Here are five fun, simple exercises to integrate into your routine to trim your mid section and combat rich, winter dishes this winter.
One: The first fun exercise involves the use of a handy tool: the yoga ball! Don’t have one? You can also substitute any piece of furniture that’s backless where a full body extension past a plank position can be achieved. An ottoman or low stool are great examples. You can even use the end of your bed (if you don’t have a foot board and lay upside down).
Plant your feet steadily on the floor while reaching as far back as possible with your arms. Then lift up and reach forward as far as you can towards your feet. (If using your bed lay your head off the end and either keep your knees bent, or stretch out your legs for heightened difficulty.)
While similar to a traditional crunch, you rely on both your upper and hard to reach lower abs to get a fuller effect. Reaching farther back than the plank position you achieve on the floor in a traditional crunch utilizes more of your abdominal muscles. The use of the ball has an additional benefit as it reduces the strain on your back. You will also be practicing your balance! The ball will freshen up your workout and add a fun twist.
Two and Three: Let’s show your love handles some love with two quick exercises.
-Stand up with your feet roughly one and a half feet apart. Using either a light hand weight or simply using a clenched fist alternate reps on both your left and right side. Press your fist down towards the floor while arching your upper body and head slightly towards the fist that is punching.
-Lay fully on one side resting your head on your hand with a bent elbow, one hip should be your balance as it touches the floor and supports your body. Take the leg on top and kick up to a ninety degree angle (or as high as you can) from your other leg on the floor. Repeat and switch sides. You’ll be blasting away stubborn fat and strengthening your legs too!
Note: Keep count of your reps in both exercises for even results!
Four: The Plank!
A simple and highly effective exercise to work away belly fat and sculpt your abs is the plank position. Lay down on the floor belly down. Clasp your hands together and bend your elbows as you use them to hop up to your toes and balance in that position. Try doing 15 or 30 second reps to start and increase your duration as you get stronger.
Five: Muffin Top Twister!
Cycle away that nuisance with a simple exercise. The pace can be as fast or as steady as you need it to be; challenging your pace will keep things fresh and fun!
Lay on the floor back down, belly up. Your hands will stay touching your head, elbows bent. Straighten out your legs on the floor. Alternate bending one knee and bringing it up to meet the opposite elbow (right knee to left elbow, left knee to right elbow) as you crunch up to lift that elbow. Your knee and elbow should meet in the middle as you lift your knee and upper body/elbow at the same time. Once you get your pace set, it should become a cycling movement (like pedaling a bike). You will feel the burn!
A great way to fit in all of these exercises into any schedule is to try to complete them during commercial breaks while watching a favorite show, or maybe during a break at work. Set a goal of how many reps you can accomplish and challenge yourself to increase them!