CAP IT WITH CAR­DIO

Women's Health (South Africa) - - YOUR BODY -

Add in any of these aer­o­bic work­outs once or twice a week for even bet­ter re­sults HIKE UP A HILL. Whether it’s ma­nip­u­lated on the tread­mill or au na­turel on a trail, walk­ing on an in­cline in­creases ac­ti­va­tion of pretty much ev­ery mus­cle in your legs. Ob­vi­ously, the steeper the in­cline, the harder your legs have to work – but re­search in­di­cates that a nine-per­cent gra­di­ent sparks some se­ri­ous ac­tion (we’re talk­ing six times more ac­ti­va­tion for your ham­strings and three times for your glutes than walk­ing on level ground). CARRY SOME­THING. All it takes is walk­ing with a heavy ob­ject in one hand at your side – like a ket­tle­bell, dumb­bell or sand­bag – to stress your bot­tom half and sculpt flat­ter abs (the mus­cles there jump in to pre­vent your torso from be­ing dragged down by the load), says Newell. Find the heav­i­est weight you can carry safely (with a tall back and no pain) for 25 me­tres (roughly the length of a ten­nis court), then sub­tract eight ki­los and per­form three or four 25-me­tre walks on each side, rest­ing 60 sec­onds in be­tween. Each week, in­crease the load by at least two ki­los. EM­BRACE THE SPRINT. If you want to boost your mus­cles for heavy strength work­outs, you need to re­fine your fast-twitch mus­cle fi­bres, which pro­vide ex­plo­sive power, says Boyce. Swap any steady-state car­dio (a run, the stair step­per etc) for in­ter­vals: sprint all out for 20 sec­onds, re­cover for 60, re­peat seven more times.

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