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    Boxing Training With Connie Ferguson

    Two-time South African and international boxing champion Xolisani ‘Nomeva’ Ndongeni, also Connie Ferguson’s boxing trainer of five years, meets our cover star twice or thrice a week for some scintillating boxing action at his gym, north of Johannesburg. “She already had a lot of interest in boxing when I met her. Her father was a kickboxer so boxing was easy for her to get into,” he says. He adds: “Connie’s always interested in perfecting her moves and getting her form right.” In short, Connie’s persistence (and commitment) is any trainer’s dream! 

    READ MORE: Connie Ferguson’s Favourite Strength Training Workouts

    A boxing rookie? Nomeva is quick to point out that unlike in conventional exercising, boxing doesn’t have one set move with a name. “In boxing training, we have combos where you have to listen closely to the trainer’s instructions in order to execute and have a basic understanding of the moves and posture required.”  So just how easy or difficult is it to master this sport? On the outside, boxing seems difficult but once you start practising it, it’s quite easy. “All you need is one or two sessions of learning the basics and you’re set,” promises Nomeva. 

    Describing the 53-year-old legendary actress as passionate and consistent, Nomeva says boxing training aligns with Connie’s goal — which is to tone her upper body. Below are a few general tips on boxing and some of the moves that keep Connie’s bod in tip-top condition. 

    Boxing Bennies

    Some people box to release stress or calm down from a hectic day (yes to therapy and fitness in one!), while some take up boxing for self-defence purposes. Whatever your reason, the benefits are immense. “Because you’re using your body,  legs, hands, legs, eyes and also engaging your core, boxing offers a full body workout with great cardio benefits,” shares Nomeva, who adds that it may seem like a waste of time or a game but it’s a fun way of training once you get the combos right.

    READ MORE: What is Pilates?: A Complete Guide for Beginners, Inc. 34 Exercises + 15 Best Online Classes

    Whether punching a bag, running circuits, sparring or practising your footwork, your body requires strength to execute each move. “Boxing also teaches discipline, independence and being able to adjust to so many situations,” adds Nomeva. When preparing for a fight as a professional boxer, you need to understand various situations and challenges and adjust accordingly. 

    Some Connie Flow Drill Combos To Try Below

    Known as a flow drill (see examples below) — or the combo that keeps our cover star in top shape as we’d like to think of it — it helps improve hand-eye coordination as well as reflexes. Flow drills tend to be lengthy, meaning they can also improve overall fitness levels. “Boxing drills allow you to learn a boxing skill or group of skills by repeating that skill or group of skills with a critical eye.  Boxing drills are about precision of execution, with speed of execution secondary to precision and technical accuracy. Lastly, the aim is to train the body and mind to work in a particular way under fight conditions,” according to

    A flow drill usually starts off with a basic combination, then builds up from there. For example, a 232 (cross/left hook/cross) would be the starting point, then more punches that expand the combination will follow.

    Our July/Aug 2023 cover star Connie Ferguson swears by the flow drill, with varying combos added to constantly keep her on her toes.

    READ MORE: 4 Postpartum Exercises That’ll Give You A Tighter Core

    Nomeva has been a professional boxer for 13 years. He is a two-time South African, world and international champion, as well as a three-time African champion. More

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    A Quick Resistance Band Arm Workout You Can Do At Home

    No dumbbells? No problem. It’s totally possible to strengthen and sculpt your arms at home without owning a set of free weights. All you need is a resistance band.

    I’ve created this quick resistance band arm workout using five exercises that are good for all fitness levels. The goal of this workout is to build muscle endurance in your upper body, specifically your triceps, biceps and back. So grab a mini loop and snap to it!

    Time: 5 minutes

    Equipment: Resistance band

    Good for: Arms, upper body

    Instructions: For each move, complete 15 to 30 reps (but no more than 30) or do as many reps as possible in 30 to 45 seconds, then immediately continue to the next exercise. Complete three to five rounds total.

    1. Lateral Lunge To Cross-Body Row

    How to: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder distance apart. Wrap a resistance band around your left foot and hold the other end in your right hand. Bend your left knee and lean into your left side, bringing your right hand down toward your left foot. Then stand up straight, bend your right elbow and bring your hand toward the right side of your chest. 

    That’s one rep. Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other.

    READ MORE: This Dynamic Warm-Up Will Help You Prep For Your Best Workout Yet

    2. Side Plank Row

    How to: Get into a side plank position, with your left forearm on the ground and your ankles stacked on top of each other. Your body should form a straight line from head to foot. Hold a resistance band in between your hands. Pull your top hand up until it’s fully extended in the air, then slowly lower back down until your hand is at shoulder height. 

    That’s one rep. Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other.

    3. Plank Row

    How to: Get into a high plank position, with your shoulders stacked over your wrists. Loop one end of a resistance band around your left thumb and hold the other end in your right hand. Keeping your core tight and hips stable, pull your right hand to your shoulder. Slowly lower back down. 

