Stretch Your Way to a Lean Body
Christina Aguilera has always had a petite figure. But when her love of junk food affected her performance on stage, she called trainer Ashley Borden, Nike Elite Athlete and FITNESS advisory board member, to help her get in shape. Try this move from Borden, who trained Christina Aguilera for years and even went along on her Stripped tour, to build strength and add tone.
The exercise: Roll up
A. Lie faceup on floor, knees bent and feet on floor, arms at sides with palms up. Inhale, then exhale, tightening pelvic floor and drawing navel toward spine.
B. Keeping pelvic muscles tight, squeeze glutes and slowly lift hips as you raise spine off the floor one vertebra at a time. Keep squeezing glutes as you roll up and push through heels. When you're all the way up, take a deep inhalation. Exhale, squeezing glutes as you roll slowly down to the floor. Do 5 to 6 reps.
Workout Tip: Count Down
Borden uses this trick to make sure you get the most out of your workout: Instead of starting every set by counting from 1 to 10, decide how many repetitions you're going to do and count backward (10, 9, 8...). This will add staying power to your workout because it gives you more of a finish line to cross, making it harder for you to quit too soon.
Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, January 2009.