SOME people may think it takes a lot of mental strength and motivation to get a super fit physique.
But experts are now urging Brits to change their way of thinking – and some even believe that you don’t have to do much to get a body like Jennifer Lopez.
Women are more likely to be more harsh on themselves, with 26 per cent considering themselves as being unhealthy compared to 21 per cent of men.
And according to Better, a lack of time and confidence are the main reasons people give for not going to the gym.
But keeping fit and healthy doesn’t have to be hard work, says fitness and wellness expert Penny Weston.
She says: “You can get a quick ab workout in, with minimal movement and still really feel a burn. It is all about form.”
Penny, who is the director of award-winning Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat, believes that you don’t even need to get changed out of your pyjamas to do the exercises.
She adds: “When we exercise the body releases chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin and dopamine which boost our sense of well-being and suppress hormones that cause stress and anxiety.
“A workout doesn’t have to be running for hours or lifting huge weights, the key is experimenting until you find something you enjoy and is a suitable level for you.
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“I have come up with a ‘lazy guide’ so it doesn’t have to be difficult, sweaty or time consuming.
“I love ab workouts because they can be performed pretty much anywhere, either on the floor, in your bedroom or whilst watching television – you can even stay in your pyjamas.
“By just performing some exercises for one minute to create a ten minute routine can make all the difference.”
Here, Penny Weston reveals to YASMIN HARISHA on how to get abs without breaking a sweat.
It is important that we include exercises that will strengthen our core as a whole and not just target our abdominals, as this will help our balance, improve posture, flexibility and will help in other aspects of strength training’.
This sounds obvious, but before you begin make sure you have a thick enough mat so you can perform the exercise comfortably – the more comfortable you are, the easier the workout will be.
One of the most effective ab exercises are flutter kicks, and requires little effort.
Flutter kicks are low impact, but target your hip flexors and quadriceps as well as your abdominals.
To perform this exercise, lie on your back and hold your legs at a 45 degree angle.
Ensure your lower back is pressing into the floor, and lift your shoulders, head and neck off the ground.
You can place your hands behind your head, or if you want to provide more support to the lower back then you can place both hands underneath the very bottom of the back.
Before you begin, make sure your core is tight by sucking your belly button towards your spine.
Once your position is correct, begin fluttering your legs by raising one leg at a time and keep your toes pointed.
It depends how long I want to spend on my workout, but I often aim to do three sets of flutter kicks for around 30 seconds.
If you are new to this exercise, aim for around 15 seconds and look to build this up as you improve.
Heel taps are one of my favourite ‘lazy ab exercises’, they require little movement and do not need to be performed for too long before you feel the burn.
You can stay lying on your back and the exercise will target the obliques – often referred to as the ‘waist muscle’.
Begin by lying on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, your feet should be just wider than hip width apart.
Have each arm side by side, and keep your core engaged. Start off by lifting your upper back, shoulders and head off the floor (similar to the crunch position).
Then reach down, let your left fingers touch your left heel, return to the start position and then repeat on the right side.
Good form for any exercise is key, however I strongly feel that if you are not doing the plank correctly then it is not worth doing.
Although the plank can be challenging, little movement is required and it will tone your whole body as well as your abs.
You can break a sweat during the plank, but it is a low impact exercise that can help you achieve great results.
Begin on all fours, have your forearms on the ground with your elbows directly below your shoulders.
Extend your legs, with your feet shoulder width apart. Your knees should be just below your hips. Engage your abs and glutes whilst keeping your body in a straight line.
Ensure your spine is parallel and elongated. You should feel as if your heels are reaching towards the back of the mat.
If you are new to the plank, ensure you have got the form correct before trying to hold it for a set amount of time.
I would aim for 10 seconds, and build up to this as you improve. But in this exercise, form is more important than timing.
A really common mistake I see when people are doing the plank is having their bum too high, this means you are not really using your core to balance.
To avoid this, make sure your body is parallel to the ground.’
Dead bugs not only provide you with a workout for strengthening your core, but can also improve everyday tasks such as lifting objects, walking uphill and can even prevent lower back pain.
For this exercise, begin lying on your back and make sure your spine is really pressing against the mat.
Lift your knees up to a 90-degree angle and lift your arms up towards the ceiling.
Move your right arm toward the back of your head (without touching the mat) and reach your left leg forward (without touching the mat).
Repeat on the other side.
This movement needs to be done slowly and with control, and do not let your spine lose contact with the mat.
SEATED AB EXERCISES
There are many ab exercises which can be performed whilst sitting down, which is really useful if your job is desk based.
Some of my favourite seated ab workouts include:
SEATED BIKE CRUNCHES
To perform this exercise, sit on the edge of your chair. Lean slightly backwards keeping your spine straight and core engaged.
Then pull the left knee in towards your chest at the same time as extending your right leg, as if you are cycling. Then reverse the position and keep pedalling.
SEATED KNEE LIFTS
Hold the side of your chair with both hands, and sit on the edge of the chair. Lift both of your knees towards your chest at the same time, whilst keeping them bent.
Lift your legs back out to the start position, but do not let them touch the floor.
When performing these exercises, make sure the chair is fully secured before you begin.
Russian twists will not only tone your core, but can help improve balance and stability in the spine.
This exercise can be performed with body weight alone, or you can add a dumbbell or medicine ball.
If you do not have access to these, why not try some tins from the cupboards of filled up water bottles to add a little extra weight?
This exercise can be a little sweatier, so I would finish off your ‘lazy abs workout’ with this one.
To perform this exercise, sit on the floor and lift your legs off the ground – the higher you lift your legs, the harder the exercise.
Your back must be at a 45 degree angle to the floor and your knees bent.
You then move your hands to one side and touch the floor and then to the other side.
You want to keep your body as still as possible, your torso should be the only part moving.
Keep your core tight, if you feel this movement in your back rather than your abs then you may not be performing the exercise correctly.