Super strong Core with Pilates Series of 5

I often get asked what my favorite Pilates moves are. That is not a very difficult question, because I loooove the Pilates Series of 5! This series will strengthen your entire core; say bye bye to lower back pains, and hellooooo to rock hard abs! I’m gonna show you these tummy toning moves step by step so you can practice them by yourself. Have fun!

Starting position

Lie on your back on your mat. Lengthen and release your neck, bend your knees and place your feet hip-with apart on the mat. Activate your core by contracting your pelvic core muscles, lifting your belly button in and up. Keep your core muscles activated during these exercises!

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Important note: if you feel pain in your neck while you do these moves, try pulling up your shoulders a bit more so you can really use those core muscles. If it doesn’t feel right, gently place your hands behind your head and just use your legs until your core gets strong enough.

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5 core work outs you can do every day

Your core is the power house of your body. Strength, stability and power, it all comes from your core. Model Workout has 5 awesome exercises you can do every day to strenghten your core.

 5 core work outs you can do every day

Do each exercises for 30 seconds and do them one after the other. Repeat each sequence 3 times for maximum results.

1. Planking. Place your elbows straight under your shoulders. Curl your toes under and engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine. Flex your abdominals and squeeze your glutes. Keep breathing.

Reena plank-2

2. The graveyard crunch. Lay down on the floor and relax your feet. Cross your arms over your chest. Breathe out when you sit up. Rest your head on the floor before repeating the exercise.

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3. Stretched pike. Get in the position as you can see on the image. Point with your toes towards you and keep the tention on your core. Do you want to make it a little bit harder? Move your feet and arms closer to the ground. Keep breathing.

 

stretched pike-2

4. Superman plank. Important: Curl your toes toward you (standing foot). Repeat exercise for 30 seconds by switching from left to right.

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5. Cobra. Lay flat on your stomach, and use the power of your core to lift your upper body as far from the ground as you can. Stay in this position for 30 seconds. Important: keep your palms flat towards the ground for a nice and straight posture.

Cobra 1-2

Do you want more guidance and help strenghtening your body? Join the Model Workout lifestyle community. Here you can find a variety of videos that can help you achieve your goals. Our personal trainers are ready to anwer all your questions!

 

30 Day Arm Challenge

Yay! It’s time for a new challenge: the 30 Day Arm Challenge. We often hear from women that training their arm muscles is not their favourite activity. That’s probably because arm exercises can get pretty intense, but did you know that your shoulders and upper back tend to carry less fat than the rest of your body? So doing the right arm exercises can give this area a nearly instant make-over! You will feel and see muscles you didn’t even know you had!

WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN US
There are so many reasons you should join us. When you repeat something for 30 days you subconsciously teach yourself to add a certain routine to your lifestyle. So it makes it easier to work out! Ain’t that awesome! Also:

  1. It helps you get fit (obviously)
  2. You train yourself to be disciplinary
  3. It’s great for your self esteem
  4. We love that you workout with us, no matter how many miles we are apart!

AND HERE’S HOW…
We have made a schedule where you can see what kind of exercises and how many you’re supposed to do throughout the month. This time the one and only Fit Girl Chris is gonna show us how it’s done. If you are a big fan of the tanktop Chris is wearing, then get your own in the #FITGIRLCODE webshop.

1. Normal push-up
The beauty of the push-up is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. This exercise targets not only your arms and chest but also gets a burn going in your core.

Instruction: Start with a face-down prone position on the floor. Keep your feet together. Your weight should be on your chest // Position hands palms-down on the floor, slightly wider than your shoulders, with your elbows pointed towards your toes // Now raise yourself using your arms. At this point, your weight should be supported by your hands and the balls of your feet // Make a straight line from your head to your heels. This position is called a “plank,” which is used for various other exercises //This is the beginning and end position of a single push-up.