    That’s one rep. Complete all reps on one side before moving on to the next.

    4. Seated Single-Arm Row

    How to: Sit up straight, with your legs extended and feet flexed. Wrap a resistance band around your left foot and hold the other end with your left hand. Keeping your legs and torso stable, pull the band backwards until your hand reaches the left side of your body. Return to start. 

    That’s one rep. Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other.

    READ MORE: You Can Do This Arms & Abs Bodyweight Workout Anywhere

    5. Bent Over Row

    How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hinging forward at your hips and knees slightly bent. Wrap one end of a resistance band around your left foot and hold the other end in your left hand. Keeping your body stable, pull the resistance band up until your left hand nearly reaches the left side of your body. Slowly return to start. 

    That’s one rep. Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other.

    This article was originally published on  More

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    James Miller of Embody Fitness on getting your body ready for summer


    by Amy Sessions
    3 hours ago

    For the Summer Escape Issue, we discuss getting summer ready with James Miller, Founder of Embody Fitness. And no, you haven’t left it too late.
    What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine and how does this differ on vacation?
    My alarm normally goes off around 4.45am so I can jump in the car and start my morning Ironman training by 5.30am which consists of either 2-3 hours of cycling or 3 hours of swimming and running and then a gym session. This is my morning ritual, and it ensures I start the day positively. I feel great when I do this as I train with amazing people, and I am then ready and energised to take on the dayahead. When I am on vacation I do enjoy not needing to roll out of bed before 5ambut I will always start the day with physical or mental exercise but in a more relaxed and probably less demanding manner thanwhen I am training for performance.
    We have eight weeks until we hit summer vacation – how can we shape up in terms of exercise now?
    Eight weeks is a good amount of time to make a very positive impact on your physique if you follow a high qualitytraining and nutritional programme, but it will require a focused approach with littleroom for error. I personally prefer havingthese periods of really dialling in my training and nutrition, especially if I know I’m goingon holiday at the end of the phase. In terms of how training would look – I think many make the mistake of panicking, doing far too much cardio or HIIT classes and eating 500 cals a day in an attempt to radically drop weight. You may drop fat but you are also likely to drop muscle mass and you may feel worse as a result of such a dramatic short term approach. You are going to want to prioritise strength training, specifically compound strength exercises that recruit a lot of muscle mass. Exercises like bench press, cable rows and different forms of squats work all the major muscles in the body and yield a higher stimulus than smaller exercises like bicep curls etc. This will help to preserve lean muscle mass while in a calorie deficit and then by dropping body fat your overall body composition will improve much more and you will see a better physique in eight weeks time. In terms of results that are achievable that will vary depending on individual start points, however if you following basic principles of a calorie defi-cit along with at least three, well structured, strength training sessions you will see your body change on a weekly basis. At Embody Fitness many of our clients achieve very dramatic changes in as little as eight weeks byfollowing our expert coaches and nutritionists with a high level of consistency.

    How important is diet and what should we be eating?
    At Embody we don’t just look at calories, although a healthy calorie deficit is paramount if we are looking to lean down. A healthy calorie deficit would be roughly a 10-20% deficit. So if your maintenance calories were 2000 kcal per day dropping down to 1600-1800 would be safe for the relatively short period of eight weeks. Depending on your start point, any fat loss of between 0.5-1kg per week is considered safe and sustainable. Also making sure you have at least 1.8g of protein per kilo of bodyweight is essential as this helps with muscle building and recovery. We would also go one step further at Embody – we are ascertaining what could be highly inflammatory foodsfor our clients from the start of their journey. We make sure you are eating not only for physique but a healthy gut as well, which is essential to optimal health. One thing I have learned from our coaches at Embody Fitness, who are all qualified sports nutritionists, is the importance of the microbiome. The microbiome is responsible for our immune system, our ability to recover from training and just about every human function. Eating foods that promote good gut health is essential to good metabolic health. Foods like garlic, asparagus and artichokes for example are all prebiotics which will help feed good bacteria in the gut leading to less inflammation (think achy joints) which one could argue would lead to better training performance. At Embody Fitness we are very focused on delivering long term sustainable outcomes, so it’s important to put foods on your plate that not only make you look good but also help you feel great and allow you to perform at your best. Consistency is so important – how does your six-week summer ready programme support staying consistent across all key factors to have you summer ready? Commitment and consistency are two of the most important factors when it comes to achieving lifechanging results at Embody Fitness. Embody’stransformation programmes are all completely holistic and customised to every person to maximise their outcomes. We undertake a very detailed analysis on our clients at the start of any programme so thatwe can build the most effective and advanced programme for every individual. Personalised meal programmes and three personalised training sessions a week with regularnutrition and body composition retests are all performed throughout your two or three month programme. We also want to establish and monitor healthy lifestyle habits to ensure you are on track to reaching your target which we can do through our Embody App. With the launch of our new personalised Embody Meal Plans consistency has never been easier.
    Should we be prioritising sleep as part of this process? Sleep should be prioritised regardless.
    Sleep is our time to recharge, reset and regenerate. There is no such thing as over training, only under recovery. Without sleep, the foundations for everything become disturbedand our metabolism can be negatively affected, the ability to recover between training sessions will be compromised and our hormonal levels will fluctuate greatly. To positively set our circadian rhythm – which is our natural internal body clock – we need to aim to get around 7-8 hours good quality sleep each night and try to get to sleep as close to 10pm as possible. Our bedtime routine is crucial when optimising sleep. Switch off blue light (phone, tv etc) 20-30 minutes before bed and do not consume caffeine any later than 8 hours before scheduled sleep time. Supplements including magnesium, zinc and ashwagandha can be great additional tools to help suppress the nervous system in the eveningand prepare the body for optimal rest.

