TO SHAPE AND TONE YOUR WHOLE BODY:
DO THIS NOT THAT EXERCISE
A variety of exercises is good. Yet, some provide more value than others. A few misconceptions still exist about the value of some exercises. If you’d like to tone those inner and outer thighs for instance? Read on! Or Watch here on YouTube for short videos that show you this list of “do” options.
Lunges instead of ab and adduction machines
Lungs are the best exercise for targeting inner and outer thighs and getting those gams streamlined. Beyond that the lunge is so much more functional for helping you improve balance and basically play better in life. If you’ve lost function, have knee issues or a lunge is otherwise just not going to happen, then do resort to the machines. But while you’re able, you stay more able longer doing a lunge. Any version will do. Static up and down, rear lunges, walking lunges and side lunges will all target your legs in different ways. Mix it up.
Ball hip extensions and leg curls instead of machine hamstring curls
Using a ball to bridge (raise hips off the ground and return) requires stability that your muscles have to provide. Not only is that a plus but using lying hamstring curl machines or seated hamstring curl machines pose more of a hazard to the lower back. When your muscles have to stabilize while performing either a static or moving exercise you are recruiting more muscles overall.
Bent over row instead of a seated row machine
The bent over row can be done seated (good way to start especially if you have known low back issues) or standing. Either
way itrequires more stabilizing in the core. You may be able to do a little less weight in this free-standing exercise. That in fact, usually is the trade-off. Machines allow for heavier lifting that can boost lean muscle, therefore weight loss, and bone density to a greater degree. The multi muscle use of free weight exercises makes your body more able to handle snow shoveling, raking, picking up grandchildren from the ground. In reality, you want both. Don’t do either all the time.
Standing cable press or a one-arm dumbbell press on a ball instead of a seated chest press
By now you realize the drill. It’s all about stabilizing muscles. When you can find ways to increase the use of more muscles in the body during one exercise you’ve found a way to get in a shorter but effective workout. A progression would look like this:
- Instead of the chest press machine, use a cable machine.
- Then use one arm at a time on the cable machine.
- Then use dumbbells on a bench.
- Go from two arms to one at a time.
- Then substitute a ball under you instead of the floor or a bench.
That progression should happen over weeks not days or within the same workout! Simple ways to make variety work for you and keep those muscles guessing.
[Photos here are still shots from the You Still Got It, Girl! 4-Part Video Series] Got It? Get it! Keep it!
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