“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream” – Julia Child
“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream” – Julia Child
The hottest new fitness craze has reached our shores – piloxing. With claims to be the greatest cardio fusion workout, incorporating cutting edge research and fitness techniques to burn maximum calories, build lean muscles and increase stamina, we look at what exactly is involved in a piloxing class.
Basically, the program uniquely blends the power, speed, and agility of boxing with the targeted sculpting and flexibility of Pilates. These techniques are also supplemented by the use of weighted gloves, further toning the arms and maximizing cardiovascular health. Add exhilarating dance moves and you have a muscle-toning, fat-burning workout that will make you feel physically and mentally empowered!
Piloxing is the brainchild of Swedish dancer and celebrity trainer Viveca Jensen and is the culmination of a mission to physically and mentally empower women through fitness as well as create a unique exercise program that instructors worldwide can embrace together. Viveca’s celebrity clients include Hilary Duff, Alexis Bledel, Vanessa Hudgens. and Emmy Rossum.
Piloxing launches at Virgin Active Health Clubs on August 4.
Virgin Active Health Clubs can be found in Sydney (Pitt Street Mall, Norwest, Frenchs Forest) and Melbourne (Bourke Street), with a club at Moore Park (Sydney) set to open in November 2014 and one in Collins Street (Melbourne) due to open in mid 2015. To find your nearest club, visit www.virginactive.com.au
If the thought of going to the gym sends chills up your spine, relax. You can still get a good cardio workout at home. You don’t need any fitness equipment to do them, either!
1. High Knee Pushes
This is a good beginner exercise for everyone. Start with your feet together, and your hands raised up by your armpits, palms facing forward. Lift one knee up so that it’s level with the floor. At the same time, thrust your arms out in front of you so that they are also parallel with the floor. Alternate by lifting each leg one at a time, pushing with each lift. Really push those arms! You want the feeling of resistance. Remember to keep your core tight, and to exhale as you push and lift your legs.
2. Squat Kicks
This is another good exercise for beginners. It’s low-impact, and is a good way to train yourself up to squat jumps. Start with your feet together, and your hands raised in fists in front of your chest. Keep your elbows close to your ribs. Raise one leg in a high kick out in front of you, keeping your hands in front of your chest. Bring the leg back down so that your feet are shoulder-width apart and sink straight into a squat. Remember to keep your weight on the backs of your heels, not on your toes. Stand back up and kick with the other leg.
3. Bear Crawls
This exercise is a little tougher, and requires a modicum of upper-arm strength. If you don’t have much now, incorporate some bear crawls into your cardio routine, and you’ll have plenty in no time. Begin in a squat. Plant your hands on the floor in front of you. Walk them forward until you are in full push-up position, with your legs straight behind you and your hands below your shoulders. Do a push-up. Walk your way back to a squat.
4. Mountain Climbers
Doing mountain climbers is no picnic. The good thing about this exercise is that it strengthens your wrists, your arms, your shoulders, and your core, as well as elevating your heart rate. Begin in a push-up position. With your hands planted firmly on the ground, and your legs balanced on your toes behind you, hop up. Bring one of your knees forward in the hop so that it is nestled beneath your chest, and you look like you lunged forward all the way. Hop again, and switch legs.
Burpees are notoriously difficult. Thankfully, you can try a modified burpee as well. But we’ll tell you about the hard one first. Start by standing with your feet together. Now, do a squat, place your hands on the floor, and kick your legs out behind you so you land on your toes in plank position. To get back up, jump your legs back into squat position, and stand. Ugh! Make sure you have strong shoes, strong arms, and a strong mind. Modified burpees let you walk your legs out instead of kicking them, and will also get your heart pumping.
A good beginner routine might look like this:
• 60 seconds of High Knee Pushes
• 60 seconds of Squat Kicks
• 30 seconds of Bear Crawls
• 30 seconds of Mountain Climbers
• 30 seconds of modified Burpees
Don’t forget to warm-up before exercising, and stretch afterwards.
What are your favourite cardio exercises?
We all know how important it is to exercise but sometimes there are more limitations than motivations. Gyms can be extraordinarily expensive and not everyone likes to exercise with 50 or so others watching on. SheSaid has the perfect solution ? exercises you can do at home for minimum cost and maximum privacy!
Every exercise routine worth its salt needs to include aerobic activity. You should be doing at least for 45 minutes of cardio, twice or 3 times a week. The reason being, is that it takes half that time for the fat cells to start releasing the fat, so the rest of the time is spent burning it! Naturally more exercise will see greater benefits, but be sure to do the minimum to achieve results. Try walking or running around the streets near your home, doing a bike ride on a stationary or moving bike or jumping with a skipping rope. Better yet, break it up and try some interval training ? combine jogging, walking and sprinting in 5 minute timed intervals.
Although aerobic activity stimulates muscle mass, weight training is a more effective solution for strengthening and toning your muscles. If you can afford it, invest in a dumbbell set with weights ranging from 5 pounds to 50+ pounds. If not, there are other great solutions ? soft drink bottles with sand or water in it are a perfect cheap alternative to weights. Some exercises include bench presses, dumbbell lunges and chinups. To do a bench press, lie flat and hold the weights above your head, slightly wider than shoulder width. Bend elbows to bring weights down close in line with your chest and push up. Do 2 sets with 15 repeats. If you can afford to invest in a fitness ball, you can work on your abdominals without hurting your back or neck. One exercise is the fitball squat. Stand against the wall with a fitball behind you in the curve of your back, feet shoulder width apart and dumbbells by your side. Bend from your hips downwards, lowering towards the floor as the ball rolls down your back. Do 2 sets with 15 repeats. There are also plenty of workouts you can do without any equipment at all. As much as they hurt, push ups are great for sexy arms and lunges improve muscle firmness in the legs.
Check out these top tips for getting in shape from SheSaid readers:
Janea: “Walking up a hill is the best way to tighten your butt.”
Lisa: “Get a dog and get out there and walk it & play in the park, you don’t even realise how much you’ve exercised from having so much fun!”
Kerryn: “Find a friend to help. It always makes it easier and more fun if you have someone to keep in shape with.”
Alex: “Clear your mind and your body will follow”
Don?t despair, even if you hate the gym you can still get a bod to die for right from the comfort of your own home!