August 29, 2016No Comments

Major Lazer – Slide – #MoveMondays

Single, single, double

This move is fun and one that you can add into a lot of different songs and routines easily but there are a couple of key points that you need to be aware of so you don’t hurt yourself:

  • When doing this move and taking part in any dance fitness class you should have proper workout trainers. If there is too much grip on the top of your trainer when twisting your feet you may twist your knee…not good!
  • Make sure you stay on the balls of your feet, it’s much easier to move faster
  • Only go as low as you can while still being able to move to the beat. There’s no point pushing yourself to go lower if you’re going to hurt yourself getting back up at the right moment to move to the next step

Enjoy and ciao for now x

August 23, 2016No Comments

When the location dictates the teacher – #TalkToMeTuesdays

As my journey along this fitness path continues I'm learning more and more about lots of things. What type of teachers I like, what type of venue, how far I'm willing to travel and how much I am willing to pay. You start the journey wanting a class for convenience but slowly you can outgrow your classes, or even your teachers at some point, or stagnate. That doesn't mean they are a bad teacher, just that the type of teaching they do, doesn't work for you anymore.

This is why I think it's so important to keep developing even as a teacher. By that I don't mean by learning a new posture for Yoga, or a new choreography for Dance or even a new recipe if you cook. I mean growing into your role and developing how you do what you do. For example, as a Dance fitness teacher I have taken up dance classes myself to try and improve my technique, refine my moves and even push myself out my comfort zone. My class will tell you that when I first started teaching I did not like the traditional Zumba hip based moves. I felt uncomfortable and unwieldy. I'm not saying I am any better in how I execute the move but I have tried really hard to try and improve that element of my teaching and to give my class a much more varied workout, constantly changing my songs and my choreo so they can grow, but also so that I can grow.

I find it baffling when you may have a Zumba teacher, or a Dance fitness teacher who has not changed for years. Ok, so you don't have to be a dancer to teach dance fitness or even Zumba but what you do is still a career. If you worked in a standard day job, you'd still have objectives, you'd still have courses for improvement, constant feedback and expect to improve year on year. So why would you not do the same with this career? I know a lot of teachers that have done the same thing for years. They still have good numbers in their classes which is great, but is that good numbers because people don't like change or are those good numbers just a turnover of people? If you have 30 people in a class this week, in 3 months you still have 30 people you'd think that was great for consistency. But how many of those new 30 are the same 30 that you had 3 months ago? It's all well and good to keep numbers consistent but also you want those people to be with you long term feeling like the workout is constantly something new, something fresh and pushes them in new ways. For yourself, especially if you do 10 of those classes a week, when will you get sick of that song or that choreo and not give 100% every time you teach?

Furthermore, locations. Now I understand that especially in London (though also I'm sure everywhere) there is a growing desire for boutique type gyms and studios. More trendy, more expensive and more dynamic classes. I'm all for that. However, what I'm not all for is the location changing a teacher.

Every teacher you have for any type of fitness brings their own elements to their classes. Some of us design our own classes, or even deliver the same classes in very different ways. It doesn't mean any of us are wrong, just different. That's why there is so much choice. Someone may love attending my class, some may hate it. It's not because I'm a bad teacher, just because the way I teach doesn't appeal to them.

Today I went to a trendy studio in Central London. I've heard a lot of good things about the studio. I was sincerely disappointed in my class. Why? It was a yoga class, 50 mins. Firstly, it overran which is a big deal when you are going in the middle of the working day. Not only that but we moved through every posture so fast I barely got into them before we were moving out of them. We also did SO MANY postures, I'm sure we were going through the entire yoga dictionary. For those that practice yoga, I was doing crow balances in my second sun salute flow. During the entire 60 mins class we did, cows head pose, flows, warrior 1, warrior 2, warrior 3, humble warrior, reverse warrior, side twist, head stands, hand stands, forearm balance, side crow, standing balance, wheel and that is just to name a few!

At the time I blamed the teacher. Most of the class didn't do every posture, myself included so why did she not recognise that we weren't ready for them all and just take longer with the previous pose? On reflection, and after speaking to a few others, I realised there was probably a heavy influence from the studio. The entire theme of the location is about fast, dynamic, tough, arm balances and I realised that perhaps some of it was her inattentiveness to her class but how much of it was her opinion being over written by a location?

So my statement today is this. Like every single job we do, in every single walk of life. You can love your job but hate where you work. Nowhere is worth sacrificing who you are and how you do your job for. A fitness teacher especially has to stay true to themselves and has to teach their content, their way. They can't be forced into changing everything because that is what the location wants as it just shows that the location doesn't really understand the topic you are teaching. Yoga is about internalising, and as a couple of my awesome teachers have said in the past, it's about how a posture FEELS not what it looks like. How can you get to what it FEELS like if you have barely got into the posture? If every posture is a transition, when do you stop to take it in?

