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About the time you start noticing that there were suddenly tonnes of blossom pictures appearing on Instagram (#springtime) is when most of us are filled with a sense of horror that bikini season has crept up on us. Gulp. Don’t get us wrong, we had great intentions. Juicing, healthy packed lunches, no snacking - but that fell by the wayside when we remembered what Pimm’s tasted like and how every Sunday consists of another BBQ.
Now it’s two weeks before we go on holiday and rather than going for a panic crash diet, we interviewed James Pisano, Head Trainer at the mighty Core Collective about to get a flatter stomach safely (but speedily).
Plankety plank: ‘For a flat stomach you need to ensure the contraction and tightening of your TVA muscles (the ones at the front and side which will hopefully be shaping themselves into a 6-pack very soon) and nothing really gets them firing like a plank everyday for at least 60 seconds’ (which we worked out is about the length of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme tune – altogether now ‘In West Philadelphia born and raised…’)
Crank it up: ‘To make your workout even more intense try a ‘pike’ plank. Start on your forearms in a plank position. Then keeping your legs as straight as you can, slowly walk forward on your toes towards your hands, elevating your bum and bending at your hips. The aim is to get your bum as high as you can without compromising your form. This means that you squeeze your abs and keep your back straight. Lock your legs and work that bum right up high then slowly return to the start position.’ This hurts like a bitch but is so worth it.
Put down the chocolate bar. We repeat. Put down the chocolate bar: ‘Trying to keep your body fat down is of course important, but a lot of softness in the tummy can also be related to hormones and is also often caused by a high sugar intake, so keep away from refined sugars.
Forcing yourself to do 100 sit ups isn’t necessarily the way to your goal: ‘Sit ups do isolate the midsection and when done correctly will strengthen that tummy, but remember you want to expose the abs (by that he means that any winter padding around your tummy needs to go) so cardio or a strong weights program will better suit your goals then just crunching every morning.’
Finally… ‘You should always look for support, advice and direction (just to check you are doing the exercises properly or what’s the point, right?) so find a good trainer who you can work with or get involved with group orientation. At the Core Collective we welcome everyone who wants to take on the challenge of changing their body. It's what we do and we love being a part of the journey.’