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Women and exercise

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Women generally have different goals than men when they start an exercise program. Men want bigger biceps and washboard abs, while women want trim legs, a firm butt, and no arm waddle. Here are some proven exercises to help women, and men, in these areas.

Legs

To firm, shape, and strengthen the legs, do bodyweight squats using a Tabata Protocol tempo, which is designed to improve anaerobic and aerobic conditioning. Perform squats for 20 seconds at a quick pace, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Perform 8 repetitions. When performing squats, keep back straight, let the knees naturally move forward over the toes without forcing them to stay behind the toes, lower the body until thighs are parallel to the floor, and don’t let the knees move inward on the upward movement.

Glutes

To firm and shape the butt, lie on your back with your feet resting on a stability ball or a bench. Arms may rest as wide on the floor as you need for stability. Squeeze your butt cheeks together and bridge your midsection upward on your shoulders forming a straight line from your chest to your feet. Hold the position for a 2-count and then lower the butt back to the floor. Rest for 2-counts and repeat. Repeat 10 times. To increase the effects, cross your arms across your chest.

Triceps

To stop bat wings from flapping, use any type of triceps extensions where the upper arm is held in a vertical position using resistance or weights. An easy method to use is to use rubber tubing. Put one foot in the center of the tube with the other foot in front of it. Bring the handles around behind your head and grab both handles in one hand. With the upper arm vertical, pull the handles upward into a straight-arm overhead press. Use a tube strength that will allow you to do about 12 reps.

If you have no tubes or weights, triceps dips are also effective. Sit on a strong, stable chair or bench. Place your hands on the edge of the bench, palms facing backward. Support your weight on your arms and slide your feet forward to shift more weight to the arms; the more forward you slide the feet the more weight is shifted to the arms, so adjust the feet to whatever weight you can handle. Now bend your arms at the elbows and lower your butt toward the floor. Go as low as you can comfortably and then press back up, concentrating on the upper arms. Repeat as desired.

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