    What is your take on doubling up on workouts in a day – does it work?
    Personally, I train 2-3 hours a day from 5.30am every morning and then I also do three strength sessions a week at Embody Fitness with one of our sports performance coaches and I take ice baths at Embody around three times a week for recovery. This is a relatively high volume of training a week but it is required to be able to compete at Ironman events which are long and races requiring a high level of endurance fitness. On the other hand, training twice a day for someone that is a complete beginner or hasn’t been training consistently for months isn’t the best of strategies. Let’s take an average client of Embody for example who lives a fairly sedentary lifestyle and doesn’t do any exercise but wants to get in better shape, lose body fat, and have more energy. If that sounds like you, you’re going to see incredible results just from strength training three days a week and being more active throughout the day. Over time you could start introducing more cardio on your non-training days but you’d never have to do more than one workout in a day to achieve those goals. I say this from experience and seeing thousands of clients who have been able to transform their bodies with our Embody Fitness transformation programmes.
    How important is hydration?
    Adequate hydration is crucial and often overlooked because of how simple the advice of “drink more water” might seem. But if you remember that our bodies are made up of 60% water then you’ll appreciate just how vital it is to be hydrated. From regulating our body temperature, lubricating our joints, and improving physical performance, mood, and cognitive function the benefits are countless. What’s the biggest roadblock in getting summer ready in a short timeframe? A lack of commitment and not having the right plan which will lead to results are often two of the biggest roadblocks to achieving results. This is why our clients at Embody Fitness do achieve amazing results… they are definitely committed when they sign up to us and we ensure they are achieving the best personalised programme for them that ensures they see the actual changes in their body on a weekly basis. We have recently launched our Embody Online training programmes which now means for clients who can not physically visit us they can follow our expert guidance in all areas themselves so now all they need is the commitment on their end and watch the amazing results take shape.
    Do you work out on vacation and what would you suggest if you a) have a gym and b) you can only use your own body weight?
    Holidays are important to unwind and relax and recharge so I tend to take a lot off my training schedule during this time. However daily exercise is important to me for both physical and mental wellbeing so even if I take a walk, go for a slow jog or do some deep stretching then this is still important to me. If I am on holiday somewhere quite remote or in the Swiss mountains where I spend a lot of my time in the summer I will do a lot of hiking, cycling and swimming and a few bodyweight “full body” workouts. You can always incorporate the use of bands or suspensioncables like a trx if you needed more variety in your exercise selection. However, I will always look to maintain my three strength sessions a week as this is a ritual for me and helps me maintain my strength and muscle mass on top of all the cardio training I do.
    This is The Summer Escape Issue – where will you be escaping to this summer?
    I spend two months in the summer in one of my favourite places in the world, Crans Montana in the Swiss Alps. I feel like I am in heaven when I am there with my family and I enjoy the outdoor lifestyle and freshclean air in some of the most beautiful nature the world has to offer.
    July/August’s – The Summer Escape Issue with Tania Santos Silva – Download Now 
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Supplied 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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    What is Pilates?: A Complete Guide for Beginners, Inc. 34 Exercises + 15 Best Online Classes

    Pilates is big RN. In fact, 60.5k of you search for advice and info on the topic every month, so from answering the question ‘What is Pilates’, the best Pilates classes to Pilates for beginners and the difference between Pilates and yoga, we’re here to help. Whether you’re a Pilates pro (maybe you’ve tried a Pilates challenge before) or you’ve yet to set foot in a beginner’s Pilates class, there are a plethora of Pilates YouTube classes out there.

    Unlike a gym workout, it doesn’t require a ton of home gym equipment and the bounty of free Pilates workouts online is increasing rapidly. Not to mention the benefits of strengthening and lengthening your muscles with low-impact resistance training like Pilates – a real godsend for those with finicky joints.

    Not sure where to start? Well, reader, you’re in the right place. Read on for your Pilates for need-to-knows, what to look for if you’re searching for Pilates online, the 15 best Pilates workouts and our best tips for ensuring a successful Pilates workout. Phew, that’s a helluva lot. Let’s get into it.

    What is Pilates?

