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At-home workouts for that slim figure

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LungeIn these cash-poor times a gym membership is a luxury most people can’t afford, but just because your bank account might be suffering doesn’t mean your body has to as well. From wobbly thighs to flabby waistlines, personal trainer Kathryn Freeland of Absolute Fitness has devised 10 workouts that you can do at home to tone up and blitz body trouble spots in no time.

1. Press-ups
This simple exercise is great for toning the pectoral muscles to give you a pert bust. Get into the standard press up position with hands on a table or the bed and slowly lower yourself down and back up again. Start with doing 10 a day and build up to 50 for noticeable results within a couple of weeks.

2. Rowing
OK, you might feel a bit stupid doing this at first but that’s the beauty of doing it in the safety of your own home. Rowing with weights, or in this case two plastic bottles filled with water, works the upper back, banishing unsightly back fat and giving a defined physique that’s great for strapless dresses and plunge back tops. Do three sets of 20 repetitions each day.

3. Tricep dips
woman doing tricep dipsBingo wings begone! This easy exercise using a hard chair will get you arms like Michelle Obama in no time.With your back to the chair and knees bent, place hands on the chair supporting your weight. Slowly lower yourself towards the floor before straightening arms to lift you back up again. Repeat 20 times.

4. The plank
This is a great exercise for toning the abdominals and back and getting a streamlined, toned figure. Lay face down and, using your forearms and toes, lift your body up, off the ground keeping perfectly straight like a plank of wood. Hold the position for 15 seconds before returning to the ground and repeating three more times.

5. Sit-ups
Elevated sit-ups like these are far more effective than the traditional kind as they work the muscles that keep your stomach pulled in rather than building bulky muscle on the outside. Lay flat on your back with feet resting on a chair. With your hands touching your forehead slowly use your abdominals to lift your upper body up towards your feet. Start with 10 reps and continue to build up.

6. Sit-up heel touches
As well as toning your stomach this move will work your obliques (the sides) to help you achieve a nipped-in waist. Lay on your back with feet in the air and slowly roll up, hands outstretched to touch your toes. Start with 10 and work up to 50 reps.

7. Work up a sweat
When you don’t have access to a treadmill and it’s pouring with rain outside, improvise and do some cardio without leaving the comfort of your own home. Running up and down the stairs for 20 minutes is a great way to get your heart rate up and tone your bum and legs at the same time.

8. The lunge
This old favourite is great for toning the thighs and bum. Alternate legs and repeat 25 times on each leg for long, lean muscles.

9. The static squat
Get toned, firm thighs with this move, which is so simple you can do your reps while watching the TV. When squatting be careful you don’t drop your hips below the level of your knees. Repeat 50 times for buns and thighs of steel.

10. Balancing act
Practices like Yoga and Pilates place as much importance on perfecting balance as they do on working muscle groups, and this time-saving balance trick is great to do while you’re on the phone or even waiting for the kettle to boil. Try standing on one leg with the other leg stretched out behind you or bent so the foot is resting at knee level, great for developing core muscles.


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