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Refinery 29 UK

This 12-Minute Core Workout Doesn’t Contain A Single Crunch

I threw my neck out once, and that was enough to give me a pathological fear of doing it again. That’s one of the reasons I love a quickie ab workout — I figure strengthening my core is a great way to protect against future back and neck issues, especially while working from home.For week two of the three-week, 12-minute exercise series Kayla Itsines’ created just for Refinery29, the celebrity trainer and co-founder of the Sweat app developed a workout that targets the abs. It can be done alone or added on to your regular sweat session. And trust us: It’s short but kind of deadly. In fact, Itsines recommends turning up your music for this one. “I always need to have music playing while I workout out because if I can hear myself or anyone else breathing and puffing I can’t focus,” she says.You’ll perform each move for 30 seconds, and repeat each lap three times total, resting for 30 seconds between labs. What I love about this workout is it’s functional — you won’t be crunching for 12 minutes straight. But tomorrow, you’ll definitely notice that your core feels sore. DeadbugStep 1Lie on your back on a yoga mat with your arms extended directly in front of your chest and palms facing toward your feet. Bend your knees and bring your legs into tabletop position, ensuring that your knees are stacked over your hips, and your shins are parallel to (in line with) the floor. This is your starting position.Step 2Inhale. Exhale, gently draw your ribs to your hips to engage your core. Draw your left arm back and down toward the floor, alongside your head. At the same time, extend your right knee and hip to lower your right leg towards the floor. Ensure that your arm and leg are lowering at the same speed and that you maintain a neutral spine.Step 3Inhale. Raise your left arm and right leg to return to the starting position.Step 4Exhale. Draw your right arm back and down towards the floor, alongside your head. At the same time, extend your left knee and hip to lower your left leg towards the floor. Once again, ensure that your arm and leg are lowering at the same speed and that you maintain a neutral spine.Step 5Inhale. Raise your right arm and left leg to return to the starting position. Continue alternating between left and right for 30 seconds.Bent-Leg JackknifeStep 1Start by lying on your back on a yoga mat with your arms extended above your head. Engage your abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button in towards your spine and elevate your legs off the mat slightly. This is your starting position.Step 2Inhale. Bend your knees and using your abdominals, draw them in towards your chest, ensuring that your feet stay together. At the same time, bring your arms forward towards your feet, slowly lifting your head, shoulder blades and torso off the mat.Step 3Exhale. Slowly lower your arms and extend your legs to return to the starting position, but without lowering your feet to the floor. Repeat for 30 seconds.Three-Way Mountain ClimberStep 1Place both hands on the yoga mat shoulder-width apart and both feet together behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. Gently draw your ribs to your hips to engage your core. This is your starting position.Step 2Keeping your right foot on the floor, bend your left knee and bring it in towards your chest. Extend your left leg to return to the starting position. Keeping your left foot on the floor, bend your right knee and bring it in towards your chest. Extend your right leg to return to the starting position.Step 3Keeping your right foot on the floor, bend your left knee and bring it into your chest and towards your right elbow. Extend your left leg to return to the starting position. Keeping your left foot on the floor, bend your right knee and bring it into your chest and towards your left elbow. Extend your right knee and return to the starting position.Step 4Keeping your right foot on the floor, bend your left knee and draw it forwards and outwards towards your left elbow. Extend your left leg to return to the starting position. Keeping your left foot on the floor, bend your right knee and draw it forwards and outwards towards your right elbow. Extend your right leg to return to the starting position. Continue this sequence of close, cross and wide mountain climber for 30 seconds.Each movement of your leg is 1 rep. This means there are 6 reps in each sequence for the 3-way mountain climber.Plank RotationStep 1Start by placing your forearms (wrist to elbow) firmly on the mat, ensuring that your elbows are directly below your shoulders. Your forearms should be crossed under your chest with your right fist in front of your left elbow and your left fist behind your right elbow. Extend both legs behind you and elevate your hips off the mat, resting on the balls of your feet. Brace your abdominals and ensure that your spine remains in a neutral position. This is your starting position.Step 2Shift your weight to your left side, release your right forearm and extend your arm upwards. At the same time, turn your torso to face the long edge of your mat, ensuring that you draw up through your obliques to keep your hips elevated. Lower your right arm and untwist your torso to return to the starting position. You should feel tension in your shoulder and core throughout this movement.Step 3Repeat on the other side and continue alternating between sides for 30 seconds. Maintain control of your breathing throughout.Half Burpee & Plank JackStep 1Plant both hands on the mat slightly further than shoulder-width apart, feet together on the mat behind you while resting on the balls of your feet. This is your starting position.Step 2Inhale. Jump both of your feet outwards so that they are slightly wider than your hips, ensuring that your hips remain level.Step 3Jump both of your feet inwards to return to the starting position.Step 4Exhale. Jump both of your feet forwards in between your hands, ensuring that your feet remain shoulder-width apart.Step 5Inhale. Jump both of your feet backwards to return to the starting position. Continue alternating between half burpee and plank jack for 30 seconds. Each half burpee is equivalent to one repetition.Side Plank (L)Step 1Place both hands on the floor shoulder-width apart and both feet apart behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. Gently draw your ribs to your hips to engage your core and maintain a neutral spine, ensuring that your hands are directly below your shoulders. This is your starting position.Step 2Inhale. Exhale. Release your right hand and extend your arm upwards. At the same time, turn your torso to face the long edge of your mat, ensuring that you draw up through your obliques (abs along your sides) to keep your hips elevated. Hold this position for 30 seconds, breathing deeply throughout.Side Plank (R) Step 1Place both hands on the floor shoulder-width apart and both feet apart behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. Gently draw your ribs to your hips to engage your core and maintain a neutral spine, ensuring that your hands are directly below your shoulders. This is your starting position.Step 2Inhale. Exhale. Release your right hand and extend your arm upwards. At the same time, turn your torso to face the long edge of your mat, ensuring that you draw up through your obliques (abs along your sides) to keep your hips elevated. Hold this position for 30 seconds, breathing deeply throughout.Rest for 30 secondsGrab a sip of water, towel off your sweat — then start back at slide one.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?A 12-Minute Workout To Kick Off The New YearTry Kayla Itsines’ New No-Equipment WorkoutWeek 2 Of Your Exclusive Kayla Itsines Workout

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