Too busy to exercise? James Duigan, fitness trainer to Elle Macpherson, has created this exclusive do-anywhere workout to sculpt and tone. Your new year body is about to look better than ever.
Conventional ways of exercising no longer exist. Busy schedules force us to invent new and innovative ways of getting our bodies into shape. Enter James Duigan, whose reputation as a top personal trainer doesn’t stop at Elle. His book, The Clean and Lean Diet, took the world by storm, inspiring even more of us to start thinking carefully about improving our health.
James suggests doing the exercises in each section every day. This should take about 20 minutes but can be scattered throughout your day. Busy women rejoice!
AT YOUR DESK
‘Posture is key’, says James. ‘The most profound difference you can make to your upper body is by adjusting your posture’.
For the perfect posture: Align your ears with your shoulders and your shoulders with your hips, he advises. ‘Stretch the chest and lengthen the back’.
Once you have your posture mastered, give yourself an ‘oxygen espresso’ – or put more simply, do a breathing exercise. Not only will it make you more productive by increasing your oxygen intake by 90 per cent, it will also boost your bust. Inhale deeply expanding your stomach, whilst making sure your shoulders don’t rise and repeat every half an hour, advises James. This also lowers the stress hormone, cortisol, which has been found to increase the body’s tendency to lay down fat around the middle.
IN THE PARK
With outdoor gyms on the rise, the excuses are running out, says James. Try bench dips in the park for toning bingo wings. Position your hands shoulder-width apart on the seat of the bench, put your legs out in front of you and keeping your back straight and engaging your abdominal muscles, slowly lower yourself towards the floor. Repeat three sets of 15-20 every day.
You can also use benches for push-ups, which are great for toning the arms and chest and the lower you go, the harder your muscles will work. Start off by using the back of the bench, with your arms out straight in front of you and your hands in line with your chest. Paying attention to the position of your head, lower your body towards the bench. Keep your tummy contracted and buttocks clenched. Breathe out as you push up. Do 15-20 repetitions and three sets of each exercise.
For the ultimate in pre-party preening James suggests three key moves.
1. The ‘Y’s: Whilst standing, engage all the postural muscles, bend your knees at a 45 degree angle and keep them in line with your toes, chest up high, bottom out. Keeping your arms straight lift them in a ‘Y’position to your ears, then lower, all the time keeping your chin tucked in and spine neutral.
2. The ‘T’s: Bend a little lower and bring your arms to the side making a ‘T’.
3. The ‘four-point rotation’: finish the sequence by getting on to all fours. Stretch your chest and keeping your back strong and spine straight, rotate one arm off the ground, until it is as high as you can get it. Looking at your fingers, follow your arm round. Repeat each ten times. For a harder work out James suggest holding light weights while doing these (no more than 2 kg).
IN THE GYM
Chin-ups are by far the most effective exercise you can do if you want to hone your upper body. ‘Don’t worry about bulking up, you won’t’, says James. In fact, models Rosie Huntington- Whiteley and Elle Macpherson do these regularly.
Place your hands on the bar above your head, keeping your arms straight, then bend your elbows and squeeze your shoulder blades together to lift your chest to the bar. Do three sets of 10-12 repetitions. It works your arms, chests, shoulders and abs. If it’s good enough for Rosie, it’s good enough for us.
WHILE WATCHING TELEVISION
The Cobra, which is a pose stolen from yoga is perfect for the advert breaks, suggests James. Lie on your tummy, engage your abdominals and slowly draw your shoulder blades together, lifting your arms off the floor in the shape of a Y. Look ahead. Try and hold this position foras long as the ad break lasts.
These postural exercises work better the longer you hold them. Make sure movement comes from your abdominal muscles and not your hands.
Before starting any new exercise regime, always check with your doctor.
The Clean & Lean Diet by James Duigan is published by Kyle Cathie and priced at £12.99. Expert Beauty readers can buy the book at the special price of £10.99 inc. free p&p (UK mainland only).
To order your copy, ring 01903 828503, quoting ref. EB/CLD or email firstname.lastname@example.org