Summer Shape-Up – Part 1

With summer here, it’s time to get fit fast so we have enlisted the help of the West Bay Country Club’s team of fitness professionals and coaches. We’ve handpicked a selection of fitness classes to help target different areas of concern and combined this with some simple yet highly effective at-home exercises from each instructor which we will be sharing with you during our Summer Shape-Up Series. So there are no excuses not to get fit and active this summer! Follow the teams expert advice below and you’ll be well on the way to getting in shape and feeling fabulous. First up…core!

 “Pilates is an important form of exercise which can benefit everyone and works by combining relaxation with strengthening exercises. These are designed to lighten the load on your spine and joints by correcting muscular imbalances caused by bad posture or misuse of muscles, thus alleviating tension. In Pilates, core stabilization is critical; by strengthening the abdominal muscles, lower back and buttocks, the rest of the body is able to move freely. In other words you get fitter from the inside out.” Lisa Mint – Pilates Instructor

Lisa’s at-home exercise for core muscles: The Plank

“The Plank is one of the best exercises because it tightens the deepest core muscles.  By strengthening these core muscles you can fast-track to a flatter stomach!  It’s a static exercise where you use your arms to raise yourself off the floor and hold the whole body straight and rigid, like a plank of wood. You can do it anywhere, you don’t need any equipment and it only takes a minute (literally).  Plus, it’s more effective than sit-ups and crunches because these work only the superficial abdominal muscles.”

  • Start on elbows and knees, locking hands together.
  • Straighten legs and raise your body so that you’re supported by the balls of your feet, with feet hip-distance apart.
  • Face the floor and hold this position for 45 seconds to begin with, extending the time as you get stronger.

Tip for beginners: “Don’t let your hips sink, or have your bum in the air, you should have a straight line from your shoulder to your heels. If you are a beginner, it is really important to remember to keep your abdominals engaged throughout this exercise in order to prevent any discomfort on your lower back.”