Tummy and leg toning
I am. Just wish it would hurry up and get better so I can get burpee-ing and running!
I never fail to feel sick if I do a circuit with burpees in them. They are intense.
Lunges and squats with hand weights will strengthen your legs, if you work the small muscles in with the larger ones you get better fat burn and you exercise more muscle groups. Lunges with tricep dips or squats with bicep curls for example. Make sure someone shows you the correct technique, with squats and lunges you should never go over the knee and your posture needs to be upright and relaxed.
Also work the front with the back, if you spend 10 minutes on stomach exercises, spend 10 minutes working the back to make sure you're building muscle evenly. The Transverse Abdominis is the deep muscle of the stomach that supports the smaller, superficial muscles. Pilates in particularly focuses on the deeper and larger muscles of the body and helps you to become aware of how the muscles are working and moving. If you can get to a few classes you will pick up a lot of tips.
Free-weight training with good posture will also help build strength. If you're relying on your own body to keep you stable, you work a wider range of muscles. Squats and lunges will indirectly help to tone your somach if you are keeping your posture correct.
Thanks for this advice, it's really helpful - you're so knowledgable! I'm a complete amateur when it comes to exercise. Someone told me that burpees are called burpees because they literally make you feel as if you're about to burp and be sick!? Pilates sounds right up my street. Do you think a Pilates dvd would be helpful? Or should I attend a class? It's quite hard finding the time at the moment! I'm going to research the rest of your suggestions too. Thanks a lot for your help :)
I'm not sure if the burp thing is true, but it wouldn't surprise me. My stomach always rolls up into my throat after the 5th one. I have to have a totally empty stomach if I do circuits
If you're not familiar with pilates, definitely go to a few classes before attempting a DVD. The main problem with a DVD is the instructor can't see you, so they can't correct you. You have to be aware of what your own muscles are doing and your posture. DVD's are often very good at explaining, but an instructor can answer questions, explain things in more detail and offer you advice or modifiers if you're struggling.
Once you're familiar with the exercises it's nice to have the option to exercise at home, but try and avoid diving in with the DVD's until you're a little bit familiar with the exercise. It helps prevent injury.
If you exercise at home it's useful to have a large mirror in your exercise room of choice, so you can check and adjust your positions. It's good for exercise like pilates or yoga, where symmetry and alignment is a big focus point
I accidentally picked up a CD and card pilates pack a few years ago. Brooke Siler - The Pilates Body. The CD's are next to useless because all you can hear is a voice and you have to work out the moves yourself, the cards are very good though. You can focus on one move at a time without the pressure of a paced DVD. I've never used them to do my own workouts, but I studied them when I was first getting into exercise and picked up quite a few tips on posture and things to pay attention to when doing floor based exercise.
It feels sometimes this hill's too steep for a girl like me to climb, but I must knock those thoughts right down, I'll do it in my own time :)
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