Toning up for the New Year with kungfu
A fit, toned body is what many of us would like to achieve through our exercise, especially at this time of year when many of us have made resolutions to improve our health. Kungfu is a brilliant way to get the body that you desire, as a style such as Southern Crane Kungfu’s Yong Tai Tiger Respect Boxing literally creates a powerful yet supple body as you progress into the study of the style, simply from practicing the conditioning exercises and the patterns.
Toning up is what many of us want to do, to create a fit silhouette without too much ‘jiggle’. Muscle tone refers to the amount of tension in a muscle at rest, which is what makes muscles feel firm to the touch and look good, even when you aren’t purposefully posing!
From a wellness point of view it is good to have muscle strength as well as relaxed muscle tone, to have strong, fit muscles that work hard for us all day, and also that look good, giving us a sense of achievement and emotional well-being.
The major muscle groups are the largest chunks of muscle in our bodies. They are the muscles in the buttocks, thighs and shoulders. To make these large muscles operate well, they require more oxygen than smaller muscles do when being worked and therefore a greater blood supply.
Because of this need, you will notice that when working those muscle groups while training, you become more out of breath, as the muscles pull hard on your blood and oxygen resources. To keep these big guys toned, you need to make them work hard, and a lot.
Toning with weights
To add tone to your muscles, you can use weights that are as heavy as you can manage, but that allow you to do a high number of repetitions to give your muscles the advantage of increased endurance. Light weights and high reps provide more of a cardio style workout for your muscles, as the emphasis is not on extreme muscle exertion. To add muscle bulk, you need to do a low number of reps using the highest weight possible to get to the end of each set. For tone or bulk, always make yourself work hard, increasing your weights as they become easy to handle.