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How to set up and avoid the common mistakes around the Bulgarian Split Squat.
This, by far is one of my FAVOURITE, FAVOURITE Lower body exercises. It’s unilateral (and y’all know how I feel about those) but when performed correctly, and slowly can also yield some pretty epic hip mobility (and strength) gains.
Drop your Q’s below.
WHY YOGIS SHOULD LIFT |
I am always wary of saying ‘should’ because it essentially disrespects the notion of ‘grey’ areas, imparts my ‘judgement’ onto you and may potentially inhibit your own critical thinking on the matter. But - more often than not if you’re doing yoga consistently, I believe you should also be doing weights (unless there is a very specific contraindication). Here are a few reasons why:
One. Yoga Asana is not a completely balanced movement practice - that’s not to say that it can’t be, but most classes are not going to be able to ensure that the resistance placed on your anterior musculature vs. your posterior musculature are even (this isn’t just the case with yoga, but since this post is for yogis, I’m going to keep it strictly yoga related).
Two: The strength adaptations around Yoga are also very slow: because unless you’re working to a specific yoga programme the chances that your local yoga teacher has considered progressive overload principles when planning his/her classes for the weeks & months ahead are slim to none (I aggressively raise my hand and admit that I did not consider this either, when class planning). Weight training around your yoga practice is a chance for you to fill those strength adaptation gaps.
Three. Just because it’s old, doesn’t make it right (or relevant) - For one, Yoga asana although amazing, was not created at a time where by human beings spent hours upon hours in chairs. In fact, it’s designed to be done alongside a philosophical practice that is in essence, designed to help you eventually transcend the body - not reside in it while you work a desk job.
If you love yoga, it’s probably in your best interest to actually BULLETPROOF your body to be able to continue doing it by also supporting all that flexibility with equal parts strength. Particularly with your posterior musculature and lower body.
Learn to deadlift, learn to squat and if gyms scare the shit out of you, hit the link in my bio and do it with me (and the #VertueCrew) at home.
Song: J.Cole no role modelz
EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT | WANT TO GET SWEATY AND SERENE AT Sweaty Betty LIVE 12th October IN LONDON? TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE NOW (ok I’ll stop yelling now)
I’ll be hosting a class, a talk and will be sat on a panel at Sweaty Betty live, this 12th October. If you haven’t been to one of these events you need to get there - because Betty knows how to throw an amazingly sweaty and educational event.
If you missed my event with Sweaty Betty last month, DO NOT MISS THIS.
Book your tickets via the Sweaty Betty website.
Wearing: Sweaty Betty (obvs) these are the Rust Camo Super Sculpt
What is awesome about them (other than the comfort) is that each legging is made from 17 post-consumer PET plastic bottles and 76% recycled fabric. It’s their first ever recycled legging and I think it’s pretty damn awesome.
Can’t wait to see you and give you a sweaty hug and take a sweaty selfie and just general mesh our hard-earned sweat together at SB LIVE.
Swipe right for my ridiculous attempt at the splits without warming up. Thanfully no hamstrings were harmed in the filming of this video. Just egos. One ego. My. ego.
See you on the mat.
shared with permission from a member of the Vertue Crew writing on the private Facebook group about her experience doing the 12 week Vertue Method programme.
Swipe right for a video that will G you up for the programme, then hit the link in the bio and join us (the Vertue Crew will #saveGotham )
NEW YOUTUBE VIDEO | 25 Minute Guided Relaxation (that includes a mini BEGINNER yoga/mobility sequence if you want to loosen up before dropping into full on savasana Mode).
If it’s not live on my channel now, keep hitting the refresh button. It will be there soon. 👩🏽🦳
Song: Maribou State - Midas (SUCH. A. GREAT. TRACK)
B-Stance Squat | This is a movement I’ve been working into my lifting sessions a lot more, particularly because it has great carryover into it’s benefits for Brazilian jiu-jitsu but also because y’all know I’m a huge fan of unilateral training (eg. single leg exercises like Lunges, Single Leg Squats, Step Up, Single Leg Hip Thrust etc)
The emphasis is placed on my front ‘stance’ leg while the back leg is there for predominantly stability.
