12 ab toning exercises you can do in your bedroom (that actually work)

12 ab toning exercises you can do in your bedroom (that actually work)


Ab toning exercises you can do without switching off Netflix. What’s not to love?

ab toning exercises
REX

Ab toning exercises are in fashion now that summer is upon us.

Want to get your midriff in shape but can’t be bothered to venture outside? Luckily for the exercise-phobic among you, we’ve discovered the best ab toning exercises that can be done in the comfort of your own bedroom.

Ab toning exercises at home

Try doing two or three sets of these ab toning exercises every morning before breakfast. With all ab exercises, be sure that you are focusing on using your core muscles and not straining the muscles in your neck and/or shoulders. Build up your ab strength by gradually adding multiple reps to your routine, or hold exercises for a longer time as they begin to feel easier.

We’re using the spectacular abs of fitness guru Kayla Itsines as inspiration…

Ab toning exercises for beginners

Butterfly Crunches

Lying on your back, place the soles of your feet together. Raise your legs high up off the bed to create a ‘butterfly’ shape. Crunch up towards your legs. Repeat 10 times.

Slow Roll-Ups

Lying flat on the bed, stretch your legs straight and your arms straight above your head. Very slowly, lift yourself up to a sitting position, reaching your arms down as if to touch your toes. Very slowly, as you count to five, lower yourself back down on the bed, back into a flat position. Repeat 10 times.

Plank Lifts

While in regular plank stance (aka holding your body in a straight line while balancing on the balls of your toes and elbows), lift your hips up high and bend your body to create an arch. Hold for two seconds and then lower your hips back down. Repeat 10 times.

Quick ab toning exercises

Vs

Lying on your back, stretch your legs straight and your arms straight above your head. Slowly raise your legs and arms up, bending at the waist. Reach your hands toward your feet creating a ‘V’ shape with your body. Repeat 10 times.

Bicycles

Lying on your back, bend your knees and place your hands behind your head, elbows bent. Raise your legs up into the air and one at a time, pull one knee forward while raising up to crunch the opposite elbow towards that knee. Continue ‘pedalling’, crunching the left elbow towards the right knee and the right elbow toward the left knee. Crunch 25 times on both sides.

Pillow Prop

Stack two pillows at the foot of your bed. Lie flat on the bed with your feet elevated and cross your arms over your chest. Breathe in deeply as you pull your stomach in towards your back. Breathe out as you lift your upper body towards your feet. Breathe in as you lie down again. Relax your muscles then repeat 5 times.

X-Plank

Similar to the regular plank, lying on your stomach, lift up on your elbows. Spread your legs wide and then lift up on your toes, holding body as straight as possible in this position. Hold for at least 15 seconds and then release. Repeat three times.

Sit and twist

Lying on your back with your hands behind your head, elbows bent, do a sit up. Once you reach sitting position, twist, pointing your right elbow down towards your left knee and then twist to your right, pointing your left elbow down toward your left knee, come back to center an then lower back down to the bed. Repeat sit-up and twist move 10 times.

Roundhouse Kicks

Lying on your back, place your hands down flat on the bed, palms down. Keeping your legs straight, lift your right leg off the bed and rotate it in the widest circle you possibly can; bringing your foot down, almost to where it touches the bed, then around to the side and back to center. While you are rotating your foot, keep your ab muscles tight in order to control the rotation of your foot in a slow and controlled manner. Circle your right leg 10 times then repeat on the other side.

Heel-On-Knee Crunches

Lying on your back, bend your knees and place the heel of your left foot on your right knee. Lift your feet off the bed and pull your knees up toward you while you also lift your shoulders off the bed crunching down towards your knees. Repeat 25 times.

Side Planks

While in regular plank stance, roll your hips to the side, propping yourself up on the side of your right foot. Hold your body straight, propped up on your right foot and right elbow for 15 seconds and then release. Switch to the left side and repeat.

