Sunday, 7 May 2017

Barre


There are some very exciting things happening this summer and finally I can announce one of them: I will start instructing Barre-classes! This is something I have been wanting to do ever since I first tried barre myself over a year ago and I'm so happy it's finally happening. So in this post I thought I'd share a bit more of my history with barre, the benefits of the class and what I intend to do in my classes. 

I first tried Barre at Virgin Active in January 2016 when I was doing my internship in London. It was love at first sight: I loved the training method, the instructor and the way I felt after the class. It also brought back memories from the ballet classes I did years ago to support my gymnastics hobby. I have been taking barre classes back in Finland from time to time as well but now finally it's arriving to the sports club I instruct at. 

Barre is based on and is inspired by ballet, but it's also a combination of group fitness and bodyweight training. The class is suitable for everybody, no matter what your fitness level is or how long you have been working out. You also shouldn't be worried if you have zero experience with pointe shoes. Obviously a ballet background might help you recognize the movements but after all ballet and barre are two totally different things and it actually might be better not to compare them. 

The best benefit of barre in my opinion is that the feeling after the class is very different from walking out of a class where you might have used weights. You have to focus on extending and stretching your body throughout the whole class and that has a huge impact on your posture. I generally feel two inches taller after a barre class than before it. Barre is also fun, the movements vary a lot so you won't get bored and they're done with good music playing in the background. All this while you're also training your muscle endurance.

Excitement overload and I can't wait for May to turn into June (for several reasons actually: my summer holiday, warmer weather...). I was also thinking of creating a barre workout for you to do at home. How does that sound?

Have you tried barre?

Emma x

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Planning a fitness class & playlist for my newest routine


Planning new routines for my fitness classes is one of my favourite thing to do and I love combining movement to music. It all starts many weeks beforehand with searching and listening to loads of different songs. Whenever I find a song which makes me jam, has suitable lyrics or has a great beat, I either write it down in my special fitness class notebook or add it straight to a playlist on Spotify. During the next weeks I go through my playlist and possibly start moving a bit to the songs, which is how I plan most of the routine. Sometimes inspiration and the song I've picked just don't go together which is when I start looking at music videos and browse Youtube for ideas. About a week before the launch of a new program I count every beat in every song I've picked for the routine. And a couple of days before the launch I go through the routine like crazy, so that I remember it properly and am also able to give instructions while moving myself. It's a long process, but so worth it all. 

My new routine will launch TODAY, so if you happen to live in Helsinki or are visiting let me know and I'll give you more details about the time and place :) If you aren't able to make it then make sure you're following me on Instagram. I usually post little sneak peeks of my routine after it's been launched.

The playlist for my next routine looks like this:

Warm up:
1. Paris (Jewels & Sparks Remix) - The Chainsmokers
2. Waterloo - Abba
3. Stamp on the ground - ItaloBrothers

Toning:
4. Don't let go - Lila ft. Rat City
5. Räjäytä mun mieli - Anna Abreu
6. Swalla - Jason Derulo ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign
7. Bad man - Pitbull, Robin Thicke, Joe Perry & Travis Barker
8. Born this way - Lady Gaga
9. Burn it to the ground - Nickelback
10. Gotta work - Ameria
11. Rahan takii - Antti Tuisku
12. Never give up - Sia

Stretching:
13. Love my life - Robbie Williams

Do you have favourite workout songs, which always make you do your best? Do share! :)

Emma x
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Saturday, 15 April 2017

My Favourite Workout Leggings


There is nothing better than a perfect pair of workout leggings and there is also nothing worse than an unsuitable pair. The best leggings make you feel hugged, don't fall off, are high-rise and aren't see-through. And the only correct way to find the right leggings is to do a little happy dance, a couple of squats and high knees in the fitting room. You want to be able to move around in them so make sure you put them to the test. They can cost a fair bit but they certainly don't have to. I strongly recommend buying one proper pair to make you feel good and comfortable (as much as possible during workout...) while training rather than getting multiple lousy ones, which probably won't last very long and can make you unlike working out. Trust me, it can be up to as little as that. The leggings I tell you more about on my video are personally my favourite ones for different reasons and are from different price ranges. Hope you enjoy my video! :)




Do you have favourite workout leggings? Do share! :)
Happy Easter all!

Emma xx
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Saturday, 18 March 2017

40 ways to PLANK

The plank, hover, front hold, abdominal bridge... A loved child has many names, as the old Finnish saying goes. Whether you love or don't love doing the plank, you can't argue with the amazing effect it has on your body. It primarily strengthens your abdominals, back and shoulders but depending on the way you do the movement it can also actually strengthen your whole body. You also don't even need to hold the plank for very long for you to start feeling the effect. However some people seem to be crazy about the movement and have spent over 8 hours in an elbow plank. I guess that's one way of spending your day. 


