Photos by Ina Jacobe
The onslaught of holiday dinner parties is fast approaching, threatening our diets to go on holiday as well. Lest you begin 2015 burdened by all the weight you packed on, The Start asked home Pilates instructor Chari Legarda-Sanvicente to demonstrate a workout to keep all that Christmas spirit away from your tummy.
“Regular gym exercise targets superficial muscles but with Pilates, you get to the deeper tissues. It’s the only exercise that can activate the transverse abdominus—a major core component,” says Chari, who used Pilates to rebuild and strengthen her abdominal muscles after giving birth last year.
Use this ab workout through the holidays and you’ll be able to keep your figure amid all the festivity.
For home Pilates instruction, Chari can be booked at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE LOVE HANDLER
This Targets: Your obliques/love handles
How: With your hands behind your head, lie flat on your back, protecting it and compressing your abdominals by lifting your pelvis up (the natural arch of your back must disappear). Once at the starting position, inhale and as you exhale, extend one leg while bringing the shoulder on the same side toward the opposite knee, making sure shoulder and knee do not touch. As you do this, keep the elbows wide to avoid tension in your neck. Do 10 repetitions on each side.
Targets: The four abdominals
How: Start by lying flat on your back, pulling your abdominal muscles toward your spine. Lift your legs and stretch them, pointing your toes to a high diagonal position. Inhale, pulling your legs in to a 90-degree position and exhale, rolling them over your head. Inhale and exhale as you flex the ankles and roll your legs back down to the high diagonal position. Do 10 repetitions.
Targets: Abdominal muscles & hip flexors.
How: Lie on your back with your arms over your head and inhale. Then exhale, lifting your head, neck, and back, one vertebra at a time while simultaneously straightening your legs. After arriving at a V-sitting position, inhale and as you exhale, roll back down to the starting position. Complete 10 repetitions.
Targets: Improves torso stability & abdominal strength
How: Lie gently on your back with your knees bent in the air, forming a 90-degree angle. Now extend your legs and toes toward the wall in front of you so that they form a 45-degree angle. Inhale for five counts, pulsing the arms. Exhale for five counts as you pull your belly button to your spine. Do enough of these to complete 100 pulses.