#Fitgirlcode_push-up-regular

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Down on your knees
If you are not ready to do a regular push-up yet, then try doing them on your knees. You can also start with regular push-ups and switch to knee push-ups when it gets too heavy. Follow the instructions for regular push-ups, but keep both knees on the floor. Be sure to use your chest, shoulders and triceps to lift yourself, not your hips or back.

#Fitgirlcode_push-up-knee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Reverse push-up
A reverse push-up is the complete opposite of a regular push-up. Your hands and feet are still contacting the ground, except you are in an inverted position.

Instruction: Start out lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor// Place your hands on the ground by your ears with your palms flat and your fingers facing your feet. Your elbows should be up in the air at this point // Lift your hips up toward the ceiling and simultaneously push your shoulders off the floor by activating your arms //Fully extend your arms, arch your back and lift your heels off the floor// Slowly lower yourself back to the ground and repeat // When you lift your body up, you should form a nice, consistent arc and your head should be hanging straight down.

#Fitgirlcode_reversed-push-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Kettlebell lifts
You may have seen more and more people at the gym swinging what looks like a cannonball with a handle. Those weird looking weights are called kettlebells and they’ve been used by Russian strongmen for over two centuries to “become strong like bull.” If you don’t own a kettle bell, you can get one here, or use a dumbbell or even a big soda bottle filled with water.

Instruction: Sit down on your knees and place your kettlebell (/dumbbell/soda bottle) in front of you //Grab the weight with your both hands, keep your elbows to your side and raise it up to your chest and back // Make sure you keep your back straight en push your pelvis forward when you lift up the weight.

#Fitgirlcode_kettle-bell-lift

30 day arm challenge schedule

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Remember, this is YOUR challenge so try doing what you can do. Do not overdo it. You can challenge yourself, but try to do it wisely. It’s always better to get to your goal, even if it takes you longer than a month. The most important thing is that you get to your goal!

So, are you with us? Let us know and don’t forget to tag #FITGIRLARMS on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, we always love to see your pictures!

HAPPY WORKOUT!

Ambassador blog by Anne

Hi, my name is Anne, I’m a 28 year old Dutch girl and I am a bodybuilder. Before you run away and get scared by my profession, please continue reading while I introduce myself and my sport.

Because to me, bodybuilding is a way of life. I train hard, eat clean and dedicate almost everything to this sport. But why, I hear you say. Well, earlier this year I decided to compete in my very first fitness competion. There are four different classes to compete in (bikini, bodyfitness, figure and bodybuilding) and I am coming out in the bodyfitness class. So don’t be scared, I’m not a female Schwarzenegger and I will never be. I’m just a great great fan of strong women.

I always loved working out and after some time I noticed I was good at it. I got stronger, leaner and I gained muscle. I just had to do something with those facts and hey! Why not compete in a fitness competition? Just like that. My dream goal is to become a fitness model and compete in international competitions. But before all that can happen I have to make it on stage by the end of this year at the FlexCup 2014.

Guidance and support
Preparing for a competition is hard work and it takes a lot of determination and dedication. I don’t drink or go out, I go to bed early and I have to watch what and when I eat. Luckily for me I’m not doing this all by myself. I have the most lovely coach you can wish for, Guy Droog and I get a lot of support by my friends and family.

Fannetiek.nl
I did not only decided to compete, I also began writing about my fit journey.  On my blog (in Dutch) you get to read everything that is on my mind and what it takes to become a fitness model. And ofcourse, a lot of healthy tips, lovely recipes and you can get online weight coaching (as I am also a health coach). Please check in every now and then for motivation and inspiration and read all about my fit journey.

From now on I will write a blog on #FITGIRLCODE every month, so you can keep up with #TeamFannetiek. Wanna see more already? Please check my Instagram or visit my Facebook page.

I’m proud to be an Ambassador for #FITGIRLCODE. Let’s conquer the world with Fit Girls!

Love,

Anne

 

Why strength training is awesome

Weight lifting and other types of strength training have been a ‘man thing’ for far too long. We don’t have to be scared to get bulky ladies! Strength training is great for women and here are our top reasons.

