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This core workout will give you better posture, because who doesn’t need that?

We’d be willing to put good money on the fact you’re reading this hunched over your laptop, or with slumped shoulders while scrolling through your phone waiting for the kettle to boil. Given we’ve now been working from home for months, taking care of your posture has never been more important – and core training can help.

“A strong centre will give you better balance and posture. By increasing core strength you can reduce back pain and injury,” explains personal trainer and Strong Women ambassador Risqat Fabunmi-Alade. But before you start crunching and planking, Risqat explains, “Your core doesn’t consist of just abs. There are numerous abdominal, back and hip muscles that make up your centre – and that’s including the glutes. All these different muscles work together to form your core.”

Here, she shares her three favourite moves that will target every inch of your trunk, for posture that will make a meerkat jealous.

WATCH THE FULL WORKOUT HERE

The best gadgets to gift a fitness lover (yes, that includes yourself) for Christmas
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Here’s how fast you need to walk to reap the cardio benefits
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Going for a run doesn’t sound as enticing when you’re facing gloomy skies and torrential rain. When you’d rather not face the elements, get stick into a home workout with this kit.
GOWOD / £23
Don’t be fooled by this innocent-looking kit. A long-looped resistance band adds heavy-duty weight to exercises such as rows and deadlifts
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YOGI BARE / £7
We could all use a little help now and then. Train efficiently with a block that adds an incline to exercises and allows for yoga pose modifications
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OPTI / £15
Whether you’re lifting heavy or light, make sure you’ve got a strong hold on your weights. The neoprene coating on these dumbbells makes gripping easier
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FITNESS-MAD / £50
When you need a no-fuss workout, this suspension trainer will take you from rows to press-ups to squats without the hassle of getting out all your gear
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GAIAM / £33
Get into the zone with this non-slip mat that keeps you balanced during fast-paced lunges, as well as cushioned when practicing headstands
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SPRI / £50
Swing the endorphins into your body with a cast-iron kettlebell designed with an easy-to-grip handle and a flat face to protect shoulders during cleans
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Could you be drinking too much coffee?
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Moving for this many minutes a day has profound mental health benefits

For many of us, the pressure to be productive during lockdown continues to rear its obnoxious head. But you don’t need to spend hours exercising just to be strong or to help your mental health. Case in point: our weekly workouts and Strong in 10 videos on @StrongWomenUK are only 10 minutes long – but you better believe they are effective. It’s about quality, not quantity – here’s why.

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This chocolate-filled banana bread proves that nutrition doesn't have to be boring

We’re back to our old habits during lockdown 2.0, which means banana bread season has returned (did it ever leave?). But this time, we’re stepping up our baking skills with this decadent banana bread.

It contains iron-rich buckwheat for energy and is rich in D-chiro-inositol, a soluble carb that supports your blood sugar levels (which helps to prevent diabetes in the long term). Plus, the cacao is packed with flavonoids for both short- and long-term benefits on brain function (helping you remember things like all the plot twists in the last episode of The Undoing). Banana bread 2.0, we’re ready for you.

GET THE RECIPE

When Stylist’s writer & sub-editor Meena Alexander heard there was kit that could prevent DOMS, she had to test it out for herself

What? Kymira Sport Women’s IR50 Long Sleeve Top, £85 & IR50 Leggings, £80

What is it? Activewear that claims to reduce the impacts of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) with infrared technology that promotes blood circulation.

The verdict: “I am a person of extremes when it comes to exercise. I either do nothing at all or go big with an intense HIIT session. This inevitably means that I suffer from DOMS every time I work out, and no amount of foam-rolling, stretching or long, hot soaks in the bath seem to help. Which is why I was intrigued by Kymira Sport, a brand that makes infrared sportswear that supposedly enhances performance and recovery.

Even without the high-tech element, the top and leggings perform well – the lightweight fabric is breathable but still keeps you warm, which is ideal for winter. What’s special though, is the sciencey bit: they contain mineral fibres that absorb kinetic energy from your body and ambient light (such as sunlight or indoor lighting). The fibres then convert that energy into infrared light which penetrates your muscles, up to 4cm deep. This is said to aid everything from your circulation and breathing efficiency to DOMS – big claims, but I have to admit that after a high-intensity class that would normally have left me sofa-bound, I am surprisingly pain-free. 

I’m definitely keeping this set on rotation – who knows, it might just encourage me to exercise more often without having to worry about my legs being too sore to walk down the stairs afterwards.”

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Image credits: Getty ; Jen Rich for Vegan Treats by Emma Hollingsworth
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