5 minutes a day…..

As well as giving me the chance to goof around outdoors, the recent snow also gave me a chance to do some thinking about a whole range of things.  It’s great fun to let your mind wander around like this sometimes.  While it’s not exactly meditation, for me, I can find it even more restful than sleeping and certainly more enjoyable !

One of my recent daydreams had me wondering.  You know we’re always racing from one thing to another, what would we do with more time ?  If you’re anything like me, probably more running ! But isn’t it crazy that the less time something takes to do, the less likely we are to do it ?

So girl, its time to put down that mobile phone, abandon the Facebook status update and dare I say it step away from the cake………. (I know, I can’t believe I typed that either)  Instead, why not try one or more than these quick routes to a better day and happiness ?

BreathingBreathe. That’s right, just breathe !  The best thing about these five minutes is that you can literally do it anywhere, office, home (there’s even one girl in the salon that does it in the ladies – she gets embarrassed)  You don’t need to “do the pose”, sitting cross legged with your thumb on your fingers, just comfortable !

Close your left nostril with your left thumb and breathe only through your right nostril and let the energy flow through you.  You’re looking to keep a regular rhythm with your breathing and keep your breaths in and out the same length.  I also prefer to close my eyes closed personally, but beware, I’ve heard ladies snoring a couple minutes in when they do this ! Just settle into your rhythm and enjoy for five minutes.  Heaven !


Find your balance.

This is my personal favourite 5 minute exercise.  Ok, so you don’t have to stand on a mound, looking like the cross between a figure four and a belly dancer, but studies have shown that simply standing on one foot for 5 minutes can have a positive effect on your core strength and joint stability.  I know what you’re thinking though – are you having a laugh ?

The simple answer is NO ladies !

Try standing on each foot for a couple of minutes to get a real benefit in your core – if nothing else, you’ll learn to wobble evenly !

Doodle (or colour in)

Doodle.png#YNotbU recently bought the Authentic image modelling agency and their Creative Director Amanda is an AMAAAAZING doodler, but even if you aren’t as talented as Amanda, there’s still a great mental benefit to doodling and colouring in.

Just listen to Amanda’s advice “Don’t let a perceived lack of talent stop you – get some pencils and a pad and just create your own masterpiece. Whatever you do will be an original so don’t forget to sign it !”

Doodling isn’t just a way to keep yourself occupied in a dull meeting either, studies have shown it can help improve your memory and ability to retain information, improve focus, reduce stress and help you think more creatively. Dedicate a few minutes a day to doodling and see where the blank page takes you…. I’d love to see what you create !

warm upGetting back to an exercise theme though, I want to talk to you about probably the most important 5 minutes of your workout.  The 5 minute warm up before and the 5 minute warm down afterwards.  Follow this simple routine at the start and end of your workout and thank me later !


  • Upper body and arm stretch: Clasp hands together, plans facing outwards, push arms up above the head. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Tricep stretch: Raise right arm, bend it backwards so right hand is in middle of back and use other hand to gently pull elbow towards left side until you feel a strict. Hold 30 seconds and repeat on other arm.
  • Standing cat cow: Feet hip-width apart, legs slightly bent, lean forwards and place your hands on thighs just above knee. Round your back so head and shoulders are curved forwards. Then arch your back so your chest is open and shoulders back.
    Shoulder shrugs: Shrug shoulders up and down 10 times.
  • Upper trap stretch: Lean your head to one side so your ear is towards shoulder. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat on other side.
  • Calf stretch: Bending your left knee in a lunge shape, place your right leg straight out behind you, heel on the floor. Place hands on kitchen side and stretch into right calf for 30 secs. Repeat on left side.
  • Hamstring stretch: Bend your left knee and place your right leg straight in front of you. Sit into the left leg tilting your bum towards the sky. Keep your right foot flat on the floor for 15 secs, then lift toes towards sky for 15 to increase stretch. Repeat on left leg.
  • Glute stretch: You can hold the kitchen side for support if you need to here. From standing, bend you left leg slightly and lift you right leg up and place your right ankle just above left knee. Sit into it and try and for 30 seconds, Repeat on left.
  • Quad stretch: Standing on your left leg, feet hip-width apart, take your right ankle in your right hand, keeping your knees together. Tilt your pelvis forwards to increase the stretch and don’t lock out your standing knee. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat on left side.


