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Do I need to be skinny to look toned?

 

Want to achieve that ‘shredded’ look? It usually requires an increase in muscle mass and a descrease in body fat.

Increased muscle mass (i.e. size, width and volume of your muscle fibres) will help your muscles become more visible beneath body fat; however, significant mass is not always necessary for improved tone.

According to exercise scientist Johann Ruys, “Muscle mass increase is generally associated with an increase in tone, but an increase in tone is not necessarily associated with a major increase in size.”

How to achieve that ‘shredded’ look

To achieve the ‘shredded’ look of a figure model, increased muscle mass is generally required – more so than for the taut, slender lines of a bikini model. However, the acquisition of either body would usually require a decrease in body fat.

“Less body fat will increase the ‘visible effect’ of tone,” says Ruys. “But tone can improve your shape, even with body fat.”

Figure competitors sport around five to 10 per cent body fat for a competition, but it’s certainly not kept that low all year round. This means that even for the most muscled individual, sculpted abs (or indeed a sculpted aesthetic) is not always a reality.

Alexa Towersey, personal trainer and co-founder of the Creating Curves program – a program based on her experience training models and Miss Universe competitors – says “The training you do in the gym creates the muscle tone or muscle mass, and the correct nutrition allows you to get lean enough to show it off at its full potential.

If you’re looking for clear muscle definition, you need to lose the subcutaneous, or surface, fat. It’s true when they say, ‘abs are made in the gym and revealed in the kitchen’.”

 

Do I need to be skinny to look toned?

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Dynamic warm up routine

Warm up your muscles with cover model Alexa Towersey’s favourite warm up sequence. Alexa always incorporates a structured dynamic warm-up before every training session. It’s the perfect opportunity to prime the nervous system and prepare the muscles, reinforce correct movement patterns and identify and address any structural imbalances or weaknesses.

Learning how to switch ‘off’ the wrong muscles, and switch on the ‘right’ muscles, for the workout to come is the key to making your workouts more efficient and effective.

HOT TIPIf your hip flexors are tight, they can inhibit the glutes from firing, so you need to include a dynamic warm-up that focuses on opening up the hips first and then isolating and activating the glutes.Overhead Reverse Lunge x 10Step back into a reverse lunge, bringing the knee down to graze the ground as you reach your arms up and out of your hips towards the ceiling.

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Dynamic warm up routine

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How to lose the last two kilos

How to lose the last two kilos They say the last two kilograms are the hardest to lose, but we’ve found a loophole.

STEP 1.Calculate your baselineBasal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories you’d burn per day if you were to lie in bed 24/7. It’s based on various factors including your height, age and body composition (a higher muscle to fat ratio will burn more calories even at rest).

To calculate your BMR, plug your deets into this equation (known as the Harris-Benedict equation):BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)e.g. a 30-year-old female measuring 167 cm tall and weighing 54.5 kg would compute 655 + 523 + 302 – 141 to get a maintenance level daily calorie need of 1,339, or 5,624 kJ, per day (multiply calories by 4.2 to convert to kJ lingo).

STEP 2.Body auditIf your numbers come in low, don’t panic. In addition to what you burn to maintain basic bodily functions, you need to add your other energy usage.

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How to lose the last two kilos

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Escalating density training with Alexa Towersey

Escalating density training with Alexa Towersey Take your workouts to the next level with this escalating density style training with celebrity trainer and Women’s Health and Fitness cover model Alexa Towersey.Get involved in the movement and #rawfitspo on Instagram and follow @whandfmag for more.

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Escalating density training with Alexa Towersey

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How to use your resistance bands for recovery and toning

How to use your resistance bands for recovery and toning You’ll be suprised at how resistance bands can come in handy when it comes to activation, recovery and toning.Also known as physio bands or Thera-Bands, resistance bands are often used to improve flexibility or for rehabilitative purposes.“Resistance bands are great for rehabilitation from injury as they don’t load the spine or put pressure on the joints to the same extent as heavy weights,” says elite trainer of over 15 years Matthew Strickland.“When added to your stretching routine, they can allow you to reach a deeper stretch than you might otherwise be able to achieve, aiding recovery and improving flexibility.”While resistance bands do not correspond to a specific weight and cannot load the muscle to the same extent as a dumbbell, they can also be used to add tension and tone specific muscle groups, such as the glutes, calves, shoulders, back and biceps, and are perfect if dumbbells or similar are out of reach at home or while travelling. They can also aid in activating muscle groups in preparation for heavier lifts.Resistance bands come in varying levels of stretch, from light to heavy, and are usually colour coded.“Heavier bands should be used for larger muscle groups such as the legs or glutes, while lighter bands can be used for muscles that don’t require a heavy load to work them, such as the shoulders,” says Strickland.For activation/toning: Warm-ups that are dynamic, rather than static, can help to increase movement ranges and activate the muscle groups that your workouts will target. “Dynamic warm-ups are important as they prepare the muscles, prime the nervous system and give you an opportunity to reinforce proper technique,” says trainer Alexa Towersey. To prime the glutes and hamstrings for a lower body session, try glute raises with a resistance band tied around the knees; concentrate on pushing your knees outwards, against the bands, as you raise your hips upward to really get the booty working.

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How to use your resistance bands for recovery and toning

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Paige Hathaway

1 day 10 hours ago

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Paige Hathaway

1 day 12 hours ago

Life is tough but so are you.

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