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Get fighting fit and tackle middle-aged spread in no time with simple exercises you can do at home

Mirror logo Mirror 16/1/2018 Laura Connor

It’s a familiar story for millions of men. The creeping on of a few pounds can quickly become a couple of stone and suddenly the toned 20-something body you remember has become the definition of middle-age spread.

And Daily Mirror Assistant Sports Editor Keith Webster admits he is one of them.

Irregular shifts, a back injury and constant excuses have caused his weight to gradually creep up over the past three decades.

At 53 years old, 6ft 2in and nearly 17st, struggling to fit into his favourite shirts, he wants to shift two-and-a-half stone and look as good as he did on his wedding day 28 years ago, when he weighed 13st and had a 32-inch waist.

Dad-of-two Keith’s first step is joining Slimming World online to take advantage of the support on offer, plus thousands of recipes and tips.

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a couple of people posing for the camera © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

And to start getting fit, we asked Cancer Research UK London Marathon trainer Rich Tidmarsh to reveal simple, easy exercises that Keith – and you – can do at home.

And every week from now on Keith will update you on his progress.

Keith says: "When I gave up smoking, I said it was because I wanted to make sure I was around to walk my daughter Sinéad down the aisle one day. Now that she is 27, if that day comes, I would like to look in good shape for it too.

"Also, I go to a lot of Oxford United games with my 25-year-old son Fraser. Every time we score he gives me a bear hug but it feels as though his arms only get halfway round these days. I’d like him to have a little less to hug in celebration. I’ve got to that age where it’s lose it now, or watch it get worse.

"You get to a point where you get little reminders, liken having to sit down to put a sock on instead of standing up. Then you get on the scales and there’s a big reminder. I put on a nice, crisp shirt and look in the mirror and think: ‘Oh I don’t look so good’.

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"And there’s one thing that’s stopping me from looking good – my middle.

"The exercises really helped me start straightening up a bit and support the muscles in my back. I haven’t exercised properly in years, so this is a great start and once I have started strengthening my back and my core a bit more I can start to advance the exercises a little.

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"I would love to reach 13st again, the weight I was on my wedding day, but even if I get just half-way there I’ll be delighted. It’s not about losing a large amount of weight or going on a crash diet.

"It’s just about feeling a bit healthier and better in myself."

Due to his office-bound job and height, Keith struggles with poor posture as well as tight back and shoulder muscles.

a man sitting on the ground: Credits: Daily Mirror © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Daily Mirror

Daily Mirror

Rich, who has trained rugby player James Haskell, Professor Green and Vogue Williams at his south London gym Reach Fitness , says: “All of these movements are designed to make Keith aware of his posture and create length and strength in key muscle, including his hamstrings and the lower back.

They also focus on activation of his core muscles, balance, and give strength and stability in areas of injury.”

Start with Fitness Regime One before moving on to Fitness Regime Two, then you can alternate to build strength and fitness. For each regime, rest for one minute, then repeat five times.

Fitness Regime One

Cat cow:

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

• This gentle sequence is a perfect warm-up regime to get your body ready for further activity. Start on your hands and knees, with your shins hip-width apart.

• Drop your belly towards the floor, then lift your chin and chest towards the ceiling before drawing your belly back and round, like a cat stretching its back.

• Repeat 10 times.

Kneeling T-spin rotations:

Credits: Daily Mirror © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Daily Mirror

Daily Mirror

• This hip exercise strengthens the core muscles and is great for people, like Keith, who work at a desk all day.

• From a kneeling position, rotate your spine with your hand on your head,

and arch your elbow through your

opposite arm.

• Repeat five times on each side.

Full plank:

Credits: Daily Mirror © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Daily Mirror

Daily Mirror

• The plank works not only your core, but your shoulders, and arms.

• With your arms straight and palms on the floor, push your torso up and hold. For a harder variation, which Keith is demonstrating here, lift a leg before alternating.

• Hold for 30 seconds.

Kneeling hip pulse:

• Sitting at a desk for extended periods can cause short, tight hip flexors which explains Keith’s inability to put on his socks while standing.

• This exercise improves your hip flexor flexibility and glute muscles.

• Kneel on one leg, with the opposi front before squeezing your bum a forward.

• Repeat 10 times on each side.

Fitness Regime Two

Cat cow: As before


Credits: Daily Mirror © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Daily Mirror

Daily Mirror

• Kneel on all fours with knees under hips, extend your right leg and opposite arm at the same time, keeping your toe pointed.

• It’s great for training back muscles, shoulder muscles and your bum.

• Repeat 12 times.

Jefferson curl: As before

Bodyweight squat:

• Squats target your quads and build leg strength.

• Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and sit back with your hips.

• Keep your head and chest up and push your knees out.

• Repeat eight times.

Reverse prisoner lunge:

a man standing next to a woman: Credits: Daily Mirror © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Daily Mirror

Daily Mirror

• Lunges develop muscle and core strength, as well as flexing out your hips.

• This lunge involves taking a step back rather than forward.

• Complete five on each leg.


8 This is a great exercise for mobility and strength.

• Lie on the floor with your arms straight out and your thumbs pointing up – so your body forms a ‘T’. Raise your arms, chest and head off the floor before slowly coming back down.

• Repeat eight times.

Hollow hold:

• This is great for targeting your abs and stabilising your core.

• Lie down flat on your back and contract the abs, pulling your belly button towards the floor, with your arms and legs held straight out. Slowly raise your shoulders

and legs off the ground, with your lower back still on the floor.

• Hold for 30 seconds.

To find our more about Rich's fitness regimes, visit

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