Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Weight Gain and Slack Muscles

Weight Gain and Slack Muscles 

Man with belly fat from freedigitalphotos.net
For me muscle toning is as important as weight loss. I want the weight to go from my problem areas. I want to lose the fat but I also want to tone up my slack muscles as I go along. Right now I look too much like the guy in the picture.

I'm not one for fierce aerobic exercise although I do incorporate mild aerobic exercise like walking, swimming and dancing into my life.

What is working for me is adapting exercises into stretching and slimming exercises that are more suited to my abilities.  There is some Hatha Yoga in there, some Tai Chi, both of which I practiced and taught for many years, plus some fitness exercises culled for various sources.  The aim is to get those slack muscles moving, to tone them up and subsequently get into shape and generally feel better.

The Human Muscular System

Female muscular system from freedigitalphotos.net

Don't panic I am not going into details, there are lots of places on-line you can check out if you want more information - Better Health being one that springs to mind. I just want you to show you the complexity of muscles.  Some are straight, some criss-cross the body and for every muscle you contract you relax another. You can't really isolate just one group of muscles to work at a time because they are so connected. But you can concentrate on certain trouble areas.

Problem Areas 

1. The abdomen. For most of us that first and foremost means in the abdomen. There are two lots of muscles there to think about, the straight muscle that goes from your ribs to your pubis, the rectus adbominus, and the oblique muscles on either side of the body. There are other deeper muscles too that are even more difficult to get moving. Together these form what you are often called the core muscles and they are essential for most of the things you put your body through - for example they support the back and spine with every movement you make and every position you adopt. 
Don't think this is about getting a six-pack - you have to be really thin and really fit for that but honestly do you want one? What it is about is getting rid of belly fat and toning those muscles.

2. The Hips, Thighs and Bottom. I'm not going into details - we all know these are areas we want to work on. Take a look at Wiki or Inner Body - for more information. For our purposes just note how the muscles twist and cross, how some are deeper than others. Once again I am aiming at getting muscles movement if only in a limited fashion - it all counts.

3.  Chest and Arms. You have all heard of pecs - those chest muscles body builders work on to bulk up. We aren't interested in that, we are only interested in toning them to the point where we are comfortable and we help get rid of underlying fat. That goes for the arms too.  More than anything we are aiming of getting rid or at least reducing those butterfly wings we all end up. 

Protect your Back

This is my mantra and it should become yours. As I said before, all muscles depend on others and you cannot move without the muscles in your back being involve. With all your dips and hollows as well as the fact you have probably been inactive for some time, your back is vulnerable. In my toning exercises I take care to ensure my back isn't being strained. You will see I tell you how to do each exercise without strain so pay attention to the advice. We are just moving - not straining, not jerking. Make every move you make slow and smooth and stop at the point when you feel that is the limit of your range of movement. Do not exceed it, that will come on its own as you get better at it. Just be patient. 

My Toning Exercises

I do about 10 minute stretching in the morning in bed - I'll show you that next and I do some yoga at night before bedtime.  But otherwise I incorporate small movements throughout the day. I'll show you some for doing at your desk, while you are waiting in a queue, when you are doing chores. None of them take long, none of them are strenuous but they all move muscles. 

Over the next few weeks I am going to share how to effectively tone and slim with these ways to move muscle:
  1. by simple stretching
  2. by stretch and hold
  3. by small repetitive movements
So - I hope you join me. 


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