    In New York in the 1920s, Joseph Pilates devised more than 500 moves, 34 of which were mat-based exercises. He drew of methodology he’d developed while working as an orderly in the Isle of Man in the latter half of WWI, where he worked with patients injured in the war.

    Now, his revolutionary regime is recognised globally as a way to strengthen the body. Pilates workouts help improve flexibility, balance and core strength and are particularly effective if you suffer from back pain. Research published in the journal PLOS One in 2014 showed that Pilates can both effectively ease back pain and boost functional movement when compared to traditional methods like massage therapy and other forms of exercise.

    You can do Pilates with or without equipment (Pilates rings, resistance bands, Pilates balls, Pilates bars and ankle weights are all options), but you’ll reap the rewards whichever you do.

    6 Pilates principles

    There are six key principles to Pilates, which are essential for getting the most out of each workout.

    Centring: This is all about bringing your awareness to the centre of your body—the area between your lower ribs and pubic bone. This area (your core) is the foundation of all Pilates exercises.

    Concentration: Giving each movement your full attention is key to yielding maximum results from each movement.

    Control: Aim for total muscular control, going slow and steady.

    Precision: Focus on proper alignment and core engagement, striving for super precise form.

    Breath: Coordinate your Pilates exercises with your breath; one movement on the inhale, one movement on the exhale.

    Flow: Try to make each Pilates exercise as fluid as possible, flowing with your breath.

    8 Benefits of Pilates workouts

    Improves flexibility

    Improves core strength

    A challenging low-impact form of exercise

    Can improve posture and stability

    Can be done with no equipment

    Increases flexibility and range of motion

    Improves muscular endurance and strengthens muscle tissue

    Can be done after injury or as part of physical rehabilitation therapy

    What kind of workout is Pilates?

    ‘Pilates is a low-impact flexibility and muscular strength and endurance movement combined,’ explains Aimee Victoria Long, PT & founder of Body Beautiful Method.

    ‘Pilates emphasises correct postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance. It is great for ironing out muscular imbalances, injury rehabilitation and injury prevention.’

    There are many forms of Pilates:

    Classic Pilates: The traditional Pilates exercises as devised by Joseph Pilates, performed in the same sequence each time

    Mat Pilates: 34 mat-based exercises by Joseph Pilates, plus other mat exercises

    Contemporary Pilates: A mix of traditional and new Pilates exercises, performed in varying sequences using a range of small pieces of equipment

    Reformer Pilates: A dynamic form of Pilates using a ‘Reformer’ to add resistance and challenge stability

    Clinical Pilates: Injury and rehabilitation-specific exercises, prescribed by physiotherapists

    I’d suggest trying out the different forms to find out what works best for you and what you enjoy the most
    Aimee Victoria Long

    Does Pilates count as exercise?

    ‘Pilates is most definitely exercise and when performed correctly it’s very challenging,’ says Long. ‘As an exercise, it counts as a muscle-strengthening workout. Plus, you’re able to work the whole body through Pilates. It challenges your lower and upper body and demands core strength.’

    Is Pilates safe during pregnancy?

    You betcha. In fact, if you’re expecting, Pilates might be one of the best ways to move your blossoming bod, says Hollie Grant, Pilates instructor and founder of The Bump Plan. ‘Not only is it safe, but it’s the exercise I strongly believe all pregnant women should include in their fitness plan.’

    Here are some of the benefits for mums-to-be:

    It strengthens muscles most affected by pregnancy (like abs, glutes and pelvic floor)

    It’s low-impact

    It can reduce back pain

    It helps keep you mobile

    It improves balance

    ‘It is incredibly safe, yet very effective and it means that many women can still feel the “burn” during their pregnancy, whilst knowing their babies and their own health isn’t compromised,’ Hollie says.

    Can you start Pilates during your pregnancy then? ‘If you didn’t practice Pilates before pregnancy, it’s the perfect time to get started and it’s never too late! Many of my clients turn up to class on their due dates!’

    Is 20 minutes of Pilates per day enough?

    Short on time? When it comes to bang-for-your-buck sessions, Pilates delivers.

    ‘When it comes to something like Pilates it’s more advantageous to do a little bit every day, rather than an hour-long class once in a blue moon,’ Hollie says. ‘Little and often will help lead to sustained change and really help you to understand the basics of Pilates.’

    ‘My clients often describe how they are more in tune with their bodies for the rest of the day after practising Pilates and they feel less pain – why wouldn’t we want that every day?’

    Can you do Pilates at home?

    Yes, there are styles of Pilates that require some hefty equipment (think the reformer, Cadillac or Wunda chair), all you need for Pilates is an exercise mat.

    ‘We use bodyweight as our resistance,’ Hollie says. ‘Now don’t think that means it will be easy – your body might weigh 60kg or more – those kettlebells you think are heavy at the gym are probably more like 10kg.’

    Is Pilates good for weight loss?

    Can it help you lose weight? As always, the answer to this one is: it depends.

