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Who said you had to go to the gym to exercise?

press up_girl_03_08_12How often do we give the feeble response, ‘But I don’t have time!’ when confronted with the guilt-inducing demand, ‘When did you last exercise?’? It seems like the perfect excuse; we can pass on the blame and carry on as usual. But, it is an excuse no longer…

To match our increasingly hectic lifestyles, experts have developed ‘on the go’ exercises, designed to be quick, easy, and effective. Here are some of the best:

1. The Plank
You have probably heard of this one before, but now is your chance to really commit to it. Balance at the top of the press up position for 30- or 60-second bursts to tone and strengthen the stomach and arms. This can be done on any flat surface, no equipment required (although it isn’t recommended you attempt this on the street in public…).

2. Crunches
Again, this is quite a well known one, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. You may enjoy this exercise – it actually requires you to lie on the floor! Lie down with your legs bent and your arms behind your head, or crossed with a hand on each shoulder for an easier option. Engage your stomach muscles as you lift your head and upper back off the floor towards your knees. For more of a challenge, repeat these steps with your arms held above your head, giving your stomach extra weight to lift. Try incorporating these into your daily routine by doing a set of crunches every morning before your shower, or every evening before bed.

3. Tighten Your Muscles
This one really could not be easier. The trick is to merely be aware of your stomach muscles, or any part of your body you wish to tone, and tense them at various points during the day. Sitting at your desk at work, walking to the train station, standing in the cafeteria queue, and more, are all perfect times to carry out the easiest of all exercises. Just don’t forget to breathe!

4. Sitting Down
Here’s another lazy one. Whilst sitting at your desk at work, tighten your stomach muscles and lift your legs off the floor. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then lower and repeat. Make sure you are sitting completely upright whilst carrying this out. You might also want to check that no one is watching!

5. Balancing
This is one for the core muscles in your stomach and will strengthen your leg muscles too. Stand with your feet together and make sure there is some space in front of you. Slowly lift one leg up, bent, so that your knee and thigh is about 90 degrees off the floor. Then straighten your leg so that it is off the floor by about 45 degrees. If you think you can, go higher, and hold it there for 10 seconds before lowering. Repeat on both legs and increase the holding time if you feel you can. You should feel your stomach muscles engaging as your leg straightens.

We no longer have an excuse. These exercises are easy to introduce into the busiest of lifestyles and take no time to complete. You might even be able to carry on with other jobs and do one of these at the same time. So put those multi-tasking skills to the test and try out some of these tummy toning exercises today.

Words: Rosie Solomon

Picture credit: Shutterstock

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