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How To Tone Those Problem Areas In No Time At All!


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You might be fit, have the ideal BMI and even have a great heart rate because you work out regularly. But that doesn’t stop stubborn pockets of fat from accumulating in different areas of your body, does it? Don’t panic, they’re not all that stubborn at all. In fact, a range of exercises can help you target specific target areas of your body to tone up and add the kind of definition you’ve always longed for.

how to get a toned body

We got help from Nike+ Training Club (NTC) Elevated trainer, Swetha Subbiah, who introduced the POPxo team to a range of exercises that target specific problem areas. Using the Nike+ Training Club app, Swetha shows us how to keep every area of the body toned and in top shape. Here, she answers every question about the POPxo team’s problem areas and how to deal with them. We’re ready to get #betterforit, are you?

1. How do I get ripped shoulders without looking bulky?

Shoulders, or deltoids, are broadly made up of three main muscles - the anterior (front), lateral (side) and posterior (rear). In order to get that sculpted look and to avoid injury and posture-related issues in the future, one must work all three muscles (of the shoulder) as well as other body parts like the chest, back, legs, etc. proportionately.

Your training objective should be to work each major muscle group at least once a week but not more than twice in a week. Since your shoulder muscle mainly consists of three smaller muscles, on your shoulder day, be sure to plan for a minimum of three exercises. For best results, I recommend you try out the “Shoulder Ripper” workout, which is a part of the “Get Focused” segment on the NTC app.

how to get a toned body

2. I have a lot of flab on my lower back area and want to get rid of it. Will lower back exercises harm my spine in any way?

In order to eliminate the flab in your lower back (or in any other region of your body), you need to combine exercise with a good calorie-controlled diet. My exercise recommendation would be an “interval training” cardio session which combines a mix of high and low intensity cardio, and lasts anywhere between 20 to 30 mins, at least 2 to 3 times a week; combined with strength training sessions (that addresses all muscle groups) on alternate days.

With regards to lower back exercises, if performed in good form, they will strengthen your lower back region, however, if repeated excessively, could also strain the area. Lower back exercises will not necessarily burn the fat in that region.  

how to get a toned body

3. I want really toned obliques. I have been trying for years. How do I get there?

Your obliques consist of two sets of muscles - 1) external - muscles that are close to the surface and can be felt by placing your hands on the sides of your stomach and 2) internal - muscles which lie below your external obliques. Movements that work the obliques are torso twists and flexing of the torso on either side, plus foot crunches.

For Torso Twists - place your feet a little wider than shoulder distance apart and firmly in the ground, place a stick along your shoulders gripping it on either side with your hands. Without moving your hips twist your torso from side to side for 25 repetitions x 4 sets.

For Foot crunches- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat. Lift your shoulders off the ground (hold that position), keep your arms extended on both sides and reach for your feet by flexing your torso from side to side. Depending on your level of fitness this can be repeated for a minimum of 10 repetitions on either side x 3 sets.

Alternatively, you could also try the “Ab Burner” workout on the NTC app.

how to get a toned body

4. I want to have a lean physique. What should I do to convert the baby fat on my thighs to muscle?

A combination of a good calorie-controlled diet as well as regular exercise are the best ways to achieve a lean physique. My recommendation to lose the fat and build muscle on your thighs is as follows- interval training on your cardio days and a focused leg day as part of your overall strength training program. Try the “Body Sculptor” workout which is a part of the “Get Toned” segment for beginners on the NTC app.

how to get a toned body

5. How can I deal with the cellulite on my butt?

Cellulite is essentially excess fat stored in between muscle tissue and skin. Women are generally more susceptible than men to this condition due to higher levels of estrogen. Regular exercise and sensible eating can greatly contribute toward tackling this issue. A great workout to incorporate as part of your strength training program that focuses on the buttocks is the “Butt Buster” which is a part of the “Get Focused” program on the NTC app.

6. I have a flat but flabby stomach. What should I do?

A combination of a good calorie-controlled diet as well as regular exercise are the best ways to get rid of flab. With regards to exercise, my recommendations are alternate days of strength training which includes a targeted stomach day along with interval training-based cardio sessions. The “Alpha Abs” work out on the NTC app  is an amazing workout to incorporate for your strength training days that specifically targets this area.

7. I’ve found a gorgeous sleeveless dress, but my arms look fat in it. What can I do to lose upper arm fat and make them more shapely?

There are several reasons why one might accumulate upper arm fat. Some of these include inadequate protein intake, lifting very light weights or training at low intensity levels, inadequate sleep, etc. In order to tackle upper arm fat, focus on addressing the issues mentioned above and reducing your stress levels.

With regards to your training program, make sure you’re working out at the optimum intensity level in order to achieve desired results. A program I personally recommend for your arm workout days is the “Sculpted Arms” workout which is a part of the “Get Focused” program on the NTC app.

how to get a toned body

8. I have a wedding in two months and want to wear a backless outfit. I need a toned upper back really quick. What will help?

The “Shaped Back” work out on the NTC app is my #1 recommendation to quickly achieve your desired results. Be sure to address all other muscle groups as well in a proportionate manner to avoid injury and posture-related issues in the future.

About Swetha Subbiah

Swetha is the head trainer at Zela in Bangalore, as well as an NTC Elevated Trainer. Having represented her state in field hockey and at club level in various other sports, sports and fitness have always been a part of her life. She became a fitness instructor to use her passion to transform lives. She loves a good strength training sessions, and nothing does it better for her than the ‘Gladiator’ workout which is part of NTC’s ‘Get Strong’ advanced workouts. Her fitness mantra is ‘Eat Clean, Train Dirty!’. A sneak peak at her gym bag revealed all things training – Nike Zoom Fit Agility training shoes, a Nike Pro Classic sports bra, the Nike Elastika Tank Top and Nike Pro Core Compression training shorts.

how to get a toned body

For more easy tips to get in shape, follow Swetha on Instagram here.

* This is a sponsored post for Nike. Download the Nike+ Training Club app and get working out NOW – no excuses! With training programmes for the newbie, the expert and the fitness fanatic, the app is available for download on iOS and Android devices.
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