Some people train for health, some people train for performance and some people train for appearance. Vanity aside, training for appearance is a realistic option. Everyone has a body part that they wish was bigger or smaller. If you plan to train for appearance then remember some
important health and safety guidelines:
• Training opposing muscle groups unevenly can lead to postural and functional deficiencies.
• Health should be the number-one priority with an exercise program and all exercise has an element of risk.
• There is a limit to how much you can vary your appearance. Genetics will always be an overriding determinant of your appearance.
The following are some ‘cosmetic fitness’ suggestions for training outdoors as the summer months approach. Break down your program into body parts: legs, back, chest and abdominals.
Legs: stair running
By running stairs you will pace a higher load on the hamstring, gluteal muscles and calves. Making your way back downhill slowly will load the quadriceps ensuring an all-round leg workout. Try doing normal running or walking intervals with some variations as you advance.
Back: reverse flyes
It’s difficult to train your back without heading to the gym, but to add some definition to your trapezius and rhomboids (the major muscles between your shoulder blades) try a reverse fly and extension.
Lie face down on a bench, raise your arms out to your sides, then move your arms in an arc above your head. Reverse the movement back to the starting position. For a more advanced workout use some dumbbells for extra resistance.
There is really no better all-round exercise than the push-up when training outdoors. Place your hands shoulder width or slightly wider with your wrists slightly above the nipple line but below your shoulders. If you wish to focus more on your chest muscles, place your hands a little wider and move
your elbows away from the body as you lower yourself.
To focus more on the triceps bring your hands a little closer to your body and keep your elbows close to your body as you lower yourself to the ground. Beginners should try push-ups from the knees. If this is too difficult try push ups on a raised bench with feet on the floor or against a wall
(the more upright you are the easier the push up will be. Advanced trainers should try a full length push up raising one leg in the air to increase the load on the upper body.
While defined abdominals is appealing to many people, the most significant effect that abdominals have on our appearance is in regards to posture. Try the following sit-up variation to assist you with walking and sitting tall.
Lie flat on the floor, sit up and raise one knee to your chest, meeting as your torso and thigh are both almost vertical. Focus on staying as tall as possible without crumbling your posture. Raise your straight leg at the same time so that your heel is just off the ground. Lower to the ground and repeat. Try 8-10 repetitions on each leg. For advanced trainers, try 2 legs at a time. Beginners should complete the leg movements as above without the sit up.
You should always seek the advice of a registered fitness professional before undertaking any program.Visit your local gym for the personalised guidance you require. bella
Jarrat Wood is a personal trainer and the gym manager at Regenesis Fitness in Edgecliff, Sydney. For more information call 02 9363 0376 or visit www.regenesisfitness.com.au