So let’s get going girls AND Don’t forge to tell me how you get on !



transgirlfitness 4




Learn to sleep better

Rather than fitness, this month, our Facebook group is talking about sleep.  Seriously !!!  I know, I know.  You’re already thinking that all you need to do is lie down, close your eyes and it just happens.  Or does it ?

We’d probably all understand that getting a good nights sleep is a great way to recharge and improve our mental state, but what if I were tell you it can also affect your daytime energy, productivity, emotional balance, and even your weight ?  Well ladies, I’m here today to tell you that’s EXACTLY what it can do !!! Sleep is an ESSENTIAL part of your fitness regime.  So if you’re serious about getting into shape, sleeping and resting should be a core part of your routines.

Ready ? Set………….  Lets errrrr, sleep !!!

Tip one – Feel the Rhythm

circadian rhythmGetting in sync with your natural sleep-wake cycle (or circadian rhythm to use its scientific name), is a really important part of sleeping better.   A regular sleep wake cycle will result in you awaking more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times, even if you only alter your sleep schedule by an hour or two.
Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. This helps set your body’s internal clock and optimize the quality of your sleep. Strange as it seems, If you need an alarm clock, you may need an earlier bedtime !  And lastly, I know its soooo hard, but try to avoid sleeping in, even on those lazy weekends it feels you deserve after the week from hell in the office !

Tip two – Control your exposure to light !

A light box can be a great way to increase your sunlight intake

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle.  Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark—making you sleepy—and less when it’s light—making you more alert. However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm.
In the morning, try to expose yourself to as much natural bright sunlight as you can. The closer to the time you get up, the better.  The light on your face will help you wake up
Spend more time outside during daylight. Take your work breaks outside in sunlight, exercise outside, or walk your dog during the day instead of at night.


At night, we want all the opposite things.  So…… Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime. The blue light emitted by your phone, tablet, computer, or TV is especially disruptive. You can minimize the impact by using devices with smaller screens or simply turning the brightness down.  Say no to late-night television. Not only does the light from a TV suppress melatonin, but many programs are stimulating rather than relaxing. Try listening to music or audio books instead.
Don’t read with backlit devices. Tablets that are backlit are more disruptive than e-readers that don’t have their own light source.
When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark. Use heavy curtains or shades to block light from windows, or try a sleep mask. Also consider covering up electronics that emit light.

Tip Three – Food can make a difference !

Breakfast 1
Repeat after me – healthy food, nomnomnomnom !!!

Your daytime eating habits play a role in how well you sleep, especially in the hours before bedtime.  WE want to avoid big meals at night (after 20:00 really). Try to make dinnertime earlier in the evening, and avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of bed. Spicy or acidic foods can cause stomach trouble and heartburn.
You also should be trying to avoid drinking alcohol before bed. While a nightcap may help you relax, it interferes with your sleep cycle once you’re out. On the subject of drinking, you should try not to drink too much in the evening as, well, you know.  Lots of trips to the bathroom, nobody wants that !!
Cut back on sugary foods and refined carbs. Eating lots of sugar and refined carbs such as white bread, white rice, and pasta during the day can trigger wakefulness at night and pull you out of the deep, restorative stages of sleep.


