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Monday, 21 July 2014

Deodorant Vending Machine

Am I the most brilliant person on earth or has this already been invented somewhere? A deodorant vending machine! Every gym and confined office space needs one. Am I wrong?


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Ballet Sculpt - after class stretch for the feet

Any time you take on a new exercise, your body will be under pressure to adjust. This puts it in a vulnerable position so be patient with it. It's common to get cramps if you're new to pilates or barre training where the focus is on isolated movements and isometric holds and pulses.
Balancing your entire weight with your heels raised is also a big ask of your body!

If you experience cramping through the soles of your feet regularly, it is definitely worth asking your GP about.

After Ballet Sculpt, try these moves to relax and comfort the muscles in the feet. I also find it helps with my circulation, which is naturally pretty crap. Great on these cold nights!




Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Funkita - Cat Goes Primal Predator

As you all know, unless it's bright and amazing, I probably don't love it. So, I discovered Funkita while reading a fitness magazine on the iPad (brilliant way to pass time on the cross trainer!) and almost fell off I was so excited. 
Injury By Fashion?
Anyway, Funkita does swimwear, t-shirts and underwear. And much respect to them for doing a range for women who aren't size 6 - 12 or who have an enviably ample chest! It's called Funkita Form. There's also a range for men & boys: Funky Trunks!

It was hard to pick just one print from the sports crop/brief range, but I couldn't resist Primal Predator. At $42.95 for chlorine-resistant, high-quality Australian made sportswear, I think we should all support the economy one stylish piece at a time!
If you're a swimmer, get yourself a Primal Predator swimming cap!
Check out Funkita on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter

Friday, 11 July 2014

SoulCycle - What is it?

SoulCycle is huge in America. Huge! There are waiting lists for months. Why? It's taken a sweat-your-heart-out spin class and injected some zen affirmations and soul-nurturing stretches and mindfulness ideas.
We all know I love Kym Perfetto from KymNonStop (working out in high heels, anyone?) and she is a kickass SoulCycle instructor. Not only are all the instructors extremely gorgeous, they are all super fit and glowing with health. See the profiles here
Karyn (left) has recently been blasting some Depeche Mode and Owl Vision (listen to Holy S**t! here)
What I love about SoulCycle is that it isn't the competitive, beat the person next to you style spin class we're all used to. This is about a group effort! I'm hoping to find out more about bringing SoulCycle to Australia. Who'd be keen?
At SoulCycle we believe that fitness can be joyful. We climb, we jog, we sprint, we dance, we set our intention, and we break through boundaries. The best part? We do it together, as a community.



Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Nail (Love) Trail

I think we all know my nail obsession is bordering on the maniacal. Here's my favourite ideas. Just got a new delivery of Orly lacquer, and we all know I adore OPI.
Use Orly Royal Navy and Prisma to get this look (from Globe & Nail):
I'm also having an ongoing love affair with OPI Anti Bleak.
While I definitely need some practice, I'm inspired by all the nail art on Instagram to try polka dots and stripes. This will help! BeautyPRO Nail It Long Striper Nail Art Brush 

Saturday, 5 July 2014

How I treat muscle and osteoarthritis pain - NO drugs!

I am not going to pretend this will work for everyone, but it works for me and if it inspires you to try a new method that helps, I hope it works for you too.
I have osteoarthritis through my left hip, which has eroded the joint to the extent that my only real option is to have a hip replacement (September, YES!)
While I used to run endurance-style (racking up 16 - 20km daily) as a teenager, thankfully I stopped that and turned to weight-training in my early 20s. Consistently training with challenging weights, ensuring proper technique and balancing front/back, pushing and pulling, upper and lower body has resulted in NO muscle wastage. According to my surgeon, this is extremely rare in cases of osteoarthritis and he has recommended I stick with my weight-training and low-impact cardio training. My left leg and hip are particularly vulnerable to post-training tightness and soreness that can keep me up in the middle of the night sometimes, but I have an arsenal of tools for when this happens. They are also great for back and neck tension/soreness, calf and plantar fascitis pain.

I massage my upper back and neck by placing the bakball against a wall and pressing into it with my body weight. By squatting down and keeping my back close to the wall, I can manipulate the tool to run up and down my spine. I use the softer red version. If I need to target right into a sore spot, I use a knobbly massage ball. I bought mine from a trainer at the gym for $10 (thanks Aaron!) but they are available through physios and online.

Lying prone and extended on the foam roller, I use my arms to help me to roll forwards and back, pressing my quadricep (upper, front thigh) into the foam roller from the front and outer angles. I also make sure to target the iliolotal band (fibres that run from hip to knee) because it tightens and pulls on both the hip and knee, causing an achy soreness that can easily be "rolled" out!

Mentholatum Ice Gel is available in supermarkets for under $5. It is insanely good. I apply it to the back of my neck and shoulders as well as to my hip and just above my knee. I also just had a nasty 48-hour killer sore throat and swollen glands. Ice gel applied around the glands in my neck gave me major relief! Considering cost per use, this is a MUST HAVE.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

7 Day Challenge

I've had some Ballet Sculpt class participants raving about 30-day challenges. The 30-day squat challenge got the best review for being motivation to explore different squat options, increasing endurance and literally, dropping an inch around the posterior. Now, that is not a focus for all of us and be warned, if you're new to squats, there's every chance you'll ADD an inch when you build muscle. Fortunately, it looks fantastic, gives you great posture and definition, and allows you to keep squatting like a professional.
I know signing up for 30 days is like a lifetime for most of us, so I'm giving you a challenge that's a bit more intense, but requires less commitment (can't wait for a psychologist to analyse this...)
Every day you will do this for 6 minutes. That is ALL.
2a is a modification - any one-leg balance is a great option

