Life Fitness

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Everyone, no matter what shape, can be toned

Karl Henry

Published 14/07/2014 | 02:30

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Picture posed. Thinkstock Images

I REALLY want to tone up my bum. I am very much a celery shape but are there exercises that can help me?

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OF COURSE there are exercises you can do as part of an overall routine, to make a big difference. Firstly, let's take a look at the different types of body shapes:

* The Celery – Think of Keira Knightley, where your body is slim with hips and shoulders that are roughly the same width. You can eat whatever you like as your metabolism is fast and it's a struggle to put on weight.

* The Apple – Think of Jennifer Hudson. This is the typical Irish body shape where you carry all your weight around your mid section from your chest to your pelvis, often with slim arms and legs. As you get older you find the weight harder to shift.

* The Pear – The classic Latina look, just like Jennifer Lopez, where your hips are wider than your shoulders. You find it really hard to lose weight.

* The Hourglass – The sexy screen siren Marilyn Monroe look, with broad shoulders, a narrow waist and curvy hips, your weight can fluctuate easily but when you knuckle down to it you can get in great shape.

Women with a celery shape tend to have very flat bums and struggle to gain curves where they want them. The truth is, however, that no matter what your body type is, you can make great changes. Different types of exercise can lead to different tone and shape – the simple guide is to look at others who have been doing the class for a long time, or the class instructor; if they have been teaching the class for a long time, their body will have adapted to the exercises you will be doing.

There are also plenty of exercises you can do at home that will help you to tone up your posterior. Here are a few that you can try; keep the reps high, around 15 or 20, and aim for three sets. Be warned though, there may be some pain in the beginning so if you haven't exercised for a while, start at one set and build your way up.

1. Pelvic floor kicks – Another one of my favourites, start with your back on the floor, knees bent, hands by your side. Keeping the upper body relaxed, simply push your pelvis towards the ceiling, using your bum cheeks. If it's too easy, then bring your feet back towards you. The closer the feet, the harder it will get

2. Wide foot squat – One of my all time favourite exercises as long-time readers will be familiar with, the wide foot squat is designed to work the inside of your legs and the outside of your bum. Start very wide on your feet, with the feet pointing away from the body. Now lower yourself down as if you are going to sit into a seat. This is your starting position. From there, pulse about three inches towards the floor and back to the starting position.

If it's too easy, simply push lower or take the feet wider.

3. Bum Kicks – Another classic, start on the floor on all fours, on your hands and onto your knees. Ensure your back is flat, bring your right knee into your chest and kick the right leg back away from you. Stay with the right leg for 20 and then progress onto the left leg. If the back gets sore then go down onto your elbows.

To make any of these exercises harder , simply add in some holding movements, where you hold for 20 seconds in between each set.

Try it and see the difference.

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