Weight loss has become a widely prevalent fad today. While people work out to reduce body fat, it is not sufficient to stop there. This is because once the fat in the body gets reduced, it leaves flabby skin behind. Though the muscles are freed from fat, but they are still not toned. Hence, achieving a weight loss marks the end of one journey and the beginning of another. Here are some exercises that you can include in your post-weight loss regimen in order to gain muscle tone and make your skin come alive.
Modified push ups
The best way to exercise the muscles in the chest region and the arms is by doing push ups. While normal push ups exercise the entire body, this modified variant helps concentrate on the sagging skin below the arms. To begin with, get onto all fours, with your body weight concentrated upon your hands and knees. Rest your palms completely on the ground. Now, ensuring that your back is straight, push up with your arms till they are completely extended. Slowly, lower the body till you touch the floor. Repeat this for 10-15 times. Once you are able to do this, you can move onto regular push ups.
Pull ups concentrate on toning the latissimus dorsi muscles which are located on either side of the back. The other muscles in the upper back area and the shoulders too will get toned. Locate a firm bar which can take your body weight and hang downwards from it, using your hands. The bar should be sufficiently high and your legs should not touch the ground as you hang from it. Without swinging your legs, try to pull yourself up the bar, till your chin is just above that. It will be difficult in the beginning, so pull yourself up till the extent possible. Gradually keep increasing the extent of the pull up. Then, slowly let yourself down to your original position. Repeat a few times daily.
The name itself suggests the benefit of this exercise. Once you have undergone a weight-loss regimen, there is a lot of sagging and hanging skin around the stomach region. Tightening this area is very important as the fat usually concentrates around the belly and results in a lot of sagging skin. Lie down on your back with your knees bent and with your feet on the ground. Your hands should be either across your chest or behind the head. Using the muscles of your abdomen, pull your shoulders to about 6 inches from the ground. Slowly return to the prostrate position and repeat the entire procedure. Do it till you feel a tightening pulling sensation from the abdomen region. Do not do this exercise after meals.
After the stomach, the buttocks are the most prone area for the accumulation of fat. This means, once you have thinned down, toning up the gluts is of paramount importance. Squats help in toning the muscles of the buttocks and also those of the lower back and the upper legs. Stand with your feet spaced slightly more than your shoulder width. Flex your hips and knees and lower your body till your thighs are parallel to the ground. Raise yourself back to the standing position. The hands should either rest on your hips or should be stretched out forwards. The key to success of this exercise is to do it slowly. The slower it is done, the more the muscles get toned.
This is a wholesome exercise that tones up several muscles in the body. Lie flat on your back and press the lower back onto the floor, or on your exercise mat (the latter is preferable). Place your hands behind your head and interlock your fingers. Raise your knees to your chest and start cycling in the air, in a rhythmic motion. As you continue cycling, engage the abdominal muscles by doing crunches and touching your right knee to your left elbow. This will help tone the sides of your tummy. Continue to perform this exercise for about 60 seconds and take a 30 seconds break before repeating. Repeat the cycle for about 3-4 times daily.
The biceps on the arms can be brought to shape through curls. You will need a pair of dumbbells as the props for this exercise. Stand and grip a dumbbell with both hands ( or a dumbbell in each hand depending on your comfort). In the resting position, place the hands in front of the thighs. Place the palms facing away from the body. Now, flex the arms so that the dumbbell(s) are near your shoulders. Once the flexing is done to your maximum, release the arms back to the resting position. You can gradually increase the weight of the dumbbells in order to improve muscle tone. Gradual build up is the key to this exercise. Do not overdo it. If you face any discomfort, stop doing it immediately.
The calf muscles which are located on the back side of your lower legs, play a vital role in locomotion and are well built. The bane of well-built muscles is that they easily become centers of fat accumulation. Once you complete your weight-loss program, here is a simple exercise to gain calf-muscles toned. Stand, holding the dumbbells by your side. Place your toes on a sturdy surface which is one inch higher than the level of your heel. Now, raise your heels as high as possible and balance yourself on your toes. Return to the original position and repeat. You will feel a stretching sensation in your calf muscles. Do not over-exert yourself or else you may get a muscle pull or catch.
This is a good way to tone up the region around the shoulder joint: another place where fat often accumulates. It is a pretty simple exercise too and it involves the use of a pair of dumbbells. Choose dumbbells of a weight that you can easily carry. Stand straight and hold a dumbbell in each hand, by your sides. Slowly raise the arms to the sides maintaining a good standing posture throughout the exercise. Raise your arms till they are in level with the shoulders. Hold them there for about 2 seconds and then slowly get them back to position zero. Repeat about 10-15 times.
Be sure that you will have a lot of sagging on and around the thighs post your weight-loss regimen. They require targeted toning and the inner thigh lifts do just that. Lie down on your right side and extend your right leg straight out and keep your toe pointed. Bend your left leg and plant the left foot in front of the right knee. Use your right palm as a pillow under the head. In this position, raise the right leg about 6 inches off the ground, hold for a while and gently bring it downwards. Breathe out slowly as your raise the leg and breathe in as you lower it. Repeat the same about 8-10 times and then do it for the left leg too.
Whether one wants to reduce weight, tone muscles after a weight loss or simply remain fit, there is no better exercise than running. It is the best exercise for overall calorie-burning, fat-melting and stamina-building. It is the best for toning muscles and removing the sagging skin from the waist. While running, you can improve its impact by alternating between high intensity and low intensity running. Add hills and slopes to your workout. Just remember to wear your shoes and proper costume. While running, if you get tired and become breathless, do not come to a halt. Continue to jog to keep your motor whirring.
Tuck jumps are polymeric exercises that involve bursts of energy. Their high intensity helps in faster muscle-toning as well as calorie-burning. This exercise is best for building the muscles of the abdomen and the legs. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Cross your arms at your chest or place them on your sides. Lower your body into a squat and then explode into a jump. While in the air, tuck your knees into your chest as far as possible. Land back into the squat position and launch into another tuck jump. A variant of this exercise is to leap forward with each jump. Do this exercise in an open area only. However, do not attempt it in case you have cardiac complaints.