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    Hunch Over Your Desk? These Moves Will Sort Out Your Shoulders STAT

    Picture someone hunching over their keyboard for the majority of the day, shoulders creeping up towards their ears. Does that hypothetical person sound a lot like you? We’re all guilty of being that person at some point or another. And while we should be more vigilant about sitting up straight, it’s easy to forget when you’re rushing towards that 3pm deadline. That’s why we found four simple shoulder strength exercises that will help you get better posture in very little time.

    READ MORE: The 3 Stretches You Should Be Doing Daily

    Why You Should Strengthen Your Shoulders For Better Posture

    Building up your shoulder strength and mobility will help counteract that urge to hunch, even when you didn’t even realise you were doing it.

    “The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, which means there are a lot of things that can go wrong with it,” says physiotherapist Mike Riccardi. “If your shoulders hurt, it’s probably from a combination of a few things, because the shoulder joint is complex. But the one overarching cause is poor posture.” (Did we just see you straighten up?)

    The key to beating the hunch is to increase shoulder mobility and build shoulder strength. But you don’t just want to target your traps and anterior deltoids (the showy muscles that you obviously think of as ‘shoulders’). Remember how the shoulder is a complex joint? It also has a whole lot of muscles round back that help stabilise the joint and pull your shoulders back and down away from your ears.

    The Workout: 4 Shoulder Strength Exercises For Better Posture

    These four simple exercises from coach Lushwill Rossouw will help you get there.

    You need: Barbell, two medium to heavy dumbbells and a PVC pipe (don’t have one? A broom or mop will do too, as long as they’re not heavy).

    READ MORE: Try This Shy Girl Upper Body Workout If You Lack Confidence At Gym

    1. PVC Pipe Complex

    Good for: Mobility Do: 3 sets of 5 reps of each move

    This is a great warm-up to do before any upper-body workout that’s going to be using your shoulders because it targets different muscles around the joint. The first part hits the traps and anterior deltoids in the front and on top of your shoulders, while the next two hit the muscles at the back.

    2. PVC Pipe Shoulder Rotations

    Good for: Mobility Do: 10

    Another good warm-up, this move takes the joint through its full range of motion. The wider apart your hands, the easier it will feel. Your goal is to warm up, not become a contortionist!

    READ MORE: 18 Feel-Good Workouts That’ll Boost Your Mood ASAP

    3/ Push Press

    Good for: Strength Do: 3 sets of 6-8

    Lifting any weight above your head is an easy way to strengthen your shoulders. They difference here is that your stabiliser muscles have to work to control the clumsy barbell. Using your legs for a little boost helps you lift a heavier weight than you would with shoulder strength alone. The real work is controlling that barbell at the top and on the way down and that’s where those rear stabilisers come into their own. Bonus: It’ll also do wonders for your core and triceps.

    READ MORE: The Best Back Stretches To Tackle Upper And Lower Back Pain

    4/ Dumbbell Press With Isometric Hold

    Good for: Strength Do: 3 sets of 5

    Pushing the weights overhead will sculpt those showy muscles at the front and on top of your shoulders, making them look seriously toned and sexy. But here’s the catch: Once they’re overhead, hold them up there, with straight arms, for a count of three. This brings your stabilisers into play to keep the joint, well, stable. Bye-bye hunch, hello toned upper back! More

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    Connie Ferguson’s Favourite Strength Training Workouts

    When personal trainer Muzzi Zikalala first started training our July/August 2023 cover star Connie Ferguson, together with her close friends, the mandate was clear. Connie wanted muscle strength in her legs and upper body. “She already does boxing and skips regularly. Anyone who loves boxing needs to have muscle strength to be able to maintain a firm stand.”As a group, our focus at the moment is legs and butt,” says Zikalala. He adds: “The exercises vary. On some Saturdays, we focus on quads, glutes and calves and the next time we focus on hamstrings, glutes and calves. And on other days, it’s a round-off of everything.”

    READ MORE: Get Cover Star Connie Ferguson’s Look

    When it comes to exercise, and overall, fitness Zikalala says Connie’s mindset is already on point. “If we’re doing four sets, that’s exactly what she will do — even if it means taking a breather. But she never cheats an exercise,” he says. The point, he reiterates, is to always push past the pain point because that’s when muscles really start to get transformed.

