Fitness inspiration

Buddy Up: The Best Partner Workout

I'm delighted to announce that I have joined forces with Women's Health Magazine to share brand new fitness and wellbeing content as part of their #WHSquad. I will be featuring all kinds of tips and tricks to help you on your fitness journey, including fun exercises.

Tandem Bicycle Crunche

I know how tricky it can be to find motivation to workout so how about you grab a mate and train together? That way you can catch up on all the juicy gossip, work up a sweat and encourage one another at the same time. Bingo!

Try the six body weight exercises that I did with my friend Carly Rowena below. You'll need nothing but a partner. 

XOXO

WIN! New Balance Running Kit

Following my previous blog post on the importance of choosing the right workout wear for you, I have teamed with New Balance to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a brand, spanking new fitness outfit worth over £160, complete with the top, leggings and trainers below, perfect for running and post workout stretching. Here's what you could win!

New Balance Impact Capri Running Leggings

The Impact Capri leggings are lightweight, with mesh inserts to allow you to feel the breeze when running. They have a zip pocket for your on-the-run essentials, are made with sweat wicking material to help you crush that extra mile and they even look good.

Impact Capri Leggings New Balance

The New Balance Ice Long Sleeved top is bright and has long sleeves with thumbholes for added warmth, yet back ventilation to keep you cool.

NB Ice Long Sleeve Top

Last but not least, these Vazee Pace trainers are a dream to run in. Lightweight, well cushioned and a sleek style, enabling you to turn heads as you go.

Vazee Pace v2 New Balance Running Trainers

COMPETITION TIME! 

One of you is going to win the New Balance fit kit above worth over £160. The lucky winner will be sent the fit kit directly to your doorstep so you can just sit back and wait.

IF YOU WANT TO WIN ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS FOLLOW THESE 3 SIMPLE STEPS:

1. SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE (OR MY HOME PAGE) AND SIGN UP TO MY UPDATES. 

2. Follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram, and tag me into an image of your choice using the handle @AJOdudu and using the hashtag, #IAMTheCompetition

3. Follow New Balance UK on Twitter and/or Instagram

The winner will receive an email to state that you have won and asking for your sizes. Don't forget to let me know you have signed up by commenting below or by Tweeting/Instagramming me @AJOdudu

THIS COMPETITION CLOSES AT MIDNIGHT ON SUNDAY 31ST AUGUST 2016, SO GOOD LUCK!!!

#IAmTheCompetition

 

 

 

Top 3 Foam Roller Moves

Work hard and sometimes, rest harder. Did you know that stretching and resting post workout is often overlooked? Yet it's an important way to avoid the risk of injury and is the quickest way to rebuild, repair and recover your muscles, enabling you to be at your best during your next workout.

I've teamed up with New Balance to share ways that you can use your rest days to the maximum and to show that running and resting really do go hand in hand. This is why I'm bringing you my top 3 Foam Roller Moves, especially essential for runners.

1. HAMSTRINGS

Hamstring movement using a foam roller

2. QUADS

Quad movement using a foam roller

3. Calves

Calve movement using foam roller

Foam rollers act as a 'self-massage' reliving muscular soreness even further and they are a great tool for the development of a more supple body. These top 3 moves are particularly great for runners as they focus on your hamstrings, quads and calves so roll on and find my step by step guide on how to do them safely by clicking here.

In this post I am wearing the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 Trainers, New Balance Racer Back Bra Top and the New Balance Printed Impact leggings. 

Photos by Duncan Nicholls

#IAmTheCompetition

XOXO

Les Mills Live | London

Have you ever been a room with thousands of people who like exactly the same things as you do, moving at exactly the same time, to exactly the same music? I have, to mark the first leg of the Les Mills Live global tour. 

Reebok Les Mills

If you've never heard of Les Mills, you've probably been in a class of theirs without even realising, down at your local gym.  They are the world's largest creators of choreographed exercise to music, group fitness classes; Spin class, Body Pump, GRIT Strength etc, Les Mills are responsible for.  They teamed with Reebok to get the planet fitter with a Les Mills global tour and yesterday was the first leg.

