If you’re apple shaped it may be more difficult to keep your mid-section trim, but doing a few simple exercises can help keep your entire body tight and toned. Apple shaped women tend to carry more weight around their waistline, so it’s important to perform core strengthening exercises. For best results, eat a healthy diet and perform cardiovascular exercise in addition to the toning exercises below, which are excellent for apple shaped women. Try to perform 2 or 3 sets (10 – 20 repetitions each) of the exercises below.
Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart holding weights (if desired) at your sides. Squat down by bending at the knees until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground. Push back up into a standing position and repeat.
2. Dead Lifts
This exercise is typically performed using dumbbells. Stand upright (feet shoulder-width apart) and keep your knees slightly bent. Bend forward at your waist until your back (keeping it flat) is almost parallel to the floor. Lift up to your starting position (using your lower back and hamstrings) and repeat.
Traditional push-ups or modified push-ups (knees touching the floor) will help strengthen your chest, arms and abs. Facing the floor and keeping your back straight, push up with your arms until they’re completely extended; then bend your arms and lower your body (keep your back flat) until your chin almost touches the floor, and repeat.
The plank is an excellent core strengthening exercise. Lie face down on the floor and rest your weight on your toes and forearms (palms facing the floor). Your back should be flat and your body should form a straight line. Hold this position for up to a minute (or until your body starts to fatigue) and repeat.
5. Side Plank
Lie on your side (body raised) and rest your weight on your feet and forearm. Your body should form a straight line. Hold the position for up to a minute and repeat. To make this exercise more challenging: from the side plank position slowly dip down until your mid-section is almost touching the floor; lift back up and repeat.
6. Lying Leg Raises
Lie flat on your back with your legs straight and up in the air (90 degrees from the floor). Keeping your legs as straight as possible, slowly lower them out in front of you until they are almost touching the floor; then lift them up to the starting position and repeat.
7. Straight Leg Pull Down
Start with your body in the plank position but fully extend your arms, keeping your back flat and legs straight. Slowly lift one leg (keeping it straight) up toward the ceiling; hold that position for a few seconds then lower your leg back to your starting position. Repeat this exercise with the other leg and repeat.
The teaser is an excellent abdominal strengthening Pilates exercise. Lie on your back with your legs straight and extended up at a 45 degree angle from the floor. Keeping your arms straight, reach up toward your legs until they are parallel with your legs (your legs and torso should form a V-shape). Hold the position for a few seconds; then lower your upper body back down (keeping your legs up) and repeat.