    “The one thing I enjoy about training sis’ Connie is that she never rushes an exercise. She takes things slowly, which is how you attack muscles. The slower you do it, the more painful it is, the more it burns and the more beneficial it is.”

    Below, are some of the moves that Zikalala has curated as part of Connie’s strength training programme.

    Donkey Kicks

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    Fire Hydrants

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    Hip Thrusts

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    Leg Extensions With A Twist

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    Leg Press With A Twist

    (PS: this one almost always brings Connie to tears, warns Muzzi)

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    Squats With A Ten-Count Pause

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    Walking Lunges With Weights

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    Also Worth Noting

    When switching from a cardio-focused to a strength training programme, remember that it’s a different type of fitness altogether. “Fitness in its very nature is varied and wide. You could be a brilliant swimmer but struggle when you get to weight training because now you’re loading the weights on top of your own body weight. Because you’re now pushing with, probably, twice the force that you would when doing cardio,” says Zikalala. More

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    Try This Tough-ish Workout To Really Build Your Strength

    Let’s admit it: most workouts are tough going. There’s always the element of challenging yourself every time you step up and throw down. But this workout, by Willow Way trainer and gym owner Alida Hendrikz, is tough as nails (ish) and will really test your mettle. At Willow Way, workouts work in six-week cycles. “Through our signature workouts, Strength, Effort, Grind and Speed, we focus on different strength movements, cardio, engine-building and gymnastics,” says Alida.

    Keen to give it a try? This tough-ish workout incorporates strength moves along with functional full-body movements that combined, make for an all-over torch that’ll burn calories like it’s nobody’s business.

    This workout consists of a warm-up and strength training circuit.


    For the warm-up, do three rounds of each move.

    10 Ring Rows

    Lateral Box step-ups, 8 per side

    10 Band pull-aparts

    The Tough-ish Workout

    Strength builder

    For this section, do a superset of moves for four minutes, completing three rounds.

    Barbell lunges, 8 per side

    Start by lowering your one leg into a lunge position, being careful to stabilise through your glutes and through your feet. Stand and return to start. That’s one rep.

    Pull-ups, between 9 and 12 reps

    The strict pull-ups can be performed with or without bands to help with assistance. You can break up the reps into smaller sets taking a quick break between reps to see if you can reach the top end of the reps range.

    EMOM (Every Minute On The Minute)

    For five minutes, work as hard as you can, completing this circuit before resting and going again for four rounds in total, giving you a quick 20-minute workout. “It is important to choose the right weight that will allow you to hit the rep ranges and challenge you to get the correct stimulus of the workout,” explains Alida. And don’t go too fast, she cautions, rather keep up a consistent tempo throughout that you can sustain.

    Minute 1: 15 Dumbbell floor presses

    Start by laying on the floor and bring your feet up closer to your body. Engage your core and keep your lower back pressed into the ground. Then, get your dumbbell ups and have your elbows not straight next to your body but more at a 45-degree angle from your body. Press the dumbbell up and breathe out when pressing up. Move through the movement with control.

    Minute 2: 20 Weighted box step-ups 

    Stand in front of the box and step up with one foot pressing through the heel to straighten your leg and make sure you are extended at the top before stepping down from the box. Make sure to engage your core, keeping your back straight and don’t drop your shoulders.

    Minute 3: 8 – 10 per side Dumbbell bent-over rows

    Keep your core engaged and your torso parallel to the floor. Exhale as you pull the dumbbell to your hip – control the movement on the way down and focus on keeping your shoulders square. Exhale as you pull the dumbbell to your body.

    Minute 4: 8 – 12 Knee tucks / Toes to bar 

    Jump onto the rig in an active position making sure your core and lats are engaged and that you have a full grip on the bar. From the active hanging position use your core to drive your knees to your chest and back down. Control the movement and perform as slow and strict as possible. If you’re doing toes to bar, the principle remains the same.

    Minute 5: 10 Calorie row  

    See exactly how they’re done with this video below: More

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    This Strength Leg Workout Will Build Strong, Sexy Legs

    By Rachel CosgroveThe easy exercises in this strength leg workout will reward you with a flat stomach, tight butt and slim thighs so you can rock a skirt with total confidence.

    Carrying extra weight on your thighs? That could point to a dependence on steady-state cardio. To lean out your legs, you need to supplement your slow-and-steady routine with fast-and-furious interval strength training. Along with burning kilojoules, you’ll also be building lean muscle, which sets off a chain reaction that boosts your metabolism, fires up your fat burners and sculpts the lean, toned legs you long for.