Female weight lifting

In the London ExCel Centre, I witnessed over 1000 people squatting, lunging and sweating in unison before my very eyes and it was magical. The day focused on being able to try out a variety of classes, from danced based classes like Sh' Bam, to yoga focused classes such as Body Balance, there really was something for everyone. All their classes release stress, improve confidence and gets you into amazing shape.

Les Mills Live Body Pump

There's something really empowering about being amongst thousands of people working out as one and most importantly, having fun with it. The thing I enjoyed the most is that it's not about being the fastest, the strongest or the youngest but it's a community of people of all ages and abilities spurring one another on to keep fit. It also looks frikkin' amazing to see over 1000 people doing a chest press at the same time. Such rhythm! 

Chest Press AJ Odudu

I was presenting for Les Mills Live to capture the energy on camera but it''s a fitness festival that really does have to be attended to be fully be appreciated, so click here to see how you can get involved and experience the contagious energy I felt yesterday.

    Find out how you can join  Les Mills Live  by clicking  here .     For video footage from the tour, check out  Les Mills UK Facebook page  or check out  my take on last year's event .    XOXO

 

Find out how you can join Les Mills Live by clicking here

For video footage from the tour, check out Les Mills UK Facebook page or check out my take on last year's event.

XOXO

Les Mills Live London

Top 5 Running Tips

As the dates for the London Marathon come closer it's not uncommon for people to feel inspired to pound the pavements to improve their fitness. Running is hands down one of the greatest ways to keep fit. It's the best aerobic exercise for physical conditioning of your heart and lungs, as well as a great way to relieve stress, tone your entire body, lose weight and quite simply, it's convenient.

Whether you're a seasoned running pro or early in your journey, sometimes we all need a bit of encouragement. So grab your running shoes as I give you my top five tips to get you running happily ever after.

Adidas Boost Trainers White

1. Find Fitness Motivation

The first hurdle to confront is motivation which, unsurprisingly, is easier said than done. I challenge you to write down some goals. Maybe you’re training for the London Marathon or Great North Run, maybe you want to shift a few pounds or it could be that you want to simply be fit. Write them down and stick them up on your mirror or somewhere you look often, as a daily reminder. On a more immediate note, try keeping your fit kit by the door before you go to bed, as quite often it’s the thought of exercising and lack of preparation that puts us off.

Quad stretch adidas

2. Improve Your Flexibility

Tight hamstrings? Sore back? Stiff hips? Loosen up! You don't have to be a bendy yoga bunny but your flexibility is important when it comes to running. During your runs, your flexibility enables your joints to move through their full range of motion, helping your muscles work more effectively and therefore, boosting your performance whilst reducing your risk of injury. Quad, cobra and standing lunge stretches will improve your flexibility greatly and if you can make it to a yoga or pilates class weekly, even better.

Marathon Training

3. Boost Your Endurance

Naturally when we fatigue our running form weakens. We curl up our shoulders, hunch our backs, our arms tend to flap by our sides and our breathing pattern becomes irregular. Weakening our technique means our performance suffers whilst putting us at risk of injury. However, improving our stamina reduces all of those side effects, enabling us to run for longer before fatigue kicks in. Try combining strength training with cardio whilst reducing your rest times in between workout sets, in order to boost your endurance.

Stretch adidas

4. Get Stronger

Running is a high impact workout and high impact exercises aren't always kind to our joints. Luckily, strength training will increase the ability of your bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles to withstand the high impact of running. Weight training dramatically increases the strength of your muscles when done so safely and even adding small amounts of resistance to your workouts with a resistance band will strengthen your muscles. The stronger you are the better you get.

 

Plank Core Workout

5. Improve your Stability

When running, muscle strength in your hips and glutes are really important for stabilisation and your core strength is important for your posture and so the stronger and more stable you are in these areas, the better your running form and performance. Try push-ups with your feet on a medicine ball, a one-legged squat reach, single leg dead lifts and raising one leg off the ground when planking.

If you want to find out more, I created an entire workout series of workout videos to get you ready to run which can be found by clicking here.

Happy running!

XOXO

Photographer: Sam Travis

AJ Odudu adidas UK

 

 

 




How To Train To Run | Workout videos

Running is one of the best forms of exercises out there. It keeps your heart healthy and your mind focused. But did you know that a few tweaks here or there to your training can make the world of difference? I teamed with adidas to create a series of workout videos designed to make bad runners good and good runners great. On your marks, get set, go!

