By now you all know that our powerhouse cover star for the April issue is Thembi Seete — musician, actress, entrepreneur… The list goes on. At 43, Thembi is fitter than ever and it’s all thanks to her dedication to working out and doing her stretches. “I love any type of cardio and I get fulfilled when I’m in a group class. I work out better when there’s a team. I love the noise, the energy, the music,” she says.
When she can’t make it to a class, she designs at-home workouts with her brother, trainer Moagi Seete. These exercises provide a combination of strength and cardio that help her increase her flexibility, strength, core balance and endurance.
Thembi works out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (Want to see how? Go buy the mag now!) and on Tuesdays and Thursdays she focuses on cardio and stretching. Here’s exactly how she stretches, so you can incorporate these moves into your weekly workouts too. Go forth and limber up!
1/ Standing Quad Stretch
Stand with your feet together. Bend your right knee and use your right hand to pull your foot towards your bum. Keep your knees together and hold for 30 seconds to two minutes. Repeat on the other leg.
2/ Lunge With Spinal Twist
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a big lunge forwards with your left leg, keeping your right leg straight behind you with your toes on the ground — you should feel a stretch at the front of your right thigh. Place your right hand on the floor and twist your upper body to the left as you extend your left arm towards the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds to two minutes. Repeat on the other side.
3/ Plank Walk Out
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Reaching for the floor, bend down until your hands touch the ground. Slowly walk your hands forwards until you’re in a plank position. Pause for a second, then walk your hands back towards your feet. That’s one rep. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds.
4/ Lying Figure Four Stretch
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Cross your left ankle over your right knee and pull your right knee towards your chest, so your right foot lifts up off the floor. Use your hands to pull your right thigh down further. (You’ll feel a stretch in your left glute muscles.) Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
5/ Frog Stretch
Start on all fours. Slide your knees wider than shoulder-width apart, while turning your toes out. Shift your hips back towards your heels and move from your hands to your forearms to get a deeper stretch, if possible. Hold for 30 seconds to two minutes.
1/ Standing Hamstring Stretch
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Bend forwards at the hips, lowering your head towards the floor, while keeping your head, neck and shoulders relaxed. Wrap your arms around the backs of your legs. Hold anywhere from 45 seconds to two minutes. Bend your knees and roll up when you’re done, then repeat for a second time.
2/ Front Kick With Hand Reach
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Kick your left leg up, keeping your leg as straight as you can, and reach your right arm out as you try to touch your left toes. Release back to the ground, that’s one rep. Do 15 reps, then switch sides.
3/ Knee Lift
Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart and place your hands behind your head. Lift your right leg up towards your right elbow, bending your knee as you do. Then swap, lifting your left leg towards your left arm, bending your knee as you do. That’s one rep. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds.
4/ Straight-Leg Lateral Swing
Supporting yourself with one hand on a wall or chair, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your left leg straight and swing it across the front of your body in a rhythmic motion. Do 15 reps, then switch sides.
5/ Lateral Lunge With Balance
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands at your side. Take a big step to the right, then push your hips back, bending your right knee and lowering your body until your knee is bent 90 degrees. Push back to an upright position, as you lift your right knee and pull it into your chest with your arms. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds on the right side, then switch to the left.