By Penny Nolton.
See our guide to exercises you can easily do at home. They will help keep you focused AND improve your fitness! These simple exerises will support you throughout The March Charge.
Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed and chin up. Make sure you ‘engage your core’ (tighten the tummy muscles you use when you’re laughing). Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle.
This is a great core exercise that strengthens all parts of your abdominals for a toned waistline and a stronger back. The twisting motion is the key to this move. It is crucial to pull your lower abdominals in during this move. Imagine you are zipping up a tight pair of pants. This is the same muscle contraction you should use the entire time you are twisting with the medicine ball. Make sure to keep breathing. Also, it takes a conscious effort to relax your hip flexors.
The plank is one of the best exercises you can do for your core because it builds strength to help sculpt your waistline and improve posture. Plus there’s a load of variations!
Lie face down with legs extended and elbows bent. Directly under shoulders, clasp your hands. Feet should be hip-width apart, and elbows should be shoulder-width apart. Contract your abs, then tuck your toes to lift your body (forearms remain on the ground); you should be in a straight line from head to heels. Hold for 60 seconds or as long as you can!
This one really works your core! Sit on the edge of your chair leaning back slightly and make sure you pull your tummy muscles in to protect your lower back (put a pillow behind your back though if you need support). Imagine you are about to ride a bike. Put both feet on your imaginary pedals and start cycling by pushing your left foot out and as you bring your left knee back in, push your right foot out. Continue for 30 seconds.
Variations of Squats
Stand with feet hip-width apart, raise your arms and have toes pointing slightly out the sides, and knees lined up with toes. Sit back with hips and bend knees as if sitting in a chair but don’t sit down. Keep knees pointing forward and chest lifted while lowering hips. Don’t let the knees travel forward past toes. Press through your heels to return to standing. Do this slowly and controlled. Repeat 10 times.
Single Leg Squats
Standing tall, slowly point one leg out in front while standing on one leg, knee slightly bent. Lower your hips down and back (like sitting in a chair) holding opposite leg out in front of body.? Focus on sitting your hips back, keeping your chest up, controlling the weight at all times and keeping your head up and lock your eyes on a single point to help maintain balance. Do 10 and swap to the other leg.
Stand up straight. Slowly raise your heels until you're on your tiptoes. Balance your body weight on the balls of your feet. Pause for a minute, then slowly lower yourself. Repeat 10-15 times