For the last few months, gyms have been closed to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic. While fitness routines have had to change, dieters can still get a good workout at home, Georgia Knott, pilates instructor at G-ILATES, exclusively to Express.co.uk. These are the top five exercise moves to tone the entire body and burn belly fat at home.
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When working out at home, there are plenty of different exercise plans to choose from.
Georgia told Express.co.uk: “There is a wealth of online exercises classes available at the moment so use this to your advantage and build exercise into your routine.
“Whether it’s pilates, boxing, HIIT or yoga that you are after, there is something for everyone. You don’t even need expensive gym equipment – cans of beans make for excellent hand weights.”
Georgia from G-ILATES shared the top five pilates moves that slimmers can do at home to help them tone their abs and strengthen their core.
She said: “Lying on your back, carefully bring one leg at a time into a tabletop position (90 degree angle), ensuring that your lower back is flat on the mat. On an inhale breath slowly hinge at your hips and ‘tap’ one foot down – keeping the 90 degree angle.
“On an exhale breath return the leg back up to the starting position, engage your core as you do so (tightening through your belly). Switch legs. Move slowly and keep that core connection, pilates is all about slow controlled movement.”
Doing this will strengthen the core and help to tone the midriff, the expert explained.
She added: “The toe taps are a perfect exercise to warm up (and work) your deep core muscles. Your core plays an important role not only with enabling you to perform everyday movements, but also helping to prevent back pain and discomfort.
“Having a strong core helps to promote a good posture which is particularly important at the moment when we are spending a lot of time in a hunched position.
“Breathing is also a big part of pilates and it can help not only in the exercises but also mentally, as you focus on your breath and movement. It’s a great way to switch off from any stresses in your day.”
Single leg stretch
Georgia said: “Lying on your back, carefully bring one leg at a time into a tabletop position, ensuring that your lower back is flat on the mat. Hold on to one knee and bring your head up into a chest lift position (take care not to strain your neck). Straighten out your opposite leg and then return that leg back to 90 degrees as you straighten out the original leg.
“Take an exhale breath to straighten one leg and inhale as you switch. Keeping your lower back flat and abdominals flat. If you have tension in your neck, support your head with your hands.”
This move will also hit the core and tighten up those stomach muscles.
“The Single Leg Stretch strengthens your abdominals and core, as well as stabilising the spine,” the expert added.
“This exercise improves your endurance, coordination, stability and warms up the body. It also increases the flexibility of your hip flexors, which probably feel particularly tight at the moment if you are spending a lot of time sitting down.”
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Georgia said: “Start on all fours, hands under shoulders, knees under hips. Find a neutral spine – a good indication of a neutral spine is imagining that you could rest a glass of water on your back. It is important to keep this neutral spine throughout the exercise.
“Flex one foot, take an exhale breath and lift that leg up to the ceiling keeping the 90 degree angle (like a donkey kicking). On an inhale breath return the leg back to the starting position. To make it harder just tap the knee down rather than rest.”
This will benefit slimmers by strengthening and toning the lower body.
“With this increasingly sedentary lifestyle our glutes become weak or inactive,” she commented.
“When this happens we tend to over-activate other muscles, which could result in poor posture and lower back pain. Donkey kicks are an excellent way of targeting your glutes – in particular gluteus maximus, the largest of the bum muscles – and help to build stability, strength and tone. This exercise also works your core, hips and shoulders if you really focus on control, balance and the correct alignment.”
Georgia said: “Start on all fours, hands under shoulders and knees under hips. On an exhale breath reach out opposite arm and opposite leg, hold the position on an inhale breath as you reach from your fingertips to your toes.
“On an exhale breath return your hand and knee back whilst keeping your whole body stable and spine neutral.”
Thread the needle
She explained: “Start on all fours, hands under shoulders, knees under hips. Take an exhale breath and open one arm out to the side, hold on an inhale breath. On your next exhale breath, reach that same arm under your arm that is down, as if you are threading that arm through – like a needle and thread.
“Relax down your head and shoulder down whilst keeping your hips up high and enjoy the twist. You can either hold it there or add a couple more rounds on the same side, before switching sides.”
Doing this can help strengthen the upper body while increasing flexibility.
She added: “Spending prolonged time sitting at a computer screen can cause stiffness and pain in your back, shoulders, or neck, limiting the spine’s mobility.
“This exercise stretches and opens the shoulders, chest, arms, upper back and neck- helping to release all that tension. It almost feels like you are wringing out your spine like a dishcloth.”
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