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Women in Sport
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By Kate Kraschnefski Head of Compliance & Training at the Australian Institute of Fitness
The weather is heating up and the layers are coming off. While every body is a bikini body, after winter it is common for many of us to feel less confident when we first hit the beach.
Reinvigorating our workout routine when summer hits is a great way to give us that boost. Ready to build muscle, sweat, and work your way to a stronger body? Let’s get started.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, training outdoors certainly has its appeal! You can enjoy the benefits of sunshine and fresh outdoor air and natural light invigorate and provide more energy for the mind and body.
Incorporating both cardio and strength training is a great way to improve your body composition (or what many of us refer to as toning).
Combine fast walking or running intervals between steps or park benches and then stop for sets of 15-20 reps of an exercise like step ups, push ups or tricep dips. Try to go for 45-60minutes in total and aim for short bursts of cardio between “stations”, using the strength exercises as an opportunity to bring the heart rate down.
Get to know where the outdoor fitness stations are in your local area and incorporate them in. Enjoy the gorgeous weather and get outside.
When training outdoors, take account of the possible harm caused by excessive sunlight, such as dehydration and sunburn. Protective sunscreen and hydration are a must!
You’ve heard of HIIT, but ‘HIRT’ or ‘High Intensity Resistance Training’ is a girl’s best friend. HIRT is similar to HIIT, but we slow the movements down and add resistance. Here is a sample HIRT workout:
Equipment: Two dumbbells
As many rounds as possible (AMRAP) for 15 mins:
Rest 30-60seconds (as much as you need to work again with intensity and great form)
HIRT delivers fabulous bang-for-buck as you are getting both muscle-building and cardiovascular benefits, all within a short period of time.
Resistance training builds lean muscle mass, increasing our body’s ability to burn fat. This goes a long way if you are looking to improve your body composition. On top of that, strength training helps us feel embodied and empowered.
If you are unsure of what moves to perform, consider these 5 key movement patterns:
Aim for 2-3 sessions per week through all of these movement patterns, and try to leave at least a day of rest between working muscle groups. You can always enlist a qualified personal trainer to help you get started.
If the colder months have sent your motivation levels into hibernation, group fitness could be just what you need.
Check out the timetable at your closest gym and you are likely to see a huge range of options from dancing, to indoor cycling, boxing and circuits. Many gyms will give you a free pass or trial membership if you are looking to try before you buy, or you can check out apps like Class Pass.
Participating in a group fitness class will provide you with guidance and direction as well as that social connection we often love and crave.
Nothing says Australian Summer more than heading to the beach, so why not factor in a workout? The environment of the beach creates options to facilitate manipulation of intensity and bring variety into a workout.
Perform your favourite from the list above or a combination of all for 30-45 minutes. Then enjoy chilling out on the beach after.
Nikolina is the web-obsessed Digital Editor at Men’s and Women’s Health, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she spends most of the time in the gym or with her husband and daughter. She was previously a Digital Editor at GQ and Vogue magazine.
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