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    Ultraboost Light Unveiled As The Latest Innovation From adidas Running

    The South African Marathon season is approaching fast. With the Two Oceans Ultra and Half Marathon scheduled for Saturday, 15 April and Sunday, 16 April 2023 respectively.

    Running is booming in our country, and, along with a huge increase in runners – by more than 10% since the 2020 lockdown, the tech in running shoes is forging ahead.

    One of the heroes of the new evolution of running-specific shoes is the BOOST cushioning from adidas. This month adidas unveiled the latest member of its most iconic running shoe franchise – the Ultraboost Light. Testament to their constant strive to take innovation to the next level, and in response to consumer feedback, the new Ultraboost Light has a ground-breaking new material at its core – Light BOOST.

    Marking a decade since the introduction of BOOST technology, the new and improved Ultraboost Light benefits from 30% lighter BOOST material. Resulting in a performance running shoe designed to offer epic energy, plush cushioning, comfort and responsiveness.

    Taking runners’ experiences to the next level, the all-new Ultraboost Light also includes:  

    A redesigned Linear Energy Point (LEP) found on the sole of the shoe reworked to optimise responsiveness and work in harmony with the new Light BOOST material. 

    PRIMEKNIT+ upper for an adapted fit that provides breathability and comfort.

    Continental™ natural performance rubber instils confidence in traction for all weather conditions.  

    A 10% lower carbon footprint* compared to previous versions.

    The new Ultraboost Light launches in a white colourway, featuring solar red and core black detailing. It is now available from adidas concept stores countrywide, online at and on the adidas app.

    To celebrate the 10th anniversary of BOOST technology, adidas is also revealing a special edition version of the adidas Ultraboost Light with a dedicated colourway. The 10th-anniversary edition comes in a primarily black colourway, with black and yellow detailing. The same design that was found on the first-ever adidas silhouette with BOOST technology, the Energy Boost.

    Follow the @adidasZA #ULTRABOOST conversation on Instagram for more information. More

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    Is This Really The World’s Most Comfortable Running Shoe?

    Earlier this year, Asics launched the Gel-Nimbus™ 25 – the latest iteration of their Gel-Nimbus running shoe series – with a bold claim: “the most comfortable running shoe, as tested by runners”. That got our attention.

    What Asics Had To Say

    The Gel-Nimbus™ 25 contains PureGEL™ technology, which is designed to absorb shock and, according to Asics, creates the softest landing to date. Other notable features are the addition of Asics’s FF BLAST™ PLUS ECO cushioning foam, which is made using 20% bio-based material from renewable sources, and the stretchy, breathable knit tongue and collar.

    Independently Tested

    It took the Asics design team 18 months to come up with a running shoe that they believed could be called the “most comfortable”. They then handed it over to Dr Chris Bishop, a podiatrist and biomechanist at The Biomechanics Lab in Australia for testing. He designed a test to pit to the Gel-Nimbus 25 against three competitor shoes, as well as the Asics Gel-Nimbus 24. He recruited 100 runners – 52 men; 48 women – to take part in the eight-week study, which involved running on a treadmill for three minutes.

    All the shoes were disguised, so study participants had no idea which shoes they were wearing. After reviewing the study participants’ ratings across various categories, Dr Bishop concluded that, “Comfort is a perception factor which is not a biomechanical variable and it’s not the same for every individual. However, the results of this study were conclusive: the GEL-NIMBUS™ 25 was statistically the most comfortable running shoe tested.”

    WH Tests The Asics Gel-Nimbus™ 25 Running Shoe

    Intrigued by the lab results, Wanita Nicol took the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 for a test-run under less lab-controlled, more plot-twisty conditions: South Africa’s roads.

    First Impressions

    The first thing I noticed, out of the box, was that the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25s felt a lot lighter than they looked. They’re actually quite broad and chunky looking, but this doesn’t translate into added weight. The next thing that jumped out at me was the tongue – it’s stretchy, perforated and a lot spongier than I’m used to. I find that running shoes sometimes squash the bridge of my foot and this tongue design prevents that from happening. When I read up about the shoe, I saw this was a key design feature – and the perforations I noticed are for ventilation.