    Effective weight loss is multi-faceted, so it’s difficult to pinpoint one thing that specifically results in weight loss, says Hollie. ‘It’s affected by sleep quality, hormones, stress levels, diet and activity levels.’

    A lot to consider, then. However, a calorie deficit – burning more calories than you consume – can often help people reduce their weight. The calorie deficit largely depends on how much you eat, but any activity can certainly help raise the roof on your daily energy expenditure, or calorie burn.

    Cardio is often touted as the best way to up that daily burn – which, of course, Pilates is not. ‘Pilates is not aimed at cardiovascular strength, it is aimed at muscle strength,’ Hollie explains. ‘However, if you were doing zero exercise before and then started adding in Pilates to your weekly routine, in basic terms, yes, it could help you lose weight as you would inevitably be burning more calories moving than not doing Pilates.’

    Hollie is quick to add that hoping Pilates will be the magic bullet to weight loss is pretty self-defeating. ‘Putting Pilates and weight loss in the same sentence almost denigrates Pilates – Pilates is about so much more than weight loss and has the power to change people’s lives for the long term, something weight loss doesn’t necessarily deliver on.’

    Pilates vs. yoga

    Wondering what the difference is? Well, they’re both done on a yoga mat (for the most part) but there are some key differences between the exercise protocols.

    ‘One of the main differences between Yoga and Pilates is that Pilates focuses on relaxing tense muscles and strengthening others. Yoga tends to be used for improving the flexibility of the body,’ says Long.

    Is yoga or Pilates better for improving overall fitness?

    ‘Both disciplines have great benefits. Depending on your goals. If you’re looking to improve your core strength, Pilates is a great form of exercise. It will help improve deep core strength, muscle control & stability, posture and coordination while improving muscular endurance,’ says Long.

    ‘However, if you’re looking to predominantly improve flexibility and prefer to incorporate a spiritual element to your training, then yoga may be more appealing to you. That being said there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate both Yoga and Pilates into your training programme.’

    So, no need to double down on one discipline – there’s myriad styles of Pilates to try and, done regularly, you’ll notice big strength gains, particularly in your deep core. Mix in with your regular workout routine and you’ll be set for success. Go on then.

    Is Pilates enough on its own?

    As with every type of exercise, Pilates is best performed as part of a well-rounded routine. While it certainly has its pros, you should consider incorporating other forms of exercise that train your body in different ways. Here are a few different modalities to think about adding in and why:

    Cardio workouts – Pilates isn’t a cardiovascular exercise, so including a cardio workout in your routine (ideally once a week) will help keep your heart healthy, as several studies have proven.

    Weightlifting – Pilates does count as strength training, but research has shown that lifting heavier weights will help with increasing your bone density and muscle mass. Try one workout per week.

    Yoga – If flexibility is our goal, studies show that adding in one yoga session a week will help you get there. Pilates will help improve flexibility, but you’ll hold poses for longer during yoga, which is where you’ll make the biggest gains.

    All that said, remember that there’s no use in doing a workout you don’t enjoy. If you hate cardio, for example, don’t try and force yourself through a 5k run every week. Try tacking on a 10-minute speed walk to the end of your Pilates class. Likewise, if you hate weightlifting, try going a little heavier with any weight you use in your Pilates class, but don’t set out to do a whole hour of heavy lifting. Lastly, if the idea of enduring a full yoga class is enough to send you over the edge, aim for a 10-minute full-body stretch every week instead.

    34 Pilates exercises

    There are 34 original Pilates exercises, founded by Joseph Pilates and detailed in his book Return To Life. No matter which type of Pilates you do – reformer, mat, hot or otherwise – these Pilates exercises are the foundation of every class. Joseph would execute the exercises in the exact order listed below, as he believed this was key to reaping the rewards, but you’ll find that most current Pilates teachers will mix them up.

    The hundred

    The roll-up

    The roll-over with legs spread

    The single-leg circle

    Rolling like a ball

    Single leg stretch

    Double leg stretch

    Spine stretch

    Rocker with legs wide

    The corkscrew

    The saw

    The swan dive

    The single-leg kick

    The double-leg kick

    The neck pull

    The scissors

    The bicycle

    The shoulder bridge

    The spine twist

    The jackknife

    The side kick

    The teaser

    The hip twist


    The leg pull-front

    The leg pull-side

    The kneeling side kick

    The side bend

    The boomerang

    The seal

    The crab

    The rocking

    The control balance

    The push-up

    15 best online Pilates classes

    Ready for your fix of Pilates online? Course you are. Here are the 15 YouTube workouts worth your time and sweat. There’s Pilates for beginners options, as well as harder classes for those more familiar with the discipline. The best bit? They’re all options to do Pilates at home! You don’t need to leave your living room and they’re all entirely free – hurrah!

