Your stay-at-home workout plan: A hardcore abs session

Women demonstrate a plank. Shutterstock
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Updated 30 March 2020

Your stay-at-home workout plan: A hardcore abs session

DUBAI: Devinder Bains, personal trainer and nutrition coach at Fit Squad DXB, is sharing a variety of workouts to keep you active without leaving the house — and she’s finishing things off with an abs routine.

Exercise 1: Sit ups

Start by laying on your back with knees bent and hands touching your ears. Engage your abs and slowly lift your upper body towards your knees until you’re in a seated position. Keep the head and neck neutral as you return to the start position. If this is too tough, replace with crunches where you only lift the shoulders and upper back off the floor. Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 2: Plank

Lay down facing the floor and lift your body up onto your toes and forearms. Engage the core, glutes, legs and shoulders, keeping the back and neck flat and aligned. Hold for as long as you can with good form before putting the knees down. Repeat 3-5 times.

Exercise 3: Russian twists

Start in a seating position on the floor, keeping your back flat and strong and knees bent in front of you. Grab a weight (a tin of soup will do) and slowly twist the weight to the right side of your body (almost toughing the floor with the weight) and then to the left. To make it more difficult, lift your feet off the floor. Twist 20 times in total.

Exercise 4: Bicycle crunches  

Lie flat on your back with legs bent and hands at your ears. Lift the right leg off the floor and bring the knee towards your face, at the same time move your left elbow towards that knee until they meet, forcing the abs to twist. At the same time extend the left leg so it is fully straight when the other leg meets the elbow. Hold for a count of one and then do the same with the opposite limbs. Repeat 20 times.  

Repeat the whole workout another two times.

Consult a doctor before starting any new or strenuous exercise plan, or workout with a personal trainer to make sure your technique is correct at all times.

Missing your salon? How to care for your hair while you #StayHome

We speak to a hair expert on the dos and don’ts of at-home hair care. (File/Instagram)
Updated 30 March 2020

Missing your salon? How to care for your hair while you #StayHome

DUBAI: As salon-goers face the closure of spas, salons and barbershops, we speak to Haneen Odeh, founder of UAE’s Snob salon for her take on the dos and don’ts of at-home hair care.

Many men and women who rely on salon visits to keep their lengths healthy could be left wondering what to do between now and their next visit to a professional hair stylist. But just as important is what not to do (read: DIY trim job) to avoid ruining your hair and having to impose your own personal period of self-isolation once the pandemic is over due to a ruined haircut you tried to pull off in the bathroom mirror.

Don’t bleach your own hair
“For those who usually go to the salon to dye their lengths blonde, roots may be starting to show now. And while it might be tempting, I would strongly urge to not bleach your own roots. Lightening dark hair is a very complex multi-step process that requires years of experience and professional grade products only available at salons. Bleaching your hair incorrectly might result in burning and damaging your hair. Instead, opt for a root spray such as the L'Oreal Paris Magic Root Cover Up Concealer Spray. Otherwise, you can always conceal your dark roots with a headband or try wrapping your hair up with a scarf.” 

Do deep conditioning treatments
“Use this time to nourish your hair with a deep conditioning treatment. A lot of people simply apply it in the shower on wet hair for a few minutes and call it a day, but that way means that your lengths aren’t getting the full benefits of the product. Think of hair like a sponge, when it’s wet, it’s already full of water and cannot absorb anything more. So to make sure the product is fully absorbed into your locks, towel dry your hair after shampooing and then apply the treatment. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and then rinse. You’ll see a huge difference.” May we suggest The Let It Go Circle hair mask from Davines, which is designed to boost hydration and revitalize dry and brittle strands?  

Don’t pick up the scissors
“When you’re bored, it might be tempting to pick up the scissors but, and I can’t stress this enough, don’t trim your own bangs or make any big changes to your hair cut on your own. It will inevitably go wrong and you will end up paying more to get it fixed in the long run. Try out some new hairstyles instead. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube so experiment a little and get your hair professionally cut once it’s safe to do so.”

 Don’t over wash
“The more you wash your strands, the more you strip the scalp of its natural oils, and that in turn makes the scalp produce even more oil, which causes you to wash your hair more often — and the cycle goes on and on. Now is the perfect opportunity to give your lengths a break and cut down on the washing. Your hair might get oily, but once the adjustment period is over, you will notice that it will require less frequent washing.”

Do try scalp treatments
“Too often, we pay attention to the lengths of our hair and give our scalp no attention. But caring for your scalp improves the overall health of your tresses, stimulates hair growth and gets rid of dandruff due to product buildup. Scalp treatments range from serums to salt scrubs, so pick a product that suits your hair needs. Le Labo's basil-scented Scrub Shampoo uses black sea salt and menthol to clear away dirt and cool scalps down.”