How to get rid of your muffin top

That weight around your middle sure can be stubborn to shift. Anyone who’s tried to get rid of their muffin top can vouch for how difficult it is to get rid of. If you want to tackle your wobbly tum and sides, or just want to tone up your middle area, use these tips along with a healthy diet (think nutrient-dense veg, high-quality protein and LOTS of water) and you might be on to a winner…

Rounded tum:
Get good abs with… crunches and a clean diet!
Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent at a 90o angle. Think of creating a concave stomach by pulling you belly button in towards your spine and then curl your truck up, keeping your head and neck tall and in line with your body. Keep pulling your navel in towards your spine during the whole movement. Do three sets of 25 reps.

Baby belly:
Target your baby belly with… the tummy tucker.
Lie on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor and your hands on your abs. Take a deep breath in, exhale, and then draw your navel in to your spine, aiming to pull your belly button into

The ultimate good squat guide

 What’s exactly in a squat?

More than you think, actually. But get it right and you will have a butt to die for and legs toned and strong!

At Transition Zone’s event with Sweaty Betty last Sunday we learn what goes in to a decent squat. Here Claire Finley, Sweaty Betty ambassador, goes through three simple steps to ensure you’re busting it out right, too…

 

WHY SQUAT?

It’s a compound exercise (uses two or more different joints) that uses multiple, large muscle groups.

Great for… targeting glutes, quads, quadriceps and hamstrings!

Strengthens bones, ligaments and tendons.

And you’ll burn calories.

 

WHAT MAKES A BAD SQUAT?

An arched lower back or rounded upper back.

Bending from the knee rather than the hips.

Weight forward, not back.

Heels raised off of the floor.

Gaze is down and closed chest.

 

IMPROVE YOUR SQUAT BY:

Feet hip width apart – facing forward.

Flex at the hip first (not knees) by sticking your bottom back and down.

Keep looking forwards while pinching

10 ways to exercise without trying

1) Wash the car
Go on, it needs a good clean, anyway. If you’ve got a van, then you’ll really work up a sweat. Make sure to switch hands when you’re scrubbing to get a good, even workout.

2) Get off your trolley
No, not like that! Opt for a shopping basket rather than a trolley if you’re not planning a huge shop, and really work your upper body. If you really must use a trolley, once you’ve bagged everything up, carry it back to the car by hand.

3) Spring clean in summer
Yep, that’s right. But we’re not talking a regular dust ’n’ wipe here; we’re talking moving the furniture, scrubbing the walls and all that jazz. It’ll get your heart going, and you’ll be rewarded with a sparkling house!

4) See the sights
How well do you know your local area? Set aside a day with friends to walk around the local sights, as if you were tourists. You may be surprised how many calories you burn in a day spent scurrying around on your feet.

5) Stairway to fitness
An oldie but a goldie: don’t even think about calling for that lift! Dragging yourself up the stairs might seem tough

How to lose fat

What’s your diet goal for 2015? To beat the bulge and get into shape? A MORI survey found that the average British woman will spend 31 years of her life on a diet – sad, eh? There’s more to life than restricting calories. In fact there are tons of easy ways to fend off the extra pounds without miserably totting up your daily calorie intake. Try these super-easy tips and tricks to help you reach your ideal weight and stay there for life!
Refuelling hazard

The more you exercise, the hungrier you get and so you might eat more or believe you ‘deserve’ to eat more after a good workout. In some cases you might just want to eat more as a reward for having survived the session. It’s important to eat according to our whole day’s activity level, not just according to how hard you’ve exercised in the gym, particularly if you have a sedentary job.
Ditch the boyfriend

Don’t panic – it’s only for the workout. Men usually burn more calories than women in the same workout due to being heavier, in addition to which Mother Nature acts to protect women’s role as child bearer, which means we maintain adequate

Protein cheesecake recipe

With this clever recipe, you can actually boost recovery with cheesecake. Yes, really!

