In our July/August issue, we shared Weng Funn Chen’s amazing Fitness Fix story (you can also find it here), highlighting her journey to gain energy and find more balance in her hectic life as a mom. One key to her success: A strong relationship with her motivating trainer, Sylwia Wiesenberg, who also happened to be a neighbor. There’s no slacking off when your trainer might catch you walking from the convenience store with a pint of ice cream!
When Chen had so much success following Wiesenberg’s signature Tonique Fitness method, we wanted to learn more about it. Here are three tips from Weisenberg so you can try out Tonique (a name that is a mash-up of toning and unique) at home.
Take the first step. Wiesenberg isn’t picky about how you get moving at first, she just wants you to start. “It’s less important what you do, as long as you move,” she says. Something like climbing the stairs to your office or to your apartment, like Chen did, can make a big impact.
Don’t forget about your behind. “I love squats and lunges, plenty of them, and in every direction. By building strong glutes you’re building a strong core, which can help you run and bike faster and push yourself harder at the gym,” Wiesenberg says. She prefers doing high repetitions with body weight to build endurance, strength and balance. Click here to learn how to try three of her favorite lower body moves that helped Chen score a stronger backside!
Build on a good thing. One of Wiesenberg’s goals is to motivate her clients to try new activities, whether that means running a race or going for a hike. “I want them to get inspired to add new sports and fitness methods beyond Tonique—my goal is to help them want to move,” she says. “Once you experience the unique feeling of truly being fit, you will never want to go back to where you came from.”
Find out more about Tonique at toniquefitness.com and find YouTube videos of signature moves at toniquewoman.com. And stay tuned: Expect two new DVDs this fall, plus, Wiesenberg has a book and a TV show in the works!
More from FITNESS:
- 9 Moves for a Gravity-Defying Butt
- Lose the Baby Weight: Get a Better Body After Baby
- How to Get Fit Without the Gym
Last week, I was lucky enough to join in a group training session with star trainer Brett Hoebel, who helped contestants on last season’s Biggest Loser ranch drop hundreds of pounds. And let me tell you, he knows how to make a person sweat!
The team from C9 by Champion, Target’s super-chic and affordable fitness wear line, organized the event and let a team of editors try Hoebel’s capoeira and kickbox fusion class. (Check out the cute tank I sported in class at left —can you believe it’s less than $15?)
At the end of the heart-pumping workout that included plenty of squats, jumping jacks, punches and kicks, Hoebel led us through a quick circuit that he promised would help shed pounds if you stick with it. The entire routine was effective, but I had a “light bulb moment” during the lunge section.
Lunges are normally one of my favorite exercises because they challenge the large muscle groups (in other words, they burn plenty of calories and increase your heart rate!) while strengthening your lower body. So I was pumped when Brett taught the class a few tricks to kick my go-to move up a bit. Try them today:
- Level 1. Perform a traditional lunge: Step forward with one leg into a lunge position, keeping your front knee behind your toes, and bring foot back to start. Switch legs and repeat.
- Level 2. Space it out: Complete the same lunge motion, but do it while stepping over the width of a yoga mat (drop the front heel just past the front edge of the mat while keeping the back toe behind the back edge) and lightly tap your back knee on the mat at the bottom of the lunge. Try to step completely over the mat—doing so will ensure that you’re taking a large enough step. Bring foot back to start, switch legs and repeat.
- Level 3. Lunge over an imaginary hill: Continue lunging over the yoga mat, but this time, imagine that you’re stepping over a small (approximately six inch) hill in the middle of the mat. This will force you to lift your foot up before gently lowering it down in front of the mat—increasing the leg burning powers. Tap your back knee, like in level two, and bring foot back to start. Switch legs and repeat.
Make any of these variations harder: Hold one dumbbell in each hand.
Do the level that suits you for 30 seconds, take a 30 second break, and repeat three more times.
More from FITNESS: Looking for a fun do-anywhere workout? This routine’s for you: 8 Energy-Boosting, Muscle-Toning Moves.