Mus­cle Guide

Here’s what you can do to get the body most de­sired for...

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

types of Pilates and their ben­e­fits Work­outs to build a sexy torso

Ig­nore the mir­ror. Your pos­te­rior mus­cles are more im­por­tant than your an­te­rior ones for build­ing the clas­sic V. Your work­out must add size and strengthen the lower back and the smaller back mus­cles that serve as sec­ondary movers. A few ex­er­cises that work the pos­te­rior del­toids and trapez­ius mus­cles will pre­vent sta­bi­liz­ing mus­cles from tir­ing out. The stronger your sta­bi­liz­ers are, the longer – and harder – you’ll be able to train your larger back mus­cles.

The WORK­OUT This rou­tine hits ev­ery mus­cle group that adds to your V – pri­mar­ily your latis­simus dorsi and shoul­der mus­cles. It also blends in a few ex­er­cises to con­di­tion your ab­dom­i­nal and spinal mus­cles so that the nar­row por­tion of your V shape is just as strong as the top half. Shoot for twice a week, but if you feel weaker dur­ing your sec­ond work­out than dur­ing your first, drop back to once a week. Re­cov­ery is key. In the fourth week, re­duce the amount of weight you lift by 30% and per­form a higher num­ber of rep­e­ti­tions. This fo­cuses the needed at­ten­tion on smaller mus­cles while giv­ing your larger mus­cles a well-de­served break. Cap­ping off your four-week plan this way en­sures that you’ll be able to train longer and harder for weeks to come.

The Mus­cles THAT FORM The ‘V’ Sculpt­ing a torso that’s wide on top and nar­row at the bot­tom re­quires a work­out that tar­gets the en­tire back. The largest mus­cles of the back – the latis­simus dorsi – wrap around the sides of the up­per body just below the arms. The lats give the torso a wider, flared shape. The mid­dle del­toids and trapez­ius add size, while the lower-back mus­cles, rec­tus ab­do­mi­nis and the obliques pro­vide sup­port.

Goal 1: More Power! Your back plays a huge role in how your en­tire body func­tions, be­cause it at­taches to your hips, ab­dom­i­nals, chest, shoul­ders, and neck. Strength­en­ing your back gives you ad­di­tional power in all sports by sta­bi­liz­ing your body to swing or throw harder.

Goal 2: a slim­mer waist­line! Re­shap­ing your up­per body can make you ap­pear slim­mer, even if you haven’t lost an inch around your gut. The ‘V’ starts with a back that flares near the shoul­ders and ta­pers at the waist. Throw a pair of broad shoul­ders into the il­lu­sion and your stom­ach prac­ti­cally dis­ap­pears.

Goal 3: Bet­ter pos­ture! Be­ing able to stand up straight and hold your stom­ach in re­quires strong, re­silient mus­cles along your spine and in your lower back. The stronger these mus­cles are, the eas­ier if is for you to main­tain good pos­ture through­out the day and dur­ing any ac­tiv­ity.

Goal 4: speed to Burn! Sprint­ers know the im­por­tance of strong back mus­cles. Swing­ing your arms helps your legs pro­pel your body, but it’s your back mus­cles that di­rect your arms, act­ing like rud­ders to con­trol their speed and power.

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