    The toe box is not as wide as I was expecting from the look of the running shoe, but it also wasn’t cramped – my toes had plenty of space to flex and move. (That said, I have narrow feet.) This snug fit also meant that my foot didn’t slip inside the running shoe, which can cause blisters. There’s a really nice, cushioned collar that prevents chafing and the laces – which are long and also have a good stretch, preventing them from digging into the top of your foot – have extra eyelets that you can use to create even more stability.


    Speaking of which, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 has a broad base for a running shoe, making it feel really stable. That higher collar that wraps around your ankle also made me feel more secure.


    The sole felt nice and grippy on the road and gravelly pavements, although I haven’t tested it in wet conditions.


    When you’re forking out a lot of money on a running shoe you may want to use it for different things. The shoe looks really good – on the run and with jeans. In fact, walking around the mall, I had a random stranger say, “I like your shoes!” and when a sports shoe passes the random-stranger test you must know it’s giving style! But as for other sports, this shoe feels, to me, like a road running shoe, end of story. I would not take it offroad – even just running over small stones, I could feel them right through all that cushioning (of course, I could just be long-forgotten royalty ala The Princess and the Pea). And while the base is broad and stable, I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing a functional workout in them with all that cushioning.


    Sometimes you put on a running shoe and you feel like you just want to run as fast as you can. This is not that shoe. However, I felt like I wanted to keep going. I did my usual loop around the neighbourhood and as I neared the end, I still felt fresh and like I could go around again. I found it very easy to maintain a steady pace.


    And now for the big one – the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 feels like running on marshmallows. The landing is so soft and pillowy, I didn’t feel any of the jarring sensation I sometimes feel as I start getting fatigued and I had none of the pain in my joints that I sometimes feel as a result. The fit is correct to size, so I didn’t ever feel that my toes were knocking against the front of the shoe or that my heels were slipping out of it. There was no painful chafing and no annoying bite of a lace or any other part of the running shoe. The only bit of discomfort I felt was that my feet felt a bit toasty, which I suspect might be welcome in winter when they typically feel like ice blocks on early-morning runs.

    A Running Shoe For People Who Hate Running

    So, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 is comfy. But who is it for?

    My take:

    I think it’s a good running shoe for people who hate running. From experience, I hated running until one day I put on a pair of shoes that cushioned my landing and took the pain out of the experience. I feel this shoe could be that gamechanger for other reluctant runners. It’s also good for recreational runners who just want to enjoy going for a jog and maybe run further but aren’t chasing a fast time.

    A more serious runner weighs in:

    While I – nowadays – enjoy running, I don’t run far and I don’t run particularly fast either. So, I asked my friend Amy (@‌amy_hoppy on Insta), a triathlete and half-marathoner, what she thought of the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25. Here’s what she had to say:

    “The Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 shoes are a slightly wider iteration of the 24, meaning greater comfort in the toe box for wider feet like mine. I love the new stretchy tongue and really enjoyed the comfort of the new foam configuration. It’s a shoe you can comfortably wear all day (I’ve tested that) and is ideal for LSDs (Long, Slow, Distance – i.e. your long weekend runs). It’s not a speed shoe (for short, sharp distances), but a good 21km+ and marathon shoe and everyday runner’s training shoe. Their comfort means that two-hour+ long runs won’t feel as taxing on your body and feet.”


    The Gel-Nimbus™ 25 goes for R3 499 at The women’s sizes start at UK3 and go up to UK10, with half sizes available up to size 9.

    Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 | Papaya

    Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 | Indigo Blue

    The Verdict

    The Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 is a very comfortable running shoe. Is it the most comfortable in the world? I’d have to test a lot more shoes to make that call, but of the shoes I have tested, it’s certainly high on the list. Is it worth the price? If a jarring landing is holding you back from pursuing your running dreams, then I would say yes. And if you usually spend this amount of money on a running shoe, this one is worth checking out More

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    You Need To Try This 45-Minute Stationary Bike Workout!

