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Bored of lonely repetitive gym sessions? Try this new workout made for women
We all know the benefits of working out: lower blood pressure, happy hormones etc – but why do you really do it?
Is it to lose weight, to counteract your wine consumption, or so you can boast about it on social media afterwards? And when you train, are you lonely?
Running is usually solo, there’s no eye contact or casual chit-chat on the gym floor and fitness classes tend to be slightly competitive between members.
So how about a place where you can train, judgement-free, with like-minded women who favour power and mobility over focusing on calorie burn.
The Bitch Clinic – bitch meaning ‘a force to be reckoned with’ – was created by personal trainer Miranda Fox, 26. It is a growing movement with classes and a community that encourages women to reconnect with themselves and reclaim ownership of their bodies.
Instead of falling in line with how society thinks you should look, you train for power, strength and mobility.
Plus, you’re around like-minded women who can inspire and support you on your journey.
‘Forget what you know about exercise as punishment for weight loss,’ says Miranda, who is also a boxing coach and an expert in flow and primal movement. ‘I want to change the way women see fitness.
It should not be a means to an end, but an extension of who you are. I want you to see your body as powerful, as more than a commodity and to see that fitness isn’t about looking a certain way, it’s about feeling your best.’
Intrigued? The icing on the cake is that the classes on offer are unlike anything you might have done before. After qualifying as a PT, Miranda found the whole concept of ten reps for three sets incredibly tedious so looked into alternative ways to train.
She came across Primal Movement and now incorporates the moves with her own style of Flow, a form of expressive, intense yoga.
‘Primal Movement is about taking your body back to basics and moving how it evolved to move,’ she explains. ‘We are quadrupedal animals, which means we were designed to use all four limbs to get around. One day we stood up and our lives changed, but our bodies have not really adapted properly.
‘That’s why we get so many issues with posture and back pain. Rather than exercising muscles singularly like a bicep curl, primal movements encourage freedom of movement, using multi-planes of motion. They require you to get low to the ground with crawls etc and combine flexibility, strength, balance, stability, cardio and core work.’
Experts say this style of exercise could alleviate lifestyle-triggered chronic pain and, because you are moving in non-conventional ways, there are heaps of fitness benefits.
‘You build strength up very quickly, you use stabilising muscles that you often miss when you do single exercises and you are engaging your entire body – there isn’t a second when your core isn’t switched on,’ Miranda adds.
‘You can slow the movements down and move more intuitively and mindfully, increasing the time in tension to build strength, or perform explosive movements, which challenge your anaerobic energy system.’
In Miranda’s Primal Flow class you can expect to crawl, hop, run, jump, glide, roll etc around in a sequence-style circuit. ‘Classes involve a dynamic warm up, then we go through the key primal movements and build a sequence incorporating the flow, almost like a dance,’ she says.
Expect some serious aches the following day as you’ll be working muscles you didn’t even know you had.
Her sessions are also super-cheap because, she says, having worked in the boutique fitness industry where classes are upwards of £25, she wants to make fitness available to all.
‘Movement, wellbeing and happiness should be for everyone but we keep upping the price on it,’ she explains. ‘The majority of people can’t afford to pay for boutique classes and high-end gym memberships, and they shouldn’t have to. I want make fitness as accessible as possible.’
Her Flows For Hoes class on Instagram (@thebodyweightbitch) is just £10 for the week. This will get you three live 45 min classes, plus two videos for people to do on their day off.
She’s also offering a Lockdown Level Up on Instagram that incorporates live classes, a weekly newsletter with daily challenges and rituals, guided meditation via Zoom and weekly recipes. All for free.
Miranda believes keeping your mental and physical health in check shouldn’t be bank-breaking. ‘Accessibility is at the core of everything I do. Encouraging women all over the world, from different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds to train together through movement and mindfulness.’
The Bitch Clinic’s Miranda Fox shares some primal moves
Lateral kick throughs
‘Great for developing body awareness, core strength and stability. Perform slower for a full body strength exercise or faster for a cardio hit.’
How to: ‘Start on all fours, turn your toes under and pick up your knees so they hover a few inches off the ground. Lifting your left hand from the floor, tucking your elbow into your ribs, tilt your body to the right, allowing you to thread your right leg between your right hand and left foot, extending it low to the floor.
‘Return back to the centre and repeat in the other direction. Try 30 seconds slowly then 30 seconds as fast as you can and see how the change of tempo can challenge you.’
Loaded beast push-ups
‘Offering full body strength as well as shoulder and hip mobility, it’s great for releasing tension in your posterior chain and gaining lean upper body muscle tone.’
How to: ‘Start in a high plank. Shift backwards by bending your knees and bringing your bum back to meet your heels. Shift your weight forwards by extending the legs back into a high plank and dropping the chest for a push-up. Repeat for 60 seconds.’
‘This full body strength exercise also promotes mobility through the hips.’
How to: ‘Start in a deep squat position, place both your hands on the floor to your right hand side of your feet. Put your weight into your hands as you jump both feet into the air and over to the other side of your hands, ending back in a squat – repeat in the opposite direction. Repeat for 60 seconds.’
Why not try the Primal Challenge…
‘Try linking all three exercises. Start with four lateral kick throughs, step the feet into a high plank and go for one loaded beast push-up. Finish by jumping the feet either side of your hands, into a squat position and completing one lateral ape each way.
‘Repeat this flow non-stop for 60 seconds and you’ll forget about weights in the gym – your body weight is where it’s at.’
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