Combining exercises for that extra push
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WHEN you want to ensure that your whole package is fit and ready and toned, full-body exercises are the answer. Targeting the entire body's range, these exercises are ideal for women who want to get toned all over, without focusing on any one problem area.

Personal trainer Demario Johns says whether you want firmer glutes and thighs or toned arms and stomach, these full body exercises will ensure that your whole package is in perfect condition. Combine them with others, and you literally will have a winning formula for achieving the body that you want.

"These will yield you all-over results in no time, and for many of the target areas, you won't even realise that they're being worked on until you stand in front of the mirror and see the changes," he said.

He said these include combinations of:

Squats and push-ups

Start with your arms outstretched, then lower your body into a sitting position or below 90 degrees, then go back to a stand. Complete three to four sets of 12 repetitions. This will target the thighs and glutes and encourage all-over strengthening of the body. Afterwards, add some push-ups by lying face down, push yourself up on both arms, then lower your body back to the floor. Complete three to five sets of 10 repetitions. This exercise targets the chest, arms, and core; however, it is a good full-body workout because it involves using a large number of muscles. In addition, this exercise encourages the muscles to work together.

Deadlifts and clean and press

Start by standing with your legs shoulder-width apart, close to your dumbbell or barbell on the floor. Lift weight to a standing position while keeping your spine and back neutral. Complete three to four sets of 12 repetitions. This is a strength exercise which engages the major muscle groups all over the body, including those in the lower back.

Add in the clean and press by placing your feet shoulder-width apart and standing so that your shins are roughly two inches away from a loaded barbell. Push your hips back and grab the barbell so your palms are facing your body, and your hands are shoulder-width apart. Keep your butt down and your arms fully extended. Then, keeping your core tight, drive through your heels to lift the bar up while keeping your chest tall. Once the bar passes your knees, explosively extend the ankles, knees, and hips. As the bar rises, shrug your shoulders and continue to lift the bar, keeping it as close to your body as possible. When the bar hits peak height, dip your knees, drop under the bar, and rotate your elbows underneath it to catch the bar. Then stand up tall and press the bar overhead until your elbows are completely locked out, then return to the starting position.

This routine mainly works the muscles in your shoulders, as well as your triceps, middle and lower back abdominals, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.

"You can also combine any other set of activities to give you the best results, even something as simple as jumping jacks, then transitioning to sit-ups. The aim is to not only concentrate on one area, but to be diverse and keep things interesting and exciting," he said.


Have you managed to transform your body through weight gain or weight loss? Want to share your story with us? E-mail allwoman


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