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    6 Dance Fitness Lessons From The Fitness Marshall

    So you thought exercise was boring? Nuh-uh! Use these lessons from the Fitness Marshall to turn your workout into a fierce dance-fitness sweat sesh.
    At the end of May we teamed up with Cotton On BODY for their tenth birthday celebration — an early-morning dance party in Nelson Mandela Square with the Fitness Marshall himself, Caleb Marshall. Let’s be honest, it didn’t take much convincing to get us there — we were already huge fans of the Fitness Marshall YouTube videos.
    But while we expected a rocking good time, we weren’t totally convinced that the Fitness Marshall brand of cardio dance fitness counted as a legit workout. Until we tried it. And discovered that breaking it down to catchy pop tunes gets your heart rate up enough to ditch your jersey on an icy Jozi winter’s morning. Plus, it’s also surprisingly taxing on your muscles. So if your idea of working out is suffering through endless sets of mindless repetitions, use these lessons from the Fitness Marshall to turn your lounge dance-offs (we know you do them!) into bonafide exercise.
    1. Up The Energy
    To reap the heart-healthy, fat-burning benefits of cardio, you need to get that heart rate up. Incorporating jumps into your workout (even little ones) makes it more explosive, which ups your heart rate and the burn. Bonus: It’ll sculpt your calves, too.

    READ MORE: 4 Core Moves That’ll Create A Stronger Body All Over
    2. Get Low
    Nobody enjoys squats. But they’re brilliant for toning your legs and perking up your butt. Take the pain out of repetitive squats by getting low on the dance floor. And holding it there. Same muscle activation, way more fun.

    3. Get Flexi
    Flexibility is one of the markers for overall fitness because the more flexible you are, the better you move and the lower your risk for injury. If you sit at a desk all day or do sports that involve repetitive movements (hey there, runners and cyclists!) you’re already at a disadvantage. Sorry. Add a yoga class or two to your workout schedule or take time for dynamic stretching.

    READ MORE: “Here’s How I Got My Fitness Back After The Pandemic”
    4. Move In Different Directions
    There’s a reason athletes do agility drills. They create new pathways in your brain that help you respond quicker (say, dodging out the way when someone’s about to bump you on the street) and improve your balance and spatial awareness. Practise moving backwards, sideways and changing direction quickly.

    5. Work That Core
    Having a strong core is going to help you in everything you do. These are the muscles that support your spine and they’re connected to all the other major muscle groups in your body. Strengthening them also lengthens your body and keeps you upright, making you look slimmer. Score!

    READ MORE: Pro-Fighter Jess Mouneimne Shows Why You Should Take Up MMA
    6. Use Your Whole Body
    There are certainly times for working muscles in isolation (say, if you’re a bodybuilder or doing rehab) but for overall functional fitness and strength, train your body the way it moves in life — as a unit.

     Need more inspiration? Check out what went down in Nelson Mandela Square…
    [embedded content]
    Looking for more dance-inspired workouts? Put the fun back into ‘leg day’ with these four POUND moves. More

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    This 4-Week Bodyweight Challenge Is The Ultimate New Year Workout Plan

    Bored of bodyweight movements? We get it – you probably feel like you did enough of them to last a lifetime in 2020 alone. But before you toss them aside, hear us out: Even though it’s easier to come by equipment these days, bodyweight exercises still play an important role in fitness. And this bodyweight challenge will show you just that.

    “Bodyweight movements are the foundation to being able to load heavier,” says Certified Personal Trainer Lauren Kanski. “Everyone wants to lift the heavy weights, but very few people move well without weight. Balance and stability with proper form is more important than how heavy our equipment is.”

    READ MORE: 4 Core Moves That’ll Create A Stronger Body All Over

    And in case you’re doubting the effectiveness of bodyweight exercise, don’t worry: You can still make strides, according to Kanski, as long as you stay consistent and follow a progressive programme.

    Enter this four-week bodyweight challenge, in which you’ll progress in skill rather than simply adding more sets and reps. (Because who wants to do 37 glute bridges anyway?)