    If you’ve ever been to a spinning class, you know that the 45-minute interval ride will leave you high on endorphins and drenched with sweat, not to mention help you burn between 1,673 and 3,347 kilojoules (depending on how hard you ride, of course).

    But if you aren’t fortunate enough to get into one of the packed gym classes, you can still try this 45-minute spinning-inspired workout, designed by Flywheel Sports creative director Danielle Devine-Baum, to spin on your own. Just crank the playlist below—striving to pedal to the song’s BPM (beats per minute) unless otherwise indicated—and get riding.

    Spinning Class Necessities

    Ciovita Apex Cycling Shorts

    adidas Microfiber Towel

    Camelbak Podium Chill Race Edition

    Hey Siri, please play…

    Song #1: “Everybody Wants To Run The World,” Tears For Fears

    Flat road, time to warm up! Ride around 112 BPM. On a scale of one to 10, you’d be around a three. Once the song’s chorus hits, speed up each time. Halfway through the song, add a bit more resistance as your body starts to feel warmer and your muscles get ready to work.

    READ MORE: 5 Absolutely Insane Body Benefits Of A 40-Min Spin Class

    Song #2: “River,” Eminem [Feat. Ed Sheeran]

    You’re still warming up, but at this point, you’re getting into the ride. The speed is 90 BPM.  If you were running, you’d be at a jogging pace. On this song, alternate between second position (butt off the seat, hands on the front bar), third position (butt off the seat, hands on top of the side handles), and the saddle (butt in seat) while maintaining the speed. Two times during the song, increase your speed. Your resistance here is, on a scale of one to 10, around a four. By the end of this song, you should be sweating a bit!

    Song #3: “Walking In Memphis,” Marc Cohn

    You’re on a hill. On a scale of one to 10, your resistance is around a six. Your speed is 65 BPM. Each time the chorus hits, speed up your pace. You should feel slightly breathless on these intervals. On the first two, use third position when you push. On the last one, challenge yourself to push as hard as you can in the saddle.

    Song #4: “Work R3hab Extended Mix,” Rihanna [Feat. Drake]

    This is a slow, flat incline ride. Your speed is a 100 BPM. On a scale of one to 10, even though it is a rather flat road, you’re around a five on the resistance. Start in the saddle and then hit second position, focusing on stabilising the core. When you hit the saddle, speed up. Repeat this four times during the course of this song.

    Song #5: “Fallen Empires,” Snow Patrol

    This is a light hill. Your speed is a 74 BPM. On a scale of one to 10, start lighter than you want to at about a four on the resistance. Every 30 seconds, add a bit more resistance. By the end of the song, you should barely be able to hold your pace at 74 BPM. Alternate saddle and third position with every resistance change.

    Song #6: “Changes,” 2PAC

    Now you’re on a heavy hill. Your speed is a 55 BPM. Start in third position. Leaving the resistance high from the previous song, slow your legs down. You should be at around an eight on your scale of one to 10 resistance. It’s going to get really heavy. Each time the chorus hits, speed up as fast as you can through the resistance. If you find that your legs want to go faster than 55 BPM when you’re not on the chorus, add more resistance right away. This should be thick and challenging. Sit when you feel you need, then come out. Your power is in third!

    Song #7: “Gold Dust (Extended Mix),” Galantis

    This is a flat to a hill. Your speed is whatever you want! Take the resistance down while you’re in the saddle. The speed of the music is 128 BPM, but take a moment to ride lighter and hydrate. Once you feel ready, start to speed up as close as you can to the rhythm. Toward the end of the song, take the resistance to a five out of 10, come to third and ride the hill at 65 BPM.

    Song #8: “Silver Springs,” Fleetwood Mac

    Now you jog. Your speed is 88 BMP. Starting in the saddle, close your eyes, take a moment, and just ride. You’re riding at about a six on your scale of one to 10. Find third position when you’re ready. When the chorus hits, hit the saddle and go all out. Push as hard as you can. Repeat until the song ends.

