Hey Ladies, this week is all about revealing the answers to the questions that most women have running through their mind every time they hit the gym. Last week I spoke about the Gluteus muscles and put together a work out that would help strengthen up those targeted muscles. So if that is what a work out does, “strengthen” up muscles, it’s a little hard to understand why we base our workouts around those lagging body parts in the hope that a couple of hundred reps on the adductor machine will “tone” up our inner thighs or that a few rounds on the boxing pads will “banish” those bingo wings for good! Of course all exercises ultimately burn calories, but do certain ones burn enough? Today I will be explaining the myth around “Spot Reduction” and what it really – isn’t!
Spot Reduction – It doesn’t exist!
Ok, so you want to lose that excess body fat around your arm region that seems to be giving that wobbly, wing-like appearance? Great! Well let’s get started, first thing off the check-list:
You need to clean up your diet!
Spot reduction refers to reducing the amount of fat from one particular area of the body. This myth has been swept across the globe as the media have taken it and worked it over time and time again. All those “Ten minute Tummy Toning workouts” are all down to the marketing team, homing in on what the majority of the female population worry so much about! Sitting in front of the T.V combining some abdominal crunches along with the omnibus of “Come Dine with me” isn’t going to get you the flat stomach you’ve always wanted. Ditch the magazines, juice diets and sugar loaded cereal bars! It’s time for a reality check, it’s simple. The simple three things you need to do are:
1) Eat Clean
2) Train Mean
3) Live Lean
For me this is a lifestyle. You’re probably thinking, “This is so much easier said – than done!” and I agree with you, to a certain extent. From my personal experience, it took around one year to fully adapt to my diet, and by diet I mean the daily intake of naturally nutritious food. The word diet shouldn’t refer to an eating plan that you have to stick to for the next two weeks; it should be a slow, gradual change with the end result being a clean balance. It defiantly wasn’t straight forward and it wasn’t easy either. There were many tweaks and changes along the way but it is do-able. A little thing called will power is all it takes for you to take you wherever you want to go. You have the ability to make the right choices and choose the right foods needed to fuel your body.
The point I am trying to make is that hundreds of sit ups, press ups or body weight squats, ain’t going to shift those flabby arms, wobbly legs or trim down that waist line. The body fat you lose (Through eating a clean diet and training as hard as you can as much as you can) will depend entirely on your genetics. For most women, body fat is stored primarily on the thighs and buttocks, but just because you’ve been lunging for those lovely legs you long for or squatting to save your life, you are only working the leg muscles.
You may see your body fat come right off those love-handles or you may even look a little less bloated in the face but patience and perseverance is what it takes to gradually change the way you look. Linking back to what I mentioned in the beginning of the article, whilst you are on your journey to transform your diet and start eating exactly what your body needs, I have put together a full-body circuit that can be used as a starting point for you as a stepping stone to your success. This work out has an exercise for every part of your body making sure you are pushed to the limit and burning calories like mad! Let me know how you get on and remember we have our own expert in the field, Associate Nutritionist & Certified Sports Nutritionist, Kleio Bathrellou who I’m sure would be happy to help!
Each exercise should be performed for 50 seconds, take 10 seconds to catch your breath then move straight into the next one. At the end of the circuit, take a break no longer than two minutes then repeat the circuit twice more. You should aim to complete the circuit two to three times and always train to failure; these exercises are intended to burn so this may get painful! Remember push yourself but listen to your body, if it all gets too much, take a breather then jump straight back in when you feel ready! Water at the ready, Good Luck!
|Mountain Climber||Starting on your hands and knees, bring your left foot forward directly under your chest while straightening the right leg. Keeping your hands on the ground and core tight, jump and switch legs.|
|Tuck Jump:||Standing with your knees slightly bent, jump up as high as possible and bring your knees in toward your chest while extending your arms straight out. Land with your knees slightly bent and quickly jump again!|
|Plank:||Lie face down with forearms on the floor and hands clasped. Extend your legs behind your body and rise up on to your toes. Keeping your back straight, tighten your core and hold.|
|Lunge:||Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step your right leg forward and slowly lower your body until your left knee is close to or touching the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat with the left leg.|
|Standard Push-Up:||With hands shoulder width apart, keep your feet flexed at hip distance, and tighten your core. Bend your elbows until your chest reaches the ground, and then push back up (make sure to keep the elbows tucked close to the body).|
|Bicycle:||Lie down with your knees bent and hands behind the head. With your knees in toward the chest, bring the right elbow towards the left knee as the right leg straightens. Continue alternating sides like you’re pedalling.|
|Superman:||Lie fac down with arms and legs extended. Keeping your torso as still as possible, simultaneously raise the arms and legs to form a small curve in the body.|
|Triceps Dip:||Take your arms out behind you and grab the edge of an elevated surface and straighten the arms making sure all your weight is in the palm of your hands. Let your fingers hang over the edge and bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle, then straighten again while the heels push towards the floor. For an extra kick, reach the right arm out while lifting the left leg.|
|Flutter Kick:||Start by lying on your back with your hands under your buttocks (or at your sides to make this harder) With your legs extended, lift the heels off the floor (about two inches inches). Make quick, small up and down pulses with the legs, while keeping the core engaged and keeping your feet flexed.|
|Russian Twist:||Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet together, lifted a few inches off the floor. With your back at a 45-degree angle from the ground, move your arms from one side to another in a twisitng motion The slower the twist, the deeper the burn.|
|Squat:||Stand with your feet slightly turned out. Slowly start to bend your hips and knees until the thighs are at least parallel to the floor (lower if you can). Make sure the heels do not rise off the floor. Press through the heels to return to a standing position, whilst keeping your stomach tight and chest up.|
|Burpees:||One of the most effective full-body exercises around, this one starts out in a low squat position with hands on the floor. Next, kick the feet back to a push-up position, complete one push-up, then immediately return the feet to the squat position. Jump up as high as possible before squatting and moving back into the push-up.|
|Plank-to-Push-Up:||Starting in a plank position, place down one hand at a time to lift up in to a push up position, with the back straight and the core engaged. Then move one arm at a time back into the plank position (forearms on the ground).|
Never give up and never back down!
Rayner Jordan – Women’s Fitness Specialist