Look Like a Celebrity
Working on your Hollywood hot body? We’ve got five exercises from celebrity trainer Ramona Braganza to help you wow the crowds.
Celebrity fitness guru and Gold’s Gym trainer Ramona Braganza has helped many movie stars, including Halle Berry,Scarlett Johansson and Liam Neeson, build the bodies they need to dazzle audiences. Braganza says the key is to work all the major muscle groups in order to burn calories and improve form and function.
So if you’re looking to wow your friends and family in a slim-cut dress or sharp suit, Braganza offers five simple exercises that will give you the body you want while boosting your physical health.
Help men and women… strengthen inner core muscles and improve postural muscles so you stand taller.
This popular yoga pose is like the first half of a push-up before lowering down. Place your hands on the floor, and press forward so your shoulders are over your wrist joints at a 90-degree angle. Press your front thighs up and don't allow your backbone to sink down; keep it lifted as you lengthen the lower body toward your heels. A plank works the entire body, from shoulders and the back to arms, chest, legs, buttocks and the abdominal area. Hold at least 30 seconds to 1 minute. Integrate planks into your workout 3 or 4 times per week.
Help men… fill out a suit by strengthening the pectoral, deltoid and triceps muscles in the upper body.
Help women… provide definition to the upper body, a must when wearing form-fitting dresses that accentuate the chest and waistline.
Push-ups are great functional moves that strengthen the entire upper body, including the chest, arms, shoulders and abdominal area. This move is great for men looking to fill out a suit because it works the pectoral, deltoid and triceps muscles that help shape the chest, shoulders and arms, says Braganza. Begin in a plank pose and lower your body to the ground without letting your hips sag. Then lift your body up by straightening your arms. If this move is too strenuous, modify the push-up by keeping your knees on the floor while you lower your upper body. Beginners should do at least 8 repetitions a few days a week to see results.
Help men… release growth hormone, which can stimulate upper body development, and make the back wider while shrinking the waistline, making it easier to fit into slim-cut trousers.
Help women… burn fat and trim the waistline, making it easier to zip up that dress.
Pull-ups, also known as chin-ups, involve lifting your body weight and bringing your chin above a bar; they strengthen back muscles, shoulders and the entire muscle sets in both arms. Beginners may use an assisted pull-up machine to perform this exercise. The benefit of pull-ups, says Braganza, is that they require a lot of energy, thus burning fat and ultimately shrinking the waistline. To do pull-ups properly, keep your body tight and straight while focusing on pulling yourself up with your arms. Keep your chin tucked and your alignment straight throughout. Most experts recommend that beginners just do a few pull-ups at a time, a few times a day. Women may opt for a flex-arm hang, similar to a pull-up, except that you see how long you can hold the position instead of repeating the moves for a pull-up.
Help men… trigger the release of human growth hormone, which enhances muscle development and regulates body composition.
Help women… tighten up their hips, thighs and buttocks.
Hips, thighs and buttocks are often trouble spots for women, says Braganza, making the squat a great way to tighten these areas of the body and zip up that dress or pair of pants. Squats also work the hamstrings. Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart so that you feel balanced. Raise your arms to shoulder level before bending your knees to lower yourself as if about to sit on a chair. Hold for a few seconds before standing up. Lower and straighten up slowly for a few repetitions. Perform this exercise a few times a week to see results.
Help men… enjoy a testosterone boost and a release of endorphins while improving mood and increasing lean body mass. More muscle and less fat means an easier time fitting into that suit.
Help women… tone up and trim down while building muscle and boosting those feel-good endorphins, setting the mood for a great night out on the town. Remember, muscle is leaner than fat, so more muscle and less fat means fitting into that dream dress.
This move strengthens the lower back, buttocks and hamstrings. Begin by going into a squat. Use an overhand grip when lifting the barbell from the floor. Lower your hips so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight and use your legs to raise the bar. Lift it vertically, close to your body, and keep it in front of your hips; do not lift higher. Lower the bar the same way you came up by keeping a straight back as you lower your hips. Beginners should ask a trainer to demonstrate the proper form to avoid injury, and think about starting out with a 5-pound barbell.