As people become increasingly interested in healthy lifestyles and keeping fit, sportswear has also become more popular. Gone are the days of mismatched workout kit – now it’s all about high tech fabrics and stylish designs that wouldn’t look out of place on a catwalk. Luxury activewear is great for exercising but it’s also handy for travelling or simply relaxing at home. Here are some of our favourite activewear brands and a selection of plyometric exercises that we’ve found effective for toning up and dropping weight.
Luxury Activewear – ME v ME
British luxury activewear brand, ME v ME was launched by Kate Swinson in 2016. It’s aimed at women who work and play hard, and don’t want to compromise on style. Designed and made in the UK, it incorporates high tech materials and a subtle colour palette. Their ground breaking Chilly’s water bottle is a must. It will keep liquids cool for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours and was voted winner of the 10 Best Water Bottles by The Independent.
We also love their Kalon Active Top, which has a fashionable cross-over effect at the back and a handmade leather tag. Made from cotton, polyamide and elastane, it’s extremely comfortable to wear and keeps it’s shape perfectly after washing. Wear it with the Calla leggings, which have compression technology to help your muscles recover after a workout. The clever placing of the nude coloured piping makes your derriere look much smaller and holds the leggings up effectively, whilst the large waistband above it is supremely comfortable. All ME v ME designs have undergone a three month wearer trial, ensuring a perfect fit and long-lasting performance. There’s nothing worse than sports leggings that fall down during your workout, so good to know that there’s kit out there that solves this problem. All clothing comes with a complimentary protective washbag, made by women supported by the charity PCF. ME v ME are proud supporters of PCF who help socially disadvantaged women and children in the UK and abroad.
You may not have heard the name before but there are many benefits of plyometric exercises. These jumping based moves are extremely effective for getting fit and firming up your body. Despite the high-tech name, they’re among the easiest to do anywhere in the world as you don’t need any special equipment. It makes them ideal for when you’re travelling. After warming up with some arm stretches we got stuck in with plyometric squat jumps, a great fat-burning exercise which tones the core, calves and glutes. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees to do a normal squat, with your arms by your side and jump up as high as you can whilst raising your arms. Be careful to land softly on your feet as you don’t want to put unnecessary strain on your joints.
We worked out in the luxurious Oriental Spa Garden at Hotel Botanico in Tenerife. The hotel itself is a member of Leading Hotels of the World and was awarded “Best Hotel with Spa of Europe and Mediterranean 2017” by Conde Nast Johansens. It has a gorgeous swimming pool, indoor hot springs circuit and a jacuzzi hidden inside a rock!
Onzie is one of the best activewear brands, renowned for its super stylish designs and innovative free-flow fabric technology. The breathable and fasty-drying fabric allows you to stay cool and supported whilst working out. Born and raised in Venice Beach, California, Onzie has grown into a global company that retains its sense of playfulness. 99% of the garments’ cutting, sewing and dyeing takes place in LA. Founded by Kimberly Swarth, a keen yogi with a Masters in Movement Therapy, Onzie sounds like a cool place to work. They wear their own designs to the office and have held dance offs before strategy meetings!
They have some amazing leggings and I tried out two of them, the 7/8 Racer Midi in Moonlight Blue and High Rise Graphic Legging in Holi. The High Rise Graphic leggings make a real fashion statement, I love them! They’re custom made using a special placement printing technique. Yet they’re not just good-lookers, they performed brilliantly through a series of side skater moves. These will help tone your thighs, hamstrings and core. Gently squat and jump sideways to the left, bringing your right leg behind your left ankle. Change direction by jumping to the right with your right leg.
The plank is one of the best abdominal exercises out there but it’s also great for your arms too. Take a pushup position on the floor or exercise mat, then bend your elbows and place your weight on your forearms. Its important that your body forms a straight line from your head to your feet. Try to hold the position for up to two minutes, and you can vary it by raising an arm or leg, or doing a side plank.
There’s also a matching bra top, or you could wear their Pyramid Bra in black. It’s good looking enough to wear on it’s own or under a top such as the Molly Tank and gives full support. I liked the flyaway sides of the Molly Tank, which would be a good cover up for wearing after a workout or as loungewear as it’s so comfy and lightweight. I wore it with the Racer Midi blue leggings for a classic plyometric exercise, plié jumps. Great for firming up your derriere, abs and legs, they’re easy to do. Simply stand with your toes out and legs wider than your shoulders, then squat down and jump as high as you can.
The racer midi is a bit longer than usual capri pants, but still shows a little leg. The high waist line stayed perfectly in place and the mesh panels at the base added style.
Want to look effortlessly cool during your workout? The Neuro Silk Knockout Top by LA luxury activewear brand Ultracor fits the bill perfectly. Available at the stylish PAD Lifestyle online store, it’s just one of the great international labels that they stock. PAD don’t limit themselves to fashion, they also have some great homewear and design their own hand-crafted furniture with a huge range of fabrics and finishes.
Appropriately given the gold star design, we put the Knockout Top through it’s paces with a series of star jumps. The compression fabric has a silky feel and is very comfortable to wear. The top is fully lined and there’s an inbuilt bra, making it perfect for low impact exercise such as yoga or pilates. I’d recommend wearing a sports bra underneath it for high impact workouts. The scoop neck and racer back are super flattering and the digitally printed gold stars are so stylish. It’s one of my favourite activewear tops and I’d happily wear it for a low-key brunch or lounging at home.
Also known as jumping jacks, star jumps are fun to do and good for balance as well as for cardio. For this simple exercise, raise your arms out to your sides and jump up as you do so, with your legs wide apart, then return to position with your arms by your side and feet together. My Ultracor Knockout Top kept me cool and comfy whilst I was going through the moves.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of luxury activewear and that you’re inspired to try some of the plyometric exercises that we’ve showcased. It’s a great way to get fit in style. Let us know in the comments if you try any out as we’d love to know how you get on!