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How to work out without actually working out!

Fit in a little exercise throughout your busy day

Some sneaky workout cheats for the busy woman.

1. When you wake up: HIP ROLL-UPS

Works: core, bum, hamstrings

  • Lie on the bed on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart, arms down by your sides.
  • Exhale and count to 10 as you curl your pelvis up, slowly lifting your bum up on the bed one vertebra at a time; keep your abs engaged, your knees hip-width apart and your back straight. Inhale and hold your position at the top. As you exhale, roll your spine back down to the bed, again one vertebra at a time. Repeat five to 10 times.

2. While you brush your teeth: I’M-NO-BALLET-PRINCESS PLIÉS 

Works: bum, thighs and posture

  • Stand in front of your worktop or washbasin with one hand resting on the edge like a ballet barre. Turn your toes out and step to the side with your right foot so your feet are about shoulder-width apart.
  • Pull your belly in and tuck your pelvis so your tailbone points towards the floor. Bend your knees to squat down only as far as you can while keeping your heels on the ground; slowly stand back up. Repeat 10 to 20 times.

3. While you’re watching TV: TELEVISION TOE TOUCHES

Works: lower abs

  • Lie on your back with your arms by your sides. Draw in your belly and lift one leg at a time until both of your thighs are perpendicular to your body and your knees are bent at about 90°. (This is also known as the tabletop position in Pilates.)
  • Lower your left foot down to tap the floor, keeping your abs drawn in and your knees at 90°. Exhale, pull your belly in even deeper and lift your leg back up to meet the other one, then switch sides. Repeat five to 10 times. 

4. At work: WALL TUCKS

Works: lower abs, lower back

  • Stand against a wall with your feet about 30cm in front of you and your arms either straight out or down at your sides. Firmly press the back of your head and your shoulder blades into the wall as though you were trying to hold it up.
  • Pull your bellybutton towards your spine and use your lower abs to curl your pelvis up until the small of your back is against the wall. Hold for the lift ride (or until the copy job is done, or whatever).

5. At your desk: NOT-SO-EASY UPS

Works: bum, thighs

  • Sit on the edge of your seat with your feet hip-width apart and your heels a little behind your knees. (Your knees should be bent at about 90°.) Rest your hands gently on the edge of the desk.
  • Hinge slightly forwards with your belly pulled in tight, then use the backs of your thighs and the muscles in your bum to lift your bottom a few centimetres off the chair; hold for 30 seconds, then return to sitting. Repeat two more times, keeping your back straight and being careful not to let your knees go past your toes.

6. While you’re making dinner: COUNTER PRESSES

Works: chest, shoulders, arms, core

  • Stand 60 to 90cm away from your counter or kitchen table with your hands on the edge, a little more than shoulder-width apart. Rise up onto your toes.
  • Pull in your abs, then bend your elbows out to the sides to lower your chest towards the counter, then press back up. Repeat 10 to 20 times.


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