Tummy Twists

Lie flat on the bed and stretch out your arms to your side in line with your shoulders. Keep your arms and shoulders flat on the bed while you roll your head to the right. At the same time lift your right knee to your chest. Breathe in while you tighten up your stomach muscles, then breathe out as you roll your right knee and hip to the floor on your left side. Slowly roll back to your original position and repeat on the other side. Do this exercise on both sides, five times.

Ab toning exercises with weights

Want an extra challenge? Grab a can of beans from the kitchen cupboard to use as a makeshift weight for this one:

Russian twists

Sitting on your back, pull yourself gently upwards so your feet and torso are raised. Then holding a weight with both hands, twist your torso to the right side so your arms are parallel with the floor, the move back into the centre and repeat on the left. Do this ten times.

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This is the one time Meghan couldn’t break the fashion rules

This is the one time Meghan couldn’t break the fashion rules


Meghan Markle is known for shaking up the sartorial rules a little (see her sheer engagement dress and her Trooping The Colour dress), however Royal Ascot was one occasion where she had to abide by the Royal fashion etiquette.

The Duchess of Sussex today made her first appearance at Royal Ascot, alongside Prince Harry and The Queen, and chose to wear a design by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy for the occasion.

It’s the third time she’s gone with the French fashion house, after her wedding dress of course and the cream dress she paired with The Queen’s earrings just last week on their first outing together.

As we all know, Royal Ascot rules are super strict, and Meghan’s white shirt dress ticked all the right boxes (though there was no sign of that special name badge all the Royals have to wear).

Traditionally, dresses should be of modest length, and shoulders should be covered by a strap that’s at least one-inch wide straps.

Plus, any old fascinator won’t do, as you have to have a base of at least four inches in diameter, which again Meghan’s hat more than covered.

She also kept her midriff covered (another big no no) with a chic black belt, which gave the traditional lace pattern a bit of an edge. Because Meghan is a maverick after all.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will share a joint duty at Ascot this year

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will share a joint duty at Ascot this year


Strong hat game, everybody.

meghan markle prince harry royal ascot
Getty Images

Meghan Markle has quickly settled into her royal duties as a new member of the family, from going on a solo trip with the Queen to Cheshire and now a presentation ceremony with her new husband Prince Harry. The newlyweds arrived at the Royal Ascot just an hour ago looking every inch the part though it won’t all be fun and games, as both she and Prince Harry will be presenting an award at the famed horse race.

According to the Ascot programme, they’ll be presenting the St James’ Palace Stakes trophy at 4.20pm. It’s the first time the couple has attended the Ascot together and they’re definitely moving much faster than Prince William and Kate Middleton did – it took five years for Kate to make an appearance with him at the race.

meghan markle prince harry royal ascot

Frank Sorge/racingfotos.com/REX/Shutterstock

Prince Harry and Meghan arrived in a carriage, joined by Queen Elizabeth and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex. They all looked dressed the part and although Meghan may have broken a royal fashion rule at Trooping the Colour, she was very much on point for Ascot’s notoriously strict dress code.

She returned to Givenchy, her wedding dress designer, for her all-white ensemble and also donned a sophisticated Philip Treacy hat (one of Kate Middleton’s favourite fashion designers). Prince Harry came dressed in a top hat and tails, along with a Royal Ascot name tag – one of those funny conventions that doesn’t make too much sense, given that you’d be hard-pressed not to recognise who he is.

meghan markle prince harry royal ascot

REX/Shutterstock

As they rode into the grounds, people cheered the carriage on and Meghan waved to the crowd – clearly growing more comfortable with the spotlight.

They did the traditional procession around the parade ring as other carriages carrying Prince Charles, Camilla, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie trotted on ahead of them. Prince William and Kate Middleton unfortunately aren’t around for the races, but for a good reason – Wills is up in Liverpool on another engagement while Kate is still currently on maternity leave.

Here’s hoping that after the work’s all done that Prince Harry and Meghan get a chance to actually kick back, enjoy the races and make use of that Royal Box.

(We desperately want to know what it’s like in there.)

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Gal Gadot just gave us a first look at her Wonder Woman 1984 costume

Gal Gadot just gave us a first look at her Wonder Woman 1984 costume


And it’s everything we hoped.

wonder woman 1984
Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

Wonder Woman is back, and this time she’s fighting crime in the 1980s.