    Pilates classes under 10 minutes

    1. Blast your core in five minutes | Isa Welly

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    2. Challenge your core in ten minutes | BodyFit By Amy

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    3. Advanced Pilates in ten minutes | The Live Fit Girl

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    Pilates classes under 20 minutes

    4. 13-minute pregnancy glute workout | Pilates PT Hollie Grant

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    5. Feel-good Pilates in 15 minutes | Freshly Centered

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    6. Total-body Pilates flow in 18 minutes | Lottie Murphy

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    7. 20-Minute inner thigh isolate workout | Casey Ho

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    8. 20-minute full-body intermediate Pilates Class | Move with Nicole

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    Pilates classes under 30 minutes

    9. Beginners Pilates in 23 minutes | Isa Welly

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    10. Pilates for your bum in 25 minutes | BodyFit By Amy

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    11. Pilates for solid glutes in 25 minutes | Fiit

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    12. Cardio Pilates in 26 minutes | Jessica Smith

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    Pilates classes 30 minutes or longer

    13. Pilates PT Method™ 30-minute workout | Pilates PT Hollie Grant

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    14. 30-minute weighted Pilates total body workout | Isa Welly

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    15. Fat-burning Pilates in 60 minutes | Pilates With Hannah

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    5 tips for a successful Pilates workout

    1. Clear a space big enough

    We get it – your flat share may not even have a living room, but as long as you can stretch your arms out without touching the wall, you’re fine.

    2. Invest in the right equipment

    Before you slip into a ‘pelvic curl’, you’ll need to get your hands on a few pieces to make your session as comfy and safe as possible.

    First up, sort yourself out with an exercise or yoga mat. FYI, thicker styles support and cushion your spine better than their cheaper cousins, particularly on a hard floor rather than carpet. If you’re a beginner or prone to back pain, a cushion under your bottom or back can alleviate pressure and provide extra support.

    Some classes may require a resistance band, which come in different lengths, strengths and sizes. If your Pilates workout calls for one, they should guide you on which type. Watch the workout before to know exactly what you’ll need. A word to the wise: the thicker the resistance band (and the tighter you pull it), the harder your muscles work.

    Other Pilates workouts might ask you to use a small inflatable Pilates ball or a Pilates ring – both pieces of equipment that help with alignment and engaging the correct muscles. Again, see what’s asked of you before you dive into the workout and come up short.

    3. Breathe, rather than brace

    We all think we know how to do it, but breathing is one of the most common Pilates mistakes. Don’t hold your breath as you’ll end up bracing your core and working the wrong muscles.

    Instead, breathe deeply through the exercises and focus on scooping your belly button in and up.

    4. Put your phone on silent

    Pilates requires concentration, focus and precision, so the last thing you want is a bazillion Instagram notifications going off in the background. Put your phone on silent or leave it in the next room.

    5. Shut all pets out of the room

    There’s nothing worse than finally nailing an exercise only to be thrown off balance by a well-meaning furry friend. Try to keep your animal pals in another room during your workout.

    This article was first published in More

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    Fit Night Out 4-Week Total-Body Workout Plan

    Get ready for Fit Night Out with this conditioning workout from PUMA ambassador and group exercise instructor Jessica Naylor. This total-body workout will challenge your muscles while setting you up for fitness success. We’re here for it!

    We know, jamming away to workouts at FNO won’t feel as much of an effort when you’re having so much fun. But the next day? You might experience sore muscles from doing moves you’ve never done before. To get you ready for the big day (and avoid all those post-workout pains), we’ve asked PUMA ambassador and trainer Jessica Naylor for a few moves that’ll ensure you’re workout-ready for a marathon of fun. “My aim is to get every girl and woman moving,” says Naylor. “Body positivity is key with me and I move with meaning.” This conditioning workout – enhancing your performance and bod’s abilities – will build power, coordination, speed and get you ready for FNO!

    The Workout

    The best part about this conditioning workout is that you need zero equipment to get your heart pumping. Work for 20 to 30 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds and get going again. This workout is designed for you to do again, working your way up to 60 seconds of work, with 10 seconds of rest.

    Skipping on the spot

    Pretend to hold a skipping rope handle in each hand. While rotating your wrists as though you were spinning a rope, jump and land with one heel forward, gently tapping it. Jump again and land with the other heel forward. Keep going for 20 to 30 seconds.

    Alternating toe tap

    Start in standing position. Bring one leg up, bending the knee and bringing your alternating arm down to touch the toe of the lifted leg. Now alternate with the other leg.

    Reverse lunge & raise

    Start in standing position. Take one leg back and lunge so that your leg is perpendicular with the floor, raising your arms above your head as you do. Alternate your legs with each rep.

    Jump squats

    Squat down with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Now, drive through the balls of your feet and jump up, using your arms to gain momentum. Land gently, with soft and bent knees. That’s one – this is going to burn.

    Curtsey Pulse

    Start with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Take one leg back and curtsey for three pulses. Stand up and repeat the move on the other side. Keep your arms up and at shoulder level.