Tip Four – Wind down and clear your head !

medtationDo you find yourself unable to sleep or waking up night after night? Residual stress, worry, and anger from your day can make it very difficult to sleep well.
If anxiety or chronic worrying dominates your thoughts at night, there are steps you can take to learn how to stop worrying and look at life from a more positive perspective. Even counting sheep is more productive than worrying at bedtime.
If the stress of work, family, or school is keeping you awake, you may need help with stress management. By learning how to manage your time effectively, handle stress in a productive way, and maintain a calm, positive outlook, you’ll be able to sleep better at night.
The more overstimulated your brain becomes during the day, the harder it can be slow down and unwind at night. During the day, many of us overstress our brains by constantly interrupting tasks to check our phones, emails, or social media. Try to set aside specific times for these things, and focus on one task at a time. When it comes to getting to sleep at night, your brain won’t be accustomed to seeking fresh stimulation and you’ll be better able to unwind.

Tip Five – Improve your sleep environment


Do you love your bed THIS much ?

A peaceful bedtime routine sends a powerful signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and let go of the day’s stresses. Sometimes even small changes to your environment can make a big difference to your quality of sleep.


  • Keep your room dark, cool, and quiet  18 Celsius is just about perfect for a great nights sleep.  Any higher than about 22 Celsius and you’re going to find it difficult to nod off.
  • Keep noise down. If you can’t avoid or eliminate noise from neighbours, traffic, or other people in your household, try masking it with a fan or sound machine. Earplugs may also help.
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable. Your bed covers should leave you enough room to stretch and turn comfortably without becoming tangled. If you often wake up with a sore back or an aching neck, you may need to experiment with different levels of mattress firmness, foam toppers, and pillows that provide more or less support.
  • Reserve your bed for sleeping and sex (Yummy !) . By not working, watching TV, or using your computer in bed, your brain will associate the bedroom with just sleep and sex and make it easier to wind down at night.

That’s a few of my favourite tips for getting to sleep – what’s your favourite ?  Don’t be shy, let me know !

Madds x

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Things to avoid before you sleep

Getting enough sleep and a good nights rest actually takes a lot more effort and preparation than going to bed early enough in the evening. I know it might seem like too much of a hassle, especially when it comes at the wrong wnd of the day, but arranging your days activities so that you slow down mentally during the evening can really pay dividends for a good nights sleep.

Let me walk you through the things that I do……………….

First things first, I’ve made sure my bedroom is ready for sleep. It’s the second most important thing I do there (on occasions) I’ve purchased a tempur style mattress which is soooooo comfortable, I just love going to sleep now, rather than fall asleep on the sofa in front of a tv playing to itself. Next, I set the alarm clock on my phone and LEAVE IT DOWNSTAIRS on charge. That way, I get a good rest without distraction and more importantly, can’t hit snooze when it goes off, for 10 more minutes. If I want longer in bed, I set the alarm for later. Simples.

Making sure I only sleep in bed (and, you know) is important because it associates bed with a place where I’m relaxed and ready for rest. If I use it as a sofa for watching tv, or taking my laptop to bed to work on a couple of bits of work, then it just becomes like any other room in the house. Think about it, the Kitchen is for cooking, you wouldn’t do that in bed would you ?

During the day, I make sure I get all the stressful or strenuous activities out of the way early on. As keen as I am on fitness and exercise regimes, I don’t personally exercise too late in the day (after 20:00 for example) as I find that exercising later than this will often leave my adrenalin levels high, which makes it hard to sleep.

At home, before I go to bed, I don’t drink coffee (So I make sure I don’t have Joanna round, who’s permanently wired for it) I’ll also not drink any alcohol or wine. I just make a bottle of my favourite Lemon water and take it to bed with me, just in case I wake up thirsty. I also don’t rely on anything like milky drinks, or sleeping pills. When I’m tired, I go to bed, its as simple as that !

When I’m in bed, rather than watch TV, I’ll tend to read my kindle for half an hour or so. Something nice and simple, not too stimulating, but one of those books you can just mush into, pick up and drop when you want and just enjoy the moment. I’m actually reading a book about Sardinia at the moment, planning my next holiday ! lots of relaxing photos of lovely beaches and pleasant landscapes. Perfect !

