Saturday, 30 November 2013

One Stretch To Do Today!

If you do no other stretch today, at least get in a forward fold. This will alleviate tightness and tension in your hamstrings, back, gluteal muscles and neck.

  1. Start with your heels hip-distance apart
  2. Stretch your hands overhead to the ceiling and look up
  3. Take a big breath in through the nose
  4. Purse your lips, exhale through the mouth and reach out of the hips to fold forward
  5. Imagine your whole spine extending and surrender the tension in your neck and jaw
  6. Hold for 15 - 30 seconds 
  7. Breathe in through the nose
  8. Purse your lips to exhale as you brace your abdominal muscles and roll up to standing
As with all things, the more practice you do, the easier this will become. If you can't touch your toes today, you might find that after a week of doing this daily, it happens!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Strong Back

In Ballet Sculpt classes, we do plenty of strong moves for the back. Why? Because there are a lot of big, strong muscles through your back that are taught to be lazy through slumping over a desk, regular sit-ups, generally poor posture and compensating with the glutes and hips instead of using your back!
On top of improving your posture, your alignment and your breathing, you can also know you look just as fit and toned when you're walking away as you are walking in. Here are some moves from Women's Health magazine to strengthen up your back.
I will be teaching pilates through December at Brunswick YMCA on Saturdays 11.45 from December 13 and then alternating Saturdays in January. Love to see you there!
Click on the image below for more pilates back moves...

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Disco Siren

Now that the sun has come out in Melbourne, you can treat it like your own private (or not so private) disco ball. I know, you just needed me to say it's totally acceptable.
There is never a time when tuning in to your inner Debbie Harry is going to be disastrous. Think: tough, stylish, independent and unique.
Whether you make it a subtle ode to dancing fever with a metallic sheen on your sneakers, or a full on, dial it up to 10, big hair, animal print disco diva event, have fun with the way you dress and don't scrimp on the luxury pampering and sportswear. Think of the Cost-Per-Use equation. If you get into those sneakers at least 5 days a week, it's like they're paying for themselves.*
* No debate will be entered into on this.


Featured are Illamasqua lipstick in "Liv" (as in Olivia Newton John circa Xanadu? Not confirmed.) Fabulous, flattering powder pink! Find Illamasqua at Myer and on Facebook

Nike Free
Nike Free Womens Sneakers. Leopard print AND metallics in the one style-setting sneaker. Find at Eastbay (my addiction)

Kerastase Reflection Chroma Captive Shampoo and Masque for coloured, sensitised hair. Because any disco diva with naturally platinum locks is definitely in need of some TLC. I went blonde once and it was expensive and not as fun as I'd thought! I'll stick to dark, dark, inky brown and keep up the shine. Kerastase is worth every cent - plus it looks really good on your bathroom shelf. Find it here 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Amazing Abs

I have felt like Cruella in the past few weeks during class but I think there's a lot of bad plank technique being overlooked by instructors. Here's the problem - you're probably not even aware that you're putting your back or hips into awkward positions because you've trained your body to think that's normal. Like I say in class, if you are not 100% sure you're doing it correctly, check your form out in the side mirror, ask a personal trainer to look at your technique, or come up to me after or before class and chat to me about it! There is NO shame in starting on your knees and building up - that is so much more impressive than doing the "belly flop" or "butt in the air" look.
Here is a guide to your perfect plank and tips I like to use when doing my own abs training:
I once listened to an expert trainer describe core strength as being like a spiderweb. Your belly button, when pulled in towards the spine, is like the centre of the web or the basis for your strength. Once you are strong here, that strength supports the rest of your movements. That means, supporting great posture and alignment when you're standing, walking or sitting. That means, enabling greater strength and technique when you are squatting 100kg or chest pressing 20kg. Try to visualise that spiderweb when you pull your bellybutton in and brace.
  • Align your elbows under your shoulders and keep your gaze ahead on the ground. Your neck should be in line with your spine
  • Start on your knees. If you're ready, raise into full plank with your hips lifted in line with your shoulders and heels pressing back
  • Imagine someone is going to kick you in the abs: brace!
  • Relax your shoulders back and down your spine so that they are not rounding up into a hunch - I see this a lot!
  • If you need to raise your hips up to maintain your plank, stop. You have taken the focus out of the abs and it's time to retrain your body. Lower your knees and start building from here.
  • Reverse plank - the same rules apply. Keep your hips lifted and your abs braced
  • It is hard enough without raising a leg so only do this if your technique is PERFECT!
  • Keep your gaze on your toes and your shoulders away from your ears - no hunching
  • Point your toes and take rests between sets

