We are in the grip of an eating frenzy; with many stuffing down mince pies, beer and chocolates like there is no tomorrow, after all it’s Christmas right? Moderation goes out of the window as the festive season arrives and whilst this is almost inevitable, it’s important to think ahead about getting back into shape come the New Year. If you are making 2013 your year to really tone up, the following exercises are key to your success.
Quite simply one of the best exercises to tone your bum and legs, the humble squat is a great part of a workout for both men and women. Squats target multiple areas from the calf muscles to your back so you can start to see improvement in your muscle tone in a variety of places, not just those rock hard thighs! The secret to highly effective squats is control and timing; the slower you do them, the more you rely on your muscles rather than momentum.
Cross trainers are a fantastic way of engaging lots and lots of muscles at the same time so you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to see results. Cross trainers can be adjusted for resistance levels so you can either keep it low and concentrate on weight loss and cardio vascular training, or increase resistance for effective toning of the legs, bum, arms, stomach and sides!
Whilst there are plenty of effective weight machines you can take advantage of, free weights are considered the best way to achieve that toned look quickly, simply because the machines take some of the work out for you. If you are new to weightlifting, head down the gym and ask for a session on how to use them; trainers will be able to show you what’s within your capability and in line with the areas of your body that you really want to work on.
A little tip: If it’s abs you are hoping to tone up the real secret here is to combine a low-fat diet with weights and cardio. You can do hundreds of sit ups a day but you won’t achieve a flat, defined stomach without putting time into a healthy diet to reduce body fat and regular cardio, so be sure get your lunges, squats and cross training in too!
If you can get into the gym and establish a routine that incorporates these exercises on a regular basis, you will certainly be working towards a firmer, leaner you in 2013! For an extra push into the New Year, you could accompany your training with supplements, like T5’s to fuel your training, and BCAAs to help your muscles recover.