Then, last but my no means least, I always wear an eye mask and ear plugs in bed. I just find it darkens the room for me and creates a silence that is restful. I don’t need any apps to play running water (makes me want to pee) wind chimes (makes me stay awake listening for the next bong) or walks through a forest with a flute (gives me a headache) I just need ot make sure I go to sleep tired.

What are your tips for going to sleep and getting a good nights rest ? I’d love for you to share them with me !



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Breast Massage

In my earlier blog, I wrote a little about how a few simple exercises could be beneficial for toning the pectoral muscles underneath the breast tissue area, which can help improve the general toning and provide some enlargement too.

In addition to these exercises, another technique you can practice is to massage and check your  breasts.  Besides having a beneficial effect on breast growth, self examination of your breasts is an important habit to get into for all women, including transgender women at every stage of their transition.

Why does massage help ?  Well, your breasts are largely composed of fatty tissues and adipose fats, each of which respond very well to massage. By massaging your breasts, you stimulate the supporting tissues and the lymph circulation.  Each of which has a positive effect on the firmness and shape.  It also triggers a healthy hormonal response, increasing the levels of oxytocin, which can be a very effective method to increase breast size.

Done regularly, you’ll notice that your breasts will develop and become more toned and have an improved appearance, which can help improve your self confidence.

How to do it

Massage using very firm pressure using circular, inward & upward strokes for 5-10 min once or twice daily.

  1. Apply some massage oil or breast cream on your breasts. This is to help reduce the unpleasant feeling due to fiction. Oils and creams will make you feel more comfortable while massaging.
  2. Start massaging from the centre of your breasts, use a firm pressure with your palms. Follow the contours of the breasts from inwards to outwards. Ensure your hands are moving from the outside of your body towards the middle in a circular motion. Repeat about 25 times.
  3. Using alternate hand movements, sweep from the underarms area upwards & inwards towards the front. Again, repeat this about 25 times.
  4. Use both hands lifting the breast upwards with firm support, for another 25 times.
  5. Repeat step 2, with lighter strokes and without pushing the bust inwards.
  6. Repeat for your other breast.

For best results, work directly on the breast tissue, rather than through the fabric of a blouse or bra. Use a pressure that feels comfortable and take your time, working the area slowly. You can use this technique laying down or standing up, but use a gentle lotion to get the best effect.
One last thing I want to emphasise while you’re doing this, which is very important ! While you’re doing this, check your breast tissue for any signs of abnormalities, like redness, soreness or lumps. I’m sure that you don’t need me to tell you that this is for signs of cancer or other serious illness, so I’ll just stick with encouraging you to get into the regular habit of doing it. Please !

Love and strength



Those last few kilos…..

I was chatting to Joanna yesterday evening about what sort of things she gets asked  by girls in the group and one of the hot topics that came up quickly was the subject of your operations and weight.  It seemed that one of the common themes from the girls she had spoke to was the difficulty they had in hitting their ideal weight for the various operations.

Sometimes, those last few kilos are just as hard to shift as the ones that get you started.  But the good news is with a little help, you can get there and not just get the body you want, but also the operation too !!

When we start with diets, we’re filled with ambition, expectation and enthusiasm, but no matter what diet you follow, none of them mention two of the most important facts of weight loss – “It takes time !!” and “You’re going to plateau” occasionally as you metabolism adapts and changes.  It’s at these latter times, its important to remember what I call “The vicious cycle of dieting” to realise where you are in the process and also to stay focussed

dieting 2
The vicious cycle of dieting

Let’s talk about those last few kilos and their effect on our motivation.  Why do they stay firmly stuck in place ?  Well, initially, when we start our diets, we get a lot of “easy wins”.  We lose water weight and some of our natural bloatedness reasonably quickly and all seems good.  Our friends our also probably complimenting us frequently and encouraging us to continue.  

