★Cara★ (fathomthis) wrote in __loveandlattes,

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Toning Exercises

I found these on a page ripped from an old magazine while I was clearing out my room, and thought they might be useful for some people. The 'fitness-guru' claims that you will be 'body-confident' if you follow this workout three times a week for six weeks. But don't they all say that! However, exercises like these do make a difference, and I think these ones are great for beginners.

Something to bear in mind is that, you might have the most toned muscles in the world, but they won't be visible if you have excess body fat. Aerobic exercise is the key, and the magazine recommends skipping, trampolining and frisbee-throwing. I actually think these are quite good ideas, as I get so bored just running on the treadmill. Other fun ways to get your aerobic exercise are things like DDR, playing twister with your friends, or just going for a walk and taking pictures on a nice day.

Tempo Squats

Works your: Hips, bum, front thighs

How to: Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes angled out slightly. Squat down with your body straight, and as you do so bring your arms out in front of you for balance. Squat down as low as the height of a bench or low seat - your knees should be bent at 90 degrees - so that you feel some pull in the front of your thighs. As you squat, your feet should be in a flat position, with your weight in your heels. Return to the starting position.

Repetitions: Do 10 fast squats followed by 10 slow ones, holding the position at the lowest point for 5 seconds.

I already do these in my gym workout, but I put a yoga ball against the wall and lean my bum on it, then let it roll into the small of my back as I squat. It makes them a lot easier to do, and you don't lose your balance, but you have to do a few more to compensate ;)

Pulsing Crunches

Works your: Tummy and waist

How to: Lie on your back with your legs in the air, knees bent at 90 degrees and your hands by your ears. Contract your stomach muscles so your lower back is on the floor, then curl your upper body and head off the ground and up towards your knees - while lifting your knees towards your head. Slowly return to the starting position, keeping your stomach muscles contracted as you lower your body. You can tone your waist by twisting your body slightly whilst doing the crunches, so that your left elbow reaches towards your right knee and then your right elbow goes towards your left knee.

Repetitions: Ten times, but work towards 25 repetitions as your strength improves.

Press Ups

Works your: Chest, upper arms, shoulders

How to: Kneeling down, put your hands on the floor in front of you, shoulder-width apart, making sure that your back is straight. Bend your elbows and lower your upper body in a controlled way, until your nose almost touches the ground. You should feel it in your arms and chest. Using your knees as a lever, push yourself back up to the starting position.

Repetitions: Do three sets of 10-15, with a one-minute break between each.

This is the easy version of the press-up, but as I have zero arm strength, I do the even easier version. Put your hands against the wall and your feet about a metre away from it and, with your body straight, push your self away from and towards the wall, like a regular press up but vertical! As you get better, move your legs further away from the wall. Hopefully someday I'll be able to progress to doing them on the floor ;)

Single Leg Hip Extensions

Works your: Bum, back, thighs

How to: Kneel on the floor with your hands flat on the ground and your back straight. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Slowly lift one leg, keeping the knee bent at a 90 degree angle until your heel is facing the ceiling and hold. This is essential for working your bottom muscles and your hamstrings. Then bring your knee slowly back to the floor. If possible, wear 3-4kg ankle weights.

Repetitions: Do 20 times with the weight then 20 times without, or just 40 times without weights.

Dumbbell Curls and Presses

Works your: Arms

How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with one foot slightly in front of the other. Hold two dumbbells (or full 750ml bottles of water) down by your sides, with your palms facing forwards. Slowly curl the dumbbells up to shoulder level, keeping your upper arms still. Then twist your arms so you are looking at the back of your hands and raise your arms above your head. Do this in reverse, taking three seconds to bring the dumbbells to your shoulders. Untwist, then take another three seconds to return to start position with dumbbells at your side.

Repetitions: Repeat the complete exercise 10-15 times.

I hope these were of some use! If anything seems wrong, blame the magazine ;) Also, I'm going down to London for a few days, anyone interested in seeing pics when I get back? x
Tags: health: fitness, poster: melanie
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