Fitness

How to tone up your whole body and see results

If you want to try tone your body (for any occasion, not just for summer) we’ve teamed up with Virgin Active personal trainer Helen Russell to kick start your journey.

You will do four workouts per week that focus on toning, one focusing on the legs, one on the upper body, one on your glutes and one working the whole body.

Helen recommends doing the workouts on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and practising yoga, Pilates or steady cardio on the Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

Just don’t forget to stretch after every session to prevent cramping. Starting a new workout plan can take its toll on your body!

As well as training, Helen suggests eating as unprocessed as possible for the three weeks. Consume lots of vegetables, lean meats and carbs, drinking plenty of water and reduce your alcohol intake. There is no workout plan that can give you a super-lean body overnight, but this is a great way to kick-start the process.

The workout plan

Workout 1: Legs

Warm up: 5 minutes on a cardio machine, 10 narrow squats, 10 wide squats, 10 reverse lunges, 10 forward lunges
5 rounds of: 10 leg press (with feet high on the press), 10 deadlifts, 10 press ups, 10 box jumps (skip this move if you need to avoid impact).
5 rounds of: 20 barbell reverse lunges (10 on each leg, keeping the weight in your front heel), 15 kettlebell swings, 15 hamstring curls, 15 hip abduction machine
3 rounds of: 10 hand to toe crunches (start lying flat then bring alternate legs up), 10 side plank dips, 30 seconds plan

Workout 2: Upper body and cardio

Warm up: 5 minutes rowing machine, 10 arm circles backwards, 10 arm circles forwards, 10 push ups
5 rounds of: 250m row, 10 push ups, 10 barbell row, 10 dips, 10 plank row
5 rounds of: 400m run, 12 barbell shoulder press, 12 lat pulldown, 12 kettlebell clean and press
3 rounds of: 30 mountain climbers, 10 crunches, 10 oblique crunches (each side)

Workout 3: Glutes

Warm up: 5 minutes on a cardio machine, 10 narrow squats, 10 wide squats, 10 reverse lunges, 10 forward lunges
5 rounds of: 20 hip abduction machine, 20 walking lunges, 15 kettlebell swings
5 rounds of: 15 dumbbell Romanian deadlift, 15 cable kickback
2 rounds on each side from lying side plank: 10 leg raises, 10 circles in each direction

Workout 4: Whole body

Warm up: 5 minutes on a cardio machine, 10 wide squats, 10 reverse lunges, 10 push ups
4 rounds of: 15 squat throw or wall ball, 15 kettlebell swings, 15 squat jumps (remove jump and add weight if you need to avoid impact), 10 push up to alternating knee touch
4 rounds of: 20 thrusters (front squat to shoulder press), 20 side lunges (10 on each side)
3 rounds holding a heavy kettlebell behind your head:
10 straight leg lowers, 10 reverse curls (legs and hips off the floor), 10 knee tucks to legs extending

What to eat

A few simple tweaks to your diet can make all the difference if you want to tone up. We spoke to health and nutrition expert Karen Cummings-Palmer (ambassador for STRIPPD’s) about what to eat if you’d like to see results. Remember – to create sustainable changes, it’s important to focus more than just ‘how to tone-up your body’, but how you can get it functioning and feeling it’s best!

  1. Eating breakfast is essential for kickstarting your metabolism, so start the day with good quality protein such as the humble egg, poached on avocado with a slice of rye bread.
  2. Nutritious fat is most definitely your friend if you want to tone your body. Avocados and olives are particularly rich in oleic acid that can help regulate insulin levels, in turn regulating metabolic function.
  3. Raw apple cider vinegar helps rid the body of excess toxins. Create a supertonic by adding a tablespoon to warm water with a teaspoon of turmeric and a little raw honey.
  4. Seaweed is rich in iodine, which can balance thyroid function and boost your metabolism.
  5. Asparagus is one of the most nutrient-rich vegetables on the planet, full of skin-enhancing zinc, vitamins A, C and E and potassium, which helps flush out excess fluid.
  6. Wild salmon is rich in anti-inflammatory omega 3 – an essential fatty acid that not only helps break down fat and ease bloating, but will also support your skin hair and nails.
  7. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and natural caffeine which will stimulate your metabolism. Look out for matcha, which has 10 times the antioxidant value of green tea.

 

Health & Wellbeing