HOW TO TONE UP DURING MENOPAUSE: PART 1 (4) – YOUR CORE

July 17, 2018 0 comment

Staying fit during menopause is not always easy, but staying fit and toning up after menopause can feel like an uphill battle.  Did you know that after 30 your body metabolism slows down and you begin losing roughly 1% of your muscle mass each year? And because muscle burns fat, the lack of muscles actually leads to fat-based weight gain.

 

What can I do about?

The good news is by increasing activity and watching what you eat can help slow or stop menopausal weight gain and increase overall health. However menopause also brings on changes in muscle tissue and bone density which can mean the female body looks less toned. By simply adding weight training to your exercise routine you can strengthen your bones and increase overall body tone.

So let’s reverse this process and fight the risk of osteoporosis with some basic weight training.

In a 4 part series of articles I will show you my absolute favourite exercises that target and tone major muscle groups (including core, butt, boobs, arms) with some basic moves. So let’s get started with your core muscle group.

 

Did you know that just working out your muscles beneath your gut won’t give you a six pack. Your best strategy for fat loss is to work out all the major muscles in your body but spending most of the time training the big muscles of your lower body and back. The more muscles you work the more calories you burn.

 

Best Core Exercises

Your abs or more specifically your core, which also includes the muscles in your lower back and hips – are involved in just about every movement you do. Let me put it this way – if it weren’t for your core muscles you wouldn’t be able to stand or sit upright.

 

1.Plank with variation

There are so many variations with the plank so I will show you two simple versions. These exercises improve your ability to stabilise your spine which is essential for lower back health. And they are highly effective at working the abdominal muscles too.

Plank and Side plank

 

How to:

  • Lie on your stomach and prop yourself up on your forearms and the balls of your feet, elbows directly under your shoulders
  • Your body should be in a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles
  • Brace you core by contracting your abs as if you are about to be punched in the gut
  • Do not allow your hips to hike up or sag
  • Hold 60 seconds and breathe deeply
  • Repeat x 3

 

Side plank

How to:

  • Lie on your right side with your legs straight
  • Prop yourself up with your right forearm so your body forms a diagonal line
  • Brace your core by contracting your abs forcefully as if you were about to be punched in the gut
  • Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your toes and rest your left hand on your hip.
  • Breathe deeply for the duration of the exercise
  • Hold for 60 seconds – that’s one set
  • Turn around so that you’re lying on your left side and repeat

 

2.Mountain climber

This exercise works several joints and muscle groups simultaneously. The steady running motion targets the all-important glute and leg muscles, including your quadriceps and hamstrings.

 

How to:

  • Assume a push-up position with your arms straight and your body in a straight line from your head to your ankles
  • Without changing the posture of your lower back (it should be arched), raise your right knee toward your chest
  • Pause, return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg
  • That’s one rep
  • Alternate until you’ve completed all your reps
  • Do 20 x reps

 

3.Russian twist with medicine ball/weight

This is a rotational exercise targeting all your ab muscles with an emphasis on your obliques (when toned it sucks in your gut like a corset).

 

How to:

  • Sit on the floor with your knees and hips bent to 90° with your feet flat on the floor
  • Holding a medicine ball/weight with both hands close to your stomach
  • Lean back so your torso is at a 45° angle
  • Brace your core and keep the medicine ball/weight close to stomach as you twist to the left
  • Pause then reverse the motion to the right – that’s one set
  • Aim for 20 sets

 

4.Sit up

Sit-ups are different from crunches in the way they are performed and the muscles they activate. Crunches only work on the ab muscles. But sit-ups work on almost your entire body and are hence quite effective.

 

 

How to:

  • Lie down on your back.
  • Bend your legs and place feet firmly on the ground to stabilise your lower body.
  • Cross your hands to opposite shoulders or place fingertips behind your ears, (don’t pull on your neck)
  • Curl your upper body all the way up toward your knees. Exhale as you lift.
  • Pause, then slowly lower yourself down, returning to your starting point. Inhale as you lower.
  • Aim for 20 reps to start with.

 

Build Perfect Abs

Level 1 workout circuit

Once you’ve done one set of each exercise, repeat the entire circuit two more times. Do this workout at least twice a week.

  1. Plank set

  • Hold: 60 seconds
  • Rest: 30 secpnds
  • Repeat: 2x

 

  1. Mountain climber

  • Each time you raise your knee towards your chest, pause for 2 seconds and slowly put you leg back
  • Alternate legs back & forth for 60 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Repeat: 2x

 

  1. Side plank

  • Hold: 60 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Repeat: 2x

 

Always start with a general warm-up before you start strength training. Any low-impact activities is ideal, such as skipping or jogging on the spot for a few minutes to just get your blood moving.

 

Health Tip – Always incorporate extra movement in your daily life

Try and do fun activities with friends like cycling, yoga, swimming (sprinting in a shallow pool is phenomenal exercise) and bush walking are all great activities.

 

Mind Body Pleasure ♥

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