Strong Women ambassador and fitness trainer Risqat Fabunmi-Alade demonstrates three exercises that help to improve posture in this quick and effective core workout.
We’d be willing to put good money on the fact that you’re reading this hunched over your laptop, or with slumped shoulders while scrolling through your phone waiting for the kettle to boil? Given that we’ve now been working from home for months, taking care of our posture has never been so 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 Risqat Fabunmi-Alade. But Before you start crunching and planking away, Risqat explains, “Your core doesn’t consist of just abs. There are numerous abdominal, back and hip muscles that make up our 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.
SIDE PLANK CRUNCH
- Lying on the floor, place your right hand and side of your right foot on the ground.
- Push against your right hand and side of your right foot to press your body up into a side plank. Your elbow should be in line with your shoulder and there should be a straight line from your head to your toes.
- Keep your chest open and your hips up.
- Reach your left arm straight above your head towards the ceiling.
- Bend your left leg and arm so that your left elbow and knee touch, meeting at your waist.
- Extend your left arm and leg back out and repeat. To make the move easier, you can drop your right knee to the ground.
Do 10 reps
- Sit on the floor with your hands placed just behind your hips and fingers facing towards your feet.
- Extend your legs out straight in front of you, with your feet off the ground.
- Lean backwards slightly so that you are in a “hollow body” position (your torso is forming a slightly curved “C” shape).
- Squeeze your abs to bend your knees in towards your chest. Your knees should be touching each other as you do so.
- Lean your torso back to return to the starting position and repeat. To make the move more challenging, take your hands off of the floor.
Do 10 reps
PLANK LEG LIFTS
- Come into a low plank position with your forearms on the floor. Shoulders should be over your elbows.
- Squeeze your belly button towards your spine so that your back is not arching.
- Holding that position, squeeze your glutes to lift your right leg off of the floor.
- Lower your right foot back to the ground and repeat on the opposite leg. This is one rep.
- Make sure your hips do not rock from side to side as you perform the exercise.
Do 12 reps
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Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).