    For this strength leg workout, perform 10 reps of each move without resting between exercises. Do as many rounds as you can in two minutes. Then rest for two minutes. Repeat two or three times.

    Time: 30 Minutes | Equipment: A pair of dumbbells (start with four to six kilos and increase the weight as that becomes too easy) | Good For: Legs

    The Strength Leg Workout

    1/ Dumbbell squat to overhead press

    Hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height with your elbows bent and feet hip-width apart. Keeping your chest upright, bend your knees and lower until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor (A). As you stand, press the weights overhead until your arms are straight (B). Return to start. That’s one rep.

    2/ Alternating lateral lunge

    Holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides (A), step out to the left with your left leg; bend your knee and sit back to lower into a side lunge, keeping your back flat as you lower the right dumbbell to the inside of the left foot (B). Press through the left foot to return to start. That’s one rep. Repeat on the other side and continue alternating for five reps on each side.

    3/ Straight-leg deadlift with row

    Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs and stand with your feet hip-width apart (A). Bend forward and lower the weights until your back is parallel to the ground, keeping your back flat and the weights close to your body (B), then bend your elbows and pull the dumbbells up towards your chest (C). Return to start. That’s one rep.

    4/ Dumbbell squat jump

    Holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides, sit your hips back and lower into a squat (A), then push through your heels and jump as high as you can (B). That’s one rep.


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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

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    Try These Exercises To Build A Stronger, Bigger Butt

    From your Kim Kardashians to your Meg The Stallions, everyone wants a firmer and bigger butt. And while you’ll definitely tone up on the trails or hitting the treadmill, you’ll need to add some muscle (and weights) to really build a toned toosh. Here, build a strong backside with this bigger butt workout – you’ll be dying to show yours off.
    Build A Bigger Butt Workout
    Time: 30 minutes
    Equipment: Mat
    Good for: Butt
    Instructions: Choose two bilateral (both legs) exercises and two unilateral (single leg) exercises and pair them together for one workout. Complete four sets of five reps with heavier weights for the bilateral exercises, and complete four sets of 10 reps with lighter weights for the unilateral exercises. Once you’ve completed all sets of one move, continue to the next.

    Dumbbell Deadlift

    How to: Holding two dumbbells in your hands, stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Position the weights in front of your thighs, palms facing your body. Keeping your knees slightly bent, press your hips back as you hinge at the waist and lower the dumbbells toward the floor. Squeeze your glutes to return to standing. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of five reps.

    Goblet Squat

    How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a weight in front of your chest, elbows pointing toward the floor. Sit back and bend your knees to lower into a squat. Push yourself back to start. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of five reps.
    Bulgarian Split Squat

    How to: Stand about two feet in front of a step; extend your right leg back and place the top of your foot on the step. (Optional: Hold a dumbbell in each hand.) That’s your starting position. Bend your knees to lower your body as far as you can (or until your knee gently taps the ground), keeping your shoulders back, chest up, and hips facing forward. Pause, then press through your left heel to return to start. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 10 reps on each side.

    Stability Ball Hamstring Rollout

    How to: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on top of a stability ball. Brace your core, then press into your heels and squeeze your glutes to raise your hips toward the ceiling. Lift your left leg straight up into the air. Hold the position as you straighten your right leg. Then, engage your hamstrings, bend your right knee, and bring your foot toward your butt. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 10 reps on each side.

    Weighted Lateral Lunge

    How to: Holding a pair of kettlebells cleaned at your chest, stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Take a large step to the left, sit your hips back, and lower down until your left knee is nearly parallel with the floor. Your right leg should be straight. Return to start. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 10 reps on each side.
    Weighted Fire Hydrant

    How to: Get on all fours on top of your mat. Tuck a two to six kilo dumbbell in the crease of your right knee. Keeping that leg bent at 90 degrees, lift it out to the side, stopping at hip height. Return to start. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 10 reps on each side.