    Song #9: “O.P.P. (Re-Recorded),” Naughty By Nature

    This is a light flat. Your speed is 98 BPM. On your scale of one to 10, you’re at a four. Starting in the saddle, just ride and find your breath. This song is about big changes in resistance. When the chorus hits, add as much resistance as you can while still holding your speed. When the chorus ends, take it off. Feel free to use second position when it feels good to come up.

    READ MORE: 5 Workouts That Burn More Kilojoules Than A Spin Class

    Song #10: “Thunder Road,” Bruce Springsteen

    Last song, last hill! Your speed is 70 BPM. Out of your 10, find a seven. Take the first half of the song to ride in third and notice how your body feels; energized and strong. As the second half of the song approaches, take a seat and start to remove resistance little by little. Take the last 60 seconds of the song to put your head down and push as hard as possible right to the finish line!

    You might also like Which Cardio Is Better for Your Body: Cycling or Elliptical Training?

    This article was originally published on More

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    Try This Quick And Effective Workout When You’re Seriously Busy

    At loggerheads with your busy schedule? Like many women today, trainer Stacie Clark is juggling a career, family and social life, all of which doesn’t leave much time for working out! So, in keeping with her mantra – “burn kilojoules, not time” – she creates quick and effective workout routines that are pretty much excuse-proof and work like a charm.

    Can you believe she’s forty-something with two kids?! Also, Stacie can’t be bothered with fitness and diet fads; instead, her approach focuses on functional strength training, which uses exercises that mimic real-life movements (think squatting down to pick up a washing basket or hoisting hand luggage into an overhead compartment on a plane) and engages multiple muscle groups at once to maximise results.

    The seven moves here in this quick and effective workout are a taste of her method for scoring an amazing lean, toned, fit body.

    Time: 20 Minutes | Equipment: Dumbbells & Medicine Ball | Good For: Total Body


    Many women neglect the muscles on the back of their body. Get a brand-new rear view with this move, which concentrates on toning your hamstrings and glutes.DO IT: Place a dumbbell on the floor in front of you and stand with your right foot a few steps in front of your left. Bend both knees, keeping your right knee over your ankle. Lower to grab the dumbbell by both ends, keeping your chest lifted (A). Press through your right heel to straighten your leg, raising your left leg into the air behind you (forming a T shape with your body) and lifting the weight off the ground, arms straight and directly under your shoulders (B). Slowly lower your body back to start. That’s one rep. Do 10 to 12, then switch sides and repeat.


    Some ab moves don’t fully engage your obliques; others completely neglect them. This one recruits your entire core to cinch your waist with every reach.DO IT: Sit on the floor, knees slightly bent, and lean your torso back. In one motion, reach your left arm up and across your body while lifting your right foot and glute off the floor (A). Slowly repeat on the other side (B). That’s one rep. Do 12 to 15.


    A twist on one of the most effective body-weight exercises there is: the burpee.DO IT: Start in push-up position, hands under your shoulders and legs extended, body forming a straight line from head to heels (A). Brace your core and jump your feet outside your hands, then quickly lift your chest and hands so that you’re upright (B). Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Do as many as you can in 60 seconds.

    Quick tip: This move reinforces proper posture and form – something most women lose during quick, dynamic exercises. Focus on keeping the movement controlled.


    Reverse lunges activate your glutes, while raising your arms sculpts your abs. Doing them together makes it more challenging and effective.DO IT: Hold a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length at your sides (A). Keeping your chest tall and shoulders back, step one foot back and bend both knees to lower into a lunge, while simultaneously raising the weights in front of you to shoulder height, keeping your arms straight (B). Press through your front heel to return to start. Repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Do eight to 10.


    This subtle tweak on the classic push-up recruits more of your chest muscles with every rep.DO IT: Place your hands on the floor under your shoulders and extend your legs behind you, so your body forms a straight line (A). Reach one hand 30cm to the side and bend both elbows, lowering your chest towards the floor (B). Return to start; repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Do eight to 10.

    Quick tip: Keep your core tight to prevent your hips sagging when you reach.


