The month-long stretch

Your four-week guide to a strong, length­ened physique. In­cor­po­rate each week’s 15-minute ses­sion into ev­ery hour-long strength or car­dio work­out. Do each breath­ing ex­er­cise for five breaths. For the oth­ers, do eight reps, switch­ing sides half­way through i

Women's Health (UK) - - BEST BODY -

WEEK 1 BELLY BREATH­ING

(a) Lie on your back with your legs in a table­top po­si­tion and your feet against a wall.

(b) Breathe deeply in and out, al­low­ing the belly to rise on the in­hale and lower on the ex­hale. Nice, isn’t it?

DEEP SQUAT WITH HIP LIFT

(a) Be­gin in a deep squat with your shoul­ders back and chest lifted, then tuck your fin­gers un­der your toes.

(b) Lift your hips and straighten your legs as far as you can, then re­verse the move­ment to re­turn to the start po­si­tion.

RO­TAT­ING ROCK BACK

(a) Be­gin kneel­ing on your right knee, with your left leg straight out to the side and your palms on the floor di­rectly un­der your shoul­ders.

(b) Rock your bum back to­wards your right heel then, with­out shift­ing your weight, open your left arm out to the left side and over­head, look­ing up to­wards the ceil­ing. Then re­verse the move­ment to the start po­si­tion.

KNEEL­ING GLUTE MO­BIL­I­SA­TION

(a) Be­gin on all fours with your feet crossed be­hind you.

(b) With­out mov­ing your hands, lower your bum to­wards your heels, then re­verse to the start po­si­tion. Swap legs so they cross the other way af­ter four reps.

WEEK 2 SHORT SEATED BELLY BREATH­ING

(a) Sit on the floor with your back against a wall and your knees as close as pos­si­ble to your chest. Reach your arms out in front of you with­out al­low­ing your back to leave the wall.

(b) Breathe into your belly, let­ting it ex­pand, then ex­hale.

RO­TAT­ING DEEP SQUAT

(a) In a deep squat, tuck your fin­gers un­der your toes, keep­ing your chest open.

(b) Open your left arm up and over­head as far as you can, fol­low­ing the move­ment with your gaze. Then re­peat on the right.

DY­NAMIC SPI­DERMAN

(a) Start­ing in a high plank po­si­tion, pick up your right foot and place it out­side your right hand, al­low­ing your weight to rock on to it.

(b) Re­turn to the start po­si­tion then re­peat on the other side.

DY­NAMIC PI­GEON

(a) Start in a high plank, then bring your right knee be­hind your right wrist and lower the leg and your bum to the ground.

(b) Pause for a breath, then re­turn to the start po­si­tion and re­peat on the other side.

WEEK 3 LONG SEATED BELLY BREATH­ING

(a) Sit on the floor with your back pressed against a wall and your legs out straight. Reach your arms out in front of you with­out al­low­ing your back to leave the wall.

(b) Breathe into your belly, let­ting it ex­pand, then ex­hale.

SIDE WINDMILL

(a) Lie on your left side with your left leg straight and right leg bent at a 90° an­gle with a foam roller un­der­neath, and both arms out in front of you.

(b) Trace your right arm along the floor over your head and round to the right, then bring it straight off the floor and across the body, back on top of the left.

PI­GEON TO SPI­DERMAN

(a) Start in down­ward dog with your right foot crossed be­hind. Rock for­wards and place your right foot by your right hand, then re­turn to the cross-legged down­ward dog po­si­tion.

(b) Rock for­wards and bring your right knee to your right wrist, rest­ing your right leg and bum on the ground, then re­turn to your cross-legged down­ward dog. Now swap legs and re­peat.

SHIN BOX

(a) Start sit­ting on your right hip with your right knee in front of you on the floor bent at a 90° an­gle, and your left leg be­hind, bent at a 90° an­gle.

(b) Keep­ing your feet where they are, bring both knees off the floor and over to turn 180° to the left, so your back leg be­comes the front leg.

WEEK 4 DEEP SQUAT BELLY BREATH­ING

(a) Be­gin hold­ing on to a barre with your legs bent, your bum to your heels and your body folded over your knees.

(b) Breathe into your belly, al­low­ing it to rise, then ex­hale. Good luck get­ting back up.

COSSACK SQUAT

(a) Be­gin in a deep sumo squat with your toes point­ing slightly out­wards if it makes it eas­ier.

(b) With your arms out in front for bal­ance, shift your weight to the right, keep­ing the right heel on the floor but straight­en­ing the left leg and al­low­ing the left toes to lift to deepen the stretch. Re­peat on the other side.

HIGH KNEE TO SPI­DERMAN

(a) Stand on your left leg and draw your right knee into your chest with both arms. Easy now.

(b) Step for­wards with your right foot, plac­ing it next to your right hand on the floor in a spi­derman po­si­tion. Then open your right arm to the side and over­head, fol­low­ing it with your gaze, be­fore bring­ing your left foot to meet your right to re­turn to stand­ing. Now swap sides.

SIDE LUNGE WITH OVER­HEAD REACH

(a) Stand with your feet to­gether, then step your right foot out to the side – an­gle the toes slightly out­wards if it makes it eas­ier – and lower into a deep side lunge.

(b) Bring both arms for­ward and over­head and hold for a breath be­fore step­ping your right foot back in. Then re­peat on the other side.

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