Something to think about.

Ciao for now x

August 10, 2016No Comments

Punch the waves – #WetWednesdays

PUNCH!

When you were a kid did you ever play fight with waves? I did, well I mean, I still do! haha when that wave comes in, ball your fist up and punch it with all your might.

It’s incredible the strength you use and how the resistance pushing back on your hand really works your arm. Try comparing it to the slice we did last week.

Go to the pool and try the too. What is harder? What is easier? Can you feel the resistance more in your arms when you punch it? Can you feel the difference and how hard it is?

There are a number of ways you can change your hand movement to get a higher or lower level of workout.

What about if you slice your hand to the side, how does that feel? Now try balling your fist. You have more of your hand exposed to the water now so you can really feel a big difference. Creating a smaller plane that’s exposed to the the water will make less impact and less resistance.

Playing with different hand movements is so much fun and makes me feel like a kid again. Hit the pool, have a play and enjoy yourself. Experiment, be a child and lose your inhibitions.

Ciao for now x

August 6, 2016No Comments

Aftersun anyone? – #SkinliciousSaturdays

Tropic Aftersun

 

☀️PROLONG YOUR TAN or help SUNBURN with our GORGEOUS AFTERSUN - Soothing Tan Optimiser☀️
WHAT DOES THIS PRODUCT DO? ☀️😎👙
This Aftersun Soothing Tan Optimiser deeply nourishes skin that’s been exposed to the sun and helps retain essential moisture in dehydrated skin, to effectively accelerate tan development and reduce peeling and redness, while keeping sun-heated skin feeling comfortable, cool and soothed.

💚HERO INGREDIENTS💚Made naturally with bisabolol, aloe vera juice and calendula.🌿🍃

💛BISABOLOL💛Bisabolol is the primary component of chamomile, which promotes healthy tissue regeneration, and is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which help to soothe irritated, sun-heated skin.

🌱🌿ALOE VERA🍃🌱Often referred to as the ‘plant of immortality’, aloe vera has been used as a natural remedy for over 4000 years. Renowned for its ability to soothe, calm and condition irritated skin, this powerful healing plant provides excellent care for sun damaged skin. We’ve used a double concentration of aloe vera juice to maximise effectiveness.

🌼🌸CALENDULA🌸🌼Native to southwest Asia, western Europe and the Mediterranean, calendula - from the Latin word calendae, meaning little calendar, because the flowers bloom at the beginning of most months - is reputed to speed up the skin healing process, help soothe itchiness and condition skin to help return it to its normal, happy, healthy self.

WAS £18 | 200ml - NOW £13.50! ⭐️☀️⭐️☀️

August 2, 2016No Comments

Fad Fitness – #TalkToMeTuesdays

Fad fitness

Fad fitness programmes

There’s no denying that there are literally dozens, hundreds of ways you can get fit and get the body you’ve always wanted. Some take longer, some need to be done more frequently than others and some just don’t hurt at all. What you need to be clear about is what works for you and your body. It may be you haven’t found it yet, but you shouldn’t stop looking. Think about what you would enjoy, give that a go and take it from there. When you find your right thing you’ll love it, going to a class or doing it won’t be a chore, it will be fun and you’ll smile the entire way through.

What does drive me a bit crazy however are the fad fitness programmes. The celebrities that every year have a new ‘smaller in 5 mins’ workout that convince you that if you do this workout just two to three times a week you’ll be sure to have their washboard abs and still feel great. No. Just no.

Let’s be clear, working out is a fantastic way to stay in shape and yes, a side effect is you lose fat in areas and build muscles in others. It doesn’t automatically mean that the scales will be lighter, you may get heavier due to muscle building. It doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll have an amazingly flat stomach either.

Getting to that shape and that body that you see in countless Hollywood movies takes a careful planning of both diet and exercise. A great phrase that I love is that you can’t work off a bad diet. If you exercise, that doesn’t mean you get to treat yourself to a really bad meal every night. Yes, a treat here and there is fine, it’s what keeps you going but I’ve known so many people that do a couple of workouts a week, expect an instant change in their weight AND expect to be able to eat the worst of the worst takeaways.

Your body needs caring. Would you put vegetable oil in your car? No. it needs proper maintenance just like your body and that is not going to happen in a DVD that shows you just 5 mins of information.

Most of the DVDs also do not encourage you to assess yourself. You don’t have the guidance, experience or knowledge of a trained instructor at home, just someone showing you the moves and encouraging you in a very generic way. How do you know if your posture is right? How do you know if you should move your feet an inch forward because you’re arching your back too much? You don’t. That’s why I always advise trying something out in person first and then giving it a go at home.

So next time you’re about to pick up a ‘5 mins washboard abs’ DVD, ask yourself would it be better to just pop along to a class at your local gym, community hall, leisure centre or any of the other hundreds of things going on all across the world?