 WHY STRENGTH TRAINING IS AWESOME

– You get strong! Strength is just really helpful in everyday life and being strong makes me feel fit and like I’m tough, in the best way.

– Strength training increases your muscle mass,which in turn increases the amount of calories you burn even when you’re chilling on the couch. That means burning fat without endless cardio sessions! Cardio burns a lot of calories, but this will not only burn fat as with strength training, but most probably also muscle mass.

– Strength training will make you look toned. Since women have different hormones than men, we won’t get bulky when we lift weights. Instead, it helps to give you a flatter and strong stomach and more defined legs, arms and shoulders.

– Strength training is so much fun. Have you ever tried a bootcamp? Or CrossFit? We at #FITGIRLCODE love it! I was scared to try it at first, but I’m happy I did. I always feel so energized afterwards!

– You’ll feel like a real badass! Especially with one of our #FITGIRLCODE bags while rocking the gym! Get it in our webshop!

So come on Fit Girls! Let’s get strong! We would love to see your favorite outside workouts! Tag your workout pictures on Instagram and Twitter with #fitgirlsummer and #justdoit so we can see what all you Fit Girls are up to!

GET THE STYLE: Bag || Shorts || Headbands || Fuelband || Headphones

Why you should give Pilates a try

Still a lot of people give me a confused look when I say I’m a Pilates teacher – because, “Pilates is like some sort of yoga, right?” Yes, Pilates brings the mind and body together, but I think the difference is best described as follows: ‘Yoga is a practice, Pilates is a workout.’ I’m gonna tell you why you should give Pilates a try!

Pilates is a workout method designed 100 years ago by Joseph Hubertus Pilates during WOI to help rehabilitate soldiers. The method focuses on the center of the body; the core muscles, or also known as your powerhouse. Pilates has 6 basic principles; centering (the powerhouse), concentration (focus), control (of every movement), precision (quality over quantity), breath (blood circulation) and flow (elegant and natural movements). Classical or traditional Pilates consists of 34 mat exercises which are performed in traditional order. Some classical Pilates studios also use equipment, such as the Reformer or smaller equipment pieces like resistance bands. I teach modern Pilates, which is influenced by other methods and exercises; I like to shake things up a bit to keep myself and my students motivated!

So, why should you give Pilates a try?

–       You will develop a super strong core (= rock hard abs!)

–       It gives you defined muscles

–       Your muscles will become lean and strong

–       You will become more flexible

–       Because it brings together the muscles in the entire body and makes them stronger, you reduce the chance of getting injuries

–       Helps you to rehabilitate from injuries

–       Will make back pains disappear

–       Gives you better posture

–       You will become more aware of your body and what it can do

–       It’s a lot of fun!

I really notice a difference when I have skipped a week of teaching – my muscles become stiff and every move becomes harder to perform. I work out quite a lot (I also teach Les Mills BodyCombat and I love to lift weights), which I can do thanks to Pilates; my body is strong, my muscles are flexible and I rarely have injuries. Pilates also gave me the focus which I need during my other work outs.

Give Pilates a try and discover how amazing it is for your entire body!

Cellulite and how to deal with it

It’s almost sunny bikini season and I’m far from ready for it! My legs haven’t seen the sun in what feels like ages and in my head I somehow think I can just jump in a bikini and hit the beach! I mean, it’s not like I indulged in cheat meals over Easter or anything… 

So a couple of days ago I tried on one of those white bikinis from the new Giselle Bündchen H&M collection and, at a closer look in the mirror, there it was, my worst enemy, my greatest fear, the destroyer of confidence – Cellulite – *GASP*!!! 

Immediate action must be taken, so I went home and did my research, which turned out to be very fruitful and useful in dealing with that pesky thing that’s just so hard to get rid off! Needless to say there were dozens of myths and misconceptions to weed out but also a ton of information that turned out to be quite useful! I’m going to share all my newly acquired knowledge and experience with you!

