trainer Craig Ballantyne.

    How to do this one-dumbbell workout

    Using the heaviest weight you can handle (while maintaining proper form), perform the prescribed number of reps for each exercise in order, resting 30 seconds between moves. (If needed, you can rest up to a minute, or make it tougher by dropping that break altogether.) That’s one circuit.

    Rest for two minutes, then finish as many circuits as you can in 15 minutes. Beginner? Start with two circuits and build from there.You’ll need: a bench; one heavy dumbbell

    1. Narrow-stance goblet squat

    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell vertically in front of your chest, both hands cupping the dumbbell head (A). Keeping your chest up and your core tight, sit your hips back and squat as low as you can (B). Press through your heels to return to start. That’s one rep. Do 15.

    READ MORE: 30 Plank Variations That Will Transform Your Core From A Trainer

    2. Single-arm bent-over row

    Place your left knee and hand on a bench and hold a weight in your right hand at arm’s length (A). Pull the dumbbell up to your ribcage (B), then lower back to start. That’s one rep. Do 10, then repeat on the other side.

    READ MORE: Get A Full-Body Workout In Just 15 Minutes With Only 2 Household Items

    3. Single-arm chest press

    Lie face-up on a bench, holding a dumbbell in your left hand at your chest (A). Press the weight directly upward (B). Slowly lower back to start. That’s one rep. Do 10, then switch arms and repeat.

    READ MORE: 8 Ways To Build Stronger Thighs

    4. Dumbbell swing

    Hold a dumbbell with both hands using an overhand grip and stand with feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back, knees slightly bent, and lower your chest to bring the dumbbell between your legs (A). Keeping your core tight, push your hips forward and swing the dumbbell up to shoulder height (B). Reverse the movement, swinging the weight back between your legs. That’s one rep. Do 15. More