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Sam Wood says you should always workout your core before glutes

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Fitness expert Sam Wood reveals why your core should be the first muscle you warm-up when exercising, plus he shares a 5-move workout that will help you get that six-pack.

Should your core be the first muscle you activate when working out? The short answer is… yes.

I like to do my core movements either integrated with mobility or before I train my bigger muscle groups.

Why?

The reality is, all movement stems from our core and the better these muscles are activated before a workout, the better we move and the less likely we are to get injured.

The key thing to remember is that our core muscles are endurance based. If you work them at the start of your workout and you’re fresh, make sure you work them hard enough or for long enough so that you genuinely build up their strength and endurance. Don’t let it be just a flash in the pan core workout you do before giving other areas of your body greater focus.

The other mistake people make is they think of their core just as their six pack muscles. To activate your core properly, you need to think of glutes, deep core activators such as transverse abdominis and your superficial abdominal muscles (yes, your six pack muscles), and also your obliques.

A good core workout that activates all of these and is done before your workout can be an absolute game changer.

Sam Wood's ab-activating workout

Looking for one to try? Here’s one I love to do:

  • Resistance band lateral crab walk (30 secs each direction) – this is great for glute activation
  • Strict side plank with your glutes squeezed (30 seconds on each side)
  • High plank shoulder taps (30 reps)
  • Hanging slow & controlled leg raises (10 reps)
  • Oblique sit ups (30 reps)
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Fitness

Super cushy running shoes may not be your friend

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While a thick-soled running shoe feels comfortable, new studies show that a thinner style may be better for your stride.

There’s something cloud-like about a maximalist sneaker. All that cushioning is extra bouncy and it feels like you’re running on air.

But it turns out that not being able to feel the road underfoot is affecting your gait.

A new study that compared the effects of maximalist vs neutral sneakers over the course of a 5km run found that “runners exhibited increased impact forces and loading rate when running in a maximal versus neutral shoe. Because increases in these variables have been associated with an increased risk of running-related injuries, runners who are new to running in a maximal shoe may be at an increased risk of injury.”

It’s because runners are landing on their feet harder, thinking that there’s more protection from all that cushioning. This means they’re more susceptible to pronate more, which is when their ankles roll inward as they take off.

But then this study of the minimalist, webbed-foot sneakers that were all the rage a few years ago showed that in some cases, it increased injuries compared to standard sneakers.

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So what to do?

Assistant professor of kinesiology at San Jose State University, J. Hannigan, said thicker soles contributed towards more ankle movement.

“If you extend a shoe’s height, it will tend to be more unstable,” he told the New York Times.

Then there’s this study that says while maximal running shoes are increasing in popularity, their greater loading rates, impact forces and the eversion mechanics in these styles “may indicate an increased risk of injury.”

So don’t just reach for the thicker soled sneakers just because they’re all the rage. Visit a speciality sports store to get fitted for the right pair for you.

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Fitness

MAFS’ Mikey’s hilarious ‘workout’ 

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Fitness

We’ll take one of everything from P.E Nation’s H&M collaboration

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Launching globally in stores and online on March 5th, the Australian activewear brand has worked hard on a sustainable collection to bring P.E Nation's unique aesthetic to the legging-loving masses.

If you're a lover of activewear, Pip Edwards' and Claire Tregoning's success story is probably not new to you. The best friends and business partners started their fashion/street/sportswear brand P.E Nation back in March of 2016, and now – almost exactly four years on – the duo are celebrating a big milestone; a global collaboration with blockbuster Swedish fashion chain, H&M.

The capsule collection riffs on P.E Nation's distinctive take on retro sportswear, but with a modern nod to sustainability – using organic cotton and recycled polyester throughout the 30-piece capsule, which includes swimwear, shoes and accessories, as well as apparel.

The price point will no doubt prove a drawcard for those who love the P.E 'look', but may not want to cough up $150 for a pair of leggings. Tanks start from $49.99, leggings $79.99 and statement outerwear for $89.99 – significantly less than the brand's full-price offering.

Working within a contained palette of pastels teamed with black, beige and white, the collection covers the sartorial territory that P.E Nation does best – gym-to-street; with oversized windbreakers, pleated maxi skirts and logo tees making the transition from Pilates to brunch not only seamless, but also stylish.

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Co-founders Edwards and Tregoning expressed their excitement for their latest project, saying “With the H&M collaboration, we want women all over the world to live a more confident, vibrant, fashionable life whilst juggling her fast-paced urban existence.The collection can be worn all day, every day, whilst being flexible, functional andstyle-led. All the pieces work so well together – it’s very easy to mix and match.”

The collection launches in H&M stores in Australia (and globally), as well as online, on March 5th, and by the looks of this it's going to sell its side-striped socks off. See below for some of our favourites from the range.

P.E Nation x H&M collection:

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