What I really want to make clear: NO SHAME – all women can get it. No matter if you’re skinny or struttin’ some curves, this evil enemy can still get under your skin (pun intended). There are several reasons why this can happen, among which poor nutrition, fad dieting, slow metabolism, hormone changes, lack of physical activity and even dehydration (note to self: drink more water).

First things first: What is cellulite?

Cellulite is a persistent type of fat, that gathers under your skin, especially in the areas of the hips and thighs, and causes a dimpled, lumpy appearance. This can vary from an ‘orange peel’ look all the way to ‘cottage cheese’. Most of us have it and we all hate it, which is why you’re not going to like the next bit.

It’s hereditary! Why thank you, dear genes! This means that certain genes like gender, race, slow metabolism or circulatory insufficiency can predispose you to developing unwanted adipose tissue. Moreover, hormones apparently have a say in this too, especially insulin, noradrenaline (enables the body to perform well in stressful situations), and thyroid hormones. You can prevent it though – Just stay away from refined and processed foods, SUGAR, dairy and all kinds of fatty products.

Cellulite and how to deal with it

 Good news is you CAN get rid of it, BUT it takes time and perseverance…

 

  • Most importantly – EXERCISE – Make sure you get a lot of blood flow into those areas! It will make you feel good and look good. Cellulite can also be caused by muscular atrophy, a condition that occurs when a layer of muscle becomes weak, undefined and separates from the skin, which is why exercise is so important! Oh! Spice up your life (and food), that helps burn calories & increase blood flow!
  • Scrub Up – massaging your thighs using scrub can stimulate micro circulation, will make your skin look smoother and you’ll benefit from a bonus arm workout in the shower. Make sure you use circular movements, from bottom to top, guiding the blood flow towards your heart. One of my favorites is the Blueberry Body Scrub Jelly from Bodyshop. You can even make your own by mixing 1tbsp of used ground coffee, 1tbsp of coconut oil, 1tbsp of brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon.
  • You can also use one of these handy massagers to do the job ( you don’t wanna scrub off all your skin layers ). Use this baby to massage your target areas every time you hit the shower – yeah it won’t work overnight!
  • Creams DO help! They rehydrate your skin and help it gain more elasticity after working out. Look for one that also contains caffeine or Gingko Biloba – a substance that oxidises fat cells and strengthens your veins to improve blood circulation! It also increases your ability to remember things! Not bad, huh?!

Well, now you know what to do, go on, get one step closer to your perfect thighs! What are your super secret tips on dealing with this confidence crusher ?

Running into a new mindset

A couple of months ago, I signed up for the 5k Ladies Run in Rotterdam. It was a motivator for me to start running again and seriously train from zero to 5km. I started out with the speed of an 80-year-old turtle who had to catch her breath every 200 meters, but I have to say, I’m more of a 10-year-old sloth now, so I guess that’s still progress, right? 😉

I never liked running and I’m not completely sure whether I do now. However, I have committed to going running at least twice, but ideally three times a week. It really helps that my BFFF comes along every time – I don’t think I could have committed to it without her. Running was very hard for me in the beginning, partly due to a minor lung problem I’ve had since I was a child, but also partly due to my mentality. I’m not the “Rome wasn’t built in a day”-kind-of-girl. If it was up to me, I’d want to build Rome in half a day and add Venice to the schedule as well. However, I needed to learn that your body simply isn’t able to do everything you’d like it to rightaway. It takes time and training to achieve your goals, which in my case was running 5km in 30 minutes – and after 2,5 months, I have finally achieved this.

Running can be awful, exhausting and even annoying. But it can also be energizing, mind-clearing and insightful. It all depends on the mindset you’re taking with you. You can continue to think that you are tired and out of breath while you are running, or you can focus on the landscape around you and bringing your breathing back to a steady pace. You don’t need to run that fast in the beginning – take your time and appreciate the fact that you actually put on your running shoes and are out there trying! Results won’t show in a week and it will be hard. There will be days when you are lying in bed and dreading to go out for a run. But then there will also be days that you will be yearning for a run or will complete one and feel absolutely, completely proud of yourself.

