As women get into their 40s, 50s and 60s their bone density changes, so resistance work and loading are vital. Planks, push-ups and dips are a must.
Try Xtend Barre trainer Shay Stafford’s top moves to get tighter abs and firmer glutes.
Tip: You can use your glutes when you are sitting, standing, walking and lifting. You can engage your abdominal muscles whilst at your desk, driving in your car and simply breathing. Once you start to think about it, you'll find yourself switching on these muscles more and more. And what's more, your posture will improve, meaning you'll feel stronger, more elegant and have a healthier spine too.
Think ballerina squats. Start with your feet wide apart and turned out. Keeping your back straight, bend the knees outwards as you lower down. Power into the heels to engage your glutes and press the thighs towards each other as you straighten up. Do 20 dynamic reps with good breaths, arms extended to the side.
Bend down into your plie, and place hands behind your head. Freeze your lower body and start to lean to one side, cinching your waist, then straighten up and repeat to the other side. Keep your spine long and press hard into the feet. The isolation of the movement will lead to a sculpted waistline, i.e. legs still and upper body bending. 20 reps x 3 sets.
Lie on your back with knees bent, legs hip-width apart and arms down by your side. Lift your hips up to create a diagonal bridge and freeze. Hold for one minute then lower and lift the hips, (20 reps) pressing into the feet and breathing throughout. Abdominals work hard here too to maintain a perfectly supported torso and spine.
Single leg stretch
Stay on your back and float legs into tabletop, (90-degree angle at knees) Extend one leg forward to a 45-degree angle, opposite will bend. Then alternate. Keep the tail connected to the floor throughout so the pelvis is neutral. Think of drawing the belly into the back, wrapping and zipping abdominals the whole time. You can also support the head and neck, and then curl the upper spine into a curl position. Only do this if it is okay for your back, and never "crunch" the spine. Do 20 reps, then rest. 3 sets.
Best exercise ever! Working the core muscles intensely and with no aggravation to the spine. Set up on your hands or elbows, extend the legs long and straight ( knees down on the floor for back issues) and think of wrapping your abdominals, like a corset. Also, zip from pubic bone to belly button. The plank line should be long and low. Use your breath. Hold for 1 minute.
Remember vigorous cardio activity is a must for toning results, so do these as a dynamic sequence. Have fun!
© Prevention Australia
First published: 17 May 2019