Skipping has found new street cred - and is helping us keep fit in lockdown

The new skipping stunts helping us get a jump on lockdown fitness The equipment is slicker and pioneers inventing new tricks and moves have given it a new street cred

Some of us have regressed to a sort of second childhood lately – spending as much time as possible in our pyjamas, having cereal for dinner because we just cannot bear to cook another meal, and for those of us back in the ancestral home, indulging in some extremely juvenile sibling bickering.

But there’s a more positive activity

Gyms might be closed, but getting fit at home can be safe and effective

Can you really get fit at home? How to find the workout that’s right for you while gyms are closed Exercising without leaving your living room can be daunting, but a new BBC show investigates how to get results effectively and safely

January is usually boom time for gym membership, as we emerge from weeks of celebrations to the realisation that man and woman cannot live on Quality Street and television alone. But that’s usually.

While one in seven people in the UK was a member of a gym in 2019

'Stop telling new mums to get their body back', says Hollywood trainer

The stylish polished-wood studio tucked away on a back street in North London seems an unlikely spot for the workout branded among Hollywood’s toughest.

There’s no terrifying Crossfit equipment here, no barbells or rigs or treadmills, just some dinky little weights, resistance bands and mini-trampolines.

This is the new home of Body by Simone, the programme that many A-listers credit with sculpting their bodies, from Sandra Bullock to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to Taylor Swift to most of the Je

SoulCycle has landed in the UK but how will brits manage the mantras?

“If there is no challenge, there is no change!”

I hear whoops and cheers from the semi-darkness, as 63 pairs of eyes gaze up at the candlelit altar. Everyone who is here is clearly intent on “becoming the change”, and I can’t help but get swept up in the energy.

Our leader is no robed guru, but a lyra-clad ponytailed goddess – or Abbey from Vancouver. She fits the stereotype of a SoulCycle instructor – tight body, Hollywood smile and a bucketful of good vibes.

She effortlessly clicks her clea

The Viking Method: meet the fitness trainer who doesn’t take any prisoners

The world of fitness can be an annoyingly chirpy one, increasingly saturated with 20-year-old former reality TV stars offering vague platitudes about “motivation Mondays” and “fitspo” – fitness inspiration.

It’s a world Svava Sigbertsdottir has little patience with. “Argh, fitspo,” she sighs. “Look, it’s so easy to get knowledge these days, and the more discussion about health the better. But fitspo can be dangerous with the constant image demands – that you have to look a certain way.”


Meet the tech CEO who lost five stone thanks to his own app

Many of us would never dream of darkening the door of a gym when travelling for work or pleasure. Fritz Lanman isn’t one of those people.

“I went to Sweat It yesterday, do you know it? Pretty tough. I landed from Bangkok into Heathrow and I just knew I was going to have to stay awake all day, so I had to get a workout in to get my energy levels up. And then this morning I went to Another Space, I did a boxing HIIT workout and it was packed in there.”

It’s hardly a surprise that the chief execu

The man who gave Margot Robbie a Hollywood body – and can reboot yours in just 21 days

On the morning I meet David Higgins, bloated as I am from a weekend of excess and struggling with a frozen shoulder, I don’t exactly feel that I fit the mould of his typical clientele.

The personal trainer and physiotherapist has worked with Colin Firth, Margot Robbie and even Samuel L Jackson to get them fit for camera. His new book is titled The Hollywood Body Plan – and my body doesn’t even qualify as a Hollyoaks body after a sluggish start to the year.

Sitting in his sleek BodySpace gym at

Turning pensioners into fitness instructors could be just what the doctor ordered – for all of us

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to retirement. Granted, I’ve got about three decades to go (or more if the goalposts keep moving), but by then I’ll be more than ready to put my feet up.

Or perhaps not, if the health tsars have anything to do with it. A new campaign from ukactive is encouraging pensioners to consider retraining as fitness instructors to help over-55s feel more comfortable in the gym.

I know what you’re thinking – we slog all our lives and then you want us to pra

Plogging: the Scandinavian trend that helps you get fit while doing your bit for the planet

If you’ve ever fancied drawing the ire of thousands of commuters during morning rush hour, I have some tips.

Number one, join a pack of runners for an 8.30am city-centre jog. Number two, have each of those runners randomly stop without warning and crouch to pick something up off the street.

It seems that trying to save the world won’t win everyone over, especially not on the mean streets of the capital. But as I find myself donning gloves and a bag for a central London plogging expedition, I’m

Brain training: why running could be the best medicine for your mind

If you’re a regular runner, the brain benefits are probably already obvious. Plenty of people use the miles pounded out on the road or trail to decompress, de-stress and re-energise the mind.

And it appears that the advantages of clocking up the miles are more than anecdotal. Studies have shown tangible benefits to the brain in runners, with the positive effects lasting long after you have reached your destination.

“There is evidence that if you want to learn something new, it’s better to lear

The running app that helps you explore the ocean – on foot

Your lungs are burning now, as you will your legs to keep pumping. All around you, the gloom closes in – it’s hard to see in the half-light. As you approach the 4km mark, you encounter a strangely familiar landmark. Is that… could it be… the Titanic?

Being a staunch landlubber, a journey to the depths of the ocean isn’t something I’m likely to do anytime soon. Friends have told me about the joy of meeting silvery shoals of fish on a scuba dive, or the macabre wonder of exploring a decaying ship

At over 100 years old, the YMCA is one of Britain’s oldest gyms. Here’s how it went from strength to strength

The gym floor can be a fairly prosaic place. Imposing machines here, racks of free weights there, rows of treadmills and bikes. It’s a factory for building bodies, after all, so it makes sense that it’s regimented and systematic.