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Bamboo: Green Is The New Black

I was watching a story on Catalyst (ABC Australia) focusing on the use of bamboo as an eco friendly fabric source for fashion. It is strong, durable and requires very little water. Turns out, bamboo has been used in medicine, construction and architecture. It's anti-bacterial and UV blocking. Perfect for wearing against your skin and definitely the ideal fabric for gymwear!
For the first time, I am wearing bamboo leggings ($24.95)! I am also now wearing Boody undies and socks. Super, super soft. Perfect for yoga, pilates and Ballet Sculpt.
If you watch the segment, you'll see that there is concern over the way bamboo is sourced and used in Australian products. Boody uses organic and plantation-grown bamboo. Their packaging uses recycled cardboard and vegetable-based ink. KNOW where your products come from! Follow Boody on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Don't Make Excuses

As I was standing in Pump yesterday, a girl went to tie her lovely long hair into a ponytail, only for the band to snap and go flying a couple of metres towards the barbell rack. Luckily, nobody lost an eye and she had another one looped around her water bottle.
RESOURCEFULNESS!
I was deeply impressed. I always have one looped around my water bottle and another around my gloves.
Don't give yourself any reason to skip 
a) your workout
b) the intensity or duration of the workout you planned

Here's my tips to be prepared.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Get a Glute Lift

There are all sorts of fancy moves I could throw at you, but the time-honoured basics are going to work if you stick with them. That means doing them twice a week, with challenging weights and making sure your alignment and range of movement is both SAFE and effective.
I highly recommend getting a trainer to help you with weight selection, then observing the way you carry out the moves to ensure you are getting the most out of your time.
Deadlifts. Heels are just outside your hips, shoulders back and chest open. Holding the bar just outside your thighs, take your hips back as the bar slides down your legs as far as you can without shrugging the shoulders forward. Squeeze through your glutes and press your heels into the floor as you come back up.
Knee raise. No equipment required! Knees are positioned under each hip and palms under the shoulders. Keep your head and neck in a straight line with your spine. Raise the knee, maintaining a 90 degree bend and focusing on using your glute rather than kicking the heel up. Repeat 15 - 20 times, swap sides and repeat twice more!
Stretch. This picture is pretty self-explanatory. Make sure you sit up really tall, like your spine is a steel rod! Hold for 1 - 2 minutes.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Bak Balls for easing out the creaky bits

I've previously enthused about the knobbly massage balls you can get from the physio and I still love and recommend them. The Bak Balls are a new discovery for me and I am using mine post-class and also just before bed.
Not just for my back - though placing it against a wall and rolling up and down has worked out some awful tension! Though it IS awkward, I can position myself over the ball on the mat and work it into my hip flexor to alleviate some of the arthritis-associated pain. I can also sit, angled to the side on it, and work into piriformis and glute medius (side of the butt!)

The original is more firm and comes in black. I have the softer version, which comes in red.

Get yours from Bad Backs

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Zen-sational - inner peace, outer beauty

It's cold and miserable outside in Melbourne, so I've found the perfect way to spend my evenings. I am lighting a candle and curling up with an inspiring book and a cup of tea.
I am a big fan of be genki candles and tea. They have ranges specific to your mood and intention. I adore the Serene candle and tea. The candle contains essential oils of Palmarosa, Rosewood, Patchouli, Neroli and Rose Otto. All Be Genki products are natural, organic, GM-free, vegan and cruelty-free.
Be Genki Serene herbal tea is a blend of organic Chamomillia, Passion Flower, Alfalfa, Lemongrass, Echinacea, Rose Hips, Siberian Ginseng,Liquorice and Ginger. Not only does it taste DIVINE, it's going to make your insides happy and your skin glow. I also love their Vitality tea with Rosemary, Yarrow, Peppermint and Gingko. Happy tummy!
And what am I reading? The fabulous Supercharged Food: Eat Yourself Beautiful by Lee Holmes. Lee is an award-winning blogger who lives for health and beauty. The book has over 100 recipes with mouth-watering photos and easy-to-follow recipes. Even if you don't make anything, the book looks beautiful on your coffee table! 
Recipes range from super smoothies and health drinks to delectable breakfast treats such as Quirky quinoa muffins and Almond and apple pancakes. Lunch and dinner are covered, too, with frittatas, pizzas, pasta dishes, stir-fries and curries.
Visit her blog at http://www.superchargedfood.com

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Pattern Princess

Yes, my addiction knows no bounds. Sally has suggested taking me along to Leggings Anonymous.
My first thought is, I wonder if they can recommend even MORE amazing places for yoga and gym wear that rocks?
Here are my favourite activewear pieces - it's cold outside, time to brighten up.
Onzie 'skulls' tights, G-loves Pink Camo gloves, Mika Yogawear 'Mia' capris, Under Armour 'Fly-By' capris, Cotton On Body 'leopard' capris.

Really must emphasise how much I'm loving the G-Loves gloves. "Lift and Love"! It's entirely psychological of course, but I find a manicure and a kick-ass outfit can go a long way to making you work 100% harder. There are some 80s and neon lovin' girls I know. I totally recommend the Rad Collection.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Timetable!

Not a moment too soon! The weekly timetable for Ballet Sculpt as of now and ongoing. There are mats provided but you are always welcome to bring your own. I recommend comfortable workout clothes - you need to be able to stretch and sweat in whatever you wear. A water bottle is also a good idea, but again, not essential.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Ballet Sculpt Trademarked

Because I design and choreograph my class according to my own knowledge, skill and as a professional exercise, I trademarked this name some time ago.

For any clubs or individuals seeking further information, Trademark Number 1584168.

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