We are of course talking about Wonder Woman 2, or Wonder Woman 1984, as it has been named.

It’s hardly surprising that a sequel was confirmed, given the record-breaking success of the 2017 release, with the female-led and directed film dominating the box office and grossing over £282 million in the first two months.

In fact, since the sequel was announced, fans have been waiting for snippets of news and updates on the highly anticipated project.

Credit: REX

Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins is back at the helm to direct and Chris Pine is returning as Steve Trevor – something that is still confusing us all, seeing as he, well, died in the last film.

There are some new faces though, with Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig coming onboard to play Wonder Woman’s enemy, the Cheetah, and Narcos star Pedro Pascal set to also be joining the cast.

But, the main question on everyone’s lips?

What will Gal’s Wonder Woman costume look like? It is set in the 1980s after all.

Gal, never one to keep fans waiting, answered everyone’s questions with a simple tweet.

Posting a first glimpse of her character to Twitter, Gal captioned the snap, ‘She’s back.’

The verdict? The public definitely seems to approve.

Diana Prince’s look is very similar to that in the 2017 film, but adding an 80s vibe, this one features a lot more colour and some thick retro curls.

To say the photo went viral would be an understatement, with the snap retweeted 50,000 times and liked more than 200,000 times just hours after uploading.

It looks like this is going to be the most anticipated release of 2019.

We officially cannot wait for Wonder Woman 1984.

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Here’s why Harry and Meghan haven’t been to visit her father yet

Here’s why Harry and Meghan haven’t been to visit her father yet


It makes a lot of sense

prince harry meghan markle daughters
David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

It feels like forever ago now, but Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding day was only a month ago.

Taking place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, everyone from Kate Middleton to Prince Charles and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland was in attendance.

But sadly, the father of the bride, Thomas Markle, had to miss the ceremony due to undergoing heart surgery shortly before the big day. Instead, Prince Charles escorted Meghan up the aisle.

Following the nuptials, it was thought that both she and Prince Harry would soon be going to Mexico to pay a visit to her father.

However, Mr Markle has since confirmed they won’t be paying him a visit any time soon – and the reason why is a pretty good one.

‘I told them I thought it was fabulous and she looked beautiful, and they talked about coming to see me,’ he told Good Morning Britain. ‘I said it’s a bad idea especially as the press would eat everyone alive.

‘I said I’m healing and I would wish they would go on a honeymoon,’ he added. ‘They should get away from everybody for while.’

While we’re excited to hear all about the royal couple’s honeymoon, we hope for Meghan’s sake that she gets to see her dad again soon!

The post Here’s why Harry and Meghan haven’t been to visit her father yet appeared first on Marie Claire.

Buckingham Palace has just confirmed the royal baby news to make your day

Buckingham Palace has just confirmed the royal baby news to make your day


A statement was released via Buckingham Palace.

queen elizabeth cataract sugery
Rupert Hartley/REX/ShutterstockDay, Epsom Downs Racecourse, UK – 02 Jun 2018

2018 is undoubtedly the year of royal babies, from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcoming Prince Louis two months ago, to Pippa Middleton announcing that she was pregnant with a baby of her own.

Today’s royal baby news however comes from Zara and Mike Tindall, who it was announced have welcomed their second child.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson confirmed the news, releasing the following statement:

‘Mrs Michael Tindall was safely delivered of a baby girl on 18th June, at Stroud Maternity Unit. Mr Tindall was present at the birth. The weight of the baby was 9lbs 3oz.’

‘The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Princess Royal, Captain Mark Phillips and Mike’s parents, Mr Philip and Mrs Linda Tindall, have been informed and are delighted with the news. The baby’s name will be confirmed in due course.’

The statement continued: ‘This baby is the second child for Zara and Mike, the fourth grandchild for The Princess Royal and the seventh great-grandchild for The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.’

Zara and Mike already share four-year-old daughter Mia, who Mike called their ‘saving grace’ when the couple tragically suffered a miscarriage in 2016.

