How to Give Your Body Shape and Curves
Last updated on : August 28 2016
Social media has changed everything. From the way we see ourselves to the styles we wear. How you feel about your body is no doubt affected by what you see online and beyond.
So if you too have been trying to achieve that sexy figure with curves in all the right places (think Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian), there are certain exercises and diet tricks that may help you get there. Here are a few tips to get that lovely, curvaceous body shape we all have begun to caveat.
Exercising for Your Enviable Figure
Specific exercises targeted at accentuating curves are more effective than random exercises when you are trying to achieve a slim yet curvaceous look. Effective exercises are ones that target your buttocks, hips, thighs, back (see our backless bandage dresses), and shoulders.
When these areas of your body are toned and shapely your feminine proportions are well defined, sexy, and very shapely in your clothes. We’ve consulted influential trainers to give you more insight and suggestions for the best exercises to target these areas.
Buttocks: Bench Step-Up
The bench step-up exercise specifically targets the shoulders, hips, thighs, and glutes, and is quite helpful when you are trying to achieve more toned legs as well. To begin, find a bench, step, or even a sturdy box that is ideal for step-ups according to your height. Here’s what you need to do next:
- Keep the bench in front of you and stand holding a dumbbell in each hand (light or medium weights).
- Use your right foot to step up onto the middle of the bench, lift the other leg to the side, and hold the position for 3 counts.
- Step down from the bench with the left foot first and then tap down with your right foot.
- Step back up on the bench immediately with your right foot. Do as many repetitions as you can on the same leg, and then switch legs after resting for 30 seconds.
An exercise that may look deceptively simple, plies is a typical leg exercise often embraced by ballerinas and can be quite effective when done in the correct way. These are basically squats that are practiced with your knees turned outside rather than the regular way of facing towards the front. Plies can be done using dumbbells and is great for toning your inner thighs, calves, and quads. Here’s how you do them easily at home:
- Stand with your feet turned outward and wider than the width of your shoulder. You can place your hands either on your hips or hold them in front of your chest in the prayer position. Your toes need to be pointed away from your body, at a 45-degree angle.
- Keeping your buttocks, torso, and head in a straight line, slowly lower your body down into a squatting position until you have your thighs parallel to the floor. Remember to keep your knees bent away from the body. You can use a chair or something similar to hold for support initially.
- Using the strength in your buttocks and thighs, slowly push yourself back up to raise your body to the start position. Repeat the exercise as many times as you need or as your trainer recommends.
Well, let’s face it—lunging is not really an easy exercise but it is very effective in targeting the intended areas. It works wonders on your legs as it stretches and works several leg muscles simultaneously. It is also effective in toning those hip muscles. Lunges have many variations, such as the side lunge and reverse lunge—which is good news since it means you can try different types to keep your workout routine fun and interesting. Here’s how you can lunge:
- Stand with your left foot behind and the right one forward, with a distance of about 3 feet between them. Keep your toes pointing forward. If you want, you can hold weights in each hand for added intensity. Your hands should be down at your sides.
- Keeping your knees bent, lower your body towards the floor straight down. Remember not to bend forward.
- Next, push yourself up to the starting position till you are standing, and while doing this keep your abs tucked in and torso absolutely straight. Ensure that you do not lock your knees. Perform a couple of sets depending on your fitness goal and comfort level.
Buttocks: Side-lying Leg Raise
This is a relatively simple exercise that you will find being practiced in most workout programs; however, its effectiveness cannot be undermined—especially if you have a sedentary lifestyle. This exercise works on your hamstrings, back muscles, and keeps the butt toned. Here’s how you can perform side-lying leg lifts:
- Lie down on the ground on your side, and keep your legs stacked over each other. Keep your head rested on whichever arm is close to the floor, and place the other one on your hip.
- Keep your foot flexed and leg straight, and slowly lift the top leg up towards the roof. At the same slow pace, bring it down to lie in the starting position.
- Repeat the same for a number of times and then switch sides to start working on the other leg.
Flat Tummy: Squat
Most fitness experts swear by squats when it comes to achieving a flat stomach and toned thighs, hips, and defined butt. If you are looking at staying in shape and amplifying the right curves on your body, you cannot miss out on squats in your workout regime because the exercise targets areas and delivers real results in an impressive time. If it seems strenuous at first, start off slow and then gradually intensify your workout by adopting variations or using weights. It is important that you do your squats right, so here’s what you need to do:
- Stand with your feet spread apart, in a position that is parallel to the hips. Bring your hands to the front and keep them in the middle of your chest, palms pressed flat together.
- Put your weight into the heels of your feet and sit down like you would while trying to sit on a chair.
- Squat down as much as you can while pushing the buttocks out behind you till you can see that your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Pause and hold, and then rise back up slowly to reach the starting position. Repeat as required.
What to Eat to Stay in Shape
If you want curves, an effective way is to increase your daily calorie intake by 100-150 calories to boost carbohydrates. Extra carbs help you gain a bit of weight and then you can exercise to perfectly sculpt those curves the way you always wanted. However, it is important to know that there are ‘good carbs’ and ‘bad carbs’—simply gulping down refined sugar and junk food to increase calorie intake isn’t going to help you achieve that slim, sensuous figure.
In addition, there are certain foods that are known to burn fat and adding these to your diet can help you lose weight or gain it faster. Here’s a list of foods that are good and as well as those to avoid.
Food to Add to Your Diet
- Good carbohydrates including whole grains, oats, potatoes, apples, and bananas
- Fibrous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower
- Coconut oil
- Lean cuts of meats such as chicken breast and fish
- Mussels, sardines, and salmon
- Green tea
Foods To Avoid
- Deep fried, greasy food
- White bread
- Cakes and pastries
- Processed food
- Sugary drinks and sodas
- Alcohol, as it has high levels of calories
Tips on Maintaining Your Curves
- Keep a food journal to keep track of your dietary habits and what works best for you.
- Consume smaller meals frequently throughout the day as this keeps your metabolism working at all times and helps burn fat.
- Avoid consuming too much salt with your food as this can be counter-effective in burning fat and may cause swelling.
- Ensure that you are well hydrated at all times by drinking ample quantities of water throughout the day. This is also the easiest and best way to flush out toxins from your body—something that is beneficial for your overall health too.
There is a whole world of information and tips out there if you are looking to shape your body. However, what’s important is that you adopt the right way to achieve that goal. What works for your friend may not work for you. Consulting fitness or nutrition experts and doing proper research before embarking on a new fitness regime is the best and most effective way to stay in shape.
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