THE BLOG
01/11/2013 09:33 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

Getting Fitter! Getting Stronger!

Lifting weights in the gym can understandably be a massive put off, with big guys dominating the area. I also believe that the main reason many women avoid weight training is that they are scared of getting the "body-builder' look. I know many women who say "I don't want to lift weights because I don't want to get big and bulky." This is a myth.

Training your body to have an even balance of cardio and body strength is essential, however, many people focus on the weight loss and forget about the strength aspect of getting fitter.

People tend to focus on losing weight but there's no point in being skinny and weak. You want to be toned and shapely and that means that you need to tone up, get fitter and, as a byproduct, work on getting stronger. Fat burning is great but it's the combination of all elements that will help you to achieve a killer body.

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Breaking The 'Body-Builder' Myth

Lifting weights in the gym can understandably be a massive put off, with big guys dominating the area. I also believe that the main reason many women avoid weight training is that they are scared of getting the "body-builder' look. I know many women who say "I don't want to lift weights because I don't want to get big and bulky." This is a myth.

Perhaps it's due to stereotypical images of the tanned women, parading around in tiny swimsuits, flexing their pecs and looking mannish on ESPN. Whatever the reason, don't be put off ladies! Lifting weights is KEY to toning the body and WON'T turn you into the hulk over night.

So ladies, if you want to get that sexy, lean, strong physique, you really need to start pumping some iron. The more elements we add to our gym routine, the more complete our figure will be. It's like a guitar, the more strings, the sweeter the chord.

Strength Training At Home

This week, I'm focusing on strength training at home. A great exercise is the press-up. It might not be a new one but it's one of the best.

Press-ups work the chest, shoulders, arms and core, not to mention a number of secondary muscles.

To do this...

1) Place your hands under your shoulders and your knees together, using them to maintain your balance. Before you begin to panic, don't worry, to begin with we'll be keeping our knees down.

2) Keep your body in a straight line (from the knees through the top of the head). Then push the hands into the ground with the elbows brushing the ribs.

3) Try to do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Too easy? Knees off ladies!

Still Too Easy?

As you get more confident, why not try an inclined push-up?!

To do this...

1) You need to use a prop for support so that your hands are placed higher than your feet. (Your body should be on the incline). A top tip is to use a chair, stool, or even a staircase.

2) Position your hands slightly forward of your shoulders and suck in your stomach so that your abs are tight and you have a flat back.

3) Concentrating on puling your belly button towards the spine. Then slightly tilt your pelvis forward to create a straight line from the heels all the way through to the top of your head. This works your upper chest.

Top Tip: To co-ordinate breathing with the press-up, you should inhale as you lower the body and exhale as you press back up through the arms.

Want to make it a bit harder? For an added core workout, try using a swiss ball for support.

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(Remember: I'm here to help lead you in the right direction but, if you're going to be training full-on, please remember to research your exercises and learn how to technically execute them. This is so important as you want to get an all round result and don't want to injure yourself either. It's always a good idea to have an experienced training partner, or better yet, get a trainer.)

For more info, visit http://www.hayleynewton.com