Thursday, 1 May 2014

GUEST BLOG BY NIKI REIN - FOUNDER & CEO OF BARRECORE

Niki Rein is the Queen of the BURN!  Here she explains the importance of resistance training using only your body weight……

"Resistance training builds lean muscle, improves bone health and increases your cells uptake of insulin making us lean fat burning machines.  A lot of times the thought of resistance training scares people, especially women, as they think they have to go to an intimidating gym and lift heavy weights and create big, bulky muscles.  Fret not. You can gain all of the benefits of resistance training without bulging biceps and without grunting like a 'beef-cake' bodybuilder.
Exercise methods such as Pilates, Barre and other dance based techniques are fantastic ways of looking feminine and strong.  In barre fitness and the focus in classes at my studios, barrecore, is a deep muscle burn-out in every exercise using using mostly only the body's own weight as resistance followed by a deep stretch to relieve and lengthen the muscle. Our bodies weigh a lot and create enough resistance for a strong and lean physique in a very short amount of time if performed efficiently.  In barre, we aim to challenge balance as well as fatigue multiple muscle groups at once for one of the most effective and efficient resistance training workouts.  
Here is a couple exercises you can do at home.  No props needed...just your body weight!

Wide Second for a Lifted Bum-
Stand with your feet wide and toes turned out (Wide Second Position). Keep torso vertical as legs bend and thighs are parallel to the floor. Flex toes off the floor (this helps activate the gluteal muscles).  Lower hips one inch more and hold for a moment then lift one inch back to start and immediately lower hips an inch and hold.  Repeat 25-30 times and then pulse one inch up and down for another 25-30. Added Challenge: Stretch arms as wide as possible at shoulder height and flex palms for deep shoulder engagement whilst performing the entire set.

Single Leg Lifts Long Legs and Flat Abs-
Stand in 'Small V' or a narrow ballet 1st Position with heels touching and toes split 4 inches apart.  (Option to place one hand on a wall or back of chair for more support).  Lift and extend your right leg straight in front of you whilst keeping the left leg slightly bent.  Make sure the right leg is perfectly straight flexing the quadriceps, pointing the toes.  The knee will naturally turn out slightly.  Pull waistline in and lift leg one inch higher and hold for a moment before lowering back to start and immediate lift back up one inch.  Repeat 25-30 times.  Then, holding the same position, flex foot and slightly bend knee then press leg as straight as possible and repeat 25-30 keeping leg as high as possible.  Repeat sequence on the left leg.

Added Challenge:  Reach arms straight overhead whilst performing the entire set."

Niki Rein - Founder & CEO of barrecore 

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