FINDING it hard to shift belly fat? Then you probably need to change your core routine. No need to adjust your regular fitness schedule, just simply throw a few core exercises in that will extend your abs. Your tummy will look sculpted, slender and slim. Here's a great one for starters that will help lengthen and strengthen your body and improve your posture and help you shed excess body fat.


Keep your stomach flat and your spine in neutral, with your deep core muscles - the pelvic floor and transverse abdominus (T-zone) - nice and tight. 

 Reps: 100 beats, 1 set. 

SET UP: Lie on your back with your arms by your side, contract your abdominals and imprint your spine (imprinted = your vertebrae lightly imprinted on the mat, no gap) so your lower back is protected as you lift both knees up into tabletop position (right angle). TIP:  If you are strong enough or it suits you better, you can stay in neutral spine.  

Exhale and lift your head, shoulders and arms off the floor. Straighten your legs and start to beat your arms up and down (small movements) as if pressing on heavy springs. Inhale for five arm beats, exhale for five arm beats. Keep your abdominals contracted throughout and your back in contact with the floor the whole time. MODIFICATION: Can do this in tabletop without extending the legs (easier) or extend legs straight up to the ceiling, knees straight, squeezed together, toes pointed (medium) or legs straight and lowered, squeezed together and lowered as far as possible, keeping the spine imprinted, feet flexed (hardest). BUT BEWARE NOT TO ARCH THE LOWER BACK SO LOSING THE IMPRINT; HUNCHING SHOULDERS OR POKING THE CHIN OUT; BRINGING THE LEGS TOO CLOSE TO THE CHEST AND LIFTING THE TAILBONE.


*Rest your head down on a cushion or the floor if your neck starts to ache.

* Place a Pilates circle (ring) between the shins near the ankles to increase intensity.

* If too confusing, eliminate the arms beating and keep them still, counting in your head for 10 slow breaths.

* Keep your T-zone on, don't let the tummy bulge!

Done correctly this is a fab exercise!!

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