Do you hate your

Wish you were more ‘baguette’ and less ‘muffin-top’? Caroline Sandry shows you how to munch away your muffin top and re-claim your waist…..
Whether it is the fashion for lowrise jeans, or our ever-increasing obesity levels in the western world, the dreaded trouseroverhang or ‘spare-tyre’ is becoming more and more apparent, and has even landed itself it’s very own 21st century name of ‘muffin top’ and even a huge percentage of young teenage girls can be seen sporting the look! Abdominal or mid-section fat can actually be dangerous. A waist measurement of 35.5 inches or more puts you at high risk of the risks associated with obesity – diabetes, heart disease and even certain cancers. This type of fat is known as ‘Android’ fat, and gives your body an apple shape. So rather than tuck yours into some high waisted trousers, or squeeze it into some ‘Bridget Jones’ style control pants, why not make a permanent change and get rid of it for good. Many people believe that endless abdominal crunches will give them a six pack or flat stomach, and try to ‘spot reduce’ the area. Unfortunately, this may give you more strength, but in order to see your muscle tone, you have to lose the fat lying over the top! Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise will play a big part in fat burning, and should be combined with resistance exercise to get great results.

Training tip
Try to keep your spine and pelvis in a neutral position throughout. This means your back is neither arched nor flat as shown in picture above. weight train the same muscle group on two consecutive days. As we are training for fat loss, I am recommending some compound resistance exercises as they will use more energy and train several muscle groups at once. I am also recommending some Pilates exercises as they are great for toning the mid section.

Make your CV training work for you
Your CV exercise could be fast walking, cycling, swimming or the elliptical machine, but for fast results, I would favour the treadmill. Running is a great way to burn calories and it is probably the easiest way to do some interval training. I am recommending interval training as we are after a big calorie burn to blast that muffin top! If however you cannot run or want a change, the stationery bike is a good alternative for intervals.

Putting it into practice
In order to lose weight, you need to train effectively. So, you need to adopt an exercise regime including CV and resistance work, along with a healthy, sugar free diet. Ideally train with weights twice a week, and perform your CV exercise three times per week. If time is tight, you can do CV and resistance on the same day, but never





The Walking lunge
Stand up tall, feet hip width, keeping navel drawn in Take a large step forward and bend knees until front thigh is parallel to the floor and hold for 1 second Raise your body up, lifting your back leg forwards to repeat the lunge with this leg Continue lunging forward alternating legs. Training tips – Keep abdominals engaged, and ensure front knee stays in line with second toe of the front foot. Dumbbells can be hand held for added resistance. Build up to 3 sets of 10 -15 reps

Cardiovascular exercise
CV exercise involves using your large muscle groups to move your body and uses oxygen for energy (aerobic exercise). CV exercise is a great way to burn calories, and reduce fat levels. Think running, cycling, swimming and rowing.

Resistance exercise
Resistance exercise is commonly known as weight-lifting, and involves exerting a force to move a weight (or your body weight). Many women are unaware that this style of exercise is great for not only toning, but also fat loss. This is because muscle tissue has a higher metabolic rate than other body tissue.

Metabolic Rate
Your metabolic rate is the rate at which you burn calories. This is key in long term weight loss, and one of the reasons why crash-diets do not work, as extreme calorie reduction can cause your body to lower your RMR (resting metabolic rate) in order to conserve energy.

The Squat
Stand with feet hip to shoulder width apart Inhale to bend knees bringing hips towards the floor Exhale and push body back up to standing Body bar can held on shoulders for added resistance

The press up
Place hands under shoulders, and legs out straight with weight on your toes. If this is too challenging, bend knees as shown in picture Keep back straight, and inhale to lower chest towards the floor bending your elbows Exhale to press back up to start position Training tips – keep abdominals tight throughout, and try to keep back straight and bottom tight. Hands wider apart work chest more, and hands narrower works triceps more. Aim for 2 sets of 10 - 15 Training tips – keep knees in line with second toes, be careful knees do not roll in. Keep abdominals drawn in throughout, and be careful not to arch your back. To progress, hold dumbbells at shoulder height, palms forward, and as you push up from your squat press the dumbbells up into a shoulder press. Build up to 3 sets of 10 – 15 reps



Pilates toe taps
Lie on your back and lift one leg at a time until your knee is above your hip and bent to 90 degrees Place fingertips behind your ears, and flex head and shoulders forwards Exhale to lower one foot towards the floor, inhale to return. Keep head and shoulders lifted Training tips – as you progress, straighten leg out as you lower it. Only lower the leg as far as you can keep neutral spine and stomach flat. Repeat x 16-20. These can be performed 5 times per week

The plank
Place your hands under your shoulders, and keeping your back straight, extend your legs out behind you, supporting your body weight on your hands and toes, and hold for several seconds. Keep abdominals engaged as you lift your right arm out to the right side, turning your hips to the right until you are in a side plank. Rotate hips and arm back to the centre into plank position and repeat on the left side. Training tips – this is quite advanced, so stick with the first position until you are strong enough to turn and balance. Keep head in line with the spine, and maintain neutral spine. Do not allow your bottom to poke up in the air! Hold in plank for 5 seconds and move to side plank for 5 seconds. Build up to hold plank for 10 seconds.

The Pilates Criss Cross
Lie on your back and bring shoulders and legs up as before Place fingers behind ears and keep elbows wide Exhale and peel left shoulder across towards right hip as you extend the right leg out – (as low as you can keep stomach flat and spine in neutral) Inhale back to centre and exhale in opposite direction. Repeat 10 slow repetitions followed by 10 fast, but controlled repetitions. Training tips – Try to keep stomach flat throughout, and move in a controlled manner – don’t let hips rock as you move. Imagine you are folding your shoulder towards the opposite hip. Perform 8- 10 times slow and controlled then 8 – 10 times slightly faster. Blow air through lips for each exhale. Interval training uses short bursts of intense CV work with short recoveries in between – for example, jogging for 2 minutes then fast running for 45 seconds and repeating for 20 minutes. This is fantastic as it gives you a greater calorie burn during and after exercise. ‘EPOC’ is post exercise calorie consumption, and intense exercise has been shown to raise the metabolism for up to 12 hours after training. Aim to make one of your CV sessions an interval session per week. Your general CV sessions should last 35 – 45 minutes and you should aim to work out three times per week. Your intensity needs to be maintained to see results, (no reading ‘Ultra Fit’ while you cycle!) If time is restricted, you can split your session into two sessions of 20 minutes a day instead of one session of 40 minutes. This has also been shown to increase overall ‘EPOC’. In summary, a highly effective regime for mid-section fat loss needs to include good quality resistance training, performed twice a week, combined with three CV sessions, one of which should include some interval training. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down before each session, and always stretch your body out after training. UF

Coming next issue…… ‘how to give your bottom a cheeky lift!’ we show you great ways to lift and shape your butt!



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