We all know that in terms of REAL changes: we need to allow more than a
couple of weeks for good results. However, with London Fashion Week just
around the corner, there are a few cheats we can use to give the
impression of being leaner.
Good posture can visually slim off a whole dress size, so here are some
easy daily drills to help improve yours:
Bruegger’s Postural Relief Exercise:
This is great for those who spend a long time sitting at work. Sit on the
edge of your chair, or stand, with feet flat on the floor and hands by
your sides. Lift your chest, gently arch your lower back and point the top
of your head directly up at the ceiling, imagining a thread pulling you up
straight. From this position, turn your palms outward, shrug your
shoulders down and back and rotate your hips outward. Hold this position
for 30-60 seconds.
Perform this every hour and make a conscious effort to be aware of your
posture between bouts of this exercise – after a while it will become more
Sit in a chair with your back supported. Place one hand on your stomach
and the other just below your collar bone. Gently pull your belly button
towards your spine and lightly contract your stomach muscles. Now,
lengthen your spine by ‘pulling’ your lower hand towards the floor and
your upper hand towards the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds, breathing
regularly, and repeat three times.
This is one for when you find yourself craning over your computer. With
your top and bottom teeth held gently together, roll your head backwards
slightly until you feel a mild tension. Keeping your head straight and
your shoulders relaxed, hold the pose for 10 seconds.
Bend your elbows with your palms facing upwards, level with your
shoulders, forming the letter “W” with your arms and body. Squeeze your
shoulder blades together towards your spine until you feel a gentle
stretch in your chest and the front of your shoulders. Hold for 10 seconds
and repeat five times. As you become stronger, raise your arms up higher.
Training for the pump is a quick way to give an illusion of being more
toned. Muscle pump refers to the glycogen that fills your muscles when
they’ve been worked hard and helps to visually define and shape them,
automatically making you appear leaner. This type of training is also a
pretty good calorie burner, so if your diet is on track, you should start
seeing some genuine fat loss benefits as well!
If you don’t have a gym membership, you can use resistance bands for this
at home. I’d recommend Bodylastics ? you can pick up a good set with
varied resistance and a door attachment for about £30 on Amazon.
Perform three ‘Supersets’ of each pair of exercises, doing exercise A,
followed by exercise B with no rest in between. Take 45 seconds rest
between each Superset. Select a resistance that you can perform all the
reps with, but that’s challenging enough that you can’t manage any more.
For exercises like Plyometric Lunges and Push-ups, most will find
bodyweight alone is enough resistance to work with.
1A: Sumo Squats 10-15 reps
1B: Plyometric Lunges 10-15 reps
2A: Lat Pulldowns 10-15 reps
2B: Overhead Press 10-15 reps
3A: Push-ups (on knees if necessary) 10-15 reps
3B: Chest Flyes 10-15 reps
4A: Seated Cable Rows 10-15 reps
4B: Side Lat Raises 10-15 reps
Complete this workout three times per week with at least 48 hours between
If you’re unfamiliar with any of the exercises, check out exrx.net for
thorough and easy-to-follow exercise tutorials
Getting rid of any bloat is also a quick way to cheat yourself down a
dress size. A diet low in carbs, high in protein and moderate in healthy
fats will yield quick visual results by shedding excess water weight.
Alcohol is one of the biggest bloat culprits, so opt for a glass of wine
when you must, and water when you can. Don’t forget to drink plenty of
water throughout the day too ? if your body thinks it’s not getting
enough fluid, it’ll hold on to it for dear life!
If you have any questions about the exercises or anything else in this
post, don’t hesitate to tweet me @TrainWithCharli.
Wishing you a fit and fabulous Fashion Week!
Follow Charli on Twitter