    Weighted Donkey Kick

    How to: Get on all fours on top of your mat. Tuck a two to six kilo dumbbell in the crease of your right leg. Keep that leg bent at 90 degrees as you lift it behind you until your knee is in line with your hip, foot flexed. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 10 reps on each side.
    Walking Lateral Lunge

    How to: Stand up straight, with your feet together. Hold a kettlebell in your right hand, and raise your left hand so it’s parallel to the ground, and in a fist. Lift your left foot and take a big step to the left. Sit your hips back, and lower down until your dumbbell nearly touches the ground. Switch hands, and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 10 reps on each side.
    Front Racked Reverse Deficit Lunge

    How to: Stand up straight on small riser, step, or box with a set of kettlebells cleaned in front of your chest. Lift your right knee up to hip height in front of your body, then bring it behind you until the ball of your foot reaches the ground. Slowly lower down until both knees form 90 degree angles. Return to your knee-lifted position. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 10 reps on each side.
    Weighted Hip Thrust

    How to: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor 12 to 16 inches from your butt. Hold a dumbbell in both hands and rest it on top of your pelvis. Brace your core, then press into your heels and squeeze your glutes to raise your hips toward the ceiling. Hold the position for two seconds before lowering to start. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of five reps.
    1.5 Stance Deadlift

    How to: Hold a kettlebell in front of your thighs with both palms facing toward your body. Stagger your legs, stepping your right foot back and your left foot forward. Your right heel should be off the ground. Push your hips back as you hinge forward, lowering the kettlebell while keeping it close to your legs. Once your hips reach 90 degrees, return to start. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 10 reps on each side.

    Cossak Squat With Overhead Press

    How to: Begin by standing up straight, with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and a kettlebell in each hand. Rack the kettlebells in front of your chest, and then raise your right arm straight into the air. Lift your left foot and take a large step to the left, then sit your hips back and lower down until your thighs are nearly parallel to the ground. Straighten your left leg and rise back up. That’s one rep. Complete four sets of 10 reps on each side. More

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    Here’s Exactly How To Start Working Out Again, After A Winter Hibernating

    How to start working out again: a thing I very nearly actually googled after a looong winter spent eating my frustration at colder weather and cuddled up with my loveable pup.
    And if squeezing your butt into suspiciously tight jeans has you staring guiltily at your gym tights, know that you’re not alone.
    Head of Marketing at Ignite Fitness, Kerry-Anne Mathieson, says that they see a big influx of current and new members visiting their gyms around Spring. “There is a general downward trend of gym access during the colder months, with people opting to stay indoors rather than sweat it out at the gym – it’s human nature,” she says. “With the warmer weather and longer days around the corner, people are more likely to hit the gym again!” she says.
    Phew. But where to start?
    How To Start Working Out Again
    Eduan James, a Fitness Specialist for Ignite Fitness, says we should take things slow. Nothing is more demotivating than having these lavish ideas of the perfect body and daily Green Goddess smoothies and then falling off the wagon. Rather start with a few benchmarks: how many squats can you do before you’re winded? How many skips on your skipping rope? Use it as a benchmark to improve – an exciting new challenge!
    When you’re measuring yourself and your progress, try getting an assessment at the gym, says James. They’re free, and can help you get on the right track and accurately pinpoint areas to work on. Maybe you’d like to get more flexible, or stronger? Maybe you’d like to be faster. Getting an assessment can help with narrowing that down. “You can also take some progress photos of yourself, sometimes progress is best seen comparing 2 photos,” says James.
    READ MORE: These Heart-Pumping Cardio Circuit Workouts Are Perfect For When You’re Short On Time
    Also, James reckons we should try more things: boxing, spinning, or even a rebounding class. “We recommend trying it all and deciding which type of training makes you and your body happy (and wanting more). Mental, as well as physical strength, is key, and both can be achieved in the gym!” he says.
    When it comes to a regular workout, Melissa van den Berg, Arena coach at Somerset West’s Ignite Fitness gym and performance sports graduate, has put together an easily achievable workout to do for even the newest of newbies. It’s simple: start small and work your way up, adding more reps or heavier weights as you begin to feel stronger and more confident.
    The Body Refresh Workout
    You’ll need: 
    One mat
    A set of dummbells
    A can-do attitude

    READ MORE: ‘Hold’ These Moves For An Isometric Workout That’ll Torch Kilojoules

    The Workout
    Do 4 sets of 10-15 reps. Rest as you need to throughout and inbetween sets.

    Kettelbell Goblet squats
    Romanian Deadlifts into bent over row
    Backwards lunge & bicep curl
    Sumo deadlift high pull
    Push up

    The Core Workout
    Do 3 sets of 20 reps for each:

    Russian twist
    Mountain climbers More