    Dynamic, multi-directional exercises like this build power and agility, improve balance and dial up the kilojoule-burning potential of any workout.DO IT: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees bent and hands raised in front of your chest (A). In one motion, jump and rotate 90 degrees to the right, bending both knees into a lunge as you land (B). Jump back to start. That’s one rep. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds. Switch directions (rotate to the left) and repeat.


    No easy button here! Your shoulder blades have to stay lifted off the floor the entire time (which engages your abs fully throughout the move).DO IT: Grab a light medicine ball and lie on your back. Raise both knees over your hips and place the ball between them. Raise your right shoulder and bring your right elbow to the outside of the ball; hold it in place while extending your right leg out in front of you (A). Pause, then return to start and repeat on the other side (B). That’s one rep. Continue alternating for 10 to 12 reps.

    Quick tip: Concentrate on keeping your hands behind your head, with your elbows out wide, during the entire set. More

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    REVIEW: Under Armour Flow Dynamic Training Shoes — “New Workout Weapons”

    After the launch of Under Armour’s new training shoe, the UA Flow Dynamic, the Women’s Health staff got busy putting them to the test. We tried out some of our favourite disciplines in the shoe to see how versatile the new technology could be over a range of movements. These kicks did not disappoint. 

    WIN A PAIR! See our social media for this opportunity: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

    After the success of the UA running-specific shoe – the Velociti Flow – the UA Flow Dynamic has taken this same unique new technology to create a training shoe without an outsole. This means the midsole is responsible for its traditional cushioning and response duties, and now has the added responsibility of interacting effectively with your exercise surface to provide traction and protection. By removing the outsole the weight is able to be kept lower than most training shoes to give the overall light feeling that we all felt when testing. 

    The breathable fabric allows cool air to circulate while allowing humid air to escape. The upper is finished with a lacing system that helps secure the mid-foot for distraction-free strides. 

    [embedded content]

    Tanya’s Test

    My husband is constantly eyeballing my shoes when I head out to exercise. A tech and shoe fundi, he’ll be quick to advise whether I’m suitably equipped for my activity of the moment. I could not wait to get out with the new UA Flow Dynamic to see how versatile they are. I did four sessions in one week. A regular gym session, an outdoor Cross-Fit style workout, a gut-busting stairs mission, and three sets of Padel – my new favourite game. The shoes added to each and every session. Mostly it was the combination of being lightweight and yet still feeling supported that was the win factor for me. And I’ve schooled my husband, who is equally impressed with what he calls “your new weapons.” 

    Kelleigh’s Kicks

    My cupboard is bulging with shoes. I won’t lie, it can get quite intimidating with all the choices for all the different types of exercise options. My gym classes, pilates, and HIIT training are all covered by this versatile workout shoe though. It’s the flexibility combined with support that I love most. I often feel a shoe offering good stability ends up being too stiff and bulky. The UA Flow Dynamic is light and well-cushioned with great tech and innovation, and I’m loving how confident I feel in all my movements.  

    Tech Specs

    Light & comfortable; UA Intelliknit upper is stretchy, supportive and breathable

    UA Flow technology outsole creates a lightweight feel with increased ground traction on any surface

    Push heel collar for step-in comfort and a locked fit

    Internal shank for support during explosive movements

    Where Can I Get A Pair?

    The new UA Flow Dynamic will be available in both men and women sizes with a recommended retail price of R2 999, and will be available in stores and online. More

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    The Alkaline Diet: Can This Unusual Viral Method Seriously Help You Shed Kilos?

    By dietician Karen Ansel

    The Alkaline Diet, or so-called pee strip diet, is having a moment. According to the New York Post, celebs like Kate Hudson and Jennifer Aniston are fans of the plan, which requires you to monitor your pH levels by peeing on a strip of paper that tests your urine. Fun right? It’s also doing the rounds on TikTok, with advocates touting its many health benefits, from weight loss to more energy.

    The Alkaline Diet theory

    Certain foods (and not always obviously acidic ones like lemons and tomatoes) are said to produce acidic by-products when digested. These can throw off your pH balance and lead to weight gain, according to fans of the diet. There’s also the theory that these foods produce mucous in the body, which fuels disease by allowing them to thrive.