    You’re guaranteed to feel like even more of a badass (it’s possible, trust) when you can do perfect burpees and supermans in week four, but that’s not all. “There’s a huge mental component to movement,” says Kanski, who created this exclusive plan for WH. “You can have the strongest muscles in the world, but they cannot function without sensory input from the brain.” That’s why establishing a rock-solid mind-body connection pays off in the long run. “And when we focus on components of the skill itself, the brain has to adapt in a good way,” Kanski says.

    READ MORE: Sculpt Your Body With This 15-Minute HIIT Workout

    What’s more, the stability and explosive elements (like the single-side exercises and jumps) are designed to get your entire system operating better as a team – crucial to becoming fitter and preventing injury.

    Think of this sweat test as a total-body training programme in disguise. “It hits almost all of our biggest movement patterns and incorporates balance, strength, and power,” says Kanski. Nothing gets left out!

    A few things to keep in mind for this challenge: First of all, Kanski recommends inviting some friends or family members to join in, too. “Community makes it easier to stick to it,” she says. And don’t forget to take note of the steps you take toward your goals.

    “Most people can set goals and have a vision, but they don’t track their progress closely enough,” Kanski explains. “So it becomes impossible to know what to change or reevaluate in order to stay on track.” In other words, she says, what gets measured gets managed.

    Your New Year Bodyweight Challenge

    Time: 15 to 20 minutes each

    Equipment: none

    Good for: total body

    Instructions: Do each week’s workout three times, ideally on nonconsecutive days. Perform three sets of each exercise (either the prescribed number of reps or for time), with 30 seconds of rest between moves. Then continue on to the next.

    Pro tip: Also aim to add three or four days a week of low- or moderate-intensity, low-impact cardio, like walking at an incline, spinning, or rowing, to let your joints and muscles recover while improving cardiovascular health.

    READ MORE: Boxing Inspired Workout: 8 Moves That Will Help You Get a Knockout Body RN!

    Week 1

    High Plank

    How to: Start at the top of a pushup with wrists under shoulders and feet together – you can separate them to make the move easier. Keep core engaged and tailbone tucked under. Hold for 30 seconds. That’s 1 set.

    Superman With Legs Down

    How to: Lie facedown with arms bent 90 degrees, elbows in line with shoulders, all four limbs, and forehead on floor. That’s your start position. Contract core and lift head, chest, and arms a few centimetres off floor. Keep neck neutral by gazing just past nose, and extend arms straight forward. Reverse motion to return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12.

    Bilateral Glute Bridge

    How to: Lie faceup with legs bent, feet hip-width apart and flat on floor about a ruler’s length from butt, ankles under knees. Contract core and lift hips. Pause, then lower back down. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12.

    Frog Hop

    How to: Start in a high plank with hands directly under shoulders and body forming a straight line from head to heels. Jump feet forward to just outside hands, coming into a low squat position. Jump back to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12.

    Split Squat

    How to: Stand with legs staggered, right leg forward and left back, left heel high. Bring hands together in front of chest and lower body until both knees are bent 90 degrees, then return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12, then repeat on opposite side.

    READ MORE: This 17-Day Slimdown Plan Will Help Get You Back In Shape

    Week 2

    Incline Pushup

    How to: Start in a plank with hands elevated on a chair, bench, or step. Bend arms to lower chest toward chair, elbows pointing 45 degrees away from sides, body in a straight line. Press back up to return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12.

    Superman With Legs Up

    How to: Lie facedown with arms bent 90 degrees, elbows in line with shoulders, all four limbs and forehead on floor. Contract core and squeeze glutes to lift head, chest, arms, and legs a few centimetres off floor. Gaze just past nose and straighten arms. Reverse motion to return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12.

    Glute Bridge Holds

    How to: Lie faceup with legs bent, feet flat on floor hip-distance apart, ankles under knees, and arms on floor at 45-degree angles away from body. Contract core and lift hips up. Hold for 30 seconds. That’s 1 set.

    Squat Thrust

    How to: Start in a high plank, then quickly jump feet forward into a low squat, lifting hands and torso up into the air at the top. Reverse movement to return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12.