Train to Run Flex Workout

Flex it out this week with AJ Odudu's Train to Run workout. Incorporate these moves into your routine and you'll be off to a flying start.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 9, 2016
Train to Run Strength Workout

Push your limits with AJ Odudu's final workout. Designed to work your arms, legs and core, it's time to dig deep and show what you're made of.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 23, 2016
Train to Run Stability Workout

It's time to work that core. Get those abs fired up with AJ Odudu's stability workout.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 16, 2016
Train to Run - Endurance Workout

January's here and it's time to hit the ground running.AJ Odudu is bringing you a workout a week to get you ready. Week one - improve your endurance.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 2, 2016

Modelling For adidas A/W15

OK so adidas have chosen three females to model key pieces of their new Autumn/Winter 2015 training collection and I'm one of them. Needless to say this pleases me. 

Ever since I was a little girl I've enjoyed adidas. From the adidas poppers that exposed my naked legs to the harsh winds of Blackburn, Lancashire, to the adidas Gallaxy football boots that I remember my older brother saving up for, only for me to be the annoying little sister and unscrew the studs before misplacing them. Quite literally, adidas is a brand that I have grown up with and so naturally, I'm excited to be working with them.

I'm passionate about all areas of fitness and promoting a healthy body image for females and the new collection from adidas certainly adds to that confident feeling you get from working out. It also shows off my individual style. Bright colours and matching two pieces? Yes please! Activewear that not only looks good but performs well. 

Shooting the look book and modelling this range was so much fun and as well as flaunting my stuff,  I have created a bespoke series of instructional workout videos with adidas too, the first of which goes live on Tuesday 30th June right here. This is for their #WorkIt summer campaign, which aims to encourage women across the UK to try out fresh fitness moves so expect fun, energy boosting workouts that incorporate dynamic and explosive exercises.

Hold tight for more exciting news as you could be in with a chance of getting your hands on this amazing fit kit and whilst you're holding, tell me which items you are looking forward to getting your paws on?

To get involved and access the free workouts head to Facebook and like the adidas Women page 

The brand new AW15 Women’s Training collection is available here. Don't forget to check out my adidas girl gang Cat Meffan and Em Sheldon. 

Lots of adidas shaped love from AJ Odudu

xoxo

My Tennis Master Class & Interview with Judy Murray

I attended Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre for an energetic HEAD coaching master class  hosted by Great Britain’s Fed Cup team captain Judy Murray.  I was generously given a HEAD tennis outfit for the occasion, and having road-tested it during the four hour master class  I found it to be feather-weight, super-comfy and perfect for getting me in the mood to play tennis. More on the outfit specifically later this week because for the first time ever I finally played tennis. An achievement worth celebrating!

Yep. You read correctly. Up until last week I'd never played tennis before. Tennis wasn't a sport on offer at my school in Blackburn, Lancashire growing up, so I never found the need or the urge to even attempt playing. I'm a massive spectator usually but on this occasion, I had all the tennis gear but no idea which wasn't a problem it turned out. Why? Because Judy Murray was hosting the class along side Living Tennis Academy, a specialist tennis coaching institution who manage and provide a range of tennis coaching at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre. Sorted!  

As my luck would have it, the rest of the group were also shoddy tennis players :) That said they were still better than me. Aside from ball control and coordination, I learnt many things about myself during the master training session.  One was that I'm more competitive than I thought (There was a game which involved us racing each other up and down the tennis courts whilst balancing a ball on our racquets. A bit like an egg and spoon race which in theory is light hearted fun. In reality, there were a few false starts on my part) Just saying. 

Another thing I learnt is that I have completely forgotten how to catch a ball. I also found that I have got a short attention span. Actually...I've always known that.

So after learning how to catch again, winning all the races and regaining some focus, I sat down to have a quick fire interview with Judy Murray. Here's just a few of the things I asked her.

