2016’s top exercise routines for you to try

We all think about starting an exercise routine every now and again, but few of us ever see it through. Break the mould, be one of those people who branch out beyond their comfort zone and try out a few of the new year’s top routines.

1. Morning yoga classes

Exercise isn’t always about breaking a sweat and building layer upon layer of muscle. Practices such as yoga help improve other elements of the body, from flexibility to balance, while also helping your mental well-being in countless different ways. All of this can prepare you for a long, hard day, which is why it has caught on as more and more people lead stressful work lives. It’s also why such poses are best performed soon after you wake up.

2. Core exercises

The rest of your body is weakened if your core strength isn’t there, which is why people are starting to pay more attention to this key element of any exercise routine. It is also becoming increasingly popular due to most people’s desire to have sleek, toned abs.

Fortunately it’s one of those areas where there are many simple exercises that you can do, with a quick routine which is easy to fit into every day. You can start off with a series of crunches, going up to 25 or 50 depending on your current fitness levels. Lying on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees, pull your belly button into your spine and perform a standard sit-up movement.

Another good addition to your routine is a series of plank exercises. Start off on all fours, breath in then straighten your legs into a downward dog position, holding it for five breaths. Afterwards, return to the plank position and repeat.

3. Waist exercises

No one likes to carry around stubborn weight on their mid-point, which is why waist exercises will always be popular. As with yoga routines and core exercises, one of the reasons they are catching on is because each part of the overall routine is simple and quick to do, with the opportunity to mix and match with whatever works best for you.

V-sits are often a good way to begin, as they not only leave you with a flatter stomach but also help to elongate your torso. Lying on your back with your arms and legs both stretched, you lift your legs and torso simultaneously, keeping the former straight at all times, before slowly lowering yourself again.

You can also add gym equipment into your routine, if you have it to hand. For instance, using a gym ball you can do a series of crunches which target your obliques (the side points of your abdominals) as well as your upper abdominals themselves. Sitting on the ball while holding a medicine ball above your head, walk both feet away from you until your torso is supported at a minor incline. Contract the abdominals, curl your head and slowly lower yourself back to the original position again.