Then at various points along our diet, we’ll “plateau” as our metabolism changes.  These plateaus are tricky, particularly for transgender women, because in addition to the hormonal changes that your body is adapting to, the associated changes in metabolism mean that you’re going to have to work harder to burn the same amount of calories.   As our friends get used to the new you, they’ll probably be less vocal and giving of “high fives”.  Suddenly, what we’re going through isn’t so interesting.

Also, when we’re close to meeting our goals, we’re probably starting to “feel the slog” of it and getting bored.  This is a key failing of most diets.  You have to want and enjoy dieting and the food you’re eating.  Otherwise, you’ll find excuses to wriggle out of the regime and justify some sneaky bonuses (Like chocolate cake on the weekend if you’re Joanna).  I know, sticking to calorie restrictions, hitting the gym and drinking all that water can get boring, but stick with it !!

Each time you plateau, particularly with your target weight in sight, is the time to look back at what you’ve accomplished up until this point. Remember, as Transgender women, your ambition is body sculpture rather than muscle building.  If you’re hitting the gym too hard, you’ll build up muscle which weighs more than fat  So ask yourself, is this what’s happening to you ?  Strike a balance between working out and diet, to ensure you’re getting the results you want.

If you’re really stuck, it might be that you’ve set a weight goal for yourself that’s just a bit too low and you might be fighting your bodies natural wants and needs.  Is the weight you’ve set yourself the right one for your size, age and health profile ? Ask yourself how you reached your target in the first place and regularly check that its right for you.  Remember, ultimately, it’s your body and have the confidence to say what’s right for you.

Drop me a message here in the comments and let me know how you’re getting on and what your frustrations are, would love to hear and work with you !!!

Love always


transgirlfitness 4




Home exercise kit for Transgender Women

Let’s be honest, we might make new years resolutions, with good intentions, but not all of us can afford to go to the gym, me might not even want to at the end of the working day.  Heck, sometimes, we might not even be able to find the time in our schedules to exercise.

Well lady, I’ve got news for you ! There’s no need for those excuses.  There’s some great kit out there these days which mean you can exercise at home just as effectively, making the most of your time, saving money along the way AND if that wasn’t enough, you can even choose your own TV channel (Shhhh, I won’t tell if you don’t)

But what kit should you buy ?  Well, that’s what I’m here to tell you ladies, so why not take a look and get yourself fit this year in the comfort of your own home ?  For the cost of a months gym membership (£65) We’re going to get your home gym started with some great kit for a great workout !!

Item 1 – Dumb bells (£14.99 Amazon)

Dumb Bells

First things first, we’re going to need some weights. Nothing major, but we just need something for our muscles to feel some resistance and work against to give us a good tone and shape.

These weights are a good starting kit for a novice and beginner alike and at this price are an absolute bargain !  I really like the colour idea too – allows you to easily identify which weight is which, without having to look at each of them individually


Item 2 – Stability Ball £16.99 (Amazon)

exercise ball 2
Stability ball

A stability ball is muts for some of the exercises I’ll be sharing with you and they also help to improve your core strength and stability.  They’re also good to sit on every now and again instead of an office chair.  Seriously ! Try it, it can really help stop you slouching and having back pain.

It even stops you doing that weird roll along the floor thing when someone calls you over (that I know you do) plus it’s also fun to take your ball to a meeting and watch everyones faces when they see !

Item 3 – Yoga Mat (£7.99 – Amazon)


Yoga mat
Yoga Mat –

Yoga is a great exercise for clearing the mind and body – I’m a huge fan of its benefits. Low impact, accessible to people of all ages and abilities, there’s really not much to like about it (well maybe one thing, but that’s a whole different story of embarrassment on my part)

Although you can do it without a mat, in my view, its better if you have one.  It adds to the ceremony of performing the exercise and getting you in the right mindset for a good session.  It also doubles as a great camping matt for all those summer music festivals I know you love !