Ciao for now x

August 1, 20162 Comments

Box step – #MoveMondays

One of the easiest move to teach someone as you just need a bit of imagination to picture a box!

Where your feet start are the bottom two corners of the box and all you do is step each foot forwards to imagine the box on the floor.

This move can then be tailored so you can go lower, push your hips out further or use your arms to add in more of a full body workout.

The move is pretty straightforward so no instructions this time, just watch and copy!

Have fun and ciao for now x

July 27, 2016No Comments

Slice that hand – #WetWednesdays

Have you ever tried aqua aerobics? If not? Why not? It’s actually great fun and there are very simple yet effective ways to make the workout harder or easier as the case may be.

One of the best ways to change up the exercise is to change your hands. No matter what your legs are doing try this simple switch up of your hand positions and movements and see what effect it has on your workout.

The easiest hand movement you can do is to slice the water. Position your hand into a flat knife like position and slice it through the water. Either fingers first and slicing forward or off to the side so your hand is still facing forwards. Notice how much easier it is than if you had your hands open in the direction you are moving your hands in? Thats because your hands are showing the smallest possible plane facing into the water which means there’s less resistance.

Doesn’t mean it’s easy to do, but it will be easier than a few of the other variations which we will cover in later blog posts. Still a great way to work out your arms and chest.

Enjoy this one!

Ciao for now x

July 18, 2016No Comments

Major Lazer – Arm Pump – #MoveMondays

A mini body pump. The movement is slow which takes control and actually works your arms more. You also need to keep your tummy sucked in which will help you to balance and work your abs at the same time.

Knees should be slightly bent, the more bent they are the more you work your legs out so take it as far as you want to.

Ciao for now x

July 12, 2016No Comments

Boys can’t dance – #TalkToMeTuesdays

Billy Elliott

Most people know the story of Billy Elliot, the boy who wanted to dance. So why is it there is still so much stigma attached to boys that want to dance?

The biggest issue I have with people wanting to join my dance fitness class is they say they don’t know how to dance. It slightly baffles me, why would you need to know how to dance? All you have to be able to do is follow what I tell you to do and try to do it to the same timing as I do. But worse case scenario you won’t and you’ll still be moving and you’ll still be sweating and still be working out as you wanted….and hopefully still having fun while doing it? So why would you care really.

When it comes to boys, my mind boggles even more so. A lot of them look at you, when you suggest they come to a dance class, as if you’ve just told them their an alien that was adopted from the planet Jupiter on the day they hatched from an egg. ‘Men don’t do dance classes’.

When drilling into that statement further, they say it’s more for women. Why? Well, I think actually that’s their way of saying they’re scared and intimidated to come.

The few guys who have come along to my class have loved it. I mean, regardless of your sexual orientation, you get to dance in a room full of women with everyone having fun, no stress or awkwardness that there is in a club and you don’t even have to think about your dance moves. All you have to do is be able to follow instruction and over the weeks you will easily pick up the moves, no matter how bad you think you are at dancing.

I’ve seen people in my class who can’t keep to the beat of a song. Yes, I show them the move, I move to the beat and they can be going a completely different direction. That might be what happens on week 1 but by about week 3 or 4 those same people are moving to the beat and almost knowing what moves are coming next. They learn to keep to the beat. Dancing is a skill that anyone can learn, to differing degrees but everyone has the potential to keep to a beat!

I think the biggest shock that the guys in my class have had was how tough the class is. They thought there would be lots of hip twirling and grinding, some body pumps and that’s it, not much sweating. HA! Proven wrong every time, working their butts off and hurting more in that one hour with me than they would pumping weights.

So to everyone out there, boy or girl, old or young, try out our class. We are an amazingly welcoming group who just love music and enjoy the idea of smiling the whole way through our workout. Yes, some of us (myself included) treat it like our very own concert, belting out tunes while ‘squatting like it’s hot’ but who cares. No one in our room judges each other, we’re all there for the same reason.

Look forward to seeing you all soon

Ciao for now x

July 11, 2016No Comments

Major Lazer – Karate Chop Squat – #MoveMonday

This move on it’s own combines a couple of simple moves that create a full body workout. Imagine a side on squat with strong karate chop arms. That’s the only real way to describe it.

This move works your arms by keeping them strong and your hands pointed to make a karate chop action. It also works your abs by using them to stabilise and move through the movement and takes just a little tensing of the ab muscles to keep your balance. Lastly it works out all of your upper legs and bum depending on how low you take the squat. If you have the capacity you can take the squat very low down but remember that no matter how low you go you have to keep to the beat so make sure you can get back up in time!

Watch the video and give this one a go

Ciao for now x

  
ShakeUp are a group of individuals who want to change lives with smiles.

Newsletter sign up