    Forward Lunge

    How to: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Then, take a big step forward with right foot and lower down into a lunge, stopping when both legs form 90-degree angles. Press through right foot to return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12 per side.

    READ MORE: The Right Way To Do Reverse Lunges

    Week 3


    How to: From a high plank, engage core and bend elbows at 45-degree angles from sides to lower body, keeping a straight line from head to heels. Pause at lowest point, then press back up to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12 . (Full pushups too hard? No prob – perform with knees on floor.)

    Superman Hold

    How to: Lie facedown with arms bent at 90 degrees and elbows in line with shoulders, all four limbs and forehead on floor. Contract core, squeeze glutes, and lift head, chest, arms, and legs a few centimetres off floor. Gaze just past nose to keep neck neutral, then extend arms straight forward. Hold for 30 seconds. That’s 1 set.

    Marching Glute Bridge

    How to: Lie faceup with legs bent, feet flat on floor hip-distance apart, ankles under knees, and arms on floor by sides. Lift hips toward ceiling, keeping core engaged and pressing arms into floor for more stability. Raise left knee up over hip. Lower it back down, then repeat on opposite side. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12.

    Squat Jump

    How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then lower into a squat, and jump up into air. Land gently back in squat. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12.


    How to: Begin standing in front of a stair or box with hands on hips. Put right foot flat on top of elevated surface, then transfer weight into it in order to bring left foot up and rest it next to right. Reverse movement to return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12 per side.

    READ MORE: This 13-Move Upper Abs Workout Will Help You Sculpt Those Six-Pack Muscles

    Week 4

    Pushup Isometric Hold

    How to: Start in a high plank, then bend elbows to lower down as far as possible while keeping body in a straight line from head to heels. Hold for three counts, then press back up to return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 5 or 6.

    Superman Hold

    How to: Lie facedown with arms bent 90 degrees, elbows in line with shoulders, all four limbs and forehead on floor. Engage abs and squeeze glutes to lift head, chest, arms, and legs a few centimetres off floor. Gaze just in front of nose to keep neck neutral, and extend arms straight forward. Hold for 45 seconds. That’s 1 set.

    Broad Jump

    How to: Stand with feet under shoulders, knees bent, hips pushed back, and arms extended behind body. Use momentum to jump as far forward as possible, bringing hands to clasp in front of chest. Land gently in a shallow squat. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12.


    How to: Stand, then swing arms overhead and jump a few inches into the air. Land softly, then immediately fold forward to place palms on floor and hop feet back into a high plank. Reverse movement to return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12.

    Single-Leg Deadlift

    How to: Stand with weight on left leg and arms by sides. Hinge forward at hips to simultaneously lower upper body toward floor while lifting right leg into the air until both are parallel to ceiling and body forms a T shape; extend arms straight down in line with shoulders for extra balance and stability. Slowly return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12 per side.*This article was originally published on Women’s Health US More

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    These Are The Fitness Trends Set To Dominate 2023, According to Google

    New Year who dis? A seismic shift hit 2022 (to say the least) and reverberated through all of us. It threw our priorities and goals and day-to-day habits into a high-speed blender. The topsy-turvy time also offered up an opportunity to reset, embrace the unexpected, and figure out how to keep going. Would 2021 you recognise the 2022 version? 

    Maybe not, but it’s okay. Out went packed race corrals and after-work happy hours. In came pure joy, sweating in unfamiliar ways, and treating your mental health with real TLC. Resettling into the new world was a bit scary at first, but now: The silver linings are everywhere. 

    And now, with 2023 only a day away, we’re already looking to the fitness trends set to dominate over the next 12 months.

    According to new Google trend data, the 12-3-30 workout will come out on top next year (with a massive 308% increase in interest after finding fame on TikTok), followed by a resurgence in Crossfit as well as big spikes in interest for twerking classes. As for home workouts? Those are a thing of the past.