Friday, 22 November 2013

The Weekly Review

Featured in Melbourne's The Weekly Review special edition on Men's Health. Enjoy reading the article here! And please, keep in mind that yours truly had a VICIOUS VIRUS that day so photo is quite unflattering!
Dan and Steve, thankyou for being my models and contrary to Dan's opinion, I am NOT checking out his butt, I am checking his TECHNIQUE!

New Pink and Purple MUST HAVES

1. Manduka eKo mat: Not only does this mat make for a brilliant fashion statement in the studio, it meets all the functional requirements: thick enough to provide support on hard flooring, no-slip surface, and make of sturdy material that will last through as many Ballet Sculpt, Bikram, pilates and BodyBalance classes are you tote it to!
I picked Acai because as you know, I'm partial to purple and pink so it was an easy choice. Also comes in bamboo green and shades of blue and orange.
I recommend having your own mat - there's something comforting about having a "partner in crime" at all your classes. It feels like rolling out a little section of your own real estate wherever you go. Plus, the hygiene levels of the stacks of mats in gyms is questionable...
This is THE choice of yoga mat for teachers and eco-conscious yogis. This statement from Eco Yoga Store sums it up perfectly:
Developed by yoga teachers looking for high-performance, eco friendly yoga mats, the eKO Lite features Manduka’s proprietary natural closed-cell rubber and comfortable sea-grass texture. The eKO Lite is a natural yoga mat that marries performance and durability with a lightweight, travel-friendly design. The eKO Lite will leave no footprint in landfills, and is the perfect natural yoga mat for people who want to make a commitment to our planet and take their yoga practice on the road.

Buy online at Eco Yoga Store AU$70.00 including GST (BARGAIN!)
Find Eco Yoga Store and Manduka on Facebook.

2. Dior Limited Edition Rose D'or 3 Couleurs Eyes: This package is such a feat of engineering I had to look at the instructions to open it! But then, I struggle with Ikea too. Once I realised I had to slide the lid, a little mirror popped up and two stunning, shimmering shades of mauvey-lilac appeared along with a black shadow for the lash line. Gorgeous! There is even a little instruction booklet on how to use each shade to highlight. It has its own little blue Dior felt pocket to carry it about in. I'm voting it a brilliant Christmas present (to yourself, if you can't resist). Available at Myer and David Jones

3. Kerastase Cristalliste Sealing Serum for Dry/Split Ends: As my hair gets longer, I have to be much more attentive to maintenance. With naturally curly hair, my ends get dry really quickly while regular workouts mean I need to wash it every second day. I have used the Nutritive range and it is BRILLIANT. But I decided to try Cristalliste which promises weightless, nourishing support to longer lengths. I have to admit, the beautiful packaging did sway my decision!
My usually unruly locks DO feel smoother and I feel less guilty about postponing my usual trim - Rapunzel, prepare for some competition. Find a salon in Australia where you can buy Kerastase: Salon Locator or go to Kerastase!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Live Clean but Reject Regime

I have been introduced to a fabulous organic skincare range - in fact, my face is all gloopy with face mask right now! Live Clean is made up on natural plant-based ingredients with a healthy dollop of Vitamin C and botanical orchid.
I'm neurotic about good skin - I had acne as a teenager so I know how emotionally taxing and upsetting it is to deal with problem skin. I can honestly recommend Live Clean. I treat myself to the 15-minute clay mask after a night of too little sleep! The daily moisturiser is also a staple in my morning routine.
Go and Like them on Facebook

Now, as far as living "clean", I hate preachiness and this whole "Eat Clean" phrase being tossed around is irritating me as much as the paleo obsession, which only comes second to the 5:2 diet. For god's sake! Can we stop with promoting the idea that the human body is toxic and incapable fo functioning without some extreme regime?
This whole "NO SUGAR" fad is also getting my hackles up. Sure, existing on jelly beans would be a terrible idea, but shunning sugar altogether is extreme and unnecessary. It will, however, sell a lot of books so well done Sarah Wilson.
Don't treat your body as "toxic" and don't rule out WHOLE food groups! There are plenty of healthy sugars that your body uses - in fruits, breads, yoghurts and spreads. You don't need to quit sugar, you just ought to moderate your intake!