My feet are slightly wider than hip distance with my back leg more externally rotated, weight is on the front leg and just like a normal bilateral squat I need to make sure that there isn’t knee valgus (knees dropping medially - inwardly). Also make sure the hips stay forward facing, coordination and mobility issues may cause hips to twist and you want to avoid that or it defeats the purpose of this exercise.
I ALSO LOVE this move for building ankle mobility too as the weight shifts a little further forward.
K that’s all, happy Saturday bye now.
Current Situation: Missed. BJJ this morning because I’m, exhausted af and trying to prioritise health over fitness - goddam I hate it when I have to take my own advice 🙄
AB & CORE WORKOUT | Save to Rave (but also read the caption) Nothing profound going on here fam, I just wanted to share an abdominal workout that I’ve been doing and loving (which is rare, because lets be honest, trunk flexion and extension isn’t the most riveting of movement patterns, but it still needs to be done).
This sequence is quite brutal and has my abs and core on fire by the end of it.
I perform 20 reps of each exercise for 5 sets, I rest for roughly 20-30 seconds between each exercise and 90 seconds between each set (I give this longer rest so that I give my body the chance to fully recover and can give each SET my absolute ALL).
I’m about to hit it up right now in the gym.
Side note about my life that you may or may not GAF to read about but thought I’d share anyway in case someone here on the interwebz can relate:
Workouts at the moment are unstructured and scatty for a couple of reasons;
one) I’m about to start a new programme and I always lose a bit of structure ‘in between’ programmes. I still move every day, but I always feel a little lacklustre - I’m ok with that dip in motivation, and continue to move through discipline.
Two) I’m under the pump trying to get a whole bunch of projects completed (mobility programme, over 50’s plan and kettle breast T’s to name a few) in the two months done, while I also process some personal shit that I uncovered recently. Something I immediately notice around times of slightly heightened emotional stress is that my sleep and food intake is compromised.
This contributes to an even greater allostatic load (talked about that a few posts back and talk about it in my talks with #wemove). Because of this I BACK OFF EXERCERMERCISE, even though it’s my nature to ramp it up as a means of distraction from the stress, I try to honour (and I’m not perfect) the need for REST, not further stress.
Maybe you (or a friend - tag em) needed to be reminded of that.
Big love and happy ab training.
NYMPH? More like LYMPH | Right now, as you read this post, there is a full scale attack being waged on your body. That’s not to scare you, that’s to remind you that your body is F***king amazing and fights these bacterial and viral attacks in such an intelligent way and unless you’re dead, it’s still doing a pretty good job.
The lymphatic system is extremely complex and I’m not going to attempt to break it down in 2220 characters, as a PT it’s also not like I’m an expert in the intricacies of it either, I just find it extremely interesting and a source of motivation to move (as I explain below).
The Lymphatic system plays a vital supporting role to your immune system, filtering pathogens from lymph and providing a home base for the disease-fighting lymphocytes (white blood cells designed to attack a specific type of pathogen) - this means that you should GAF about it - particularly if you care about health and fitness (and I assume you do if you’re reading any of my posts).
INTERESTINGLY the Lymphatic system relies on movement, or more specifically the contraction of skeletal muscles to open and close tiny one-way valves of the lymph system pushing lymphatic fluid throughout the body.
If you’re about to spend hours and hours, still behind a desk, try to set a reminder to move your body. It doesn’t have to be a full-fledged HIIT session (in fact, rarely should it be that), but even a quick stretch at your desk, a walk to the water filter, a 10 minute brisk walk outside to get some sunshine and fresh air will benefit.
And if you’re feeling a bit demotivated to exercise because summer is coming to an end and you think - ugh what’s the point I’m going to be in winter clothes soon - just know that there is ALWAYS A POINT.
Supporting your Lymphatic system is one of them.
Remember - there are 99 reasons to exercise, and providing support to your lymphatic system should be one of them.
This is how I drain my lymph fluid... (joking Instagram police, joking).
#vertuecrew 📷: for @fitnessfirstmag
Bench and Dumbbell Lower Body sequence| Save to Rave*
If you do the #VertueMethod, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of unilateral movements (one-sided eg. Single Leg or Single Arm) for a number of reasons; improving muscular compensatory imbalances, core activation and its translation into human movement like running.
