Janhvi Kapoor’s toned abs often make an appearance as the actor runs her errands around town, chills at home in shorts and tees or when she posts snippets from her belly dancing class. For abs like that you would like to believe that she spends most of her days in the gym. However, that’s not true. Janhvi likes to mix her workouts and includes Pilates, yoga and functional training. But there are days when she can’t get to the gym, for days like these she follows a set of effective workout at home that needs no equipment. Her trainer Namrata Purohit, Pilates expert and founder of The Pilates Studio, reveals the set of exercises that keeps Janhvi fit. Read on and get started!
Starting position: Lie on your side, ensuring the body is in a straight line from head to toe. Relax your head on the bottom arm. Ensure your core is engaged and you are not sinking into the mat. Inhale.
How to: There are three easy to moderate-level variations of this exercise:
Straight up: Exhale. Slowly lift the top leg, keeping your core engaged and glutes squeezed.
Inhale. Lower the leg.
Go slow—it’s not as much about taking the leg higher as it is about keeping the core engaged and the glutes squeezed. Avoid falling forward or back. Do 10-20 repetitions on each leg.
Circle: Lift the top leg and make a circle in the air—take your leg forward only as much as you can take it back. Remember to breathe throughout and try not to rock the body forward and back. Do 10 repetitions each clockwise and anti-clockwise. Do the full set on the other side.
Lift both legs together: Keep your feet together. Exhale. Lift both legs up. Inhale. Lower them back to the mat. Do 10-20 repetitions.
Works out: The hip extensors as well as hip flexors. This exercise also works the obliques and multifidus to stabilize the torso. When you lift both legs up together, it also works out the adductors to maintain the inner thigh connection.
Keep in mind: The body should be in a straight line throughout. So at the start, relax your head on the bottom arm and not the palm, as this changes the alignment and causes undue tension on your wrist.
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Starting Position: Lie on your back on the mat. Keep knees flexed and feet hip distance apart. Rest the arms alongside the body.
How to: Inhale to prepare
Exhale Starting with the tailbone, pick your spine off the mat until your weight rests on your thoracic (upper) spine.
Breathe in to maintain the position.
Exhale and lower your spine back on the mat and into the neutral spine position.
Repeat this 5-8 times.
After the last rep stay up in the position and do mini pulses, a very small movement lifting your pelvis up and down.
Works out: The abs, obliques and muscles beneath the obliques—the transversus abdominis—as well as the glutes, back (specifically, the multifidus muscles) and shoulder blades.
Keep in mind: Do not rock your pelvis. Make sure you are articulating your spine while rolling up and down. Do not over extend the back.
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Starting Position: Set your hands at a distance that is shoulder-width apart. Feet can be shoulder-width apart or closer together. Your elbows straight but not locked. Your body should be in a straight line from head to heels. Keep your gluteus and core engaged.
How to: Keep breathing and hold this position for 1 to 1 and half minutes.
Modification: You can start with your knees down rather than being in a full plank
Works the core! The chest muscles (pectorals), deltoids, triceps, abdominals, serratus anterior and even the back and gluteus.
Keep in mind: Don’t let your back extend. Maintain the neutral curvature of the spine.
Starting Position: Lie down on your back, on the mat with your hands overhead and knees straight. Keep your core engaged.
How to: Inhale: Take your hands up towards the ceiling.
Exhale: Slowly start to roll off the mat, starting with the head, neck, upper back, mid-back then lower back to be seated straight on your hip bones.
Inhale: to stay
Exhale: Begin to roll down starting with the lower back all the way down to the starting position.
Modification: You can start with your knees bent and if needed, take some support using the hands while rolling up.
Works the core!
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