Strong to the core in 6 easy moves

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Keep your mid-sec­tion fit

There are lit­er­ally hun­dreds of vari­a­tions when it comes to core strength­en­ing ex­er­cises. The fol­low­ing six are for begin­ners, and a great place to start.

As with all ex­er­cise, only do what is com­fort­able for you and stop if you ex­pe­ri­ence any dis­com­fort or pain . Check with your GP if you have any con­cerns.

1 Pelvic lift

Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor hip-width apart and­knee a com­fort­able dis­tance from your back­side. Place your hands by yourarsmi­daned­s­leg with palms fac­ing down. In­hale. Ex­hale as you en­gage your pelvic floor

re to the floor, op­po­site) and lift your hips up­wards. Squeeze your but­tocks to­gether, keep knees up­right and en­sure your hips re­main level. Hold this po­si­tion up to 10 sec­onds while con­tin­u­ing to breathe. Slowly lower your hips and re­lease your pelvic floor. Do 10 rep­e­ti­tions.

Tar­gets your bum, thighs and ab­dom­i­nal mus­cles.

2 Arm and leg ex­ten­sion

Kneel on the floor on all fours, hands di­rectly un­der your shoul­ders, hips over knees. Stretch out

right arm to shoul­der height and si­mul­ta­ne­ously ex­tend your left leg, us­ing your op­po­site hand and knee for sup­port. Strug­gling with bal­ance? Start by do­ing just arms then just legs un­til you get used to the ac­tion. If you have knee prob­lems, tler­gy­rathise same ex­er­cise but ly­ing on your back Op­tional ex­tra: per­form a crunch by bring your el­bow and knee to meet in (or near) the cen­tre. Do 10 reps then swap sides and re­peat.

Great for your shoul­ders, abs, ham­strings and bum.

3 Clam shell

Lay on your­side­ways left side with legs bent at a 45° an­gle and hips stacked (on top of each other). Rest your head on your left arm, steady your­self with your top arm, tummy tight. With your feet touch­ing, raise your right knee as high as you can with­out ro­tat­ing your hips or pelvis, hold for a count of 3, then slowly re­turn your leg to the start­ing po­si­tion. Re­peat the move 15 times, then swap sides and re­peat.

Strength­ens hips, bum and pelvis. It can also help ease lower back strain.

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