Sometimes girls ask me what kind of exercise they should do to achieve some transformation of their body, most often to slim down legs and shape the butt. However, it is hard to give particular advice if I do not know a lot about the particular person. Recently I put together a few tips that work when you follow certain rules. Here is the original Slovak version.
- There is not magic exercise that would fix a problematic body part. You have to train the body as a whole and the results will come.
- Ab exercises such a crunches strengthen the abdominal muscles but do not burn much fat because they work only 4 muscles. When running, you activate 300 muscles, when swimming – over 500. Which burns more energy?
- To look healthy does not mean look like a model on the magazine cover.
- Muscles are heavier than fat. Though, they have nicer shape and burn energy even if the person is at rest.
- The few hours in the gym is just part of how we spend the rest of the week.
If you follow the workout routines of professional fitness competitors you know that they focus on gluteus muscles – the parts around the hips. Although the goal of an average house-wife who wants to get in shape are completely different, the means and the target groups are the same. Women in the gym should focus on these muscles, thighs and hips. It is where usually fat stores down – with men it is the belly area. It human genetics. But glutes have are much more important than good looks.
Glutealis muscles are a big muscle group that engages in all movements in the hip joint. These moves are present practically everywhere – in sports, daily life, in bed – some glute exercises can be found in Kamasutra book. Therefore good glute workout is the key to overall strength and fitness and also can decrease the discomfort of some health issues typical of women. Moreover, strength exercises trigger the release of hormones that will put your body into fat-burning mode even if you do not exercise and the circulation of hormones can also boost up self-confidence. Do not worry, you wont grow huge muscles because the human biology (and lower testosterone compared to men) will not allow that. Just pick up the barbell!
Strength training is also useful for girls even if their aim is slim figure, not huge muscles.
Look at the sports where the legs get lot of stress and exhaustion. All skiers have strong legs, I have seen a video, where the alpine skier Lindsey Vonn squats around 200 kg.
Traditional squat works thighs (quadriceps) and the glutes. The thighs of cyclists are strong but slim, due to the excessive aerobic training. Therefore fitness models train their legs in an aerobic manner, as if developing endurance. They do sets of 30 and more rep and combine exercises into super sets. For example stiff legged deadlift followed by leg curls – to achieve smooth transition between glutes and hamstrings. It shapes them and slims down.
How should a girl train in the gym?
Taking into consideration the general requirements, it should consist of complex exercises for strength development combined with toning exercises for the problematic parts. They can be put into super sets in order to boos fat burning. For example, a set of deadlifts followed by glute-ham bridge or heavy squats followed by jump squats or lunges.
I, Pull ups on the bar or cable pull down to the chest. Here is a demonstration. It works the back and also prepares the body for the rest of the workout.
3 sets of 12 – 15 reps, breaks up to 60 s
II, squat variation with weights
In this video, IFBB Figure professional competitor Erin Stern demonstrates 10 squat variations, starting from the basic ones to the most complex ones. Her legs are slim and trimmed despite the fact that she lifts weights.
4 sets of 8 – 12 reps, breaks 60 to 120 seconds 4
III, Number 3 can be lunges. This girl is using barbell but it is enough to grab dumbbells or for the beginning no additional weight at all. Erin in the video also does lunges as the exercise no. 4 (around 2:00 min).
4 sets of 20+ reps, breaks short – up to 60 s
IV, Number 4 is lying leg curl, which works the rear part of the thigh – the hamstrings and glutes.
You can also do dumpbell deadlifts. They work the same muscles but the movement goes more through the hip. Do them alone or combine into super-sers with fit ball roll. Do one set of curls deadlifts and immediately carry on with fit ball for as many reps as possible. Rest 90 seconds and repeat.
VI, This exercise combines glutes with the core muscles. In plank raise the extended leg until you feel tension in the glutes. Hold for a second and change legs. Repeat until you drop. 3 sets with max reps. breaks 60 s
VII, Core also includes abdominal muscles. They were active at the exercise no 6, so just finish them with three sets of any ab exercise – as many reps as possible. Or, try the following program.
3 sets of max reps
If you have some energy left for cardio, I recommend intervals. For example on a bike – 1 minute at full speed, one minute slow down. 15 minutes in this manner are enough.
Here is the leg workout of Ashley Kaltwasser, three times winner of Bikini Olympia. She is judged by the shape of her legs.
Around 1:15 minutes she does step ups on a bench – great exercise for shaping the glutes and if you do it for a large number of reps, it builds endurance.
Who does not have access to a gym has to use imagination. Most of the above exercises can be done at home, it is enough to use small weights. Here is one workout for beginners.
So much for now. Remember, that exercise is only one part of the success. The most important thing is to have some rules and follow them. Whether we lose weight or change a particular body part can be dependent on many factors – food and additives in the food that interfere with proper working of digestion, hormones – mainly insulin that is responsible for fat storage (also), stress and general well being. Try to keep all these things in check and you can will definitely see some positive results.