Item 4 – Yoga block (£7.99 – Amazon)

Yoga block
Yoga blocks

If you’re going to have a yoga mat, you really need a yoga block.  They’re not just used for support during your session, but they can also help you achieve some of the posture positions which your practice will involve at some point.

Although I have shown rectangular ones here, they come in a variety of shapes, so its more a case of personal preference and comfort, but in general, most people will prefer these or the round ones.


Item 5 – Infuser water bottle (£7.99 – Amazon)

water bottle
Infuser water bottle

Another thing I am a huge fan off is infused water.  You may have heard all the raving in the exercise world about the benefits of drinking lemon water, but if not, it’s worth taking a look. Although there are lots to choose from  (my friend swears by adding strawberries) my personal favourite is lemon or lime.  try it for a month.

You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel and the difference it makes to your skin – promise !


Item 5 – Massage Balls (£7,99 – Amazon)

massage balls
Massage balls

One of the most important parts of any exercise regime is the post exercise warm down and taking care of your body.  Even if you are lucky enough to be young when you are going through your transition, there’s still huge benefit in allowing your muscles to calm down afterwards.

Spiky balls like these have a relaxing and stimulating effect on the muscles, depending on the pressure you use and I promise you, after a day on your feet, the joy you can feel from just rolling your soles across one of them a few times has to be felt to be believed !


So that’s it ! £65 for a new you – how does that sound to you ?  We’ll get into buying some more equipment later, but for now, this will be enough to give you a good work out and toning.



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Indoor workouts for Transgender women

Joanna popped me an email earlier this week to ask if I could come up with an indoor workout for Transgender women, who maybe aren’t able to, or maybe lack the confidence to exercise in the gym, with the peer pressure that can come with it.  Well, what girl could say no to an offer like that ? So after a bit of research about their needs, I managed to come up with this simple routine which allows you to sculpt and shape your body fat to give you a more feminine image.

What you’ll need

  • Stability Ball
  • 3 pairs of small dumbell weights – I’d suggest a 2.5, 4 and 6 kg sets if you’re a beginner and maybe a 4, 6 and 8 kg if you’re a little more experienced.  We don’t want to build up muscle mass, we just need something to give us a good core, for our posture and curvy bits in all the right places eh ?
  • Some ordinary common household furniture.  (more of that later……..)

(1) Elevated Squats


Elevated squats (sometimes called Bulgarian squats) are a great exercise to do in a home workout and have some really positive benefits.

  • Enhances hip flexibility.
  • Its a good fat burner.
  • You can increase weight without making the back compress.
  • Builds and develops your abs and core.
  • Improves posture


How to do it

Referring to Picture (A) Extend your left leg back, placing toes on top of a normal height chair  while standing a few feet in front of it with the right leg (you don’t want to use a sofa here because its too soft to push against). Dip down into a lunge, keeping the right knee in line with your heel, until the thigh is parallel to the floor.  Referring to Picture (B) Hold this position and then slowly push up with the left leg to return to an upright position.  Repeat five times.    As you get more used to it, you can add difficulty to the exercise by adding more repetitions (reps) and by holding a dumbbell weight in each hand when you are dipping.

(2) Standing shoulder press

shoulder push
The Standing Shoulder Push

Although you can also do this exercise sitting down (which allows you to press more weight) my personal belief is that its better for transgender women to do it standing up.  My reasons for this are that, you don’t want to increase your muscle mass or bicep measurements, (So there’s no need to add weight) you want to reduce fat and sculpt your body shape.


Also doing the exercise standing upright allows you to improve your core stability, which will help with your posture, which is particularly important when waling in heels ! (Am I right girls ?)