    The new research analysed worldwide Google search data for over 120 different trends to calculate the increase (or decrease) in interest in them between now, and the same period last year. Check it out below:

    The Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2023

    RankTrend% Increase (Jul-Sept 2021 vs. Jul-Sept 2022)112-3-30 workouts+308.78%2Crossfit+173.21%3Twerking class+125%475 soft+124.24%5Hyrox+123.75%6Jazzercise+122.22%7Stroller fitness+88.23%8Pilates+83.60%9Incline walk+83.33%10Everesting+83.33%11Floating yoga+60%12Indoor surfing+50%13Hiking+50%14Yoga+49.72%15Rock climbing+49.63%16Calisthenics+49.63%17F45+49.59%18Zuu+49.58%19Breathwork+49.44%20Outdoor fitness+49.38%

    Much the same as PureGym’s findings last year, the popularity of glute workouts is going nowhere fast, with interest growing year on year (+22%). This crowns glutes as the body part global fitness fans are most interested in building, followed by shoulders and calves. On the other end of the scale, having sculpted abs looks to be less of a focus in 2023, with an 18% drop in interest over the last year.

    For every new trend that comes in, an old trend must go. The world of virtual fitness continues to lose mainstream interest as we move further away from the pandemic, with virtual fitness challenges (-45.76%), outdoor personal trainers (-45.45%), and virtual fitness classes (-45.45%) all seeing the biggest falls in interest.

    The 10 Fitness Trends On Their Way Out For 2023

    RankTrend% Decrease (Jul-Sept 2021 vs. Jul-Sept 2022)1Virtual fitness challenges-45.76%2Outdoor personal trainers-45.45%3Skipping workouts-45.45%4Virtual fitness classes-45.45%5Free weight training-45%6100-rep challenge-34.61%7Active video games-33.33%8Online fitness programmes-33.33%9Virtual training-33.33%10Workout challenges-33.33%

    *This article was originally published on Women’s Health AU by Nikolina Ilic

    Nikolina Ilic

    Nikolina is the web-obsessed Digital Editor at Men’s and Women’s Health, where she covers news, fitness, health, style, travel and pretty-much everything else. A lover of boxing, she was previously a Digital Editor at GQ and Vogue magazine and has contributed to Vogue Living and The Australian. She specialises in digital marketing, social media and branded and editorial content creation. More

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    This Cardio Abs Workout Takes Only 20 Minutes But Works All Your Major Muscles

    If strengthening and sculpting your core is what you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. This cardio abs workout works all over, strengthening your torso so you have a healthier skeleton, too. Feel free to add it to your regular fitness routine or up the ante and complete the entire four-week workout plan (you read that right!) for an even more hardcore sweat test.
    20-Minute Cardio Abs Workout
    Time: 20 minutes
    Equipment: mat
    Good for: abs
    Instructions: Complete the prescribed number of sets and reps for each move, resting for one minute in between sets, then immediately continue to the next exercise.
    Move 1: Scapulla Pushup

    How to: Start on all fours. Spread shoulder blades wide across back like you’re trying to imprint a bra line on the ceiling, and then squeeze shoulder blades together as you lower chest toward mat without bending your arms. That’s one rep. Complete the number of reps designated below and then move on to the next exercise.
    Week 1: 4 sets of 8 repsWeek 2: 4 sets of 12 repsWeek 3: 5 sets of 8 repsWeek 4: 5 sets of 12 rep
    READ MORE: This Weighted Abs Workout Will Sculpt Your Stomach Like No Other
    Move 2: Plank Jacks

    How to: Start in a plank position. Hop feet out slightly wider than shoulders, then hop them back together. Keep hips level. That’s one rep. Complete the number of reps designated below and then move on to the next exercise.
    Week 1: 4 sets of 30 secondsWeek 2: 4 sets of 45 secondsWeek 3: 5 sets of 30 secondsWeek 4: 5 sets of 45 second
    Move 3: Kneeling Pushup to Bird Dog

