If you've been grabbing the extra fat in your thighs and triceps and wondering where it came from, your hormones could hold the answer. Yup, that's right. Hormones. Estrogen could be responsible for packing the fat cells in the back of your arms and thighs.
Estrogen also plays an important role in building muscle mass, preventing heart disease, bone breakdown, and may even stimulate bone formation. We simply need the right level of estrogen to look and feel great.
If our estrogen levels get too high, we can suffer from a number of negative side effects including cyclical headaches, anxiety, breast tenderness, water retention, irregular bleeding, and weight gain. Unfortunately, a blood test is the only way to know what your hormone levels are but there are other ways to keep your estrogen under control. Increasing the amount of exercise you perform daily can significantly lower estrogen levels.
Total Body Fat Loss Is Key
Isolated movements such as tricep exercises can help build muscle, increase strength, and boost your metabolism. But, spot training isn't enough. If you want results, you need to do the right combination of exercises and lose fat from all over your body before worrying about those so called "problem areas".
To burn fat, your exercise program requires three basic elements:
Cardio Exercise -- Your fitness program should have the right combination of slow cardio and intense interval training.
Strength Training -- Your workout week should also include 3-5 days of strength training per week. It's impossible for a female to bulk up, unless she is intentionally doing so. This part of your fitness routine will tone your muscles, build up your strength, and increase your metabolism. You'll burn fat more efficiently and use the fat you take in through your diet more wisely.
Proper Nutrition -- Without proper nutrition you won't lose fat. Knowing what to eat and when to it it is crucial to achieving your goals.
Exercises To Get That Hot Upper Body
Tricep Dip -- This strength exercise targets your triceps, but it also works your anterior delts, pecs, and rhomboids. The triceps consist of three heads that run from your humerus and scapula to your forearm: the lateral, medial, and long head. The lateral head is found on the top of your arm. The medial head comes down your midline, and the long head runs along the bottom of your arm. These heads allow you to straighten your elbow, and they also work in conjunction with your latissimus dorsi to bring your arm toward your body.
To perform a tricep dip:
1. Position yourself in front of a bench, chair, dip bar, or a set of rings with your hands shoulder width apart.
2. With your legs bent and your feet hip-width apart, elevate yourself so your arms are straight and your elbows slightly bent. (This will keep the tension on your triceps, instead of the joints in your elbows.)
3. Keeping your back close to the support, lower your upper body to the floor by slowly bending your elbows into a 90-degree angle.
4. Continue the movement until you reach the bottom, before pushing yourself back into the starting position. Just be sure to avoid bending your neck or moving your ears close to your shoulders.
Strong, Sensuous Shoulders
If you want a hot upper body, you'll need to work your shoulders.
These usually aren't what women consider sexy, but they are vital! They're the start of the hourglass figure we fight so hard to achieve. But strong shoulders will give you more than just good looks.
When you're exercising your shoulders, you're helping fight the natural ageing process by keeping them strong and building bone density. You're also decreasing your chance of suffering a shoulder injury. Sadly, unlike males, women aren't born with naturally shapely shoulders, so we have to work at it.
To really give your delts a workout, try an exercise like the cable lateral raise. This movement focuses on your lateral delt, but it actually works all three.
To perform a lateral raise:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand.
2. Slowly raise them level with your shoulders while keeping your hands in front of your hips and your wrists facing each other. Pause before returning your arms to the start position.
Lats and Traps
When you work your back, you're actually working the latissimus dorsi muscles, or "lats". They start at the top of the humerus and fan down your back to the vertebrae and pelvic girdle.
Your lats make it possible for you to lean back or sit straight. They give your body some stability, but they also allow you to pull your arm toward your pelvis and bring your body toward your arm (like during a chin-up, for example).
Your trapezius muscles, or "traps", run along your spinal column, from the base of the skull to your middle to lower back. Their function? To pull up, down, and towards the centre of your body. They also make it possible for you to shrug your shoulders, lower your shoulder blades,
and bring them together.
To get your traps and lats into shape, try pull-ups as a simple way to work a lot of muscles. In addition to working your lats and pectoralis major, pull-ups also work your posterior delts, traps, rhomboid, and your levator scapulae, as well as your teres major, pectoralis minor, and serratus anterior muscles. The biceps, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, transverse abdominis, and obliques are also involved.
To get started, try a standard chin-up. To perform one of these, use an underhand grip to pull your chest toward the bar. Once you've reached the top, hold the position. Then, lower your body into a dead hang.
When you're ready to move beyond a chin-up, switch to a pull-up by using an overhand grip. Then, there are several other variations you can try, including pulsating at the top of the movement or hanging onto the bar for as long as you can.
Importance of Chest Exercises
If you want to have a sexy upper body, you need to focus on the balance between your joints, tendons, target muscles, and their opposing muscles. Referred to as the planes of motion, this balance is a vital component for any quality exercise program. And if you want a strong upper body and back, you'll need to work your pectoral muscles.
The planes of motion is based on the fact that, even though you're working the target muscle (the agonist), you need to be working the opposite muscle (the antagonist) the same amount. If you're doing squats to work your quads, you'll also want to do exercises that work your hamstrings, calves, glutes, and lower back to avoid an imbalance. Hence, the need for chest exercises.
Your pectoral major muscles, or pecs, run from the humerus to the sternum and rib cage. And they work with your back muscles to pull your arm toward your body. Alone, they allow you to pull your arm forward.
1. Step forward with your chest out and stomach tight to put resistance on your pecs.
2. Bend your elbow slightly and pull the cables toward each other in front of you by straightening your arms. Think of it like there's a stability ball on your chest and you're pulling the cables around the ball.
3. Once you've reached the top of the movement, pause, and return to the starting position.
Sexy Six-Pack Abs
Everyone wants the gorgeous ¬‚at stomach and the famous six-pack. But these stunning 'bumps' aren't separate muscles. They're two muscles called your 'rectus abdominis', and they're found between your ribs and pubic bone, joined in the centre by the linea alba.
It's these muscles that move the trunk of your body, ¬‚ex your spine during movements such as a crunch, and bring your pelvis to your ribcage during leg-hip raises or posterior pelvic tilts. They do more than just help you move, however.
Your rectus abdominis helps