    Side Plank

    Start in a side plank position, balancing on your forearms, keeping your head and spine neutral as you engage your core, lifting your hips and knees off the floor. If you feel up to it, lift your arm to raise overhead. Keen to challenge yourself more? Lift your resting leg up off the floor.

    Bodyweight press up

    Start lying down on your belly, arms at your chest. Press yourself up into high plank position, keeping your spine, core and legs all tight. Slowly come down to start, then reach your hands in front of your body, tapping the floor with your fingertips. That’s one rep. For an extra challenge, try pause a beat in plank to challenge your core.

    Rocking Plank

    Get into a forearm plank position, keeping your core engaged and being careful not to drop your glutes. Shift your weight forwards over your shoulders and then rock back to start. That’s one – keep going!

    Get The Look

    The new Fit Eversculpt range from PUMA is designed to sculpt your bod and wick away moisture while you smash your workout.

    Fit Eversculpt Tank | Bold Blue-Speed

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    Ready to get to it? Book your tickets to the fitness event of the year right here. More

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

    For strong, sculpted arms, biceps and triceps exercises are great — but don’t forget to work those shoulders too. Toning the tops of your arms is also a surefire way to build a strong, powerful upper body. And if you always find yourself feeling intimidated at the gym, let us introduce you to #ShyGirlWorkouts and more specifically, our Shy Girl upper body workout.

    What’s A Shy Girl Workout?

    @the.healthqueen dumbbell only! (IG: @ the.healthqueen) #fitgirls #beginnerworkout #shygirlworkout #selflove #fitness #dumbbellworkout #legday ♬ original sound – Ashley Ward

    No surprises here, it’s a trend that originated on TikTok. And it’s for all of us who don’t feel super confident in the gym and feel intimidated by the weight section. These are the main features of Shy Girl Workouts:

    They require zero or minor gym equipment 

    They can be done in one, small area of the gym 

    They include simple, easy-to-remember exercises 

    They’re a great way for you to build confidence so that you’re eventually able to venture into the sections of the gym that usually get your heart racing. So just take a look on TikTok and you’ll find a Shy Girl Workout for just about every body part. This is one trend we can seriously get behind!

    READ MORE: The 15-Minute Full-Body Weighted Workout That Tones Every Inch

    Why Do A Shoulder Workout?

    Unfortunately, most people have super weak shoulders, thanks to years of sitting hunched over at a desk and cell phone (womp, womp). But the good news is, all it takes is some strength exercises to pull them back into the proper position, helping to improve your posture and ditch neck pain.

    Not to mention, almost all upper body movement — both when you’re performing exercises or during everyday activities — involves your shoulder in some way. That means working those muscles will allow you to perform tasks and exercises with heavier weights, without injury.

    The Shy Girl Upper Body Workout

    So, to give you an assist, personal trainer Kelly Cole put together some of her favourite dumbbell shoulder workouts you can do anywhere. All you need is a set of dumbbells (note: choose a weight that feels like a major challenge during the last two reps) to give this workout a go. Kelly recommends adding two to three of these exercises to your upper body workout, or put them together for a focused shoulder workout. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced exerciser, this Shy Girl upper body workout is perfect to do at home or in the gym.

    Time: 15 Mins | Equipment: Dumbbells | Good For: Shoulders

    Instructions: Choose six exercises below. Then for each move, do three sets of 10 to 12 reps each, resting as needed between sets. Then continue to the next move.

    READ MORE: One Dumbbell, Six Moves: This Full-Body Workout Is So Beginner-Friendly

    1. Overhead Press

    How to: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms bent at 90-degree angles, elbows wide and in line with shoulders, palms facing forward. Then press the weights up until arms are straight overhead. Hold for one second, then take three seconds to lower the dumbbells back to start. That’s one rep. Complete 10.

    2. Hammer Shoulder Press

    How to: Start standing with feet under shoulders, soft bend in knees, holding a pair of dumbbells at chin height, arms narrow in front of body and bent, palms facing inward. Press weights up overhead until biceps frame face. Hold for one second, then take three seconds to lower the dumbbells back to start. That’s one rep. Complete 10.

    3. Front Raise Palms Down

    How to: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms straight, palms facing body, weights resting on quads. Keeping elbows straight, lift arms until they reach shoulder height. Then, slowly lower back down. That’s one rep. Complete 10.

    4. Front Raise Palms Up

    How to: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms straight, palms facing up, weights resting on quads. Lift arms until they reach shoulder level. Then slowly lower back down. That’s one rep. Complete 10.

    5. Cuban Rotations

    How to: Start by standing with dumbbells in each hand, elbows bent 90 degrees, in line with shoulders, and dumbbells raised to head height. With moving upper arms, rotate forearms down until they’re parallel to the floor. Then raise dumbbells back up to the starting point. That’s one rep. Complete 10.

    READ MORE: So Little Space? You Can Do This Arms & Abs Bodyweight Workout Anywhere

    6. Lateral Raise

    How to: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing body, arms at sides. Raise arms outward until they’re parallel to the floor. Then return slowly to start. That’s one rep. Complete 10.

