New Year's exercise plan: Makeover your body (week 3)
Our four-week programme to improve your health and fitness
4-point tummy vacuum
Kneel on all fours with your hips directly above your knees and your shoulders over your hands and your spine in neutral alignment. Take a deep breath in and let your tummy drop towards the floor. Exhale and draw your belly button in toward your spine, while keeping your back in the start position. Hold for as long as you comfortably can, squeeze the abdominal muscles or TVA (transversus abdominis muscle). When you need to breathe in, relax your abdominal wall as you inhale and repeat 10 times.
Lie face down on the floor. Lift your left arm and right leg so they are at about the same height. Your arm should be at a 45 degree angle from your head with your thumb pointed up. Hold this position for as long as you comfortably can and repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Repeat 5-10 times
Lie face down with your arms at your sides and your hands pointing upwards. Contract your glutes (squeeze your buttocks together) and inhale as you raise your chest off the floor whilst simultaneously squeezing your shoulder blades together and rotating your arms out so that your palms face away from your body with your thumbs pointing up to the ceiling. Keep your toes on the floor and your head and neck in neutral alignment. You should feel the muscles between your shoulder blades contracting. Hold until you need to breathe out and exhale as you lower your torso to the floor. Repeat 10 times
Lie face down on the floor with your arms by your sides and palms facing downward. Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings and raise your legs up in the air, whilst maintaining your head position. Bring your heels together with your toes pointing outward. Hold in this position for 10 seconds and then return to the start position. Repeat 5 times
Lower abdominal leg/knee raise
Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet flat on the floor. Tilt your pelvis backward and draw your belly button in, contracting your abdominal muscles or TVA. Hold this contraction whilst raising your knees and feet off the ground until your thigh is perpendicular to the floor. This is the start position. Slowly extend your legs forward as far as you comfortably can whilst holding the contraction and then slowly return to the start position. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
Lie face down. Bend your arms at the elbow and raise your upper-body off the floor. Then whilst contacting your abdominals and glutes, slowly raise your hips, coming up onto your toes to form a straight line from your feet to your head. Hold this position for as long as is comfortable. Perform 5 times resting for 1 minute between each set.
...and don’t forget your diet
Choose one meal option and one to two snack options per day, depending on your appetite.
Grapefruit followed by two boiled eggs with tomato and cucumber slices or
cantaloupe melon followed by poached eggs and grilled tomatoes
Chicken, walnut and spinach salad or
salmon fillet & roasted vegetables including peppers, tomatoes, courgettes and mushrooms
Chicken breast baked in lemon juice and pepper with steamed vegetables or turkey meatballs with steamed broccoli, carrots and artichokes
1 hard-boiled egg and tomato slices
A handful of grapes
Warming up to a whole new you!: next page