    How to: Begin in a knee plank, tail bone tucked under, index fingers pointing straight forward, and fingers spread wide. Lower down, pulling shoulders away from ears, elbows slightly in toward the ribs. Press up quickly, this time lifting knees off the ground as you do and reaching left arm forward to shoulder height and right leg back to hip height. Lower back to knee plank. That’s one rep. Alternate which arm/leg you lift after each pushup until you’ve completed the designated number of reps below then move on to the next exercise.
    Week 1: 4 sets of 8 repsWeek 2: 4 sets of 12 repsWeek 3: 5 sets of 8 repsWeek 4: 5 sets of 12 reps
    READ MORE: Tone Your Arms And Abs At The Same Time With This 15-Minute Workout
    Move 4: Stretch Jump to Plank

    How to: Start standing in the middle of your mat with feet together and hands at sides. Swing hands overhead and take a tiny hop straight up off the mat. Land and immediately bend knees, folding forward to place hands on floor. Jump legs back to land in plank position. Quickly hop feet forward again to meet hands. Stand and swing arms back overhead to take another tiny hop straight up off mat. That’s one rep. Complete the number of reps designated below and then move on to the next exercise.
    Week 1: 4 sets of 12 repsWeek 2: 4 sets of 15 repsWeek 3: 5 sets of 12 repsWeek 4: 5 sets of 15 rep
    Move 5: Side Plank With Elbow Twist

    How to: Start in a side plank with feet flexed, left foot stacked on top of right, upper body propped on right forearm, elbow underneath shoulder, and left hand behind head. Rotate at waist to bring left elbow down to touch mat. Keep hips high and lower body stable. Return to start. That’s one rep. Do as many reps as possible for the time allotted below and then alternate sides for each set.
    Week 1: 4 sets of 30 secondsWeek 2: 4 sets of 45 secondsWeek 3: 5 sets of 30 secondsWeek 4: 5 sets of 45 second
    This article was originally published on  More

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    Exactly How To Train Like Kim Engelbrecht

    By Ondela Mlandu

    Kim Engelbrecht is loved and known by many around the world for her impeccable acting. Kim has recently returned from the International Emmy Awards in Los Angeles and she’s also our Women’s Health January/February cover star. Writer Ondela Mlandu stepped into Kim’s prolific shoes to find out how the actress stays fit and healthy.

    Kim made waves in the acting and entertainment industry as early as the age of 12. Her career has led her down several paths such as television presenting days on the teen show Craz-e, youth series, Take 5 on SABC, to her acting role as Lolly De Klerk on the popular soapie Isidingo, to television series such as Reyka and Raised by Wolves.

    Kim Engelbrecht’s Metcon workouts explained

    When it comes to exercising, Kim works out with her trainer Bjorn Bergins from The HIIT Club twice a week. The pair have built a good training relationship over the years. Kim’s training routine includes Metcon/HIIT training twice a week, together with Reformer Pilates.

    Metabolic conditioning or Metcon for short is a combination of strength training and cardio exercises, to increase ones overall fitness levels.  You can adapt almost any exercise to fit a metabolic exercise program, including weight training, resistance training, cardio exercises, compound movements, and even bodyweight exercises.

    READ MORE: 4 Core Moves That’ll Create A Stronger Body All Over

    Train like a pro… at home

    Here’s how you can train like Kim…

    1. Full Dynamic Stretch Routine

    The warm-up routine that Bjorn designed for the morning was called the ‘dynamic’ stretch and it included. Try it for yourself:

    a) Warming up the tendons/ligaments in the joints

    b) Lengthening and activating the muscles

    c) Stimulating the blood flow and energy

    d) Connecting the breathing to the movements (mind/body connection).

    Kim Engelbrecht with her trainer, Bjon Bergins

    The movements particularly go through all the planes of movement (up/down, sideways and rotations). Bjorn sees breathing and movement as the foundation of each session.

    “Not only does this prepare the body for action and more importantly, it also gives you an opportunity to get your mindset ready. This is the way to avoid any injuries during workouts and also to speed up recovery time,” he says.