If you're living an active lifestyle, but you feel like your diet isn't supporting your energy levels and weight goals, there are plenty of books on nutrition and resources like the Better Health Channel and Sports Dietitians Australia with free fact sheets. You can also find a dietitian in your area.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Lavender Hand Santizer

Necessary Item. I always have hand santizer in my handbag AND gymbag - why? You're not always going to have soap, sink and handbag around.
That yoga mat at the gym? How many people have used it before you - sweaty hands and feet have been all over that!

The problem with a lot of hand santizers are that they are gloopy, drying and stink of hospital-grade cleaner!

Dr. Bronner's Lavender Hand Santizing Spray smells divine, is certified fair trade and blitzes bacteria. Give your mat a spray, keep in the car, the handbag and on the work desk! Also available at good health food and organic stores.

$5.95 @ Planet Botanic

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Share and WIN!

You are all health and fitness royalty to me, so one lucky reader will win Katy Perry's new fragrance, Killer Queen and some Bloch Legwarmers simply for sharing the Core Integrity With Cat blog with 3 friends via Facebook!
It's simple - go to the Core Integrity With Cat Facebook page, Like and Share this post and you're in the running! Winner selected Wednesday 27th November.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Female Athletes Secret to Endurance...

Need proof? OPI Gel Nails has several high-powered athletes as ambassadors. Nobody will be shocked that Serena Williams is a nail art fan. So take inspiration from the pro female athletes today and sure, you might not win a gold medal for it, but you'll be able to look at your sparkly, artistic nails as you're sweating through spin and hefting those bicep weights and channel some colour and sparkle power. Try it. Colour and design are so powerful in every facet of your life!

When you want to give up today, endure. Just chant it, "Endure, endure, endure..."

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Rich Froning: World's Fittest Man?

Need some inspiration stuff? Lift things? Get in some gym time?
That's my excuse.
Rich's why:

Friday, 8 November 2013

Purple Passion!

You all know I love purple. I really do. It's my Power Colour.
So I went a bit wild with Rimmel Lipstick choices - so many good purples to choose from! If it's good enough for Kate Moss...well! They're so good and so affordable. Moisturising, intense colour and lasts through me talk, talk, talking non-stop. So my new lucky numbers are 016, 086 and 084.
I agree the pink nails could use a purple do-over but I'm having a love affair with Essie Fiji - pastel pink still makes me melt!

Rimmel Sugar Plum 086

Running Bare Shorts
You will also see that very funky wrist band - totally functional. it has a hidden pocket for a key. Great for your outdoor workout or holding the locker key, money for coffee, a USB disk...whatever you might need to conceal.
By the way, BIG love to my Ballet Sculpt lady wearing the Running Bare purple hotpants. They look incredible!
Go shopping for Rimmel or Running Bare

Rimmel Amethyst Shimmer 084

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Second Position! Thigh and Glute Chiseller

Favourite leg, glutes and core move? Ballet Sculpt's "Second Position" variations. See fitness expert, Suzanne Bowen's take on this move below.
  • Stand tall with your chest open and your belly button tucked in
  • Heels are positioned wider than your hips and toes pointed out
  • When you lower into a squat, your knees should be in a straight line to your ankles
  • Keep the hips tucked forward slightly so that they are not leaning back and forcing your chest forward!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

This woman is going to make you workout 100% happier

Christmas Abbott is a CrossFit athlete, automobile professional and all-round amazing woman. I've been having a really difficult time lately with my health and motivation is at a low! Watching this video made me go, "Yeah, that's why I get up and face what I'm afraid of and put in the hard work in the gym and outside of it."

Yes, this is superficially a video on the story behind her tattoos but you don't need any interest in tattoos to find this a really motivating watch:

Denise Payne: Fearlessness And Mercy

In the 1970s, as a teenager, Denise Payne was introduced to Kundalini Yoga by her teacher Sat Jiwan Singh. It became more than “a life...