Exercises that focus on the belly, arms and legs can improve the look of these areas by building muscle. Plan to perform strength training exercises a minimum of three days a week. Remember, spot reduction is a myth; you must lose fat over your entire body to reduce the size of any particular area. To lose weight, you must follow a low-calorie diet and make time for regular cardio exercise. Consult your doctor before making any diet and exercise changes.
Tone Legs With Squat Jumps
Squat jumps and side lunges can be done to tone the legs. When you perform squat jumps, you are working the muscles in the thighs, hips and buttocks. You don't need any equipment to perform this move. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and squat down as if you are sitting in a chair. Release from the squat by jumping into the air. Land on the mid-foot and repeat the exercise for12 reps.
Work Your Glutes and Legs with Side Lunges
Side lunges work the glutes, quads, hips and thighs and do not require any equipment. Stand with your arms at your sides and legs together. Move your right foot as far away from the left foot as possible. Bend at the hips and lunge towards the right foot. Return to starting position and repeat movement for other leg. Perform a total of 10 reps for each leg.
Pullovers for Your Arms
You can target the arms and abs with a medicine ball move called the pullover, performed on a balance ball. Lie on top of the balance ball with your knees bent and your shoulders centered on the ball. Your feet should be flat on the floor. Hold the medicine ball against your chest. Contract your abs as you push the medicine ball into the air above your body. Lower your arms behind your head and then return to the starting position. Perform a minimum of 15 reps.
A study by the American Council on Exercise found that the triangle pushup produced the highest level of muscle activation in the triceps. Position your hands under your shoulders, with your thumbs and index fingers making an open triangle. Keeping your body straight, bend your elbows outward, at a 45-degree angle, until your chest touches the floor. Push yourself up using your arm muscles. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
Warm Up Your Belly
If you want to flatten your belly, work on toning the deeper abdominal muscles. Warm up with deep breathing techniques. Get down on all fours on an exercise mat to begin. Take a deep breath and exhale. As you exhale, draw your belly button towards your spine. Hold for 10 seconds before releasing the contraction. Aim for eight to 10 reps.
The Best Ab Exercise
According to a study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise, the best ab exercise that you can perform without extra equipment is the bicycle maneuver, also known as the supine bicycle crunch. Lie on your back, with your knees bent and your hands behind your head. Raise your legs, keeping your knees bent, until your thighs are perpendicular and your calves are parallel to the floor. Tighten your abs as you lift your shoulders and pull your left leg in, touching your right elbow to your left knee in a slow and controlled movement. Straighten your right leg to maintain your balance. Return to the starting position and repeat, bringing your left elbow to your right knee. Continue alternating legs for 10 to 20 repetitions.
- American Council on Exercise: Why Is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- American Council on Exercise: Upper Leg Exercises
- Fitness: Fight Arm Flab in 10 Minutes
- American Council on Exercise: American Council on Exercise Study Highlights Most Effective Tricep Exercises
- Fitness: Triangle Pushup
- American Council on Exercise: American Council on Exercise (ACE)-sponsored Study Reveals Best and Worst Abdominal Exercises
- American Council on Exercise: Supine Bicycle Crunches