Would you like your stomach to resemble a washboard?

Would you like your stomach to resemble a washboard?

There’s no better feeling than seeing results you’ve worked hard for. Exercise is a great example of this as, when done regularly, not only will you see results but you’ll feel great too. This acts as a domino effect and often leads to other positive lifestyle changes; be that a new job, a baby, or a re-vitalised get-up and go attitude.

One of the things many of my clients ask me is: ‘How do I get a toned stomach?’ With summer approaching, aka ‘Bikini Season’, this question is being asked more and more frequently. Yes, summer might be a few months away but time passes quickly so what better time to start working on your figure than now. The sooner you start, the sooner you will see the results. Simple!

Lots of people can get a flat stomach but what you really want to achieve is tone and definition. This comes from strengthening your muscles, NOT from being ‘skinny.’ So don’t cut calories or shy away from building muscle. Work out and work towards results.

Here are some exercises that will strengthen your core muscles by working them from the front, back and sides. Try to do them 3-4 times a week and by summer you’ll have the fabulously flat, firm and, most importantly, toned abs you desire.


How to do it:

- Position your body on all fours. Tuck your toes under and push your hips up and back so that you form an upside down V. Then lift your right leg behind you.

- Now that your right leg is lifted, shift your body forwards so that you are in the full push-up position. Your shoulders should be over your wrists. Hold this for one count and repeat.

Reps: Try to do 2-3 sets of 15 reps. Repeat for the left leg.


How to do it:

- Sit on the mat with your knees bent and your ankles crossed. Place a yoga block on each side of your hips. Place a palm on each block, fingers facing forward.

- Straighten your arms and exhale as you contract your abs to lift your legs and bum off the mat. Hold for 10-15 seconds and lower.

Reps: Do 5 reps, alternating the leg that’s crossed on top.


How to do it:

- Start in a full push-up position with your feet together. Grab a yoga block with your right hand and rotate your body into a side plank.

- Your shoulders and hips should be stacked, and you should be balancing on your left hand and left foot.

- Extend your right arm up. Then bring it underneath your ribcage and then raise again.

Reps: Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps or each side.


How to do it:

- Place a folded towel underneath your feet. Position your body in a full push-up position. Extend your arms and balance on your hands and toes.

- Contract abs and bring your knees in towards your chest. Hold for 1 count and return to start.

Reps: 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest for 1 minute in between each set.


How to do it:

- Lie face up on the mat. Then, holding a yoga block, extend both arms behind your head.

- Curling up, reach your arms between your feet.

- Holding the block between your feet, lower back to the mat as you extend your arms behind your head and your legs forward. Reverse the motion to the starting position. This is 1 rep.

Reps: 3 sets of 10 reps.


How to do it:

- Lie fact up on the mat. Place your hands behind your head, shoulders bent out to the sides. Extend your legs directly upwards and squeeze a yoga block between your thighs.

- Curl your shoulders off the floor. Rotate your torso to bring your left elbow towards the right.

- Return to the center and repeat towards the left.

Reps: 2-3 sets of 20 reps, alternating sides.


How to do it:

- Lying face up on the mat, bend your knees into your chest and flex the soles of your feet. Place the yoga block on top of them.

- Place your arms on the floor, slightly out to the sides and slowly extend your legs straight up. (90 degree angle.)

- Without rocking, slowly lift your hips a few inches off the mat and then lower.

Reps: Try to do 2-3 sets of 10 reps.

(Note: To do these exercises you will need to get a pair of yoga blocks, a mat and a towel.)

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