Tips to take with you when you go running:

  • Appreciate the landscape around you. Try going for a run in beautiful surroundings, or explore your hometown and discover beautiful spots. It will get your mind off the fact that you are running and that you still need to go 4km until you’re home. The landscape can be quite beautiful, wherever you are. Look at it. Appreciate it. 
  • Clear your mind. You can’t solve your problems while you’re out there running, but you can take a break from them. Taking a step back and thinking about other things can sometimes bring you entirely new perspectives and help you relax. Maybe when you get home, you’ll suddenly see the solutions.
  • Bring either your BFFF or your music. Running with the feeling of company is much better than doing it all by yourself.
  • Accept the fact that you are only human and you cannot start running 5km without stopping at day 1. Training your body takes time and it needs to build up muscle and strength before you can achieve the goals you have set for yourself. If you are out of breath, take a break and walk for a while until you can breath normal again, or try running slower. I hate it when people say this to me, but… Rome wasn’t built in a day.

 

My new goal is to run 8km (and eventually 10km) without stopping since I’m training for the We Own The Night 10km in Amsterdam on the 7th of June. Any other fit girls who are going to be there as well? 

Strength training for women

I used to sweat over every piece of cardio equipment in the gym. Beside the fact that this is all but an inspiring sport activity, it didn’t give me the results I was aiming for either. When I started training at Sixforty I got introduced to strength training workouts. And suddenly the scale gave me much more love than before. And no, I didn’t become a female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Let me clarify this first: women naturally can never get as muscular as men! This has to do with the fact that women have a smaller amount of muscle fibers and testosterone. So no reason for you to hide behind this ancient myth.

Strenght training for women

I`ll give you some undeniable reasons that will convince you to start lifting weights:

  • 2 strength sessions a week can reduce overall body fat by about 3 percentage in just 10 weeks. That translates to as much as three inches total off your waist and hips. Suddenly, dumbbells sound like a smart idea.
  • Your after burn increases with 100 calories per training when you lift weights. If you train three times a week, 52 weeks a year… well, do the math! There’s a longer term benefit to all that lifting too: muscles are, unlike fat, metabolically active. That means that muscles chew up calories, even when you are not in the gym.
  •  Add heavy weights to your training. In a study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, women burned nearly twice as many calories in the two hours after their workout when they lifted 85 percent of their max load for eight reps than when they did more reps (15) at a lower weight (45 percent of their max).

It’s recommended to do three weight training sessions each week. Aim for total body workouts that target your arms, abs, legs and back. For each exercise you do, try to perform three sets of 10 to 15 reps with a weight heavy enough that by your last rep you can’t eke out another one without compromising your form.

And remember to fuel your body properly before working out. Treat your body like a car: food = fuel. If you put the wrong gas in your car, it won’t work. The right food prevents you from losing muscle along with any fat that might have melted away. So make sure you eat high protein food like chicken, soy products, eggs and quark.

(Source: http://www.womenshealthmag.com)

Interview with Stefanie, Crossfit coach

Stefanie is a dedicated CrossFit coach in Belgium and one tough (but sweet) cookie. We sat down with her for a one on one to find out more about her, what she loves and what CrossFit exactly is.

So, who is Stefanie? And what does she do?
I’m a 31 year old fun loving GIRL living in Antwerp: a CrossFit junkie, sneaker addict & clean eater. I’m also a project manager at an advertising agency during the day and a CrossFit coach in the evening.

Why did you start with CrossFit?
After I lost my best friend to cancer I started to realize that I was blessed with a healthy body but wasn’t taking care of it. Stress, smoking, sleeping & eating bad, partying too much… Out of respect to her I wanted to turn that around and start to respect my healthy body more. I quit smoking, started running and got myself a less stressful job. During that process I got introduced to CrossFit and was addicted right away to the “lifestyle”. I met likeminded people and felt my body getting healthier and firmer with every session.