Huge congratulations to Zara and Mike on their new arrival.

And now for the question on everyone’s lips – will Harry and Meghan follow suit?

Only time will tell.

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Victoria Beckham just gave us the best beauty tip

Victoria Beckham just gave us the best beauty tip


#putamaskonit

Victoria Beckham beauty tip

Victoria Beckham is a well travelled lady. She has houses all over the world and her fashion label takes her from continent to continent. In our eyes, this makes her a reliable source when it comes to travel advice. Her latest tip is how to cope with jetlagged skin.

Her answer? A sheet mask. Not just any sheet mask though – Suqqu’s Face Stretch Mask.

victoria beckham beauty tip

 

The mask is perfect for dehydrated skin that has been on planes for far too long. It provides nourishment, helps boost your skin’s moisture levels and improves skin tone. Each sheet contains 33ml of serum – which is a bloody lot – and has these super handy wings that lift the jaw area and fit firmly onto the face. It’s also great at tightening skin and sharpening the jaw line, if you’re worried about that.

Suqqu Face Stretch Mask, £72 for six masks, Selfridges

Victoria beckham beauty tip

Buy Now

I mean if VB says it’s good, who are we to argue?

Place your order now.

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Hyaluronic acid: Everything you need to know about this super hydrator

Hyaluronic acid: Everything you need to know about this super hydrator


The #1 hydrating ingredient

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is one of those ingredients that you see plastered all over product packaging and hear dermatologists wax lyrical about. And with very good reason – there’s pretty much nothing else out there that can help boost moisture levels more than hyaluronic acid. Also don’t be put off by the word acid – it’s a common misconception that acids for skin are going to strip and cause irritation, when actually they are key to good to a top notch complexion.

What is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a natural component of your body’s connective tissue that maintains skin’s strength and elasticity. 50% of it is found in our skin. Everyone sings its praises because, hyaluronic acid can retain over a 1000 times its weight in water, so it’s super-hydrating and helps to give you a bright appearance by keeping cells plumped and strong.

As we age, the natural hyaluronic acid levels in our skin decrease. Mostly found in the best anti-ageing beauty products for mature skin, hyaluronic acid is quickly becoming a preventative treatment and skin staple for younger people looking to stave off the effects of ageing for as long as possible. Continuous use of hyaluronic acid ensures you retain moisture and elasticity in your skin, which will help if you’re worried about fine lines or dull skin. Hyaluronic acid can also be injected directly, in what’s known as dermal fillers, into the skin to help fill and plump. (N.B This is very different to Botox.)

Hyaluronic acid serum

One of the best face serum you should use is the hyaluronic acid serum. Hyaluronic acid serums are hero products because of their higher concentration of HA. Each one tends to be a clear sticky liquid that absorbs super fast and creates a beautiful base for make-up. Because they are so lightweight as well, all skin types will benefit from introducing one into their routines and you can use one in conjunction with another targeted serum.

Here’s our roundup of the best products containing hyaluronic acid…

The post Hyaluronic acid: Everything you need to know about this super hydrator appeared first on Marie Claire.

This jewellery trend is definitive proof that mermaids are the new style icon

This jewellery trend is definitive proof that mermaids are the new style icon


Who knew Ariel was such an icon?

There’s no denying the influence of fairytale icons in our sartorial choices. But while we appreciate the more obvious Disney t-shirts, we generally prefer a more subtle approach.

Which is why the latest jewellery craze to take over Instagram is right up our street. You could say it’s more or less inspired by the Little Mermaid, as it involves shell-shaped jewellery. The likes of Pandora Sykes, Monikh and Dutch blogger Lizzy Vdligt have been draping themselves in shells, adorned with gold for that extra luxe factor.

Now hand me my lava lamp @nunoobags #nunoobags 📸 @evaksalvi

A post shared by P A N D O R A S Y K E S (@pandorasykes) on Jun 11, 2018 at 12:04am PDT

Niche jewellery brands like Dutch shop Anna + Nina, French designer Elise Tsikis and German brand Wald have hit that sweet spot between vintage and contemporary, providing us with the perfect holiday-worthy pieces to elevate even the most basic of outfits, like a white t-shirt and cropped jeans. They’re also the perfect finishing touch to a pastel trouser suit or floral dress for a wedding.