1. Why is it so important for you to get more females involved in tennis? Three and a half years ago I had the opportunity to become the Fed Cup captain and that made me realise just how hard you have to work to make things happen in women's sport in comparison to men's sport. We're seriously out numbered in terms of the number of coaches we have, not to mention the number of women in decision making positions within the sport. It's women who will make things happen for other women because we understand each other better in terms of our needs and wants. I've realised that for us to ever have a chance of winning the Fed Cup in years to come we need to be a much stronger tennis nation. That means more women playing, coaching and making decisions.
2. You are a talented coach with two highly successful tennis playing sons Jamie and Andy Murray. One would presume this is your time to have a well earned rest and take an early retirement! Why is it so important for you to encourage a new generation of children through the Grassroots programme? *She laughs* I might put my feet up in a couple of years but I've always loved my sport and I'm still very passionate about it. I also love teaching and I realise that for us to create another generation of players we need to have more good coaches at every level. I'm more than happy to share all the things that I've learned in the 25 or so years that I've been coaching.
3. Give me a brief beginners guide on how to start playing tennis. One of the really important things when starting out is to get the right equipment. Your racquet is always going to be the most important thing. The right length, the correct weight, the grip size, good strings, everything that suits your game style and your physical shape and size is really important. Being able to move to and from the ball is highly important too and *she chuckle* as you've found out today, you need to be able to throw and catch a bouncing ball before you can even think about hitting it. Start simple in a small space, learn how to control the ball then you can start to open it out. If you start immediately, in a big space, you're probably not going to hit too many shots.
4. Having been very entertaining on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, are you still dancing? *She laughs* Don't be so ridiculous. I'll stick to tennis. 

Judy was certainly very lovely and there'll be more from her on my blog very soon. For now, I personally will be sharpening up my tennis skills in time for summer. See you at Wimbledon!

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Let's talk breakfast, my favourite meal of the day. Breakfast provides fuel for your body and brain to function after an overnight fast by restoring your glucose levels. I always eat breakfast after an hour(ish) of being awake and in that time, I'd have already drank a pint of water. Here's a snap shot of some of the things that I've been eating for breakfast, which will hopefully help you decide how to tickle your taste buds in a healthy way, even before you've barely woke up.

Cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, a slice of brown toast, one poached egg and a small glass of orange juice.

Cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, a slice of brown toast, one poached egg and a small glass of orange juice.

One slice of rye bread with half and avocado, cherry tomatoes, 10 grapes, 10 almonds and a small handful of blueberries. Also drinking a cup of hot water.

One slice of rye bread with half and avocado, cherry tomatoes, 10 grapes, 10 almonds and a small handful of blueberries. Also drinking a cup of hot water.

Grilled mushroom, one slice of brown toast with butter, two grilled rashers of bacon, a poached egg with a sprinkle of pepper.

Grilled mushroom, one slice of brown toast with butter, two grilled rashers of bacon, a poached egg with a sprinkle of pepper.

Two poached eggs, one slice of rye bread with half an avocado crushed onto it. Cherry tomato, cucumber and spinach too.

Two poached eggs, one slice of rye bread with half an avocado crushed onto it. Cherry tomato, cucumber and spinach too.

To nip my sugar cravings in the bud bright and early, occasionally I have a small glass of orange juice also good source of fibre, energy and antioxidants. As you can see I love eggs for healthy fats and protein. Rye bread and grainy toast with butter or coconut oil on it are my carbs (which aren't the devil by the way) and avocado is full of healthy fats, vitamins and potassium.  I eat with my eyes too so I like to keep my plate colourful with whatever salad vegetables I have knocking around in the fridge and the bacon, grilled mushroom and poached egg combination is my healthy alternative to a greasy English Breakfast fry up. Yum! What do you have for breakfast?

xoxo

My Fitness Wardrobe #1

Here's a fit kit that quite literally brightens up my workouts. The trainers come true to size and offer light support and great flexibility to boost range of motion and promote strength in your feet for barefoot running.

Despite my longish legs (I'm 5ft8), these leggings fit in a size small without rolling down. They have reflective elements so you are unmissable when training in low visibility, they are made with Dri-Fit fabric helping you stay dry and comfortable during your sweaty workouts and they even have a discreet zip pocket for storage of gym keys and other small items. Not to mention the colour which I love. 

The poncho is more of a style addition rather than functional active wear but it's lightweight, waterproof and the adjustable hood offers great cover, meaning that this jacket is certainly coming with me to a few of the Great British festivals I have lined up this summer.

 If you like it, try it, tell me if you buy it

xoxo