    READ MORE: Sculpt Your Body With This 15-Minute HIIT Workout

    2. Activation/ Mobility Warm-up

    We then moved into the activation/mobility warm-up part. The warm-up was a ball game that can be done in pairs. You will need a tennis ball and four cones. You will be required to sprint to the cones to leave a ball, whilst the next person removes the ball to place on another cone. This warm-up is the ultimate test of endurance.

    3. Metcon Workout

    The workout started with a 10-meter sprint with sets of the below exercises in between.

    After each workout, you must sprint 10 meters further than you did before e.g. 10 meters, 20 meters, 30 meters and eventually the 40 meters sprint.

    The exercises in between were as follows:

    Full-Body Metcon

    Jumping jacks/plyo jacks (A plyo jack is done by jumping up, opening your arms and legs mid-air into an “X” shape.)

    Commando roll press ups

    Dumbbell squat and press

    Ab twists

    Abdominal Metcon

    This ab workout consists of sets of 10, 20, 30 and 40 exercises, as each set was increased by 10 reps.

    Leg raises

    Super crunches

    Side slides

    Bicycle kicks

    To end the workout, do a cool-down and stretch to recover.

    Kim Engelbrecht’s intentional fasting

    The beauty of fasting is that Kim has adapted it to suit her lifestyle.

    “I usually do a fasted workout and break my fast after training at lunch time. I fast 16:8 – 11 am-7 pm. or 12 pm – 8 pm, although I never really eat after 8 pm,” she says. Kim says one of the benefits of fasting for her, is that once in the fasting phase it allows her to increase her water intake. “I always have to remind myself to drink more water. I drink water and herbal tea (calorie free) and coffee,”
    Kim Engelbrecht

    Fasting makes Kim more aware of how much protein she consumes. “I have started including protein shakes to increase my protein intake. Fasting allows me to turn meal times into an event because I just look forward to meals more now. I set my table because I’ve been waiting 16 hours for a meal and I am definitely going to enjoy it,” she says.

    READ MORE: “Here’s How I Got My Fitness Back After The Pandemic”

    Kim never feels the pressure to look a certain way, however, she does advocate for women to feel comfortable in their own skin. “Fitness is a lifelong journey, and you should enjoy the process and experiment as much as you can. A big secret to a healthy lifestyle is that you can always get back on track,” she says. More

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    4 Core Moves That’ll Create A Stronger Body All Over

    The body part you can’t stomach? Well, your stomach, according to our poll (31% of you cited your tum as needing the most attention). In the WhyFive SA Body Image Report, just 14% of respondents reported being happy with their tummies and 45% – nearly two-thirds of whom were black women – said they would consider a tummy tuck.
    Tighten your waistline without surgery with these 4 core moves from trainer David Kirsch. While you can’t spot-train a slimmer waistline (this happens with creating a caloric deficit and overall exercise), you can and should incorporate abdominal training into your routine, since your core spans your front, back and butt. Training these important muscles help create a leaner, healthier posture, can prevent injury and creates a healthier body overall.
    Try these 4 core moves in a circuit, doing three sets, or tack them to the end of your workout for strong results.
    1. Stability-Ball Jackknife
    Position your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and place your shins on a stability ball. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Keeping your back flat, slowly bend your knees towards your chest. Pause, then return to start. That’s one rep. Do 15 to 20.
    READ MORE: Sculpt Your Body With This 15-Minute HIIT Workout
    2. Stability-Ball Hands-Offs
    Grab a light dumbbell in your right hand and position your shoulders on a stability ball, feet flat on the floor. Form a straight line from knees to shoulders and lift the weight above your right shoulder (A). Raise your shoulders, bring the weight to your left thigh, and grab it with your left hand (B). Reverse the move to return to start. Do 15 to 20 reps on each side.
    READ MORE: Boxing Inspired Workout: 8 Moves That Will Help You Get a Knockout Body RN!
    3. Reverse Oblique Crunch
    Lie on the floor with your arms at your sides, palms down, legs raised and knees slightly bent (A). Lift your hips and twist them slightly to the right (B). Return to start. That’s one rep. Repeat on the left side; continue alternating for 15 to 20 reps.
    READ MORE: Just These Two Workouts Make A Killer Six-Week Workout Routine
    4. Side Plank With Rear Fly
    Grab a dumbbell with your right hand and prop yourself up on your left forearm so your body is in a straight line. Hold the weight out in front of you at shoulder level (A). Slowly raise the weight towards the ceiling, arm straight, pulling your shoulder blades together (B). Return to start. That’s one rep. Do 15 to 20, then switch sides and repeat. More

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    What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Working Out?