🐚🐚🐚🐚 http://liketk.it/2vYNy

A post shared by Monikh Dale (@monikh) on Jun 1, 2018 at 3:56am PDT

Shop my edit of the best Ariel-worthy shell jewellery pieces below.

Shop now: Venus Earring brass silver-plated for £118 from Anna + Nina

Shop now: ELISE TSIKIS Valos shell earrings for £120 from MatchesFashion.com

Shop now: Me Myself and I bracelet for around £122 from WALD

Shop now: Shells bead necklace for £19.99 from Mango

Shop now: ANNI LU BAROQUE PEARL SHELL EARRINGS for £249 from TROUVA

Shop now: PACK OF BEAD AND CORD BRACELETS for £15.99 from Zara

Shop now: SARAH & SEBASTIAN Shell 9-karat gold hoop earrings for £185 from Net-A-Porter

Shop now: LOEWE Gold-plated, shell and resin necklace for £225 from Net-A-Porter

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Brie Larson wasn’t sure playing Captain Marvel ‘was the right thing’ for a totally understandable reason

Brie Larson wasn’t sure playing Captain Marvel ‘was the right thing’ for a totally understandable reason


‘It’s a big change for everybody and I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing for me.’

brie larson marvel
Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

Playing a superhero in the DC or Marvel universe is basically a surefire catapult into worldwide success, a pool of money and hopefully a lucrative multi-film contract – however the level of fame is something that can be daunting to take on. Marvel newcomer Brie Larson revealed that that was initially a reason why she was nervous about taking on Captain Marvel, as she didn’t want to ‘burden’ anybody around her.

She told Associated Press, ‘There was a lot about [playing Captain Marvel] that felt like a big decision. And it’s not just a decision for myself, it’s a big decision for my family and my partner and my friends. It’s a big change for everybody and I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing for me.’

New jeans, who dis? (Thanks @Levis)

A post shared by Brie (@brielarson) on May 25, 2018 at 7:57am PDT

Although Brie has been around Hollywood for a little while and starred in films like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, 21 Jump Street and Trainwreck, she’s been able to fly relatively under the radar. Even with an Oscar for Room under her belt, she’s always kept a low profile and while she’s currently been a vocal advocate for diverse representation in Hollywood – her personal life has mostly stayed out of it.

She continued, ‘I never want to make artistic decisions that will feel like a burden or would take me away from the parts of my life that I find fulfilling. So Marvel was super patient and allowed me a lot of time to think it over.’

Given that there’s a huge theory that Brie’s Marvel character will star in the next Avengers film, it seems like she’s going to be a major player in the universe. (If you haven’t seen it yet: skip onto the next paragraph as we’re about to launch into spoiler territory.) Basically at the end of Infinity War after half the world gets dusted, Nick Fury is caught sending a message on a pager that’s decorated in Captain Marvel’s iconic costume colours. The prevailing theory is that he’s sent a message back in time to her so that she can help stop the events of Infinity War from unfolding. Which, would be a total trip.

However, Marvel is notoriously strict on keeping any spoilers about the franchise from leaking. In fact, when Mark Ruffalo spoiled Infinity War last year, it seemed like both he and Don Cheadle were nervously looking round for a red dot and sniper to take them out before they could say anything further.

Benedict Cumberbatch, who’s a deft hand at keeping spoilers out of the press after his time on Sherlock and The Hobbit, also seems to have been deemed Tom Holland’s caretaker on the press circuit – hilariously shouting over young Spidey when he’s about to blurt something important.

Brie had another tactic however, as she said, ‘I sort of told Marvel that I wanna know as little as possible, so when friends ask, I don’t feel like I have to lie. I can just be like: I don’t know, I have no idea.’

Good plan, Brie. You can’t spoil what you don’t know.

Captain Marvel will be released in the US on March 18, 2019, however a British date has yet to be announced.

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