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6am Crew

It takes a certain kind of person to force yourself out of bed before 6am with the sole purpose of working out.

I NEVER (okay; rarely ever – and that was only if it was school holidays and I wasn’t going to be able to make the gym) used to be that person, and even when I opened the studio back in September 2018, I was in awe of those who dedicated themselves to getting up while I struggled to flop out of bed at 5am.

I’m not gonna lie, It’s been a slow start for us at The Body Barre at this time of day. Sometimes it’s just been me and 1 other training down there! But then something magical has happened – and it might well be down to the mornings becoming lighter, but 1 person has grown to 7 in the space of weeks, and we’ve gone from 1 6am class to 4!

The magic comes down to that special lot who get up and bring their A-game, their chat and their hangovers (you know who I’m talking about!!). We train hard, keep it fresh, and literally come out buzzing and ready to take on the day. Even me (who would rather sell a kidney to stay in bed for an extra hour) gets up and trains with the 6am Crew when it’s not even me instructing the class – WTF?! I get it now!

You might feel sluggish as you turn up, but you will leave feeling amazing (and smug, lol!) knowing you’ve got the rest of the day to yourself. The endorphins will set you up, and I promise you’ll feel better doing it this way*, rather than hitting snooze 15 times and scrolling through social media for 30 minutes before you finally drag your sorry carcass out of bed (*speaking from experience).

We kick off the week on a Tuesday with Circuits. It’s a 30 minute intensive class – no rest! It’s over before you know it, but I crack the whip just that little bit harder! Wednesday is Ted’s BoxCardio (45 mins) which consists of pad work, boxing drills, body weight exercises and core. Thursday is TRX and we take body weight training to a whole new level. You can duck out at 6.30am if you need to, or stay on for the finisher… And finally; Kettlebells with Ted on Friday – the best way to start the weekend! Weights, bodyweight, belly laughs (Sue, I’m talking about you!!!). I wouldn’t miss it for the world x

Our 6am Crew is amazing – and anyone is welcome to come along. It’s not a clique, it’s a movement. Come and try it out, and tag us in any social media posts for the chance of free coffees, class passes or branded merchandise #6amCrew #TheBodyBarre.

Tuesday: Circuits – 30 mins (Vix)
Wednesday: BoxCardio – 45 mins (Ted)
Thursday: TRX – 30 / 45 mins* (Vix)
Friday: Kettlebells – 45 mins (Ted)

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The Peach Factory

Let’s face it, peachy bottoms are pretty much top of the list when it comes to training goals.

Here’s Vix’s top tips for building your behind…

Squats ain’t all that*. Oh my god, I said it out loud! I love squats; but see a lot of techniques that need either correcting or stripping right back to basics, so chances are you’re not squatting right. Make a few tweeks and you’re all good; but rolling onto your toes or leaning forward rather than lowering your ass down is going to result in a bad back.

*They are, but weighted squats are the game changers, and you defo don’t need to be doing that unless you know your technique is on point.

Let’s work our way through the butt muscles, and I’ll pick out my fave moves to sculpt, build and tone your tush. Aim for 12-15 reps, 3-5 sets depending on time available. Or set a timer and go for 30 seconds on each (increase in 10 sec increments if too easy – those last few reps should feel hard!).

1) Kettle bell swing. Good all rounder. Literally.

You don’t even need to go too low into this dynamic exercise – you’ll get more from the squeeze at the top. Drive your hips forward into it and clench your bum cheeks together (like you’re holding onto a £50 note). Go as heavy as you feel you can manage (6-8kg is a good start if you’re nervous)  – we’re building butts here, plus the weight helps build momentum. Eyes up, squeeze your core, don’t let your shoulders roll forward (draw those shoulder blades together and show what your mama gave ya).

 

2) Glute Bridge. One of my all time faves. These will lift your bum cheeks higher…

Elevate your feet onto a step and push your hips high, raising yourself onto your shoulders. Squeeze and hold at the top, throw in some pulses, isolate by putting one foot in the air, pulse, switch, pulse!  Add weights to your hips if you’ve got any handy.

 

3) Donkey kicks. The icing on top.

If you’ve got a squashy pilates ball (or a lightweight kids football), even better. Flip over onto all fours and tuck the ball in the crook of one knee. Squeezing it tight will activate everything before you’ve even done a rep (sweet). Push your foot to the ceiling so that your knee drives up past hip level, and then lower it back down. Make sure you keep your core engaged, and don’t over extend into your lower back. Throw those all important pulses in.

 

4) Bulgarian Split Squats.

Rest one foot on top of a step, gym bench or plyo box (or sofa, bed etc if at home), the other is a big step forward. As you lower down, make sure that front knee doesn’t push past the line of your toes. You’re aiming for an up/down motion rather than forwards/back. I like to put hands on hips (unless holding weights) as find it helps with a balance and also encourages drawing shoulders back to enable good posture. Drive up through the front heel, and squeeze at the top. Make every rep count, don’t just go through the motion.