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Friday, 3 March 2017

Dubai - The City of Superlatives

A week in the city of superlatives has left me in awe. I did and saw things I've never experienced before and learned a lot both about Dubai and myself. That's exactly why traveling is so amazing: it opens your eyes to new things and at the same time you get to reflect those new things on yourself. I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on Dubai and why it's definitely a city to be visited at least once in a lifetime.



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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Anywhere Anytime Fullbody HIIT Workout


I'm off for a little winter break in Dubai in a couple of days. I'll definitely be vlogging the trip and as usual I'll try and be as active as possible on social media, so make sure you follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@wellemmaa). Although this week has acutally been rather nice weatherwise and for example on Wednesday I spent three hours outside in the sunshine teaching ice skating (made me remember why I wanted to become a physical education teacher), I couldn't be happier to take some time off, say hi to the sun and go explore a completely new place to myself. I've obviously made sure our hotel has a gym, but there's no guarantee of the quality of it and I probably won't have time to go to a separate gym while I'm there. So I decided to put together some hardcore bodyweight movements, which should make your body burn and heart rate up in a very short time. Perfect to do in a hotel room or just generally anywhere. Here's how it works:
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Monday, 13 February 2017

Healthy & Active Date Ideas for Valentine's Day

Valentine's day is approaching and I thought I'd think of a few active and just generally a bit different ideas for dates. Personally I love sitting down for dinner or going to the cinema with a huge bag of sweeties (and my hubby...lol). But if you really want to spend some quality time with a special someone, is really sitting down quietly the best way to do so? I came up with some alternatives  and while trying them out you can also stay dedicated to being healthy and active even on Valentine's Day.



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Sunday, 29 January 2017

Sweat & Smile

My latest post on motivation, January and just the general atmosphere around exercising have got me thinking a lot about why people workout nowadays. The pressure to look like somebody on social media or a famous person can be overwhelming and sometimes it seems like many of us workout only to look more like them. People want round bums and flat tummies. And they'll do hundreds of squats and crunches daily to achieve their "dreams". While I too enjoy seeing the results of training in my body, I think this is all a bit wrong.


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Friday, 20 January 2017

How to stick to your goals and stay motivated


It's no secret that gyms and fitness classes are packed up at the beginning of the year. There are loads of resolution makers on the move and each and every one of them wants to be fitter this year. For some reason though, the crowds are gone by the time summer starts. It takes some effort to stick to goals and the only person who can decide to reach for them is you. You can hire as many personal trainers as you like, and for sure they can help you in many ways (getting you to do your workout, planning workouts for you, even giving you meal plans). But you need to decide to stick to those plans and do something about them.
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Sunday, 15 January 2017

My Fitness Story


I guess this is a good place to start with the new direction of my blog: to tell you where I am now and how I got here in terms of fitness. I've certainly had my own ups and downs in the past years and I'm a bit nervous about publishing this. But I really want to share my story, so here it is. Enjoy!


As a child and adolescent I was a skinny little thing, who always managed to make all the doctors and nurses concerned about my weight. I didn't do it on purpose, I was just a very active kid. I think I ate like a horse but was also a picky eater. E.g. If we had fish for dinner, it had to be "pink" (also known as salmon). At the age of nine I started gymnastics. It went from a second hobby to a very serious activity, which took all of my time. I loved it, but was planning on quitting almost every year because of the team I was on at first. My mum had a better idea, and when it was physically possible, I changed teams and loved my dear hobby even more. Training got very intense and my team practiced about five to seven times a week, three hours at a time. Needless to say, when you train that much you're physically in very good condition. I even won the junior world championships with my team.
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Sunday, 8 January 2017

Change and Taking the Next Step

Can you guys imagine how it feels when you only have two days left of your two week holiday and you find out there's a new season of Modern Family on Netflix? 


It's a similar feeling when you remember you haven't updated your blog in ages: feels bad man! Kind of. Because truth be told, I've had a wonderfully relaxing holiday and I've been very very happy. I've spent time charging my batteries, working out, sleeping late, reading good books and all sorts of other things you do on a long holiday. I even wrote a blogpost about a week ago, which unfortunately disappeared somewhere unknown because of the weak wifi. So I'm writing another one now. Don't worry though, the first one was just as rambley as this one is probably going to be. 

There is an actual reason why I wanted to have an honest chitchat right now. It's a new year and although I made no resolutions whatsoever (I checked the ones I made last year, and had forgotten about half of them... But in my defense, I had also succeeded in many of them) I have plans for the future of this blog. It's true that my autumn was crazy busy, my new job took most of my time and resources and as the days became shorter I also had less and less energy to do anything extra after work. But I still believe that if I truly love something, I will find time for it. I for example instruct fitness classes after my day job. Do I have time for it? Not really, but I make time for it, because it's one of my favorite things to do. So I think I had a bit of a problem with my blog.
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