Want to Boost Your Butt and Tone Your Thighs? Try These Tips From Instagram Personal Trainer Sia Cooper
Let's be honest: no matter how hard we hit the gym and how frequent we attend our spinning and yoga classes, we all have that one trouble area (or maybe a couple of areas) that seems almost impossible to tone.
Or, on the flip side, maybe you have a specific area of the body -- like your butt, for example -- that you would like to perk up fast.
This is what celebrity trainer Sia Cooper calls "target zone training."
"When I receive requests for specific workouts, most women come to me with their 'trouble areas,'" Cooper tells Organic Authority. "I created the target zone training videos so that my followers could find what they felt they needed to improve on and add it into their usual routine for extra attention to that area."
Cooper says her target zone training is fine for both women and men of all fitness levels, and "does not depend on the skills of the individual performing them as most of them are bodyweight or use a pair of dumbbells."
Curious to learn more about target zone training? Cooper shares with how and why you can target these areas and meet your fitness goals.
Areas Women Most Want to Train (and Why)
"Most women contact me or come to me with concerns about their thighs, butts, and love handles," she says. "It's interesting. In the late '90s the biggest concern was the waist and having a flat tummy and a larger chest. In the early '90s there was a focus on being extremely thin based on what we were seeing in the fashion industry (not great or very healthy). In the 1950s, it was hourglass. It has so much to do with what we are exposed to including trends, celebrity, and what mass media is promoting."
Which is why it's important to keep in mind: when it comes to transforming your body, know your why. Is it because you want to look a certain way to fit into the latest trend, or because it will make you feel your best?
How Target Zone Training is Different Than Spot Reduction
There's a long-standing debate on the efficacy of spot toning. Many studies show that it's not possible to reduce fat in one area by exercising that body part alone.
However, Cooper says her target zone training is not spot reduction.
"I always remind my clients that there is no such thing as spot reduction when it comes to fat loss," she says. "When you lose fat, you cannot control where it leaves first, so reduction of overall body fat percentage from all over the body is ideal."
The best way to do this, says Cooper, is through a clean diet with the appropriate amount of caloric intake, efficient cardio, and total body workouts.
When it comes to her style of target zone training, Cooper says it's about training a particular muscle group.
"Love handles, armpit fat, muffin top, under butt, and saddlebags are not 'muscle groups' and this is something many women need to understand when they set these types of goals," she says. "When it comes to fat loss, you cannot choose how and where to lose it. My target zone training is meant to be an addition to one's usual workout routine and works a particular group of muscles."
Her Go-To Workouts
When it comes to targeting the top three target zones -- abs, glutes, and thighs -- Cooper recommends the following exercises.
For abs, try:
Russian Twists -- With your torso leaning back at a 45-degree angle, knees bent, and your feet either on the floor or elevated a few inches, hold a medicine ball or weight plate and rotate your torso to the left and right.
Plank -- Plant both hands underneath the shoulders and align the body into a plank position with grounding toes into the floor and squeezing the glutes to stabilize the body. Neutralize the neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond the hands. Your head should be in line with your back.
For glutes, try:
Deadlift -- With a loaded barbell, stand up with it until your shoulders, hips, and knees locked. With your arms stay straight throughout the lift, hinge forward at the hips until the weight grazes the tops of your thighs. Lift your chest. Straighten your back by raising your chest, and straighten back up.
Sumo Squat -- Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing at 45-degree angle. Drop into a squat, bending at the hips and knees and sitting back with the weight on your heels. Squeeze your glutes as you push yourself up.
For thighs, try:
Curtsy Lunge -- With feet shoulder width apart, step your right back diagonally behind you to the left in a lunge position, and making sure your front knee is aligned with your front ankle. Return to standing, and switch sides to complete one rep.
Inner Thigh Leg Lift -- Lying on your side, with your hips stacked on top of one another, lengthen your bottom leg, and cross your top leg over, resting either your top knee or the top of your foot on the floor. Keeping your body still, lift your bottom leg, and inhale as you lower it back down. Repeat on opposite side.
If you're interested in Cooper's target zone training, or other programs, be sure to check out her website.
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