Although, we cannot dictate the body shape our genetics pass down to us, we can make sure that we feel happy and healthy in our skin with the right exercises. Which is why we have Exercise Scientist and Personal Trainer, Victoria Burdon to show us how to target all areas of our body. Most exercises indirectly work more than one muscle group, and getting a full body work-out is key to getting strong and toned all over.
A reverse lunge is a great single leg exercise that targets the legs and glutes all in one. Once you find your balance and nail this exercise with good form, adding weight will further challenge your balance and coordination while forcing you to maintain a strong core.
Standing with feet parallel, step backwards and lunge deeply bringing the back knee to almost touch the ground. Perform 10 slow lunges on each side with control. If you find yourself losing balance, keep the tempo slow, but if you want an extra challenge speed up the exercise or add weights on either side. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps each side. This exercise should be mostly targeting your buttocks and hamstrings, to get the legs and booty looking lean and strong.
This is a great total body exercise that will get your heart rate pumping and will challenge your muscles at the same time! Burpees will work your arms, core, and legs while burning your lungs as well.
Getting your heart rate up high in short bursts will improve your cardio and burn lots of calories to boot! This exercise can be modified to be easier or harder, depending on your fitness level and ability so there’s a version of the burpee for everyone. No excuses to skip these ones!
From a standing position, set the hands onto the ground and either step or jump back into a solid plank position on the hands. Jump the feet back into the hands, stand up, and reach the arms overhead as you jump vertically. Start out working for 20 seconds, resting for 10 seconds and repeat this 3-6 times before breaking. To make this exercise more advanced add a pushup once you hit the plank position or extend the work time from 20 to 30 seconds.
Vix smashing it in her Sydney gym
Having a strong core is essential for good quality movement and maintaining form, and will also lead to a toned looking stomach. V-ups will improve strength and control in your core, which will also protect your back and spine.
Start lying down on your back, and raise both arms above your head. In one simultaneous movement, fold in half at the hips, raising both legs and arms towards each other to make a V shape. Pause for a second with hands reaching towards the ankles, or shins, then slowly lower back to the ground with control. Repeat this movement for 10 reps, 2-3 times.
- To protect the back, make sure the core is engaged throughout the entire movement. Start by pressing the low back down into the ground leaving no gap.
- To modify this exercise you can tuck the knees into the chest rather than keeping them straight, performing a V-tuck.
This is all about the booty. Who doesn’t want a taut buttocks?
This exercise targets your lower body, mainly working your buttocks and inner thighs. It will help improve hip mobility as well due to the wide stance and may be a good option to focus on glute activation.
Start standing tall with the legs in a wider stance than a normal squat, with the toes turned out about 30-45 degrees. Bend the knees, squatting deeply while keeping the knees wide and shins vertical (knees should remain over the ankles). The back should remain relatively vertical as well, with minimal forward motion of the chest. From the bottom of the squat, press the knees outwards as you rise and squeeze the glutes at the top when the hips fully extend back to the starting position.
- If you feel too much of a stretch in the inner thighs, bring the stance closer together. The shins should always remain vertical!
This exercise will also help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which is crucial for women as they approach child bearing age and beyond!
Many women struggle with upper-body strength, which is normal especially when compared to men. This just means it takes a little more work to build up strength in the upper body, but will define the arms in the long run.
Tricep dips are an easy exercise to do anywhere, as long as you have a chair, bench, couch or some surface about knee height.
Start seated with the hands on the edge of the surface, feet flat on the floor and knees bent to a 90 degree angle. Lift your hips off the surface and bend at the elbow, lowering your body until the elbows are bent to a 90 degree angle. Squeezing the elbows towards each other, press the arms into the bench and extend them, as you raise the body back to the start position. Repeat this action slowly doing 3 sets of 10
- You don’t want to be ejecting your body away from the surface, you want to move directly downwards so that your triceps are targeted.
- Making sure the elbows squeeze towards each other will further activate the triceps (and add a bit of difficulty!)