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Body Workout

Get yourself geared up for the aisle by giving those arms and legs a good workout.

With mere months to go before the big day your nerves must be on edge. Often, the best way of relieving stress and tension is in the gym. By training three times a week for an hour a day and by following a good diet plan, you`re sure to feel like a new person. The Wedding Collection chatted to Jason Krawchuk from The Peak Health Club at Park Hyatt, Johannesburg, for some machine-assisted exercises to help firm and tone those not-so-invisible areas.

weight-assisted tricep dip

Purpose: This exercise helps develop the thickness of the triceps.

What to do: Select the amount of weight assistance you desire. Grasp the dip bars with your palms turned in towards your body and place your knees on the knee pad, keeping your back straight and your face forward. Push yourself up with your arms until they are straight. In a nice, slow movement, lower your body until you reach a moderate stretch. Pause, return to the starting position and repeat. Complete 2-3 sets of 15 repetitions.


Purpose: This exercise
helps train the overall shoulder muscle.

What to do: Adjust the machine`s seat so the handlebars are at shoulder level. Rest your back against the bench, feet to the floor, and face your palms forward. Push upwards until your arms are fully extended, then slowly return down to the starting position and repeat. When doing this exercise you should look straight ahead, keeping the back of your head against the bench at all times. Complete 2-3 sets of 15 repetitions.

Aerobic step-block lunges

Purpose: This exercise helps develop the front and back thigh (hamstrings).

What to do: Place a step block about three feet in front of you (the length of your legs will judge how far the step block should be). Stand with your feet together, toes pointed forward and hands at your side. Keep your shoulders squared, your chin up and back straight. Step forward with your right foot onto the step block, bend at your knee and lower your hips until your left knee is a few centimeters off the floor. Push with your right leg, raising yourself back to the starting point. Remember to look straight ahead during the lunge. You can do all your lunge repetitions one leg at a time, or you can alternate legs throughout the set.

Concentration curls

Purpose: The concentration curl helps create height in the bicep.

What to do: Sit on the edge of an exercise bench with your feet about three feet apart. Leaning slightly forward, grasp a dumbbell with one hand and place your elbow against your inner thigh just inside the knee. With your arm lowered for the start, lift the dumbbell up towards your chin until you achieve peak contraction in your bicep. Squeeze, then slowly lower the dumbbell to the starting position. Concentrate on flexing your arm by using only your bicep without any other upper body movement or support. Complete 2-3 sets of 15 repetitions.

Upright bicycle

Purpose: Apart from using the bicycle for cardio, it also works and tones the calve muscles, quads, hamstrings, buttocks and abdominals. 

What to do: Adjust the seat so your legs are not completely straight when you pedal. Your buttocks should be placed firmly on the seat and the pedal straps between the centre (archway) and ball of your foot. You can hold onto the handlebars for comfort but this is optional. (If you do hold on, remember to keep your back rounded and don`t grasp the bars too tightly.) If you prefer not to hold the bars, keep your back straight at all times. Keep your head up as it makes breathing easier and concentrate on a correct posture and not just on rotating your legs. A solid 20 minutes three times a week is sufficient for this exercise.

Leg extensions

Purpose: To define and shape the front of the thigh.

What to do: Sit down on a leg extension machine and hook your ankles behind the roller pad. If the roller pad is adjustable, it should be positioned so it rests on the lowest part of your shins and not on the top of your foot. Grasp the handles on the side of the machine to keep your hips from lifting up as you perform the exercise. Keeping your back on the bench, straighten your legs, lifting the weight with your quads until your knees are straight. Always try for the fullest range of motion you can achieve, ie all the way up, and pause for two seconds at the top. Lower the weight slowly until your feet are further back than the knees and the thighs are fully stretched. Complete 2-3 sets of 20 repetitions.

Safety first

Before starting any exercise regime it is imperative that you follow these safety tips:

  • Always get a physician`s stamp of approval before starting any form of exercise programme.
  • Stretching is perhaps the most neglected element of physical conditioning. Without flexibility, fitness is hard to achieve and maintain. Always stretch before training to warm up and, since muscles tighten up after exertion, stretch afterwards to promote circulation and minimise stiffness.
  • Keep your mind on what you are doing. Don`t get distracted or lose concentration while in the middle of an exercise.
  • Always wear appropriate clothing for easy movement and good, comfortable shoes suited to training in a gym.

For more information about the Park Hyatt and its services, call (011) 280 1234.

Article source: LifeWorld



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