February 2014 Workout Tunes

Music is an integral part of my life.  It’s a rare day that the Prince comes home to find me basking in peace and quiet.  More often than not, he’s greeted by a full on disco, bar the strobe lighting and disco balls.  Having not updated our workout playlist since I last posted some workout tunes here back in June, our workout playlist has definitely been in need of a fresh injection of choons.  I’ve popped a couple of retro ones in and also one of my fav Bollywood tracks at the moment.

 

Enjoy and please let me know some of the songs you’re working out to at the moment.

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

June’s Workout Songs

Hello readers!

Sorry I didn’t post this on Monday, but I haven’t had access to our study all week, as we were having work done in it.  Anyway, here I am with my picks for workout tunes for June. I’ve been listening to May’s tracks on loop, so I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some new toons!

Hope all your fitness plans are going well.

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Squat Until You’re Hot

Yes, there’s no mistaking what today’s post is about 🙂 and that’s bottoms, or rather how to achieve a Pippa or Kylie-esque derriere.  The more weight I’ve lost, the more aware I’ve become about my saggy bottom, and this is despite thrice-weekly sessions with Killer Raj, recently upped to 5.  Soon to be the wrong side of 40 and wanting to look the best I can in and out of my clothes, I’ve decided to give the 30-day squat challenge a whirl in an attempt to go from the bottom on the left, to something that more resembles the one on the right in the picture below.

Squat until you're hot

Don’t get me wrong, I’m super happy to finally be close to my target weight, but I’m just not that happy with my rear view.  Tonight I’m going to ask the Domestic Prince to take a “before” picture, and then at the end of the 30 days, I’ll get him to take an “after” one, and hopefully I’ll be able to see a change, even if it’s only a small one!  If the change is noticeable, I’ll consider posting them….some of you might want to look away, or ignore that post 😉 .  Regardless, I’ll come back in 30 days to give you an update.  I’m hoping that after the 30 days I’ll at least fail the pencil test*.  Don’t worry, I’m under no illusion that I’ll go from saggy to pert in 30 days, but you’ve got to start somewhere right?

30-day squat challenge

And guys, this isn’t just a challenge for my fairer sex readers, oh no.  I’ll let you into a secret, girls love a man with a firm, pert butt!

Perfect Squat Form

  1. Place feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, hips stacked over knees, knees over ankles.
  2. Roll the shoulders back and down away from the ears. Note: Allowing the back to round (like a turtle’s shell) will cause unnecessary stress on the lower back.
  3. Extend the arms out straight so they are parallel with the ground, palms facing down. Or, if it’s more comfortable, pull the elbows close to the body, palms facing each other and thumbs pointing up.
  4. Initiate the movement by leading from the hips first and then bending the knees almost simultaneously, so that the knees and the hips travel in opposition to each other, (as if you were going to sit down on a chair) there by helping you to maintain the integrity of your posture and spine right through the lower reaches of the movement.
  5. Ideally, you want the hips to drop below the knees, for a full squat, but this may be challenging for the novice and it is perfectly acceptable to drop only up till the point where your thigh bone is parallel to the floor. On your way down, also check  that the knees do not travel beyond the toes. Make sure the chest and shoulders stay upright, and the back stays straight. Keep the head facing forward with eyes straight ahead for a neutral spine.
  6. On your way up and out of the movement, focus on driving though your heels and recruiting the major muscle groups of the thighs and buttocks to get you moving upwards again. Keeping the weight away from your toes (DP I try and keep my toes up lifted up) and concentrating it in your heels, protects your knees and lower back, while maximizing the workload on the actual prime movers in this exercise, the quads and gluteus muscles.

Tips from Tribe Sports

Domestic Princess tips

  1. If you haven’t squatted before, or need a technique refresher, watch this video first and look at your form in the mirror to make sure you’re performing the squat correctly.
  2. You’re far more likely to see results during the challenge if you eat “clean”.
  3. If you can’t manage the full set in one go, spread them out over the course of the day, and build-up to doing them all in one go.
  4. If you’re finding the squats too easy, add some hand weights, and/or do jumping squats.
  5. If consistent and diligent with this challenge you should also notice a difference in your legs too, so I’d suggest measuring them before and after to see if there’s a difference.

So, who’s with me on this challenge?

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

*If you haven’t heard of the pencil test and are wondering if you’d pass, then you just need to grab a pencil (or pen) and see if you can hold it under your bottom, if you can’t, then wooo hoo!  If it stays firmly in place, you might want to think about joining in the challenge! 😉

Disclaimer

Please note, I am not a fitness instructor, therefore, if you are unsure how to perform this exercise, please consult a fitness professional first.  Also, if you are new to exercise, or pregnant, please consult with your physician before starting this challenge.

Discovered: Niko Physique Dynamic Reformer Pilates

My first foray into reformer pilates was about 4 years ago here in Bangalore with the lovely Anjali and Sharat from The Zone Mind & Body Studio.  To say I fell in love with pilates would be an understatement!  Not long after falling in love, I  had to leave Bangalore for about 4 months, as were getting married back in the UK.  I was more than a tad concerned about being able to continue with my pilates, especially as I probably needed it more than ever with our impending nuptials…..So, as I always do in these situations, I turned to my trusty friend Mr Google, and found Bootcamp Pilates.  Bootcamp Pilates was like my regular pilates classes back in India, but souped up.  It was a more dynamic form of the pilates I’d been used to.  My first session was where I met the fabulous Niko Algieri.  Niko made every class fun and dare I say it enjoyable, and it wasn’t long before he became my favourite teacher (being a fellow Welshie obviously helped!).

Well, fast forward 3 years and Niko has ventured out on his own and launched Niko Physique.  The launch in late March, timed perfectly with one of my visits back to the UK. So, without hesitation, I set myself-up an account and booked in for as many classes as I could possibly fit in.

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Niko has taken the basics from traditional pilates and combined them with dynamic moves to create an unbelievable workout that will help sculpt your body and get you in shape in next to no time.  I noticed a change in my body after just 10 sessions!

As we all know nothing in life happens without hard work, and these classes epitomise that. Each class lasts an hour and there is a maximum of ten people in any one class, ensuring that everyone receives one-on-one attention and tuition.  Extremely advantageous when you are popping your legs in maternity stirrups and standing on a moving platform that threatens to bring out the inner-gymnast in all of us!

Niko starts each class with some gentle warm-up exercises and stretches to prepare the body for the torturous intense workout ahead.  Every class is a combination of resistance and endurance moves that will push you to your absolute physical limits.  Niko will have you do anything from squatting whilst keeping the moving platform still (quite tricky!) to holding a plank on the torture bed, or doing what feels like a hundred pikes to help strengthen your core.

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Niko’s reformer pilates classes are easily the best workouts I’ve ever done.  They are always so much fun (he is super cheeky and plays the best tunes!) and a complete challenge.  I leave every class feeling completely stretched and that every muscle in my body has been worked in several different ways.

Don’t expect a workout that will leave you gasping for your next breath, it won’t, but don’t be lured into a false sense of security…your legs will be jelly like on the way home and movement the next day might be a challenge….however, I can promise you it’s definitely worth it!  This is a workout for the fit, the unfit, the flexible, the inflexible, men, women – anybody and everybody will leave wanting to come back for more.  There’s not many workouts you can say that about, is there?

Signing-up and booking is extremely easy and your first class is FREE!

And if all that wasn’t enough to spur you on to book in for a class, Niko is also a former Men’s Health Magazine cover model….I’ll say no more!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

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