Here we go! This is the final instalment of our Training Tips with Tiara Soemakno series. What started as a single, perfectly informative interview was not enough to quench our Fit n Fab thirst. Things sort of spiraled out of control in a good way, which resulted in a Kickstarter session and a small collection of workout videos (click for Parts 1, 2, 3).
This time around, Tiara will share with you tips for doing the Overhead Press. When done properly, this is an exercise that works your core (of course), but also reaps rewards for your shoulders and back.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our first mini-workout series! Let us know what other forms of exercise you want to see
After more than a month’s hiatus from Pilates, I was completely ecstatic to start a new cycle this week. We have a newcomer in this cycle (who just so happens to be Tika), and she sounds even more excited about this than me. Other than the usual grilling on what Pilates sessions are usually like, she also asked me about the outfit. So I thought, hmm, why didn’t I ever make an article about it? Because it can be quite unnerving to start something new, while coming into a new “group” dressed in the wrong outfit can add extra discomfort. As not all sports are created equal, so are the costumes! (What we do at FDHQ is Floor Pilates, by the way).
So how should you dress up and what should you bring for your first pilates session?
1. The mat is a must!
If you’re going into a class, please check with the studio or your private trainer whether a mat will be provided, or if should you bring your own. If you don’t own one yet and are still window shopping for the best exercise for you, my advice is not to fall prey into buying a mat. Mats aren’t cheap, and since there will still a slight possibility that you might not enjoy the new form of exercise, your mat could go wasted if you don’t plan on trying out other mat-based workouts. Should you find yourself in a situation of needing a mat, bring a large beach towel to cover the mat for hygiene.
If you think Pilates is a slow-moving exercise where all you do is lie on your mat and walk away from it without breaking a sweat, you’re completely wrong! I would find myself dripping in sweat just ten minutes into the session after a warm-up . So it would be very helpful to have a small towel within your reach to keep yourself sweat-free.
No, it’s not to see who has the best figure in class, but it is meant to deliberately show your figure. When you first start a Pilates session, you will be taught how to breathe the right way, which involves sucking in your belly when you exhale. It’s much easier for your trainer to know whether you’ve tucked in your belly properly when you’re wearing tight clothes.
The same applies to bottoms: I much prefer wearing leggings that fall below the knee. Why? Because when you lie flat on your back, you will engage in a lot of positions which will involve pointing your legs skyward. Loose-fitting pants will only pool material to your thighs, a very annoying situation! It distracts you from the repetitions you’re trying to complete.
Just in case you’re still questioning whether shoes are required or not: rest assured, you will not need to wear a shoes. Some new variations of Yoga will still require shoes, but not Pilates.
5. Wear a sports bra!
A lot of postures require lying down on the mat, but there are also some that require you to be on your feet and jumping from one spot to another. God forbid, we end up with a saggy pair of ta-tas in the quest of being leaner, so it’s better to strap them in securely with a good sports bra. If there’s one thing you should invest in before you start exercising, it’s a well-fitting and comfortable sports bra.
I think it’s pretty common in places like big cities for people to go to the gym with makeup, but there are other people who probably think it’s not necessary to wear makeup because they’re going to be drenched in in sweat anyway. The people who do wear makeup probably do so to look good and a little polished at the gym. For my single ladies out there, you never know when you’re gonna bump into a handsome, muscular guy at the gym, right? Right?
I personally wear makeup at the gym, because I always wear at least a face base anyway. I usually go to the gym straight after work, and I go with the same makeup I had been wearing since the morning. The only thing I remove before exercising is my eye makeup, but only ifI’ve been wearing heavy eye makeup that day. Nobody wants black eyeliner running down their sweaty cheeks!
So here are the beauty essentials I always bring to the gym, and the trick is to keep everything simple: for starters, if I want to apply a fresh coat of makeup right before exercising, I make sure to bring makeup wipes, or facial foam and cleanser to cleanse my face before I apply a face base.
I put a little face lotion first and either keep my morning makeup on or apply a new base. Tinted moisturizer or light foundation works for me. I tend to stay away from Korean BB Creams since they usually leave my skin feeling sticky. Basically I use a face base to even out my skin tone and provide coverage for my slight acne.
For eyes, I usually wear waterproof eyeliner and draw a thin line along my upper lash line. But if I’m too lazy to draw the line, I just curl and apply waterproof mascara, or even leave them bare. If I’m going to hang out with friends after working out, I’ll bring a small eyeshadow palette or a cream eyeshadow. I like cream eyeshadows because that means I don’t have to bring my brushes with me, leaving more space for other essentials
Since I have dry lips, lip balm is right there on the top of the list. I bring it with me everywhere I go, and my favorites are Nivea Vitamin Shake Cranberry & Raspberry and Burt’s Bees Pink Blossom Tinted Lip Balm for their pink tints. These lip balms provide moisture and color in one swipe, and the only other thing I carry is one tube of lipstick in case of emergency post-gym hangouts.
After working out, I cleanse my face again with makeup wipes or cleanser and facial foam. If you don’t like to bring too many bottles or tubes, buy little travel-size containers and just transfer some of your products in them.
Do you wear makeup when you work out? What cleansing and post-workout essentials do you keep in your gym bag?
Just when you thought that working out in a ratty old cotton t-shirt is perfectly fine, you’re bombarded by an unending slew of workout clothes that promise to help you burn calories while you exercise just by wearing them.
Color me skeptical! My grandmother always tells me that if something is too good to be true, it probably is. A fit and healthy body is something that requires good old hard work and patience. There is no quick and easy solution to losing weight or getting fit, but I guess companies that produce our exercise gear also recognize our generational thirst for instant gratification. They’ve responded to that by marketing line after line of shoes and clothes that promise to help you shed even more calories by wearing them. Is this a real scientific breakthrough or just a clever marketing ploy?