Friday, April 15, 2011

Going Sleeveless: Arms

Long, sleek, defined, toned. These are the arms we want, and we can get there. In fact, arm muscles are small, so they become defined rather easily with the right routine. Here we go.
1. Yoga and Pilates. Yes, the simple act of taking a mind-body class will instantly improve arm tone. Why? Isometrics (holding poses) creates tone and lift, and stability exercises increase strength. Finally, the posture and positioning in these classes make the arms appear longer and sleeker because the body is in alignment. Voila!
2. Boxing. Now, the boxing stance is quite opposite from yoga, so use these things in balance. The plyometric action of striking, even if it is in the air, forces the muscle to develop. Self defense classes are great for this, too.
3. Lift. Yes, lift weights or use a restistance band or pully to work the arms. The major groups: biceps, triceps, and deltoids.
4. Don't forget the cardio! If you have pretty arms that are covered with a layer of fat, well, those arms are hiding! Use cardio to remove fat from all areas, including the arms. Swimming does amazing things for the heart while toning all those little arm muscles, so there is a perfect double-duty exercise. If you are running or walking, keep the arms at 90 degrees and swing them with control. If you are biking, the isometric work of holding a low body posture also will work the arm muscles.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Nice Legs!

Ready for shorts weather? Let's get moving today for better results!
1. Checking in all day! Are you using your legs all day? When you sit or stand from a chair, do an extra squat without using the arm rest on your chair. When you walk from place to place, walk with purpose. Have a minute? Do walking lunges around your house for a few minutes. Do moving squats to get to another room or place in your house.
2. Cardio Cardio Cardio! Yes, it's true, leg-intensive cardio sculpts legs and burns that layer of fat over the top. Walking works more of the hamstring and glut muscles (back of the leg), but you have to walk like you mean it. Running uses more quadruceps (front of the leg) and burns more calories. Swimming uses hips and hip flexors. Biking is more quadruceps than hamstrings. All of these are beneficial, so don't limit yourself to one form of cardio.
3. Pilates. You know Pilates as a core workout, but the Pilates professional understands that the core is connected to all other parts, and the legs cannot work without core support. So, several parts of the series are hip exercises that work the muscles in a way that slims and lengthens muscles (think pretty hips).
4. Explode! Jumping rope, jumping on the trampoline, jumping movement in sports, sport training that uses plyometrics, and the new aqua plyo trainings give the muscles such a challenge that they burn a ton of calories and they develop for strength and endurance. Aqua Plyo training is jumping in coordinated exercise in a pool. Look in to this, especially if you are concerned over injuries or joint problems.
Questions? Find me here or on my FB page,