ACHIEVING the Beyoncé hips may not be every woman's dream, but for those who desire an hourglass figure, finding the perfect formula for sculpting wider hips without packing on extra pounds may feel like an impossible task. But while it might be difficult, it's not impossible, says Gisel Harrow, personal trainer and fitness instructor at Hard End Fitness Factory on Ardenne Road.
Harrow noted that these women's dreams can be realised with the right combination of the right foods and exercise.
“While you may not be able to change your bone structure or modify your genes, you can influence how your muscles are sculpted if wider hips are your dream. However, it will take some time and plenty willpower plus targeted exercise routines and eating well to nurture these wider hips,” Harrow said.
She pointed out that the best strategy is to always start light, preferably with the use of a pair of light/medium weight dumbbells. However, in the case where you are a beginner, she encourages that you use only your body weight until you feel comfortable. In addition to this piece of advice, Harrow recommends a list of targeted routines below:
1. Dumbbell side lunge
Start by standing straight, feet together, with a light to medium weight dumbbell in each hand. Leading with your right foot, begin to step out wide, directly to your right. Bend your knee and push your hips back. Now drop your arms so that they are sandwiching your right leg. Keep your gaze forward and prepare to return to the start position. Push off with your right foot and shift your weight to your left leg, returning to standing at the centre. Do 12 repetitions on each side for three sets.
2. Dumbbell side abductions
Start with your feet together with a light to medium weight dumbbell in your right hand. Keep your right leg straight and begin to raise your leg directly out to your side. Allow the weight of the dumbbell to rest against your leg. Go slow and controlled, as high as you can take your leg. Now slowly return to the centre and repeat. Complete 12 to 15 repetitions on each side for three sets.
3. Hip raises/bridges
Start by lying on the floor. Keep your back straight and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle with your feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms straight at your sides with your palms facing down. Now breathe in and push through your heels while you lift your hips up by squeezing your glutes, hamstrings and pelvic floor. Rest your upper body on your back and shoulders, forming a straight line down to your knees. Pause for one to two seconds at the top and return to the starting position. Complete 15 repetitions for three sets.
Start in an upright position with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your toes should point out slightly. Bend your knees and push your hips and butt back as if you're about to sit in a chair. Keep your chin tucked and neck neutral, then drop downwards until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Be sure to keep your weight in your heels and knees bowed slightly outward. Extend your legs and return to an upright position. Complete 15 reps for three sets.
5. Sumo walk
Start by assuming a squat position with your arms comfortably bent in front of you. Maintain the squat position and step to the right. For an intense burn, stay low for as long as you can. Walk 10 steps to the right, then 10 steps back to the left. Do three sets.
6. Donkey kicks
Begin by assuming the starting position — go on all fours with your knees hip-width apart, hands under your shoulders, and neck and spine neutral. Brace your core and begin to lift your left leg. Keep your knee bent, with your foot staying flat and hinging at the hip. Use your glutes to press your foot directly towards the ceiling. Now squeeze when you reach the top and make sure your pelvis and working hip stay pointed toward the ground. Return to the starting position and complete 20 repetitions on each leg for three sets.