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Is ninja training the new trend for beating ageing?

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Sixty year-olds doing handstands? Mums doing acro? Is Ninja training the new fitness trend to beat aging?

One Perth mum who joined the Ninja trend says “I consider myself to be fit, but Ninja Academy brought a totally different level.”

Voni Cosier is former contestant from Channel 9’s The Block and new member of the Perth Ninja Academy.

“I’ve worked out and trained in gyms before but wanted something that was going to add to my level of mobility and flexibility,” said Ms Cosier, a single mum with an 8 year old daughter.

“There are so many different elements at Ninja Academy, with specialities in movement and acro, such as flipping, that I can’t get out of my daily routine.”

The Perth Ninja Academy was founded in 2015 by Dave Ravi, a contestant on Channel 9’s hit show Australian Ninja Warrior.

“It’s interesting that this current wave of strong women in the movies has coincided with this new wave of mothers who are increasingly focused on becoming physically fit, strong and agile,” said Mr Ravi.

“They don’t want to simply run on a treadmill or lift weights – they want flexibility and to learn a whole new range of different movement skills,” he said.

“They want to be in a non-threatening environment where there’s no judgement or ego.”

Dave RaviMr Ravi said women are kicking butt in:

  • Movement rather than body building: Body building can involve a restrictive range of movement and does not necessary mean better health. Apart from potentially being a repetitive way to train, it can end up with large muscle that can’t do very much. Body weight exercises such as handstands and mobility drills may help prevent potential injury.
  • Skill and technique: Women might find themselves in a class with bigger guys where they are just as good, if not better, because they tend to be smaller and more flexible.
  • Muscle-ups: Women are often better than men because they tend to have better technique and control. A muscle-up involves pulling the body up on a bar followed by a dip over it.
  • Ninja course: Some of our best ninja athletes are women, often training alongside the men.

 

6 ninja training moves you can do at home

  1. Handstands. They can be done anywhere, and the walls of the house make the perfect support. Work up your time staying in the position. As you advance, try holding a handstand without the support of the wall.
  2. Push-ups. Push-ups are fantastic for strengthening the arms and chest, and you just need a bit of floor space to do it in. Change up your push-ups by increasing reps or practicing them against a wall or solid piece of furniture.
  3. Squats. Squats are great for the legs and buttocks and can be done with a minimum of room. Like the push-ups, they can be done in a variety of ways, such as sets, holds, or with weights.
  4. Planking. Planking is fantastic for the abdomen as it uses and strengthens the core. Time your planking to increase over the course of days and weeks, or repeat them in sets as part of your overall workout. Side planks can also be done.
  5. Sprints. Part of pulling off ninja moves is athleticism and endurance, so include some sprints into your training to give you a full-body workout.
  6. Bodyweight training. Many if not most of the ninja training moves you see on television are based on bodyweight. So pretty much any exercise you do that involves using your bodyweight could be considered ninja training. You don’t need any particular equipment either, which is great. Or to change it up, add some weights, such as dumbells.

 

Q&A with Ninja Mum Voni Cosier

Voni Cosier Ninja MumWhat is your story?

I’m a single mother with a daughter (Lillyana, 8 years old), who is my partner in crime. We’re very close, and do everything together. I’m 40 years old. I’m a personal trainer as well as an F45 trainer. I was born in Sydney, and moved to Surfers Paradise as a child with my family. Six months ago, I moved to Perth with Lillyana to be closer to my brother and his family, so am just settling in now. I’ve been a sporty person since the day Mum gave birth to me lol. As I was growing up I did horse riding and cross-country eventing. I was also heavily into athletics and played netball. I’m now an F45 coach, which is all about functional movement, as well as a personal trainer.

How did you discover Ninja training?

When we relocated to Perth, we moved into an area that was situated very close to Ninja Academy. That was how I stumbled across it.

Why do you do it / how does it help you find Balance in your life?

It’s an outlet for me, as I’m a very busy person as well as a single mum, where I’m doing everything for Lillyana. Ninja Academy and the training it offers is a place I can go and just be myself for an hour or two. Any tension and stress is relieved in the first 15 minutes, especially if I’m doing a boxing session!

How did you end up on The Block and what was the result?

I’m always up for a good challenge and by gosh, I found it on The Block. An old friend who has known me since childhood works in the industry and suggested I put my hat in the ring with Suzi Taylor to audition. By the end of the show, all of our apartments sold at auction, and we walked away with a healthy sum between us. I paid off my debts, and some of the money remaining I used to set up my businesses of personal training and now the activewear range.

What was that experience like?

The Block was one of the most horrific and exciting things I’ve ever done in my life haha. Giving up the time and not being with my daughter for 4 months was the hardest thing I had to do. I only saw her twice in that time, so I wouldn’t jump at doing it again. It was just too hard to be away from her, and it was difficult on her too.

What’s next for you? Are you planning on entering Australia’s Ninja Warrior?

Currently, I’m in the process of launching my active wear label, called Cosier by Voni, as well as a new website that includes a blog that covers my fitness journey, as well as recipes, and the personal training that I offer. I would definitely keep going with Ninja Academy, but it’s not a high priority to be on Australia’s Ninja Warrior at the moment because of the new business ventures. I’m just too busy! But you never know, I’d consider it if the producers were interested in me!

How often do you train?

At the moment I train 4 times per week, because that’s all I have time for currently. Normally I would train around 5-6 times per week, but I’m just very busy these days.

What advice do you have for women about finding fitness and balance in their life?

Keeping fit and finding balance in your life is a bit like brushing your teeth morning and night. It takes commitment. It’s just a routine you need to get into, and then stick to. We’ve got one body on this earth, so if you don’t take time to look after it then you’ll have less time to do the things you love and spend time with the people that you love. I think it’s helped me look and feel young for my age, and there’s nothing wrong that! I think I’m as fit as some women half my age. It keeps me very energetic. I find balance through movement, good health, and spending time with family and friends. But you have to commit to it. As soon as you lose it, it’s hard to get back. Be committed to your health.

 

 

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