    7. Arnold Press

    How to: Start standing with feet under shoulders, soft bend in knees, holding a pair of dumbbells at chin height, arms narrow in front of body and bent, palms facing body. Open elbows out wide to sides until inner arms face forward and then press the weights overhead, rotating palms away from body. Then return to start. That’s one rep. Complete 10.

    8. Upright Row

    How to: Start with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing toward body, and weights touching quads. Pull elbows up and out wide to lift the dumbbells to chest. Then reverse movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Complete 10.

    9. Shoulder Shrugs

    How to: Start by standing with feet shoulder-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand, and hands at sides. Lift shoulders up toward ears, then slowly lower back down to start. That’s one rep. Complete 10.

    10. Arm Circles

    How to: Start standing with legs shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms extended out to sides at shoulder height, palms facing floor. Then make small, clockwise circles with arms, initiating the movement from the upper arm/shoulder joint not the wrist. One rotation is one rep. Complete 10.

    *Words: Kelly Cole

    This article was originally published on More

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    You Can Do This Arms & Abs Bodyweight Workout Anywhere

    Whether you’re pressed for space or can’t find weights at the gym, this abs and arms bodyweight workout does the job and then some. Created by trainer and instructor Kirsten Johnson, these moves sculpt long, lean muscles. “This workout is designed as a compound bodyweight workout,” says Johnson. “Each move incorporates multiple muscle groups and therefore aims to create long, lean muscle throughout the body while targeting and firing up both arms and abs.”

    The Abs & Arms Bodyweight Workout

    To get started, set your timer for 30 seconds and work for that time, doing each circuit twice before moving on to the next circuit. Rest for 30 seconds between moves, then move on.

    Circuit One

    Pushup to high plank twist

    Start in a push-up position on your knees and lower down into a push-up. Now, raise yourself up into a high plank position and rotate one arm to stretch upwards. Bring it back down and rotate the other arm upward to twist. That’s one rep. Keep it going for 30 seconds, then move on to the next move.

    Tricep dip alternating march

    Get into a reverse bridge position, with your hands and feet on the floor. Dip your triceps down, then extend upwards. Gently lift one leg off the floor and perform a marching motion. Repeat with the other leg. That’s one rep; keep going for 30 seconds.

    Single leg jackknife

    Start lying down, with your left knee bent and the right straight down. Extend your left arm backwards, hands pointing behind you. Pike up and raise your right leg and left arm at the same time to touch. That’s one rep. Keep going for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

    Double-pulse scissors, on your back

    Start lying down with both legs outstretched. Keep your core engaged and your arms at your sides for stability. Raise one leg up and the other only slightly off the floor. Pulse for two beats, then switch legs. Keep it going for 30 seconds.

    Circuit Two

    Small lateral circles

    Get onto your knees with your weight evenly distributed. Stretch out your arms on either side. Make small circles with your arms for 30 seconds. Fair warning: this one is going to burn.

    Scapula contraction

    Get on your knees with your weight evenly distributed. Stretch out your arms on either side. Now bend them into a 90º angle and contract your scapula, pretending there’s a bar between them that you’re trying to squeeze. Release back to outstretched arms. That’s one rep.

    Side plank hip dip – knee to elbow

    Start in a side plank position with your legs stacked on top of one another and weight distributed evenly throughout. Balance on your forearm. Now dip gently down and dip back up. Pick one leg up and contract your knee to touch your elbow. That’s one rep.

    Sprinter situps  – alternating

    Start lying on your back with your arms outstretched in front of you. Contract your abs and lift one knee toward you, lifting your torso as you do so. Repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.

    Circuit Three

    Double-leg jack knives on arms

    Start lying on your back, legs outstretched in front of you. Now, hoist yourself up with your arms until they’re perpendicular to the floor. Jack your legs into your chest, contracting your abdominals as you do. Relax and stretch your legs back out. That’s one rep.

    High plank – alternating knee to chest & shoulder

    Get into a high plank position, weight evenly distributed. Lift one leg to tap the inside of your elbow, then rotate your leg outwards to tap the outside of your shoulder. Return to start. That’s one rep. Alternate your legs as you go.

    Single-leg ab bikes

    Come into a lying down position, back on the floor. Keep your hands under your head to protect your neck and keep your knees bent at 90º. Now stretch out your right leg and bring it into your chest, twisting your left side to touch your knee. That’s one re. Repeat on the other side, alternating.

    Plank pike up – knee to chest – commando

    Start in a plank position with your weight balanced on your arms. Pike up your abs and bring one leg into a crunch. Return your leg to start and bring your alternating leg into crunch. Now lower one arm down onto your forearm, then the other. Raise both arms up so you’re back in high plank. That’s one rep; keep going for 30 seconds.

    Watch as Kirsten performs the moves below:

    [embedded content] More