Do you find that you gain weight in Ramadan? Are you feeling sluggish and bloated after breaking your fast?
As Muslims around the world abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk, it is not uncommon for your metabolic rate to slow down through long periods of restraining from food and the body becomes catabolic, therefore burning our muscles as energy.
So, here is post iftar workout routine you can try out to improve your digestion, cut bloating and activate the major muscles of the body.
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To avoid injury and muscle pain, always make sure you are stretched out and have applied some myofascial therapy (soft tissue work) to any tight muscles, particularly in the front of the legs and hips.
Exercise One: Active your core
Activating your core muscles will pull your lower abdominals in, naturally giving you a flatter look. This is crucial as your digestive track requires optimal body alignment in order for stools to pass through. Therefore, this exercise can considerably help reduce any form of belly bloat you may suffer.
This static exercise requires a mirror as viewing yourself laterally (from the side) is key to see the pelvis positioning.
Step 1: Stand with the feet pointing straight, a hip’s width apart.
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Step 2: Lean forward slightly with your upper body. This might seem awkward but be sure to stick it through it - this is the starting point to get your core muscles activated.
Step 3: Place your hand on your pelvis (hips) so you can get an idea of where they should sit, and then shift them back behind your shoulders as demonstrated in the illustration.
Step 4: Then posteriorally tilt your pelvis under but be sure to do this while your hips are still shifted back.
Be sure to also draw in your navel in simultaneously as you initiate the posterior pelvic tilt
If you have instituted this move correctly from a side view you will notice none or very minimal flatness appearing in your lower back. This means the curve in your lower spine has been reduced, this is correct and what you want.
Step 5: You will feel a burning sensation in lower abs (core). Hold this position for as long as you can keep the correct form.
Step 6: Relax for a few minutes
You can repeat this static hold for several more sets.
Exercise Two: Body weight squats
Squats are key exercise that target the powerhouse muscle in the body - the glutes and also the thighs. This exercise can be done with your own body weight.
Step 1: Stand with your feet pointing straightforward, hip’s width apart.
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Step 2: Bend your elbows at 90 degrees and pull back your shoulder blades.
Step 3: Slowly bend down trying to sit your weight back into your heels.
A good tip is to keep your toes lifted off the floor throughout the exercise, which allows you to target your butt and the back of your legs.
It is ok to allow the knees to come forward slightly past your ankles but the key point is that you feel the burn in your butt and back of your legs rather than just at the front of your thighs
Step 4: Keep your chest lifted and upright and your shoulder blades retracted throughout.
Step 5: As you reach the bottom phase, squat at a 90 degrees (or slightly less if you’re a beginner and lack flexibility).
Step 6: Now, hold this position and whilst you do, tilt your pelvis (hips) under like your tucking your tailbone under.
Step 7: As you do this, it is important that you draw your navel in to activate your core muscles which help stabilize the pelvis through this movement.
Step 8: Now slowly come up. As you do so, it is vital that you allow your knees to straighten first before you finish off the end range of movement of the squat at the top.
Exercise Three: Lateral steps
This is more of a cardio exercise as it will increase your heart rate, but also works all the muscles in core and lower body too.
Step 1: Start with your legs a hip’s width apart.
Step 2: Bend your elbows at 90 degrees, pull back your shoulder blades and draw your navel in.
Step 3: Bend your hips slightly, as if you are about to perform a squat but not as deep.
Step 4: Take a powerful step laterally (to the side) and allow the other foot to follow through as you do.
Step 5: Take about 3-4 steps with your right leg powering you off and repeat and come back with the left doing the same.
The hips need to remain square through this movement and the weight back into your heels.
Keep your upper back extended through the movement and your navel drawn in.
You should feel a burn in your legs in the back and the butt area if you’re doing the exercise correctly
Note that is a powerful move so it is important you push off the lead leg to send the body off in a sideways direction.
Complete a 1-3 minute round of this exercise, rest and repeat again for another 3 rounds depending on your fitness level.