Madonna’s abs... Renee Zellweger’s arms... Kylie’s behind... Elle McPherson’s legs...
Ask personal fitness trainers, and they’ll tell you these are among the most-requested body parts at the gym nowadays. And, although we’re each born with a particular shape, good nutrition and the right workout can help you achieve your own version of the fit legs, arms and abs sported by the most talked-about celebrities.
Check out the exercises that can help you get your own star-studded body:
When it comes to great abs, Madonna is at the top of the list. The 44-year-old mother of two is a role model for those who think age and children prevent you from keeping in shape and maintaining a tight, toned midsection!
The secret to flattering abs is good posture and focusing on those muscles while you exercise. By contracting the abdominal muscles, pointing the tailbone towards the floor and keeping your shoulders back and your head balanced on your neck (not leaning forward), you can look and feel taller and slimmer before you’ve counted one sit-up. Ab exercises should target the rectus abdominus (the muscle extending the length of the front of the abdomen) and the internal and external obliques (the muscles extending along the sides of the abdomen at an angle).
1. Ab Crunches (for upper abdominals)
Lie on your back with hands crossed over chest. With feet and hips on the floor, bend knees toward chest. To begin the exercise, lift torso slowly, elevating shoulder blades and moving ribs towards hips, crunching rib cage toward pelvis. Hold for two counts and lower to the starting position. Repeat.
2. Reverse Curl (for lower abdominals)
Begin in the same starting position used for the crunches. Contract abdominal muscles to lift hips off the floor; bring knees toward chest. Concentrate on using abs to lift pelvis toward lower rib cage. Hold for two counts and move hips back to the floor. Repeat.
3. Diagonal Crunches (for oblique muscles)
Begin in the same starting position used for the crunches. Raise shoulders, moving one shoulder (one side of chest) toward the opposite knee. Hold for two counts. Return shoulder to the floor and repeat. Switch sides. (Do not touch elbow to knee.)
For each exercise, aim for one to three sets of 10 to 20 repetitions, and rest for one minute between sets.
Renee Zellweger gets extra brownie points for packing on a stone to play Bridget Jones, then returning to super-fitness after filming. Great arms, like hers, require attention to both your biceps and triceps. The triceps are located at the back of the upper arm and are used whenever you push something, i.e. a baby pram or shopping trolley. The biceps, located at the front of the upper arm, are used for lifting light objects. The key is finding the right amount of resistance to reach fatigue in 6 to 20 repetitions.
1. Alternating Bicep Curl
Hold weights at sides with palms facing the body. Contract abs and squeeze shoulder blades together; align elbows and wrists with shoulders. Bend arm at the elbow while turning wrists outward until palms are facing the ceiling. Lift weight towards the shoulder without moving upper arm. Stop the motion when the weight meets the shoulder; hold for one count. Return weight to starting position. Repeat.
2. Triceps Kick Back
With left leg forward and slightly bent, place left hand on thigh for balance. Hold weight in right hand, elbow bent at a 90-degree angle, at waist height. Without moving the upper arm, straighten the arm at the elbow, so that the weight goes backward. Hold; return to starting position. Repeat. Switch sides.
For each exercise, aim for one to two sets of 10 to 20 repetitions, and rest for one minute between sets.
Elle McPherson is known for her shapely legs. To achieve well-shaped and toned legs, combine regular cardiovascular workouts with resistance exercises using specific upper and lower leg muscles such as the thighs (which include the hamstrings and quadriceps) and calves. This is where you get lucky: Lunges and squats are the ultimate lower body exercises, training every major muscle in the upper leg and calf as well as the muscle in your butt at once. In other words, a terrific time saver!
1. Lunges (for quadriceps, hamstrings, butt, hip flexors and calf muscles)
Stand with feet together; slowly lower body into a lunge position - step forward with the right leg and lower the left leg, keeping front knee and back knee at 90-degree angles. Keeping the weight in your heels, push back up (slowly!) to starting position. Never lock knees at the top and never let knee bend past toes. Keep torso tight and upright (don't hunch!).
2. Squats (for thighs, hips, butt, calves, shins and lower back)
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart; slowly lower body as though sitting in a chair until thighs are parallel to the ground. Keeping the weight in heels, push yourself up slowly until reaching starting position. Don’t let knees extend over toes; keep torso tight and erect.
3. Plié or Ballet Squat (for inner thighs, quadriceps and butt)
Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes out at a comfortable angle. Bend knees and lower body towards the floor, keeping knees in line with toes and squeezing through heels when pushing back up. Don't lock knees at the top of movement; keep abs and back tight and straight.
For each exercise, aim for one to three sets of 10 repetitions, and rest for one minute between sets.
Buns, bum, backside, derrierre... whatever you call it, practically everybody wants a firm, shapely one like Kylie! As discussed in the leg section, lunges and squats are super for your posterior, but this exercise also targets the muscles that extend your hips - the hip flexors.
Straight Leg Reverse Lift
On your hands and knees, straighten left leg, keeping right leg bent to support weight along with arms. Begin to lift leg towards the ceiling, contracting buttocks muscles at the same time. Hold at the top for one count. Lower leg and repeat. Switch sides.
Aim for one to three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions and rest for 1 minute between sets.
Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.