    Proponents of the diet say you should swap acid-forming eats like meat, eggs, dairy, processed foods and most grains. Instead, opt for high-alkaline fruits, vegetables, beans, tofu, nuts and seeds to correct your body’s pH and magically torch fat.

    In order to create an alkaline environment, you’d need to cut out acid-forming foods and introduce alkaline foods. In order to make sure your body is in an alkaline level, you’d need to pee on a strip to test.

    But does it work?

    While it’s a no-brainer that switching from fatty meats and processed carbs to a low-kilojoule produce-and-legume regimen will help you drop kilos, there’s zero evidence that your body’s pH has anything to do with it – or even that a certain diet can affect pH at all.

    “If our diets were able to drive the pH of our blood outside of the body’s normal range, people with lousy diets would be falling into comas and dropping dead left and right,” says nutritionist Tamara Duker Freuman, a registered dietician. Alkaline diets can be nutritionally sound but often lack many of the nutrients that vegan diets do. That’s not to say the alkaline diet hasn’t been praised by vegans on TikTok, since the diet focuses on raw foods, like cucumber noodles.

    Plus, while your pH in urine can be influenced by food, your blood should stay in a normal pH range, which is already slightly alkaline, with a pH of 7.36–7.44. Your stomach, on the other hand, should be acidic, which is key for digesting food. It could be fatal if your blood’s pH goes out of balance. This happens when you drink too much alcohol, are diabetic or during starvation.

    The Conclusion

    While the alkaline diet encourages you to focus on whole foods, leading to a healthier body overall, studies can’t guarantee specific health benefits. Any weight loss would result from cutting out whole food groups, leading to a calorie deficit. Since the science isn’t up to scratch, you’re better off focusing on whole, healthy foods, rather than trying to alkalise your body.

    This article was originally published on  More

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    5 Ways To Build Killer Core Strength

    When you think about your core, you’re likely thinking about those all-important ab muscles that peak out of crop tops. But there’s way more to them. According to Catherine Viljoen, a biokineticist at Virgin Active,

    “The core includes a number of muscles that run the length of the spine and help stabilise the shoulders, spine and pelvis. These muscles create a strong base of support from which powerful movements can be generated and transferred to the working arms and legs.”

    When these core muscles are in great shape they’ll go a long way to help prevent injury, which is why it’s so important to create good core strength.

    How do you know you’re activating your core?

    In order to make sure you’re training the right muscles, you first need to identify which muscles you’re actually trying to use. The best way to identify the muscle used for core strength is to:

    Lie on the floor face-up with both knees bent at 90° and feet flat on the floor;

    Place your hands (2 fingers) at the top of your hip bones. Now move your fingers slightly to the front of the hip bones and push firmly into the skin;

    Now cough or laugh. The muscle you feel bulging at your fingertips is the transverse abdominus muscle contracting – this is one of the key muscles making up the core.*

    The challenge is to try to maintain core activation throughout your regular gym exercises and throughout the day, even while standing in a queue or sitting at your desk.

    How Will It Help?

    They can take years off your appearance. Don’t think that because many of your core muscles are ‘invisible’ (buried underneath other muscles), you don’t need to pay attention to them. What better way to show off than a good posture?

    They protect your insides, keep your spine and back healthy and they improve balance.

    They protect you from injury. If the core muscles are weak, other muscles have to pick up the slack and eventually, this may result in pain or injury, particularly to the lower back.

    Once you’ve mastered the basics of core activation, you may be ready for some challenging exercises to really sculpt killer core strength.

    Core Strength Exercises

    1. Plank

    Do a 30-sec hold – 1 set of 5 repetitions

    Support yourself on your elbows in a low position, with your knees on the floor. Contract your abdominal muscles, lifting your knees off the floor and making sure that you’re in a stable position. Your back should be straight throughout this movement (ankles, hips and shoulders in line). Hold for 30 seconds and return to starting position and repeat.

    Tip: To make this exercise easier, keep your knees on the floor.

