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[WORKOUT] Target those ‘problem areas’

Everyone has that region or body part they wish was a little tighter, rounder, firmer, bigger or smaller. Usually, these areas include the glutes, thighs, stomach and arms. And although it is impossible to spot-reduce when losing body fat, there are some things you can do to tighten up those ‘problem areas’.

This workout, demonstrated by WBFF Pro and Fitness Mag Cover Girl Jenadine Havenga, is designed to target the lower body (legs & bum) and upper body (abs, arms, shoulders). Try it and let us know what you think!

Perform 4 sets of 10 – 12 reps of every workout.

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Step ups

How to do it:

  1. Stand in front of a bench or step that is high enough so that your knee and hip joints are at a 90-degree angle when you step up to ensure the greatest muscle activation. Place your left foot firmly on the step.
  2. Press your left heel into the step and push your body up until your left leg is straight and you’re standing on one leg on the bench, keeping your right foot elevated. Lower your body back down until your foot touches the floor (that’s one repetition). Complete the prescribed number of repetitions with your left leg then do the same number with your right leg.

Barbell squat

How to do it:

  1. To begin, set a bar on a squat rack just below your shoulder level. Load the bar with proper weights, step under the bar, and place the back of your shoulders slightly below the neck under the bar. Hold onto the bar using both arms out across the bar.
  2. Standing with your knees bent slightly, lift the barbell off the rack. Carefully take a step back.3
  3. Position your feet so that they are parallel & shoulder width apart, maintaining a slight bend of the knees. This is your starting position.
  4. Keeping your back straight, slowly bend your knees until your thighs and calves form an angle of slightly less than 90-degrees.
  5. Pushing down into your heels, begin to raise the bar by straightening your legs back to the upright starting position. Repeat.

Bulgarian Split Squat

How to do it:

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at arm’s length next to your sides (or use a barbell like you would during a back squat).
  2. Stand in a staggered stance, your left foot in front of your right. Set your feet 2 to 3 feet apart.
  3. Place just the instep of your back foot on a bench. When you’re doing split squats, the higher your foot is elevated, the harder the exercise. Your front knee should be slightly bent.
  4. Brace your core. Slowly lower your body as far as you can. Your rear knee should nearly touch the floor. Keep your torso as upright as possible and your lower back naturally arched. Pause, then push yourself back up to the starting position as quickly as you can. Complete the prescribed number of reps with your left leg forward, then do the same number with your right foot in front of your left.

Romanian Deadlift 

How to do it:

  1. Put a barbell in front of you on the ground and grab it using a pronated (palms facing down) grip that a little wider than shoulder width.
  2. Bend the knees slightly and keep the shins vertical, hips back and back straight. This will be your starting position.
  3. Keeping your back and arms completely straight at all times, extend your hips as you exhale.
  4. Once you are standing completely straight up, lower the bar by pushing the hips back, only slightly bending the knees, unlike when squatting.

Tip: Take a deep breath at the start of the movement and keep your chest up. Hold your breath as you lower and exhale as you complete the movement.

Caution: This is not an exercise that is recommended for people with lower back problems. Also, it needs to be treated with the utmost respect paying special attention not to round the back forward too much as you move the torso.

Renegade Rows

How to do it:

  1. With 2 dumbbells aligned under your shoulders, position yourself in a plank. Your shoulders should be over your hands and the head should remain in line with the spine in a straight line, no bums in the air, or dipping hips.
  2. With the core fully engaged (pull tummy in, glutes tight, flattening out the lower back), row one dumbbell to the same hip under control, while the other side remains stable.
  3. During this row, try not to let the hips tilt from side to side and use the pulling side only to move the dumbbell – not momentum from the body or hips. Lower the dumbbell under control to its start point, transfer your body weight to balance on the other side and row again.

 

Walking Lunges

How to do it:

  1. Stand with your feet parallel and slightly narrower than shoulder width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand in hammer-grip position, palms facing each other. Keep your arms close to the sides of your body.
  2. Step forward with your left leg until your left foot is approximately two feet from your right foot, keeping your torso upright as you lower your upper body.
  3. Concentrating on using your left heel, push up and forward, returning to your starting stance position. Repeat with your right leg. (Think of this exercise as an etiquette class in which you must balance a book on the top of your head, this will ensure that you attain proper upper-body posture while executing your lunge)

Push Ups

How to do it:

  1. Lie face down (prone) on the floor with hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
  2. Raise your body up off the floor by extending the arms with your body staying straight and tight. This is the top position.
  3. Lower your body towards the floor by bending your arms. Do not let your elbows flair out to the side. Once you get close to the floor, contract your pecs and push yourself back up until your arms are fully extended. This is one rep. If your strength does not allow this, then perform a pushup with your knees keeping contact with the floor at all times.

 

Plie Squat with dumbbell

How to do it:

  1. Stand with your feet turned out slightly and wider than shoulder width apart and your knees bent slightly, grasping a single dumbbell at the base with both hands.
  2. Slowly bend the knees and lower your legs until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  3. Slowly rise back up to the starting position and repeat. (This exercise can really work those inner and outer thigh muscles that do not receive the attention in a traditional squat)

 Hanging Leg Raises

How to do it:

  1. Hang from a chin-up bar with both arms extended at arms length in top of you using either a wide grip or a medium grip. The legs should be straight down with the pelvis rolled slightly backwards. This will be your starting position.
  2. Raise your legs until the torso makes a 90-degree angle with the legs. Exhale as you perform this movement and hold the contraction for a second or so.
  3. Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in. This is one rep.

Core Stabilisation

How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent. Hold a weight plate straight out in front of your chest. Lean back so your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor, & brace your core. (Don’t round your lower back, your feet should be flat on the floor)
  2. Without moving your torso, rotate your arms to the left as far as you can. Pause for 3 seconds. (Keep your core braced, your arms should stay straight)
  3. Rotate your arms to the right as far as you can. Pause again, and then continue to alternate back & forth for 20 seconds. Work your way up to 30 seconds. (Hold your torso in place, your belly button should point straight at all times)

 

Hip Crossover

How to do it:

  1. Lie face up on the floor with your arms straight out from your sides, palms facing up. Raise your legs off the floor so that your hips and knees are bent 90-degrees. (Your thighs should be perpendicular to the floor, your lower legs should be parallel to the floor)
  2. Brace your abs and lower your legs to the right as far as you comfortably can without lifting your shoulders off the floor.
  3. Reverse the movement all the way to the left. Continue to alternate back and forth. (Don’t allow your shoulders to raise off the floor, keep your core braced)

Remember, none of the above will change your body if you do not stick to a healthy, balanced diet. And if you’re looking to get more out of your weight training sessions, try adding in some resistance band work, here’s why)

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Author: Mariska du Plessis

Writer, photographer, videographer and Wellness Blogger.

Follow her on Instagram: @justmariska_