Break LooseLeaner

Fall out of bed into these calorie-burning stretches to prime yourself for zero-effort weightloss

Your fascia - the stretchy, connective tissue between your muscles and skin - is an untapped weight-loss WMD. Thanks to our sedentary lives, most of us spend the day with ours all bunched up, folded and twisted. "Fascial release can allow your body to move more and stretch further," says physiologist Marc Hamilton. This means you'll use up more calories  through non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT." New research shows this approach can burn up to 800kcal per day - or almost half a stone in a month. Do these morning exercises regularly and iron out your fascia to boost your fat loss - no sweat.



HOW? In a lowered press-up position, place a tennis ball under your stomach, about 2in to one side of your belly button. Supported on your toes and forearms, roll sideways and up and down. Switch sides.

WHY? "This hits both sides of your psoas muscle, which runs through your hips and attaches at the top of your thighs," says PT Rob Blair. "It loosens your fascia after that tightening effects of prolonged inactivity."



HOW? Sit on a foam roller with your hands behind you. Walk your heels away from your body, lean back, and let the roller move from your glutes up your spine. When it reaches your neck, reverse it.

WHY? "This smooths the fascial tissue that runs over your spine," explains Blair. "Your alignment will be more robust and the erector muscles in your back will fire more efficiently throughout the day."



HOW? Sitting, put an indoor golf ball under each foot and roll it with gentle pressure. "Indoor balls localise tender spots without brutalising them like a regular golf ball," says Blair. Target your middle arches and heel pads.

WHY? "This stretches the fascia running up your lower back, increasing your flexibility," says Blair. "Afterwards even reaching down to pick up a pen will work more muscle and use more energy."



HOW? Sit on the roller, crossing one leg over the opposite thigh. Lean to the side so that your upper leg is forward. Then gently roll up and down your gluteal muscles, targeting tight areas.

WHY? "This engages your piriformis muscle," says Blair. "After, you'll notice the tissue has loosened, freeing up and squatting, lunging or running movements." And that means even more calories burned.


Leaner5Get in the zone
To achieve optimum fat loss, train with your heart rate between your minTR and maxTR. Here's how:

1) Calculate your maximum heart rate

2) Calculate your resting heart rate
Beats in 10secx6=RHR

3) Calculate your heart rate reserve

4) Determine your minimum target rate during exercise

5) Determine your maximum target rate during exercise