We are so excited about this special collaboration with the sports scientists and chefs over at The Protein Works after the launch of their 20,000 sq. ft. custom-built protein bakery. We’re happy to announce that you can now make the perfect nutrient-dense, protein cheesecake.

Ideal after a hard gym session, it has a perfect 1:3 protein to carbohydrate ratio and has been loaded with smaller superfoods and ingredients that boast some pretty impressive research in sports nutrition. From a tapered release of carbohydrates to a high protein content to boost recovery, this cheesecake also supports the body’s immune system after periods of intense training.

So what are you waiting for? Give it a go.

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

For the topping:

– 500g quark
– 250g natural yoghurt
– 60g whey protein (Lemon Shortcake Whey Protein 80)
– 2 egg whites
– 1 packet of gelatine (optional but helps create a thicker

Running tips to push your limits

Get in the zone with these great tips and make some amazing gains!

Do you love running? Are you the queen of the 5K and maybe even the 10K too? So what’s next – a half or full marathon tickle your fancy? After all, if you can run 5K or 10K successfully, what’s to say you can’t tackle a longer distance with the right training? Running your first ever long-distance race is a pretty incredible feeling. You train, you run and you realise that the adrenaline that comes with completing a longer distance is really something special.

And with so many exciting races on the running calendar this year, there’s a /lot/ for runners to look forward to, whatever their level. ‘Obstacle races are continuing to grow in popularity. They are appealing to a new audience as well as seasoned runners, because of their stop-start nature, and focus on fun and teamwork. Ultras are also really popular, as

Top fitness tips for summer

Stay fit this summer and retain your fitness A-game with these expert tips!

Virgin Active’s fitness experts have come together to bring you the most effective and fun ways to keep in tip top shape this summer. Together, they are helping members discover innovative ways of keeping healthy and active with a big focus on teamwork and training indoors to make sure you’re able to get the maximum benefit of enjoying the great outdoors! Happy exercising…

1.  TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK: With a rise in popularity of team sports such as Netball and Women’s Football, we are seeing an increased emphasis on the importance of teamwork. Group classes are always in demand, with members telling us that the supportive environment of sessions like fast-paced bodyweight training class ZUU where participants high-five and shout encouragement to each other, have a positive effect on how they feel about their workout.

There are many benefits of working out in

Are you pushing yourself hard enough?

Jogging on the treadmill whilst having a gossip is not going to reap real results – it’s time to get down to business!

If you’re pottering along to the gym two or three times a week, but don’t feel you’re seeing real results, the answer may be simple. The workouts you’re doing may not be very effective, or you may not be working hard enough! But don’t worry, if you think you’re guilty of taking your foot off the gas, we’ve got four sure-fire ways to give your workouts the boost they’ve been waiting for!

Up the intensity While a 30-minute steady-state run has long been the fall back of many a fitness fan, research is now stacking up to show that these sorts of workouts are considerably less effective than those of a higher intensity and shorter length.

Doing 10 one-minute sprints on a bike with about a minute’s rest between, three times a week, is as effective

Tone your sides with these waist sculpting moves

10 ways to sleep better

1) Make space for sleep Clear your bedroom of all electronic distractions, including mobile phones, TVs and laptops, to create a more peaceful environment.

2) Take a bath Having a warm soak before bed will help you unwind. It will also raise your body temperature, and the drop in temperature that follows this will encourage your body to think it’s time to go to sleep. Add essential oils to your bath to enhance the effect.

3) Go for a run Exercising during the day can help you to nod off at night. But don’t do a tough workout too close to your bedtime, or you may struggle to drift off.

4) Create a no-work policy Try not to do any work-related tasks in your bedroom as it can affect your ability to switch off from your daily concerns. No emails, no bills, no stress! Make your room a haven for sleep (and sex!) only.

5) Get into a routine Our bodies like routine, so going to bed and waking at similar times each day (including the weekends) will help you to programme your body to sleep better.

6) Take in the aroma Sprinkle a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow to help