FIGHT FAT IN 15
If you’re already a fan of bar work, you’re going to love Paola Method – a blend of original J Pilates exercise with ballet, core and functional moves. There’ no escaping that it’s tough, and muscles that you didn’t know existed will ache, but this fitness technique works. That’s why Paola’s BodyBarre is such a success- it recently launched at London fitness hotspots KXU, One Ldn and Sweaty Betty’s flagship store on Carnaby Street, plus Paola has her own studios in Fulham and Wimbledon. Wow.
Not London-bound? Don’t panic. We tapped Paolafor an exclusive 15-minute workout, designed to fight fat and get you back on the workout wagon. ‘This routine will work all of your muscles from the inside out,’ reveals Paola. ‘it’s a short version of the PBB Body Blitz class, which is sure to challenge your balance, improve muscle tone, strengthen your core and improve joint mobility.’Perform the routine below as a sequence of flowing movements, transitioning from one exercise to the next without rest. This will keep your heart rate up and put your body in fat-burning mode. Don’t do the workout just once – read Paola’s progression tips to use it as part of an eight-week programme that guarantees results. Christmas blubber, be gone!
15-Minute Yoga for Weight Loss Photo Gallery
LATERAL SIDE LUNGE WITH WINDMILL ARMS
REPS: Alternate sides for 20-30 reps.
WORKS: This warm-up move activates the thighs, quads, glutes and hamstrings, opening your hips. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step your left foot out to the side and fully extend your left leg. Bend your right leg to around 45o. Cross your left hand to the inside of your right foot, so your fingers tap the floor, and lift your right arm up and slightly behind you. Your right shoulder stacks over your left shoulder, and you should feel your upper spine twist. Lift your sit bones and keep your arms long and strong (A). Push off from your left foot to step back to the centre. Repeat on the other side (B). A.
PROGRESS: Hold light weights and increase the reps.
PARALLEL SQUAT WITH LATERAL SIDE TAP
REPS: Tap in and out 8-16 times; repeat on the other side.
WORKS: Targets and strengthens the glutes, quads and hamstrings.Start in a squat and bring your hands into a prayer position in front of your chest, keeping your chest lifted. Your weight is on your stabilising (right) leg (A). Keep your right hip over your right heel in a deep squat position. Keeping your torso as still as possible, tap your left foot out to the side with a fully extended leg (B). Then tap your left foot beneath your left hip.
PROGRESS: Over the weeks, add some pulsing moves, performed on the stabilising leg. You could also progress by using light weights.
REPS: Repeat 8-16 times, then change sides.
WORKS: Strengthens and stretches muscles, plus challenges balance and mobilises the spine.From standing, step forward into a lunge position, with your back leg extended and front leg bent to around 90o. As you hinge forward from the hips, sweep your arms up towards the ceiling. Next, lift your chest and pull back into a mini back bend (extension of the spine). Keep your hips square and shoulders away from your ears. Pause, before lowering your arms and tapping your fingers on the floor either side of your feet.
PROGRESS: Pulse (bounce up and down) on the front leg 8-16 times.
REPS: Alternate for 20-30 seconds.
WORKS: This is a cardio interval that will raise your pulse rate.Start in a high plank position with your shoulders directly over your wrists. Your arms and legs are long and feet aligned with your hips. Keep your abdominals tight (A). Pull your left knee under andin towards your stomach (B). Quickly switch to pull your right knee in while, at the same time, extending your left leg back.
PROGRESS: As the weeks go by, perform the mountain climbers for longer.
SECOND POSITION PLIE
REPS: Repeat this 16 times.
WORKS: Works the inner thighs which are difficult to target, as well as quads and glutes.From mountain climber, jump both feet in beside your hands and perform a deep squat. Hover there for 10-20 seconds. Then, let your head hang, place your hands on the floor, and slowly roll up to standing. Place your feet in ‘second position’ – feet wider than your hips and turned out – and place your arms in ’first position’ (A). Next, position your feet as shown and draw your arms up to fifth position above your head (B). Step your feet out again and plie by bending your legs (C), keeping your head up, then return to position B, drawing your inner thighs into the centre.
PROGRESS: On week two, hold the plie and pulse your legs, while squeezing your elbows towards your hips. From here, progress to jump plies to increase the heart rate on week three to four. Add light hand weights to progress in the final weeks.
PRIMAL SQUAT (TO HIGH PLANK)
REPS: Squat for up to 20 seconds.
WORKS: Strengthens your core and shoulder muscles while opening your hips. Also boosts your cardio fitness. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and toes facing out at around 10-15o. Depending on your ankle mobility, you may need to turn your feet out slightly further or widen your stance. Keep your heels on the ground. Drop down into the deepest squat you can comfortably achieve. Relax and stay there for up to 20 seconds. Keep your chest up (A), then return to the start position.
PROGRESS: As the weeks progress, jump out from primal squat into a high plank (B) for 10-30 reps. You could also increase the time spent in the squat to 30 seconds.
BALANCED SINGLE LEG LATERAL LIFTS
REPS: Do 8-16 reps on each side.
WORKS: Challenges balance, working your stomach muscles and thighs.From the primal squat position (A), come back up to standing Place your feet wider than your hips, shifting your weight onto your left foot. Sweep your arms over towards your right side into ’fifth position’ (arms above head), then fully extend your right leg to the side (B). Crunch your right knee towards your right elbow (C). Extend back to the start position, tapping your toes to the floor.
PROGRESS: From week three, add little pulses to the top of the movement in C. Add hand weights and, to challenge your balance, try floating the moving leg.
REPS: Do 10 stretches in each direction.
WORKS: Mobilises your spine. Stretches your back, neck and torso.Start in a table-top position, with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Your wrists, shoulders and elbows should be in line and perpendicular to the ground.
Focus your eyes on the ground, then exhale and tilt your pelvis under to make your spine curve up towards the ceiling, drawing your navel towards your spine and pelvic floor up. Next, let your head drop towards the ground (A). Then, inhale and tilt your pelvis the opposite way, lifting your sit bones and chest towards the ceiling. Allow your spine to arch down, sinking your belly towards the floor. Lift your head to look straight ahead (B).
HOVERING BOX WITH SINGLE-LEG EXTENSION
REPS: Repeat 8-10 times before switching sides.
WORKS: Strengthens your core muscles, arms and chest.It’s also great for pelvis and shoulder stabilisation.Stay in the tabletop position and move forward to shift your weight onto your arms (A). Keep your shoulders square over your wrists and curl your toes under, drawing your navel to your spine and activating your pelvic-floor muscles. Hover your knees off the floor (about 3-4 inches from the floor). To do this, keep your weight forward. Then send your right leg back to full extension with a flexed foot, squeezing your glute muscles (B), then draw your knee to your chest.
PROGRESS: Perform a donkey press by bending the raised knee and lifting the raised foot towards the ceiling. This can be added after 3-4 weeks.
CHILD’S POSE STRETCH
TIME: Hold for as long as you feel comfortable.
WORKS: Stretches your hips, thighs and ankles.From table-top position, lower your bottom to your heels.Touch your big toes together and separate your knees as wide as your hips. Exhale and lie your torso down between your thighs. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and breathe deeply.