It can be very, very difficult working from home. Since the new normal kicked off a couple of years ago, our proximity to our kitchens has bordered on the dangerous. Never have snacks seemed so appealing, never have endless supplies of food been so close and never has it been harder to resist. If we’re not careful, all of these extra meals and decadent recipes will be the end of our trim figures.
Not to worry. We got in touch with James Stirling, AKA @london_fitness_guy, who has spent lockdown keeping his quarter of a million Instagram followers in shape. “The shift to home exercise can be challenging,” he tells us, “especially for those who struggle to self-motivate. But it’s important we take a break during our day to focus on our mental and physical fitness.”
“Step-counts are down for the majority of us,” adds Stirling. “Our routines, schedules and workouts have to adapt to a new way of life. This could be a morning walk followed by an afternoon bodyweight strength session. It’s quite empowering to use bodyweight as our resistance and, when it comes to training our core, we can be sensible, smart and efficient with how we use it.”
Below is Stirling’s ultimate at-home abs workout. Taking just 25 minutes, remember to rest for 20 to 30 seconds between exercises and complete four full sets to finish this core workout.
First up: Jack-Knife x 12 reps
Start by laying on your back with your arms and legs straight. Lift your torso and legs upwards until your hands meet your toes. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds and then slowly lower back down to your start position.
Next up: High Plank with Arm Raise x 12 reps
For this exercise, start in a high plank position, hands parallel to shoulders and glutes engaged. Lift one arm straight upwards 90 degrees, return to plank and then repeat with the opposite arm to complete one repetition.
Followed by: Side Plank for 30 seconds
Begin by laying in a side plank position with your bodyweight resting on your bent arm, through the forearm. Hold for the required 30 seconds and, if you want to make the movement more challenging, lift your free leg upwards to form a star position.
Then try: Butterfly Crunch x 12 reps
Start by sitting in a crunch position — but, rather than having your feet on the floor, bring the soles of your feet together and push your knees to the floor. Reach upwards in a crunch to touch your toes and return to your start position.
And finally: Bear Hold for 30 seconds
For this final exercise, start on all fours with your hands parallel to your shoulders. Raise your knees an inch from the floor, while keeping a 90-degree-angle between your knees and toes. Tuck your chin inwards to look towards your belly-button and hold this position.
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