One of the most fundamental questions women ALWAYS ask their trainers is: “How can I trim my waist line, tone up my body, get a firmer shape, and all this without increasing the size of my muscles?”. This is indeed a very important question, and not an easy one. But it is possible to do that, with the right professional advice.
Su-Yee Liew, Group Exercise Manager at True Fitness Malaysia will guide us in this interview trough a very detailed training program aimed at precisely what most women want to know: stronger, more defined, abs and firmer arms.
In this article you will find practical advice on how to reduce the fat layer which covers the abs, and on how to develop sexy abs through the right exercises and number of sets. Our readers will find this interview with Su-Yee Liew extremely interesting, and will want to read it over and over again, as we did several times already :-)
Abs. We know abs training does not help in burning fat in that specific part of the body, but it is also true that a firm abdomen improves strongly our overall appearance and stability of our body. How often should we train our abs, at home or at the fitness centre, and how many sets/reps for each exercise?
Simply performing sit-ups or any abdominals exercises alone will not get rid of fat around the stomach. The fact is that spot reduction does not work. Exercising muscle groups in specific parts of the body will not burn fat from that particular area.
Fat is lost gradually from all over the body. However, while sit-up will not melt fat from your tummy, they will help tighten and tone the muscle under the fat. This coupled with a regular cardiovascular regime and a healthy, low-fat diet will ensure a lower overall body fat percentage, resulting in you having a more toned looking midsection.
In order to reduce the fat layer on top of the abdominals, you must follow a healthy diet and do your cardio. Training your abs 2 to 3 times per week maximum will ensure you have something sexy to look at once the fat has been reduced. Some suggested abdominal exercises include:
- 3 sets of 15 reps of normal crunch, oblique crunch and lower abs raise, finished with a 1 or 2-minute plank, done 3 times a week.
- Attending Les MillsTM CXWORXTM OR Rapid Abs Group Exercise classes in True Fitness 3 times a week can also be an ideal routine to work out the abdominals and the core muscles around.
Arms. This is a delicate subject for many women, especially when arms are not firm as they used to be, and something has to be done in order to bring them back to their original shape and tone. Fitness is the answer, but what type of training, class, fitness activity is the most suitable in this case?
The best way to tone up those flabby arms is to target the main muscle groups of the arm – the bicep and triceps. To achieve the best results, these exercises should also work out the shoulders and forearms at the same time for balance and overall tone. Below are step-by-step exercises for biceps curls and triceps extension:
1) Biceps Curls
- Stand with your feet hip distance apart, knees slightly bent. With arms at your sides hold a dumbbell (of preferred weight) in each hand.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed and your chest open. Breathe out and curl the weights up towards your shoulders.
- Keep your elbows tucked into your sides. Lower the weights back to the start position slowly.
- Keep your wrists straight as you do the curls and do not arch your lower back
- Keep your stomach muscles tight and do 2 sets of 15 reps.
2) Triceps Extension
- Stand up straight, with knees slightly bent.
- Place left foot in front of your right foot at hip distance apart.
- Make sure toes are pointing forward.
- Keep shoulders even as you complete this exercise.
- Place your left arm on your left thigh for support. Hold weight in right hand, working right triceps muscle. Bend arm at elbow, lift elbow back, and hold weight next to shoulder and your underarm.
- Exhale as you slowly and evenly extend forewarm behind your body, moving from the elbow joint so that arm is now straight(ending position).
- Inhale as you evenly and slowly bring your forwarm back to starting position. Remember to squeeze your triceps muscle, instead of letting gravity do the work.
- Repeat exercise 2 sets of 15 reps.
- Repeat entire sequence on your left arm to work left triceps muscle.
Besides the above mentioned bisceps curls and triceps extension, other exercises like the bisceps pull-up, triceps push-up, triceps dip, dead rows and chest press can also be done to burn fat and tone the arms.
In addition, group exercise classes such as Les MillsTM BODYCOMBATTM, available in True Fitness, with its fiercely energetic martial arts inspired moves, with numerous punches and kicks, can also help maximize your calorie burn and tone your arms.
Alessio Cristianini for TRENDYSTYLE HONG KONG
We thank True Fitness Malaysia www.truefitness.com.my for this interview with Su-Yee Liew, Group Exercise Manager, True Fitness Malaysia.