The Olympics have left us desperate for killer abs and thighs of steel. So we asked a team of professionals how to go about turning our wobbly reality into the body of a champion
We asked the Register of Exercise Professionals for their top tips on how to get an athlete’s body…
Jessica Ennis’s body is a testament to the hard work she puts in training for the gruelling heptathlon.
But you don’t need to be a world champion athlete to have abs you can be proud to show off.
High activity, calorie burning exercises like brisk walking, swimming, dance and running are the best way to start burning fat and can have a great effect on the body. It doesn’t matter how toned your abdominals are, if there is a layer of fat over them you won’t be able to achieve the flat, toned tummy which you desire.
Beth needs immense upper body strength to be able to complete her routines on the uneven bars, on which she won Bronze last week.
Tricep dips are a fantastic way to tone up and strengthen your arms and can be done at home off the edge of your bed, or a chair.
Here’s how you do them – place your feet hip-width apart, keeping your back straight and knees bent. Lower yourself down until your arms are bent at 90? degrees, then push back up until your arms are straight, but not locked.
The cyclist needs plenty of stamina to be able to cycle sprint. But what can we do about our lazy ways?
Stamina is built up over time, so begin by choosing some exercises that you can do every day. Increase your running regime by half a mile each week, or double the number of repetitions in your bodyweight training. Your endurance will really add up and you’ll begin to notice a difference in just a few weeks.
Silver medallist Zara Phillips has certainly held her nerve on her horse, High Kingdom, but she’s also shown incredible poise and posture.
Resistance and balance exercises are great for toning up. Exercises like tricep dips which involve lifting your own bodyweight can also help to improve posture whilst strengthening and protecting the skeletal system.
Good posture starts with a strong core, which includes the abdominals, lower back, obliques and hips. Try some toning exercises like basic sit-ups or plank-holds on a regular basis, to strengthen these muscles. As your upper back becomes stronger and chest becomes more flexible, your shoulders naturally pull back – a sign of improved posture
James Mitchell, founder and lead-trainer of new personal training practice Six3Nine says: ‘The British beach volleyball team has certainly raised the profile of the sport in the UK, as well the stakes when it comes to toned behinds. To firm up your glutes start with some step lunges and then move on to jumping scissor lunges; they?re going to burn but they?ll absolutely set you on your way to a perfectly pert derriere’.
British rower Helen Glover was the first British woman to win an Olympic rowing event with her partner Heather Stanning.
Rowing is a sport that uses large muscle groups in both your lower and upper body so it really is a great total body workout.
It’s also a great leg toner, using your calves, hamstrings, gluteal and quadriceps muscles all at once. The drive phase of a rowing stroke is an excellent way to target almost all of the muscles in your legs.
James Mitchell says: ‘For a strong and defined back, try a set of lateral pull-downs with a weight you can only lift about 10 times. Doing this will help emphasise this muscle group and bring some shape, strength and definition to your back’.
If you want to build your arms like our Olympic rowers then why not try alternating dumbbell bicep curls with bench dips: choose a dumbbell heavy enough to tire you out at around 12 reps and conduct a set of bicep curls, then start some tricep dips on a chair, continuing until you really can’t do anymore; repeat the combination three times.
Nicola’s historic gold medal in female boxing is bound to inspire people to take up a sport they may not have considered before. To fight hard for even one round, a boxer needs to develop endurance – after all it can be exhausting to exchange punches!
Nicola would have trained with distance running to build her endurance. Interval training, where you jog, run and then sprint for 20-second intervals over the course of two or three minutes depending on your fitness level, is a great way to build yours. Repeating this routine will build your endurance over time. If you are new to exercise experiment with pace, you could still do interval training by varying the speed of walking, you don’t have to jog and run.
If you?re looking for a personal trainer to help you achieve the body you want, or if you want to check that your class instructor is suitably qualified to help you reach your fitness goals, search online by name or area at www.exerciseregister.org.