How to do it

Referring to Picture (A) While standing with your legs ahip width apart take a  2.5kg dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height.  then bend your knees and dip into as deep a squat as you can/  The key here is to keep your knees in line with your heels and toes. Referring to picture (B) on the way back to standing, press the arm holding the dumbbell straight up into the air over head.  Repeat 5 times.  Unlike last time, where you could add more weight to the exercise, I wouldn’t personally add more, certainly don’t lift more than the 4kg one, just do more reps !

(3) One leg (Romanian) dead lifts 

dead lift
The one legged dead lift

This is a great exercise for improving your balance and strengthening your hamstrings and gluteals (the posterior chain of muscles) If you get  have difficulty balancing, place a hand against a wall to steady you for the first two times you try this exercise and get your confidence.  Once you have got your confidence, you can then try lifting small weights.  (Remember,, we are not trying to build up muscle mass, just tone and sculpt our figures and help the HRT balance our fat correctly.

How to do it

Referring to Picture (A) To start with . stand with your legs a hip width apart with either the 2.5kg or 4kg dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Bend forward from the waist while allowing the hands to flow freely towards the floor. Meanwhile, lift one leg off the floor until it is in line with your torso, eventually coming parallel to the floor, as shown in Picture (B).  Move back to regular standing position. Continue with the same leg and then switch legs.  Repeat 5 times for each leg and build up the repetitions as you get more comfortable.

(4) Stability ball press

exercise ball press
Stability ball press

This is our first exercise that will use the ball and if you’re not comfortable with your balance and core strength, it’s a tricky one !!!


To start with I recommend that you try this without weights, just to make sure you get your balance sorted an used to how the ball moves.  The last thing you want is to be wobbling about with weights coming crashing towards you !!


How to do it

Referring to Picture (A), start by sitting against the ball with your knees slightly raised.  Then holding your back against the ball push up with your legs and allow your back to roll across the ball, so that you are in the position indicated in (A)  Then, if you can, hold a 3.5 kg or 4kg dumbbell in each hand and starting with them at your shoulder level, as shown in Picture (B) press straight up towards the ceiling and bring back to starting position.  Repeat 5 times.

(5) One Arm Rows

One Arm Rows

One arm rows are a great exercise for improving stability and reducing arm fat.  Remember, these exercises aren’t about how much weight you can lift, rather, its about toning your body, improving your core and shaping what you already have.


One arm (or one leg) exercises are great for working on a particular muscle set and this one in particular is great for improving your stability muscles , which reduce the chance of injury and improve posture.



How to do it

Referring to picture (A) start as if you are preparing to do a press-up.  Place your dominant hand (the one you wrote with) on the ground and using your other hand, grip a 2.5kg dumbbell.  Pull the dumbbell up to your side and release back down. Repeat five times !

(6) Sit-ups (or pop up abs)

Sit ups (or pop ups)

I’m going to finish up this routine with a variation on an oldie but a goodie, the common sit-up !!!  Some people refer to this variation as a “Pop up ab” but I’m more of a traditionalist at heart.  The variation is, that instead of just holding your legs flat as you raise your torso, I want you to raise your knees too !!!


Whatever you call it though, this is a great, underestimated exercise that really works both ends of your abs making them great for shedding middle age spread, that a lot of girls can suffer with.

How to do them

Nice and simple this one – just lay on the floor as Picture (A) and then slowly raise your torso and knees to your middle as shown in Picture (B)  Ideally you want to get your heels as close to your bum as you can.  Repeat this five times !!

And there you go, a nice simple routine for you to do in the comfort of your own home.  I’ll follow up a little later with a couple of other routines I would like you to do based on yoga and Tai Chi a little later, as well as some details of essential kit for you to keep at home and some explanation of some of the technical terms that we’ll be using in our chats later.

If you’re looking for some guidance as to how many reps and sets you should do I would personally suggest

  • Novice             1 set of five reps
  • Beginner         2 sets of five reps
  • Intermediate  3 sets of five reps
  • Advanced        4 sets of five reps

In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you think from this simple routine.  Is it what you are looking for ?  How are you doing ?