    Even when you have the best of intentions, life sometimes gets in the way of a fitness routine. And whatever the reason behind it, the absence of workouts will cause your body to lose some of the progress it had made. Here’s what happens when you stop working out – in difference scenarios.
    #1 You stop working out because…
    You had a crazy month at work and stopped your usual four-day-a-week gym habit cold turkey.
    The effect on your body
    Doing a mix of strength training and cardio is optimal for weight loss or control, muscle building, and aerobic health. Stop for a month, and you may notice that some areas get softer, that you’re not able to lug as many heavy groceries, and that you get winded a little faster from taking the stairs.
    “In a study of beginners who exercised for two months, their strength increased by 46 percent, and when they stopped training for two months, they lost 23 percent – half the gains they’d made,” says exercise scientist Wayne Westcott, who points out that they were still ahead of where they’d be had they never trained at all.
    READ MORE: 5 Genius Treadmill Hacks That Shave Off More Kilos
    Further, the more fit you were to start, the slower the loss; a triathlete on a break may only drop five to 10 percent of her fitness level in a month or two. Still, when getting back into it, go easy. For strength training, start with about 75 percent of the resistance you’d been using – and increase as you feel you can. You’ll be back to where you were in probably half the length of time that you took off.
    #2 You stop working out because…
    You used to weight train like crazy, but for the past several months, all you’ve fit in is a few sessions a week on the treadmill.
    The effect on your body
    In this case, your aerobic health should be in good shape, though you may notice that your strength and muscle tone have diminished some. Without weight training, you’ve likely lost muscle mass and gained some fat, even if the number on the scale stays the same.
    READ MORE: 10 Ways To Motivate Yourself To Hit the Gym After Work
    “Surprisingly, research shows that longtime endurance runners lose muscle mass at the same rate – two kilograms per decade – as everyone else, including the sedentary,” says Westcott. “Running and other cardio activities don’t build or maintain muscle mass.” Add some strength back to your bod, and into your routine, to remedy that in short order by following that 75 percent guideline mentioned above.
    #3 You stop working out because…
    You ran a half-marathon, then gave yourself a few weeks to recover.
    The effect on your body
    A break like this isn’t a major problem aerobically for someone who was in really good cardio shape. “You’ll be down from your competitive edge, but it won’t take long to come back,” says Westcott. “Just don’t expect to come back at full-speed right away.”
    He recommends easing back in using your heart rate (the zones may have changed from when you were at your peak) and perceived exertion – a seven on a scale of one to 10. He also recommends strength training as a muscle-building complement to your cardio workouts.
    READ MORE: Here’s Exactly How To Start Working Out Again, After A Winter Hibernating
    #4 You stop working out because… 
    You’ve been really into yoga but now miss the CrossFit you stopped a few months ago.
    The effect on your body
    Swapping one workout for another isn’t a bad thing, necessarily. Just know that if you go back to program “A” after doing program “B,” you may not be able to bring your A-game to “A” as you once could. “Unfortunately, training is very, very specific,” says Westcott.
    He points out that at the peak of his cycling career, Lance Armstrong was (very arguably) the best athlete in the world, yet when he took up marathon running, his first race was a respectable-but-not-remarkable three hours.
    In the case of bodyweight training (yoga) versus weight training (CrossFit), expect your strength to be down when you first return to the gym. Which isn’t to say you should stop your Oming – no reason you shouldn’t have both in your repertoire.
    READ MORE: 3 New Functional And Fashionable HUAWEI Wearables You Need RN
    #5 You stop working out because…
    You got injured and haven’t been able (or wanted) to work out at all for six months.
    The effect on your body
    In this case, you’ve definitely lost muscle and gained fat (as if getting hurt wasn’t bad enough!), especially if your everyday activity level was affected in addition to the lack of workouts.
    “Once you’re cleared to exercise, you need to return very slowly, very light,” says Westcott. “Half or less of what you once lifted may be too much; go way down and find a resistance you can do with good form and without pain for 10 to 15 reps.”
    If you know you’re going to be sidelined (or currently are), he recommends upping your protein intake in your diet to help reduce loss of muscle mass during your time off.
    This article was originally published on More

