With her love of running, yoga and ab-revealing croptops, singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding has gained a reputation for being as impressive in the gym as she is on stage.
The project covers a series of women's races across the globe, including a 10K run in London's Victoria Park on 21 June.
We asked the award-winning artist about her exercise regime and got some tips for novice runners who might be thinking about signing up.
What is your weekly exercise schedule like?
If I'm at home in London, ideally I like to try and fit in a couple of Bikram yoga sessions a week. I'm not really a Pilates girl or massively into spinning, but I do love yoga.
I also have a personal trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp and have actually started to combine my training by running to and from the classes.
I love the atmosphere and energy of a bootcamp - you can’t hide behind from anyone else and there is something really special and comradely when everyone is on the treadmill all together.
How do you fit exercise into a busy schedule?
If I am in America I will go to the Barry’s Bootcamp there. I recently hosted a Barry’s session in Miami and think that I probably enjoyed it a little too much! If I am in Europe I will find somewhere to go out and run.
I do train quite hard generally, but if I am doing long promo and studio days the reality is that I have to sit and focus on what I’m doing that day.
Sometimes I have to accept that there just isn’t the time and if you can’t fit it in then you can’t fit it in.
Is there any exercise you couldn't live with out?
Definitely running. Running is the basis of all the training that I do other than yoga. It gives me a great chance to focus when I am not in the car and I am by myself. I run to Barry’s and I also run around Hyde Park and Regent’s Park – it’s like an escape.
If for some reason I couldn’t run anymore it would be too much for me to take.
What do you eat before and after a workout?
It really depends. If I have had a big dinner the night before then I tend not to put anything more in my stomach before a workout.
Usually I would train on a protein bar or a banana. I don’t like to feel too full during a session, so would probably wait until afterwards.
It’s funny, I never really get the urge to stuff my face after a work out. I think the type of exercise you do is very connected to your mind.
The kind of training that I enjoy doesn’t really encourage me to gain muscle like a bloke does, or fill myself full of things afterwards. I never really want to go crazy after a workout and it feels more natural for me to go and get a really good salad. In London, I am always looking for the best veggie places to eat.
Often, I will have a smoothie and throw loads of stuff in my smoothie maker as it’s so easy. I put everything from spinach to hazelnut milk, vegan chocolate flavour protein powder, coconut water and peanut butter. I just chuck everything in!
Do you have any tips for beginners who may be new to exercise?
It can be really daunting joining a gym or going for a run the first time, but I think that’s a really British thing. In America, there is a real culture of fitness, sport and being active.
It’s about getting past that first initial feeling of being insecure.
Do you have any tips to make women feel more confident about taking up fitness?
The lack of confidence is such a woman thing, but I am not at all surprised as sport and fitness has been a very male dominated environment for a long time.
When I first started in music, people found it unusual that I was into fitness and that I also went on stage and I drank.
Now people take me much more seriously as female sport has become a phenomenon.
I think signing up with someone definitely helps – train with a friend. The Nike Women’s Race Series this summer is going to be really fun as you sign up to train with a group of friends and you do it all together. It always great to encourage, motivate and support each other right up to the finish line.
Sign up with your crew to start your journey to the Nike Women’s 10K London finish line nike.com/london.
WHY IT WORKS: Stabilize the pelvis in order to propel legs forward more efficiently while you run HOW TO: Get on your toes and elbows, while keeping your arms and fists on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds.
HOW TO: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Next, grab a barbell you are comfortable with (beginners should just use dumbbells), and take a step backwards with one foot. Essentially, you are doing regular lunges "backwards," to avoid pressure on your knees. Alternate legs.
Try two sets of 10.
WHY IT WORKS:The reverse motion gets rid of pressure on the knee
WHY IT WORKS: It stabilizes your upper body and lower body. Your upper body is supposed to counter balance your lower body when running — they are meant to operate differently. It also helps the core and hips. HOW TO: Sit on the floor with a medicine ball with your feet out. Twist the ball from side to side, while keeping your legs off the mat. Lower your back and keep the core tight.
WHY IT WORKS: Instability forces body awareness and helps with posture HOW TO: Using a TRX suspension trainer, place your feet through the straps to elevate your feet. Continue with a regular push-up. Try two sets of 10.
HOW TO: Hold a kettlebell (or a dumbbell) in one hand and extend the same side leg out. Keeping your knee bent, extend the leg outwards by bending the hips forward. Continue until your kettlebell touches the ground and slowly come up.
Try two sets of 10.
WHY IT WORKS: Build and strengthen gluteal muscles
HOW TO: If you can, try using a TRX suspension trainer. Get into the squat position and go down with one leg outwards. Remember to keep your balance steady and your knees bent for support. The TRX suspension trainer (found at most gyms), will keep you keep your balance and let you go lower.
Try two sets of 10.
WHY IT WORKS: Improve balance and stability
WHY IT WORKS: Strengthen the core and hips. This is often harder for women. HOW TO: As the video suggests, use a band and pull it up to your knees. Lay on your side and keep your hips and leg at a 90 degree angle. Keeping one foot on top of the other, open up your legs (like a clam) and slowly close them. Alternate sides. Try two sets of 10.
WHY IT WORKS: Builds your posture and helps keep your shoulder back HOW TO: Using a wider grip, proceed to a pull up, keeping your body straight. Keep your legs crossed and try two sets of 10.
WHY IT WORKS: A split squat allows for a full hip extension HOW TO: Placing one foot in a TRX suspension trainer, push backwards, while bringing the same arm outwards and keeping your opposite leg bent. Similar to the single leg squat, keep your knee bent to balance. Watch a video here and try two sets of 10.
WHY IT WORKS: Working small muscle groups HOW TO: Try Pilates exercises that focus on abduction and adduction (two types of motions in the body). This includes side lifts (while on your side and lifting one leg up and down) or leg lifts (laying out the ground with your arms out and lifting both legs up and down together.) Try two sets of 10.