A1. DB (dumbell) Bulgarian Split Squat / 10-12 reps
A2. SL Glute Bridge / 10-12 reps
A3. Step Up (with forward Lean) / 10 -12 reps
A4. DB B-Stance DB Deadlift (I go deep because my hamstrings allow that kind of mobility while still maintaining a neutral spine) 12-15 reps
B1. Side Lying Leg Raise 20-25 reps
Remember: This is not the only training I do. These exercises are amazing and I do them, but they are accessories to the bigger lifts that I do for strength. They do not replace he Squat, Deadlift or Hip Thrust. I still do those. Now does that mean you should do those? Not necessarily - it depends on your physical contraindications. It would be responsible for me to suggest in a blanket statement either way.
Drop your Q’s below.
If you didn’t make that noise at the end of your last Glute set, did you even really train your glutes?
Thanks for filming me at the amazing, above ground @miloandthebull gym, @felicityrosina
Song: FLUME 🥰Warm Thoughts. Reminds me of summer 2013 in BONDI (but also 😭🤢 all the goddam feels).
HOW TO LOVE YOUR BODY |
Big topic. Sadly, it’s kind of bastardised all over the interwebz by people who don’t actually love their body and instead promote ‘self-love’ in an effort to mask the fact that everything they are ‘selling’ is the antithesis of it.
I’ll be the first to raise my hand and say; I am still learning how to practise Self-Love. A big part of MY life journey is of course to understand it, but to say that I LIVE IT would be a gross overstatement.
So many times in my life I prioritise other things over the most loving choice for myself and my body.
However one thing I can VEHEMENTLY CONFIRM is that ‘love’ alone is not enough - we must cultivate understanding. This is why I preach (and practice) understanding HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY & PHYSIOLOGY. Because how you gonna love something you don’t really understand?
Now I know there are people out there whom will disagree, but personally I believe that love is only strengthened by the willingness to understand.
Back to Body Love; one of the most powerful motivators for me to take care of my body, is knowing JUST HOW MUCH my body does for me EVERY GODDAM SECOND OF THE DAY. Working hard to maintain my homeostasis.
In the last 60 seconds of your time on instagram, 5.6L of blood has circulated throughout your body three times, carrying oxygen, nutrients, removing waste, even warming you up and/or cooling you down. Talk about f***ing multitasking.
So, f**k the beauty standard, WE* take care of our body because the body takes care of us - not to fit some strange ideal perpetuated by insecure people that still take smelly shits, secrete unpleasant bodily fluids and will die one day.
Side Note: I also know it’s easy for me to say ‘fuck the beauty standard’ because I happen to have been lucky enough to have genetics that fit societies ideals (I mean apart from the whole being brown thing) I’m not suggesting it’s EASY, I’m just offering a POV on how I personally aim to cultivate it with myself and my clients.
*The Vertue Crew - #educationistthebesttmotivation #savegotham #mondaymotivation
TRX ARMS AND CORE - Save to Rave* |
The great thing about the TRX is that it’s light and transportable, but it’s also PERFECT when the gym is busy or the weights section stinks of ball-sack sweat and whey protein.
It’s also just an underrated piece of useful equipment that can provide an awesome full body workout.
A1. Bodyweight Row (he further you move your feet towards the anchor point (where you’re hanging the TRX) the harder it will be as it will change the angle of your body. Perform at a level that will enable you to do 10-12 reps
A2. Bicep Curls - keep the elbows high here. If they drop past your body it just turns into a row. 10-12
A3. Tricep Extensions - Make sure you hold your hollow body position here and avoid flaring through the ribs. Squeeze your glutes and get that posterior pelvic tilt. Keep the handles together. 10-12
A4. Y-Raise - Avoid bend the elbows and try to keep the scapular from elevating, otherwise it will become very trap heavy (they still will activate of course, but it’s important to keep the neck long). 10-12 reps
B1. Pike to Bent Knee Pike - This time, the further from the anchor point, the harder it will be. Find a point where you can perform 20 reps total.
B2. Swinging Pike - 20 reps total
As always fam - you must make sure you have adequate movement capabilities to perform these exercises. If you can’t get your arms above your head without your ribs flaring and you can’t actively extend your wrist - you should not be performing these overhead loaded exercises. It will catch up with you and your joints.
Mobility is key.
So is Mac Miller.
*And by rave I mean workout. Which isn’t the same thing and truly is a poor comparison. Apologies.
But also I’m not really that sorry because it’s my IG page.