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    5 Genius Treadmill Hacks That Shave Off More Kilos

    If you’re trying to lose weight but run at the same speed and incline every time you hit the treadmill, you can run right into a rut that’s boring and lacking in kilojoule-torching power. The good news is jogging on the treadmill can go from a tedious trek to a quick fat-burning session. All it takes is a bit of know-how and strategic programming that’ll not only improve your speed, but your weight loss capacity, too.
    1. Mix It Up
    Exercise’s role in weight loss may seem easy: To lose weight, you need to burn more kilojoules, says Janet Hamilton, an exercise physiologist at Running Strong. You can do that by upping your intensity or your duration. The problem is that if you work too close to your maximum heart rate, you might tire out too quickly. But if you run slow and steady you’ll have to go a long time to see results.
    The happy medium is variety, says Hamilton. On some days, take your usual 20 to 30 minutes a little bit faster. On other days, go longer and slower – for about an hour or so.
    READ MORE: 10 Ways To Motivate Yourself To Hit the Gym After Work
    2. Master Your Speed
    Intervals – or short bursts of sprinting sprinkled throughout a workout – are one of the easiest ways to cut time off your workout (score!) and centimetres off your waist. In fact, a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that ladies who ran hard for two minutes (then slowed down for three minutes) burned more kilojoules the day after their workout than those who went the slow and steady route.
    What’s even better: They dropped four per cent of their body fat in the coming weeks. The group who did low-intensity, steady workouts didn’t lose any.
    Start with intervals in 1:2 or 1:1 ratios, says Hamilton. That means upping your speed for 30 to 60 seconds, then dropping it for the same amount of time or double that. Choose a speed that’s an effort you could hold for between two and five minutes, says Hamilton. You want to feel invigorated, not exhausted. You can build up to higher intensities, but how hard to go all depends on your experience – so first check out where you fall with this new treadmill workout you have to try.
    3. Do Hills the Smart Way
    Up your incline, up your kilojoule burn – it sounds simple. Unfortunately, running or walking on a steep incline can be hard on your body. “Most people instinctively know that, but when we get on the treadmill, we lose that common sense, crank up the incline, and hold on for dear life,” says Hamilton.
    READ MORE: How To Get A Strength-Training Workout On The Treadmill
    Instead of setting the incline and forgetting it, pretend you’re outside, says Hamilton. Learn to go up a hill at the same effort you’re going at a flat road. That might mean dropping your speed a little, but “this is an opportunity to build strength in your hips and legs, working them a little harder.”
    You can also try incline intervals, she says. Crank the incline up between 2 and 4 per cent for one to two minutes, let your speed drop 0.1 or 0.2, then bring your incline back down to 0 for that same amount of time and repeat. Once you’ve mastered maintaining your effort on a hill, work to maintain speed.
    4. Some Days, Just Keep Going
    We’ve all had those miraculous days where eight kilometres feels like four. “Just doing a longer workout will burn about 50 percent more kilojoules,” says Hamilton. Instead of running for 30 minutes, going for 45 increases your duration and calorie burn by 50 per cent. While this isn’t a good everyday technique (hello, boredom and plateaus), switching up your routine with some longer runs is a great way to up your kilojoule burn without a ton of effort.
    READ MORE: 19 Slider Exercises That Will Make Your Abs And Glutes WORK
    5. Don’t Ditch Other Workouts
    Research published in The Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that the best way to lose weight isn’t doing the same routine over and over again. Finding the perfect mix of resistance training, intervals, endurance, and stretching will help you meet your goal faster. More