It’s been a big month in the world of sport and fitness. Wimbledon around the corner, the scandalous demise of FIFA and the excellently timed rise of the Women’s World Cup! Some pretty shocking statistics were published in this article about levelling the gender-pay gap in professional sports, and Sport England launched their #ThisGirlCan campaign encouraging women to take up sports and exercise. Apparently there are 2 million fewer active women than men in the UK! They must all be at Booty Camp !! 🙂
Notably, it was National Donut Day -I hope you indulged! (See ‘London’s Best Donuts’), and it’s the Queens Birthday ! God knows she is living, breathing evidence of the benefits of low-level regular activity, both physically and mentally!
Tip 1: Take the opportunity of this new found sunshine to introduce yourself to local parks, pools and tennis courts. Take a hike through Hampstead Heath, swim in the lakes… maybe start your own 5 a-side community football team like I did! (You can read about how our first game went down in Robert Crampton’s piece in the Times –Beta Male: back in the game). Any London Fields ladies up for starting a women’s team?
Tip 2: Next time you are looking for (or posting) #fitspo forget before & after abs pics and remember that the best benefits of playing sports and exercising are strengthening friendships and communities, reducing stress and building emotional and physical strength. Make exercise an integral part of your life, just as crucial as eating and sleeping.
Tip 3: Never let age, race, sex or body shape be a hindrance to your confidence in approaching various new sports and fitness activities. Full guns a-blazing ladies & gents! Chin-ups, Karate, Sumo Wrestling, Prancercise -you name it, you can not only do it, but be great at it if you set your mind to it. As a premature baby, and then a small beige British Indian Hindu boy who doesn’t eat beef, I ruined all related preconceptions and judgements of me by becoming the school rugby and football jock (not chess champion), a model with a Blue Steel pout (see below, weren’t the 90s great…), and now a personal trainer with my own gym (and not an IT specialist! Phew!). Don’t let a stereotype confine or define you or your abilities.
Want to be fit to trot and have guns like The Queen (without waving to strangers and kissing babies)? In previous blogs we’ve covered the basics of press-ups and their variations (which are your best bet), but for something new try Tricep Extensions. If you are in a gym or have dumbbells/weight plates/ball etc at home use them. If you don’t have these (or pure gold bars like The Queen) try a bag of sugar (…I mean quinoa *cough cough*) !
Stand tall, feet hip width apart, raise both arm holding either side of the weighted object above your head, arms fully extended. Keep your arms in close to the head and pull the weight back behind your head in a semi-circular motion until you reach the base of the neck, and pull back up to the fully extended position. Only the forearms are moving here. The upper arms remain stationary by your head, bending the arms at your elbows.
Bend It Like Beckham
This is the perfect preparation to get you fit for those fun football games in the park. Turn up and show ’em you still got it! Doing this a few times a week/once a day will build speed, power and endurance.
I want you to do 20 metre sprints maybe from tree to tree in a park (watch out for the hipsters playing acoustic guitar in London Fields though). Alternatively you could try sprinting up and down your street. After running wherever there is and back, do 10 jump-squats. Repeat the sprint and the squats over 5 minutes
Venus Thighs & Serena Glutes
Thinking of playing some tennis in Wimbledon spirit, and want to improve your serve? The power and speed generated for a strong serve comes from your lower body and core. Doing these single-leg squats will give you stability and strength where it counts.
Sit on any stable surface (preferably a bench or chair), elevate one leg and stand up using only the one leg. Sit back down the same way, with the same leg raised. Slowly. Swap Legs. Repeat as many times as you can during this Bananarama song. Also, I want you to practice your tennis terms, yelling one out with each squat, to distract you… chip, bagel, double bagel, triple bagel, golden bagel, breadstick, gut, fry, can-opener, love, lucky loser, spank, smash, stroke, touch, toss, western grip, round-robin, stiffness, rubber, sweet spot, receiver, junkball, hail Mary! Sudden death! (All real terms, I swear).
Come say hello and get your ass down to Booty Camp (Saturdays & Sundays 11am) and/or Warriors (Tuesdays 8pm) at London Fields Fitness Studio . £ 5 Drop-In. Happy sporting and all the best,
P.S Regular Booty-Camper Emma wore a calorie counting gizmo during last weekend’s class and burnt a whopping 706 Calories ! Just proves -you can have fun and see results.
Also, you can read this awesome new Booty Camp review by Split The City…
“Don’t be fooled by the cutesy name, this class was hard! I was sweating within the first ten minutes, and I’m a pretty fit gal… What Sapan (the studio’s owner) has created is a real sense of community. No music’s blared throughout the class, and this actually encouraged the participants to talk and laugh our way through the class, together.”