Don’t be square
Getting in shape has new meaning thanks to Nike’s latest shoe technology. The brilliant engineers at the uber-brand’s Sport Research Lab found that when we run our feet tend to twist through different positions from the moment our foot hits the pavement to when it’s hanging in mid air. The solution? They’ve replaced the soles of their Nike Free trainers with a hexagone shape pattern (if you didn’t pay attention in geometry class it’s the pentagon shape with six sides). This lets your foot twist and turn in a more natural position, giving you a greater range of motion, and more importantly, making your muscles work more efficiently.
InStyle tip: We’re wearing our Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit trainers, £110, Nike, on the commute to and from work as well as on our weekly runs to get even more leg-sculpting benefits.
Think of this superfood as the powder equivalent of a relaxing massage. “It’s the best thing you can do for your body after exercise,” says Christina Howells, London-based personal trainer and Thatgirllondon.com founder. “This dark green algae is rich in branch chain amino acids which can lesson muscle damage after you workout. It’s also a powerful antioxidant which is what you need to combat free radical production (which breaks down muscles) created during exercise.”
InStyle tip: Add one tablespoon of Organic Burst’s Spirulina Powder, £10.99 (Feel Unique) to a glass of water or orange juice twice a day to help prevent fatigue. Can’t stomach the taste? Sprinkle it over salad or a stir-fry instead.
We’re all guilty of slouching at our desks or hunching over our ipads but when it comes to exercise bad posture is more than just a bad look – it can undo all the blood-circulating benefits of a lunchtime spinning class. “Being in the correct posture and positioning while you exercise is crucial,” confirms osteopath Amberin Fur who was part of GB’s medical team for the London 2012 Olympics. “With even the slightest change to the right position you can recruit the wrong muscles to start working, meaning you’ll be strengthening those muscles that keep you in a hunch-like posture. Even worse, it can cause more strain and injury.” Her advice? Whichever type of workout you prefer (from pilates to running or cycling) ask your instructor to detail what the correct posture for that exercise is before you start.
InStyle tip: Anyone can benefit from breathing slow and paced, standing centered between both feet, knees and hips and paying attention to the muscle or muscle group you’re working. Book a session with Amberin to erase patterns of bad posture and feel instantly lighter after just one session (we swear!).
Blueprint Method, from £135, 020 7706 1997, Osteopath UK
Take a hit (of caffeine)
Besides preventing you from falling asleep at your desk – especially after one too many cocktails the night before – coffee actually boosts your body’s fat-burning abilities. The catch? Drink your cuppa before your workout not after. “I always have a strong organic double espresso just before I hit the gym to increase the breakdown and release of fat and boost my energy and mental focus too,” says Howells. But keep it black, she warns. “All the extras on offer at your local coffee shop – like chocolate sprinkles or even milk – will only add on unnecessary calories.”
InStyle tip: Black coffee not for you? Add a splash of coconut milk to your brew – it’s dairy-free and less calorific than most sugar-laden milk alternatives.
Feel the burn
Planning a steady 15k run in the sun this weekend? That’s one way to get fit but if you want to burn fat fast training in short bursts of high energy (we’re talking pushing yourself to the absolute max) is the ticket. High intensity interval training has been around for years but the newest spin on this workout method combines heart-pounding intense cardio with super-sculpting pilates exercises on the pilates reformer machine. Enter Bootcamp Pilates’s High Intensity Interval Pilates sessions – you’ll be sweating after the first 10 minutes but the fat-blasting benefits you’ll see after just a few sessions will make it well worth it!
InStyle tip: Two classes a week will guarantee bikini-body results – trust us! Sign up at Boot Camp Pilates. £8 for an introductory class and from £85 for 5 classes.