Monday 11 December 2017

Siobhan Byrne: Why settle for slim? Get toned

In part three of our series, our fitness expert explains why exercise as well as diet is important

Siobhan Byrne: when we lose body fat, we can look better and slimmer
Siobhan Byrne: when we lose body fat, we can look better and slimmer
Lunge kettlebell 1
Lunge kettlebell 2
Squat thrust 1
Squat thrust 2
Side bridge 1
Side bridge 2
Side lunge 1
Side lunge 2

Siobhan Byrne

There is a saying that losing body fat is 70% diet, 30% training. Given that, you could be forgiven for wondering if training is therefore really all that important, or could you just do the healthy eating part of a fitness regime?

Well, there is no doubt that when we lose body fat, we can look better and slimmer - but do we actually look fitter?

The reality is, there are things training can do which diet can't. None of us can stay in our twenties forever. Indeed, when we hit our thirties, everything starts to go a little downhill, especially if you haven't been training already. Diet alone will not help this.

The simple fact is that training will improve your fitness - including helping your heart, you know, that muscle we tend not to worry about until we have to - and helps develop and maintain any muscle tone in the body.

Now you may ask yourself, well, do I really care about developing muscle? Yes, should be the simple answer! We all have our least favourite body parts, but one thing I've learned over the years is, whether you have more or less body fat on you, if you have minimal muscle things just hang there and no one is ever happy about that. And, the older you get, the more it hangs.

Even a slimmer body shape will still be susceptible to common problems like 'bingo wings' if there's no muscle tone to keep the upper arms looking lean and toned. And that is true too for other parts of the body, such as the butt, legs and back.

I have always maintained I am happier with a stronger, lean body shape than a skinny, fragile one, and guess what? The benefits are that you can have a little more food and not feel you are on a constant diet.

In addition, muscle can help the posture, so training really can help combat the onset of osteoarthritis.

Given all of these benefits, taking up training really is worth all the hard work.

Do each exercise 12 times before moving on to the next one. When you have completed each exercise, that is one set. Catch your breath before moving on to the next set, and do three to four sets, three to four times a week

Part III  of Four

Lunge and pass with kettlebell

1/ Stand upright holding a kettlebell in one hand by your side then step forward into a lunge position passing the kettlebell behind your front foot to the other hand.

2/ Then push off the front foot with the kettlebell in the other hand. Repeat, alternating throughout.

Side bridge on bosu with leg lift

1/ Start with one hand flat on the bosu ball with body straight out with one foot on top of the other then raise your top leg straight while at the same time keeping your hand on the bozu directly under your shoulder. Repeat 12-15 leg raises before completing on the other side.

Side lunge

1/ Stand upright with your arms straight down, by your sides.

2/ Step laterally to one side, lowering your body down and leaning your torso slightly forward with your weight on the outside leg. Keep your trailing leg straight, then simply push off your outside foot to return to the start position. Repeat on same leg or alternate the leg, depending on ability.

* This exercise can be done with or without dumbbells so, if you are beginning your workout journey, try the bodyweight version first and develop on it as you get fitter.

Squat thrusts

1/ Start by going into a squat position with your hands on the ground.

2/ Then from there thrust both legs out and back to full extension, keeping the back straight, not dipped. Then return to start position and repeat. Ensure that you keep your tummy tight and do not let the lower back dip when your legs are extended.

* Alternatively, this execise can be used with sliders under the feet.

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