Siobhan Byrne: Understand your body and its training needs
Strength training helps to develop muscle tone and shed weight
Knowledge is key when it comes to understanding what your body needs from training.
You have to decide what is wrong with your body, what things you are unhappy with and what you want to change.
Then, depending on what your goal is, select how you will train.
For most people who want to lose weight and develop some sort of muscle tone, you really can't beat some strength training.
High Intensity Training (HIT) will help to not only get the heart rate up but will also work on the muscles at the same time. It is a great way to get in and out of the gym quickly if you are short on time but without forgoing a great workout.
You will often hear me say that one of the main reasons I'm such an avid worshipper of strength training is because it balances the body out.
With a more symmetrically-balanced and well-proportioned body you will look better, have better posture and be in overall better shape.
It doesn't mean that an all out buffet is permitted, and if you continue with that mentality, you will be adding unnecessary poundage to the body.
Remember, you can't out train a bad diet.
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
1/ Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart.
2/ Lower your body towards the floor, sending your hips back and down and bending your knees. Then push through your heels to return to start position, keeping your back flat throughout.
Hip raises are brilliant for engaging the glutes. So often women find it difficult to really engage the glutes even on deep squats, so this is a very effective exercise to do to really engage the glute.
1/ Start by lying on the floor with your knees bent and feet placed flat on the floor and your arms by your side.
2/ Bridge your hips up to create a straight line and then come back down towards the ground. Repeat.
1/ Start by sitting on the floor, with your hands behind, fingers pointing towards your feet and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground so that your weight is on your hands and on your feet.
2/ Dip down towards the ground, bending at the elbows, and return to the start straight-arm position. Your glutes should not touch the ground throughout this exercise.
1/ Start by lying on your back with the soles of your feet together, knees out to the sides and your arms straight up over your chest.
2/ Then raise your head and shoulders off the floor. Lower the body back down to the start position and repeat the movement. Keep the soles of the feet together throughout the exercise.
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