    2. Reverse Crunch Knee Raises

    Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions

    Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and off the floor. Your back should be flat against the floor and your hands can be positioned at the sides of your head. Contract your lower abdominal muscles, bringing your knees towards your chest. Return slowly to starting position. Repeat.

    Tip: This is not a big movement. You should just be lifting your glutes off the floor in a controlled way.

    3. Segmental Bridge

    Do 1 set of 5 repetitions

    Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Your arms should be straight with your hands lying at your sides. Lift your hips off the floor by rolling through the pelvis and continuing the motion by rolling segmentally through each vertebra from the pelvis to the rib cage. At the end of the movement, your knees, hips and chest are in a straight line. Hold for three seconds and then return slowly to the starting position by rolling your spine, vertebra by vertebra. Repeat.

    Tip: Roll up for a count of 6, then down for a count of 6. The most benefit comes from performing this exercise slowly and controlled.

    4. Four Opposite Arm and Leg Raise

    Do 1 set of 15 repetitions (alternating)

    Position yourself on all fours. Your knees should be aligned under your hips and your wrists under your shoulders. Keep a neutral spine position. Lift your left arm to shoulder height and your right leg to hip height. Hold for a few seconds (think of reaching forward with your left hand and stretching back with your right foot). Return to starting position and repeat on the other side.

    Tips: Be careful not to tilt your hips or arch your back. If you’re new to this exercise, perform the exercise lying on your tummy, lifting the opposite arm and leg. Once mastered, progress to this exercise. Be careful not to lift your head during the movement – look down and not ahead of you.

    5. Stability Ball Knee Tuck (advanced)

    Do 1 set of 10 repetitions

    Position yourself in a press-up position with your hands on the floor, about shoulder-width apart, and your ankles and feet resting on top of the stability ball. Bend your knees, so that they come towards your chest. Keep your elbows straight (not locked). Stop the movement once your feet are on the ball and your knees are tucked in. Hold for 3 seconds. Then straighten your knees and roll back to the starting position. Repeat.

    If you have a medical condition or injury, please chat with your doctor or biokineticist before attempting these exercises. More

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    The 15-Minute Countdown Workout For All-Over Quality Gains

    Productivity experts often tell clients to tackle the most challenging task on their to-do list first. The reason: a feeling of accomplishment gives you momentum to check off other less-daunting tasks throughout the rest of the day – even as your attention span diminishes.

    The same logic can work at the gym: a reverse pyramid – or countdown – format forces you to do the hardest part of the workout first, when you’re physically at your peak, says strength and conditioning trainer Albert Matheny. Then it’s downhill from there: as the number of reps decreases during the workout, the mental momentum you’re building allows you to finish strong, even as your body starts to fatigue.

    Follow this countdown workout from Matheny two or three days a week. Perform five reps of each of the following exercises in order, moving from one to the next without resting. Take a short break (30 to 60 seconds) if needed, then repeat the circuit, completing four reps of each move. Continue until you reach one rep of each move.

    You’ll need: a set of dumbbells that allows you to complete the reps with proper form. Try three to four kilograms to start.

    The 15-Minute Countdown Workout

    Dumbbell Thruster

    Hold a dumbbell in each hand just above your shoulders, palms facing in, then sit your hips back and bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor (A). Push through your heels to stand, pressing the weights overhead (B). Return to start; that’s one rep.

    Reverse Lunge

    Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides (A). Step back with your right leg and bend both knees as you lower until your left knee is bent 90 degrees (B). Push through your left foot to stand, then repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.

    Renegade Row

    Grab a pair of dumbbells and get into push-up position with your hands on the weights and your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart (A). Brace your core, then bend your right elbow to pull the weight towards your chest, keeping your hips parallel to the floor (B). Slowly lower the weight back to start, then repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.

    Spiderman Plank With Dumbbells

    Start in push-up position with your hands on a pair of dumbbells and feet slightly wider than hip-width apart (A). Brace your core, then bend your right knee towards the outside of your right elbow (B). Pause, then return to start and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.MAKE IT HARDER: do a push-up between each rep after returning to start position. More