Most women who attend Pilates, yoga, or barre classes aim to have a body similar to their female instructors, those with toned abs, and perfectly skinny but strong arms and legs. If they’re on the heavy side however, it takes a longer time to achieve this result, even if they’ve been attending classes regularly. They begin to wonder if they can actually have that kind of body.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to change the body’s bone structure, frame size, and the place it stores fats and muscles. Of course, it doesn’t mean there’s no hope. DNA has a say on the way you look, but with proper diet and exercise, you will be able to alter your physique.
How can you get that ballerina form?
According to experts, lifting weights have a big impact on muscle definition. The trick is to involve more resistance in the exercise regimen because it sculpts the body better than simply running or doing barre workouts, which only involves body weight and/or very light hand weights.
If you’re a fan of Zumba, yoga, or Pilates, it would be good to include exercises where you need to lift heavy weights as well. No need to worry about the huge dumbbells used by male bodybuilders. You can choose the ones that are comfortable enough.
For example, grab a 15-pound dumbbell, curl your bicep, and then stop halfway. If you can hold it for at least four seconds, then you’ve find the right one. Even a 10-pound weight will be effective, depending on the technique and the number of repetitions. Also, the goal is to simply sculpt the body and not bulk up like a weightlifter. These are some of the exercises that you can do:
- 5 sets, 5 reps of barbell squat. Start with the barbell placed shoulder-high on the traps. Face forward, with the chest up. Spread the legs hip-width apart, and then flex the knees down until the lower legs contact the upper legs, and then reverse the motion. Remember that the torso should be upright as possible, and refrain from moving the hips back too much.
- 3 sets, 8 to 12 reps of lying leg curl. On the leg curl machine, lie face down. Be sure to adjust the lever so it will fit your height; don’t use too much weight; use a machine that’s angled and not flat, since this is better for hamstrings recruitment. Grab the side handles, and keep your torso flat and your toes straight. Curl your legs up as you exhale and then hold it for a second (do not lift the upper legs from the pad).
- 3 sets, 8 to 12 reps of dips-chest version. Find a parallel bar. For the starting position, hold the body arms-length above the bar, with the arms locked. Slowly lower yourself downwards, the body leaning forward at a 30-degree angle, and the elbows slightly flared out (breath-in while doing this). You will feel a stretch in your chest, which is a signal to hold it for two seconds and then lift the body to the starting position.
- 5 sets, 5 reps of Romanian deadlift. With palms facing down, hold the bar at hip level. The starting position would need you to bend the knees slightly, back arched, and shoulders pulled back. Move your butt backwards as the bar is being lowered (look forward and the bar should be kept close to the body). Once it reaches the level just below the knee, stand up tall by driving your hips slightly forward.
Pilates, Yoga, Barre.
Lifting heavy weights does not mean you should leave your first loves behind. If you workout in a gym like David Barton Gym, you’re lucky because they have great machines, dedicated trainers, and Pilates sessions. Exercises like Pilates are also beneficial for bodybuilding, although they are different from traditional strength training. Furthermore, since these do not promote quick muscle gain, they will make you look leaner if you started out curvy or chubby.
Bodybuilding professionals remind their clients that genetics limit the changes of the body. Also, if the goal is to gain more weight in the arms or thighs, running and light exercises are not going to help. They are great in toning muscles, though the results may not come immediately. Perform weight-lifting exercises to develop a tougher-looking physique. The good thing about developing lean muscles is that it burns fats quickly, so training to get bigger muscles is highly recommended by experts.