“Have your mini band set next to your sofa so when the TV adverts come on instead of scrolling through your phone you can target those troubled areas in three minutes...”
A report, published in January in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and compiled by researchers from the UK and Brazil, compared the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with endurance training including jogging, cycling and swimming for around 40 minutes. The study found that the interval trainers dropped an average of 3.5 pounds of fat, while the longer, moderate movers lost around 2.5 pounds. Merit noted, but exercise enthusiasts still seek a new set of de-stress skills for body and mind. “Our clients understand the benefits of traditional strength training, but really want new techniques they can incorporate into their daily routines to help optimise recovery from training and manage the stress from hectic schedules,” says Lee Mullins, founder of the Workshop Gymnasium, a bespoke personal training space that operates out of London, Milan, Bali, Beijing, Dubai and Shanghai. In response he’s teaching breathing techniques and using heat exposure in the form of saunas to help boost immunity, recovery and improve detoxification. Mullins also encourages active days off. “When it comes to recovery days this doesn’t mean lying on the sofa. I still want people to be active, so moving as much as possible, whether it’s a brisk walk or a yoga class.”
Trainer Jack Hanrahan—who has worked with Jennifer Lawrence and helped train Rami Malek on the set of Bohemian Rhapsody—is set to launch Kinstretch classes at Akasha Spa in Hotel Café Royal in London. Founded by Canadian sports chiropractor Dr Andreo Spina, the Kinstretch workout has expanded fast to include athletes in North America’s NFL and NBA, as well as countless classes across the States. “It’s a combination of active stretching, strengthening and body control exercises, and is much more than just passive stretching,” says Hanrahan who also leads a #SelfCareSunday class each week via Instagram for his 115k followers. “How well we move heavily influences the quality of our lives so maintaining mobility should be a high priority. The best way to do this is through a full range of motion every day.” A typical five-minute mobility routine includes ten hip flexor stretches, ten “frog” stretches, ten 90/90 hip stretches and three “hip cars” (controlled articular rotations) on each side. “Our joints rely on movement to keep them healthy and pain-free. Movement imbibes them with nutrients, stimulates synovial fluid secretion and ensures healthy tissue remodelling,” says Hanrahan.
Get a speedy home LIIT (low-intensity interval training)
“Not everybody has the time or can make it to a regular class, personal training session or even the gym,” says Wong, who has created a resistance, core and posture home workout using his mini bands (elasticated resistance bands) and gliders (small circle pads placed under your hands and feet). “Have your mini band set next to your sofa so when the TV adverts come on instead of scrolling through your phone you can target those troubled areas in three minutes,” he says.
To tone bottom and hips: Lie on your back and place the mini band around your knees and drive your hips up and down.
For arms: Place your mini band around your hands and get into a push-up position. Perform a push-up and then a row (where you alternately bring one arm up to your chest, with or without a dumbbell), aiming for two minutes.
For legs: Use gliders and include lunge to hip hugs (“a great exercise for the legs and the stretch is ideal for hip flexors”); curtsey lunges (for a stronger, toned bottom); and lateral leg stretches to work the inner thighs.
Pile on the pounds
LEKFIT founder Lauren Kleban has spent the last three years teaching a now-cult cardio and body sculpting class to the likes of Michelle Williams and Busy Philipps from her garage in Los Angeles. As well as upgrading to a 6,000-square foot flagship studio in La Brea Avenue this spring, she’s upping the heavy lifting too. “Over the past few months, we have put much focus on lifting heavier weights,” Kleban—who also streams classes on-demand—tells Vogue. “At some point over the past ten years, women were duped into believing lifting anything over three pounds would cause them to bulk up. We have recently introduced 10lb free weights and 6lb ankle weights.” At home, start by increasing the pounds in increments. “If you are starting with 3lb, move to 5lb, then 8lb and finally 10lb,” she tells Vogue. “Start with traditional bicep curls and tricep rows plus extension. Do 10-20 repetitions on each side and increase the weight when the reps become too easy.”
Stick to a schedule
Mullins recommends beginners train one day, rest the next and repeat. “Intermediate trainees can practice a 2:1 training schedule which is train for two days, rest on the third then repeat. While experienced trainees can train for three days, take a rest day on the fourth then repeat.” Wong encourages his clients to take two sessions a week of resistance training or cardio and one session for flexibility/mobility. “I like to incorporate moderate- to high-intensity cardio into my workouts. You can do weighted circuits, cardio intervals or sprinting,” he says. “Our flexibly/mobility session could be yoga, Pilates, tai chi or stretch sessions, but our main aim is to work on our weakness, where we are tight or where posture is not ideal.”
The recovery positions
Recovery days don’t equate to the recovery position with a box set. “Something I see more and more of is people putting in the hard work but neglecting their recovery days,” Mullins tells Vogue.
For Wong, it’s a walk in the park. “Or long bike rides. I suggest that clients still do low-intensity things even on recovery days.” And stretch those hips out. “We sit all day and when we get home we sit some more watching TV or listening to music. For every hour you sit, get up off your butt and stretch those hip flexors out! Start off kneeling and then place one leg forward into a lunge position, now gently stretch those tight hip flexors hold for at least one minute each side.” He also advocates conscious consumption. “What you eat and drink can have a real effect on your sleep. Be mindful about your caffeine, alcohol and sugar intake throughout the day as well.”
Breathe before bed
“Take five minutes before bed and lie down,” says Wong. “Place one hand on your belly and the other hand on your chest. Breathe deeply for five minutes focusing on breathing through your belly and not your chest. The diaphragmatic breathing will help relieve the stress of the day and also aid in a restful night’s sleep.”