Yet a stroll around Central YMCA in London feels a little different.

The space is massive, for one: a modest entrance gives way to an open interior, Brutalist architecture allowing you the chance to peer down past open concrete storeys to the courts below, where two e

From bullied schoolboy to running addict: the man who ran 401 marathons

This week, thousands of people are putting the final touches to their London Marathon preparations: easing off on training, having a last-minute sports massage, getting their gorilla suit dry-cleaned. For first-timers, or even those with several races under their belts, it can be a daunting time. Now imagine that you were getting ready for your 50th marathon in a row. Or 100th. Or 300th.

For Ben Smith, running a marathon became as routine as brushing his teeth in 2016, when he completed 401 mar

Why you should get your whole family cycling – and six tips to help

The moment your child learns to ride a bike is a landmark event. But as spring finally comes out to play, how many bikes have been gathering dust since Father Christmas lugged them halfway across the world? Come to think of it, how long since the grown-ups took theirs out for a spin?

It’s easy to let cycling fall by the wayside, especially if you have concerns about traffic safety and pollution.

But studies show that the health benefits far outweigh the risks. A major study published in the Br

The best fitness gear to shop on the high street

The sky’s the limit when it comes to sportswear spend. Designers joined in years ago – adidas by Stella McCartney is now a veteran, having launched in 2005 – and a pair of leggings can now cost anything up to £300.

But do you really get the sporting bang for your buck? High-street retailers are hot on the heels of the high-end designers with technical fabrics, performance features and, perhaps most importantly for some, serious fashion credentials.

Quality has always been a key concern for spo

Slow Down Your Workout For Fast Results

As the infuriatingly perky pocket-rocket instructor yelled at me to "Smash it!" while cranking my treadmill up a notch, I decided that this really wasn't what I needed right now.

Don't get me wrong – I love a tough workout. My time is precious and I want results in the smallest window. I want to go home exhausted and fall into one of those smug sleeps where you know you’ll ache the next day. But after a stressful day at the office, followed by a frantic commute, is being dazzled by disco lights

Leap of faith: inside the cult of group fitness

The queue snaking the length of the auditorium begins to move, as wristbands are checked and eager fans jostle to get closer to the stage. The music is building and there’s a crackle of electricity in the air. A whoop goes up as five beautiful people wearing headset microphones bounce on to the stage. And the workout begins.

At Les Mills Live, the global event that visited London’s ExCel Arena this year, more than a few people take their fitness very seriously. The branding is everywhere, on le

The £30 piece of kit that could switch up your fitness game

There are plenty of gym contraptions that mystify me at the best of times. Steel behemoths that look like modern instruments of torture – and probably are. I spend much of my time wondering which end goes up, before deciding not to embarrass myself by trying to fold myself into one of the machines.

So a non-threatening piece of equipment that fits in my pocket is right up my street. However, after becoming a recent fan of strength training, I’m sceptical that I can get a decent workout from a t

How the DeRose Method turns yoga on its head

Derived from ancient traditions, the 60-year-old practice offers a different approach to attaining strength and serenity.

I love the feeling it gives me – the strength, the calm. I hate the overcrowded studios, where designer-clad yogis glare at you as you try to unfurl your mat too close to them. I love the tiny breakthroughs, the deepening stretches. I hate the feeling of being two beats behind in a power yoga session, cheating and second-guessing postures as I struggle to catch up, sweat sti

How to beat the dad bod, by a former Gladiator

Middle-aged spread may make you a better family man, but after you hit 40, too much of the good life could number your days

Don’t believe the hype, gents. Over the past few years we have seen a number of news articles and even academic studies on how the ladies prefer the so-called “dad bod”.

From an evolutionary point of view, it might be true – a softer middle indicates lower testosterone, which may mean men are less likely to want to sow any wild oats, and be a better paternal option. There

The benefits of exercising when pregnant

There are a few things that a pregnant woman might do to draw gasps. Downing a succession of shots, perhaps, or sparking up in the smoking area. But how about sprinting toward the finishing line in a race, or loading weights on to a barbell in the gym?

When Serena Williams inadvertently revealed a baby bump on social media last month, everyone did their sums and concluded that she was pregnant when she won her 23rd Grand Slam title at January’s Australian Open. The reaction was largely positive

Can you be vegan and an athlete? - The i newspaper online

Where do you get your protein? It’s one of the most common questions vegans are asked. It’s also one that endurance athletes have to consider if they want to give their peak performance.

But it’s not just the query that vegans and athletes have in common – a growing number of sportspeople have turned their back on animal protein when it comes to beefing up. The Williams tennis sisters are both vegan, as are boxer David Haye and track star Carl Lewis.

“Athletes naturally look for more informati

You're never too old to start running - The i newspaper online

From pros to amateurs, with the odd gorilla thrown in, the London Marathon attracts all sorts. And as it gets going this year, it’s not just competitors who will be lacing up their trainers, but people around the country who’ve been inspired to give running a go for the first time.

But how old is too old to start? Forty? Fifty? Nonsense, says Bill Mitchell, who was 63 when he began – and has never looked back. “I went for a three-mile walk one day,” he says, “and there was a long bit at the end

There's no such thing as the right shape to run - The i newspaper online

Getting fit isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world. It’s tough to find the time, motivation and energy. It’s even tougher, perhaps, if you don’t already look like a Victoria’s Secret model. There is nothing more demotivating than sweating through a fitness class, hair plastered to your face like a baboon’s bottom (no? Is that just me?), while Miss Skinnymalinx next to you beams with pocket-sized radiance.

From the telltale crunch of a picture being snapped to outright abuse, running outdo
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