High plank sequence

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This week I have been writing and researching for an article that investigates the best core exercises, with real evidence to support them. The research has actually proven that the plank exercise stimulates more of the core muscles than other positions and works them hard enough to build real endurance. When you add variations it then works the muscles way more than the static position.

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Mid year check in- and celebrating 1 year!

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Can you believe we are almost half way through the year? Time seems to have just rushed by these past couple of months for me and recently I have been checking up on what I intended to do this year. New Year plans and goal setting seemed great in January, but where are you now with it? If you’re anything like me you’re falling behind, feeling guilty, wondering how it’s May already and you still haven’t made a dent in these plans!

PLUS- I’ve just realised my blog/website is ONE YEAR OLD this month! And I now REALLY need to get that back on track too. I have so many ideas for it and no idea where time has gone?! Here is how to get back on track:

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Friday fun- Hovering challenge

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Hello FRIDAY! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts so thought I’d kick this series off again. I’ve got my first running event of the year next weekend and I’m really feeling the benefits of extra core training right about now. Start your weekend strong with this short routine. It’s short, sweet and oh so challenging! See below for instructions->

Leg pull in prone prepWearing: Hip Width vest and Onzie pants from Yoga Rebel.

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New Year abs!

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Perfect your practise- A new category I’m working on to help you improve on certain techniques, goals and techniques! I’m starting with the topic I get asked most about- How to build your abs! And in particular, this post is about core endurance. Endurance means how long you can sustain something for. For example, being able to do lots of sit ups is very different from being able to hold a plank position. Both equally important and challenging, however the endurance exercises are the ones we all tend to avoid/dread/hate/you get the idea!

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How to avoid muscle cramps

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crampWith all the New Year health kicks starting off this month we will find many people taking up new sports, gym memberships and activities; or those who are already in a training plan may be pushing harder than normal. The most common, inconvenient, and often debilitating aspect of these new regimes is muscle cramps. Muscle cramps can occur any time, any place, at any part of your training.

Muscle cramps can occur for a wide range of reasons:

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New Year Planning

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Not long left to go! New Year is always the time we make new plans, whether it is to get fit, get started on a new routine, healthy diet, or lifestyle change. This offers as a fresh start after all the over-indulging over the festive holidays and interruptions to our regular routines. A break from routine is welcoming though, a respite from the normal chaos, but when it comes to an end we need a plan to get back on track.

Keeping your plans is all down to organisation and commitment. January 17th is the estimated “drop out of the New Year resolutions” date, so here I have tried to give you the tips (and the FREE PLANNER!) to make sure you are not part of that category.

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Complete Bridge workout!

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Shoulder bridging is a multi-benefiting exercise that targets the gluteals (buttocks), hamstrings and the core. This video shows you some challenging variations! It is also fantastic for general strengthening to the whole leg when you add in single leg variations and can challenge balance and stability. The spine is segmentally strengthened by  demanding controlled movements at each vertebrae as you move up and down.

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The 5 Pilates challenge!

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It’s nearly Friday again! Do you find it hard to keep motivated over the weekend? I’ve made it really simple for you- here are 5 Pilates exercises to try!  It’s that simple! 10 minutes and a well exercised body covering core, glutes and upper body! Can you do this Friday, Saturday, & Sunday?! Happy weekend!

Before you start: In each position ensure you have a neutral spine (back is flat with no arching, no ribs flaring out and pelvis level). Engage your core by gently drawing in the core muscles in between the hip bones. Remember to breath with each movement! None of the exercises should be painful, and if in doubt, stop!

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What’s the point in planks?

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Everybody knows about planks and planking, so today I wanted to take it right back to basics and discuss one of the simplest exercises in a bit more detail. The most common response when asked “what do planks work?” is simply “the core”. YES! They are brilliant for your core, but also so so much more! The plank is a whole body exercise and recruits many other muscle groups simultaneously, making it a proper compound exercise.

Front plank

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A weekend retreat

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This weekend I hosted my very first Pilates Retreat Day. A day to getaway, relax, focus, and practise Pilates. Something I have always wanted to attend myself but have never found, so I created my own! I feel so lucky to call this my “work”; the whole process from the planning & organisation, writing routines, creating playlists, and finally the hosting & teaching on the day was so much fun. We used the perfect location of the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, which meant we could spend the whole day there using the facilities in between classes. Each class had a special theme to follow a journey for the day.

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