I became a coach because I don’t want to spend my time discussing the colours of a button on a website, but actually make a difference in peoples lives. Make them get healthier and move better so they can use their body more efficient & stay healthy and mobile longer.

What exactly is CrossFit? And is it for everybody or should you be very athletic if you want to start?
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program with the aim of improving, among other things, muscular strength, cardio-respiratory endurance, and flexibility. You should not at all be athletic to start! That’s the beauty of CrossFit, it’s scalable for everyone. You can have a very fit athletic boy training right next to an older lady and at the end of the workout they will have had the same intensity. CrossFit will make you athletic as hell!

We see CrossFit everywhere nowadays. A lot of women are doing it and getting toned. Why do you think it’s so popular?
Because it’s super fun to do. It’s different from a regular gym because you all train and “suffer” together. No headphones allowed. It doesn’t get boring because every day the workout is different. It stays challenging, because there are so many movements you can get better at. You can keep adjusting your goals.

CrossFit isn’t just a sport, it’s a lifestyle. Why is that?
Starting CrossFit can have quite an impact. You meet tons of new people with the same goals… It will help you focus on what you really want in live and pursue it, you will gain confidence with every WOD (Work out Of the Day). You will discover things about yourself you thought you would never be able to do.

stefanie2Why is Paleo often linked to CrossFit? And most importantly, what is Paleo?
Paleo is one of the 2 “diets” CrossFit recommends depending on your goals and commitment level. Paleo is suggested for quality and can provide a great way to be healthier without having to measure calories or go hungry. The other diet is The Zone, it’s suggested for quantity and gives the most benefits in performance. Of course the combination of these two would be great, but it takes more effort. In a nutshell, Paleo is: MEAT AND VEGGIES, NUTS AND SEEDS, SOME FRUIT, LITTLE STARCH, NO SUGAR.

Do you have any advice or tips for anyone who is thinking on starting with CrossFit?
Don’t be scared & just do it!

stefanie3

Sports and beauty

We really love to see what other fit bloggers do on their blogs, Instagram and Facebook pages. We get inspired by each and every one of them! So today we wanted to put Kim from Sportenbeautyblog.nl in the limelight. This lady is passionate about working out and she means serious business 🙂

About Sportenbeautyblog.nl

Besides working out, Kim is also a make up artist. So if you need some sport or beauty inspiration, be sure to check out her blog. We received some questions from you guys about protein shakes, Kim has tested a lot of  shakes so be sure to check out those too.

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So what are you favorite fit blogs of the moment? Be sure to share them with us, would love to hear from you!

30 day plank challenge

Do you want to train the most important muscles in only one exercise? Have strong abs of steel? Then the plank position is perfect for you! With planking you train your upper abs, your lower abs, your obliques, your lower back and so on. It is a great core workout and a great way to get ready for summer.  We don’t want to rush you or anything but it’s April already, so summer is literally around the corner and we want to step up our game a little. How are we going to do this? We thought of a little challenge..

30 day plank challenge

We want to challenge you to join us in the #FITGIRLPLANKING plank challenge. 30 Days of planking, no rest days, no excuses! How does that sound? Here’s what you have to do:

Just follow us! And not only on Instagram, follow the schedule we made for you. With this schedule, starting April 1st,  we will help you get to a 5 minute plank exercise in 30 days! This is no easy challenge so we will have to help each other, together we will do this!

How to do a perfect plank pose

  1. Lie on your mat or towel with your face down
  2. Make sure your feet are together
  3. Lift yourself up while you are resting on your forearms
  4. Make sure you keep a straight line between your feet and shoulders
  5. You do this by keeping your core  (ab muscles) tight and squeezing your butt
  6. Hold this position for the the time on our schedule

The 30 day plank challenge schedule

30-day-plank-challenge

Are you in? Let us know and don’t forget to tag #FITGIRLPLANKING on Instagram, we always love to see pictures of you guys.

Happy planking!