A woman's muscles are not flabby, but rather a lack of muscle can give her a flabby appearance. For most women, flabby is not ideal nor is the excess fat that often accompanies it. Fortunately, if you suffer from a little extra flab, you can firm and tighten your trouble areas. Try combining cardiovascular exercise with two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of strength-training exercises that target your flabby areas three nonconsecutive days per week.
While cardio can help you tone up, its primary aim is to burn calories and flab. As you lose flab, you'll begin to see the firm underlying muscles. Choose types of cardio that require large muscle movements such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, rowing and kick boxing. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that overweight adults get at least 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day to facilitate weight loss and prevent weight regain.
Squat with Overhead Press
This exercise will target nearly every muscle in your body, including your hips, butt, thighs and arms. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level with your elbows bent. Pull your belly button into your spine, straighten your back, look straight ahead and adjust your feet to shoulder-width apart. Maintain this position as you bend your hips and knees to lower into a squat. Continue lowering until your thighs are parallel to the ground, then push through your heels to return to the standing position. As you near the standing position, press the weights overhead by extending your arms. Lower the weights and prepare to repeat the exercise.
Lunge with Bicep Curl
The lunge with bicep curl will help firm your hips, butt, thighs, abdomen and arms. Stand with your legs slightly apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms straight at your side. Stabilize your abdomen and take a large step forward with your right leg and begin to lower into a lunge while simultaneously lifting the weights toward your shoulders by bending your elbows. Continue to lunge until your right thigh becomes parallel with the floor and your knee reaches 90 degrees. Keep your torso as upright as possible during the movement. Press through your right heel to return to the standing position as you lower the weights back to the starting position. Repeat the exercise with your left leg. Continue to alternate legs until you have completed the desired number of repetitions.
The deadlift is an advanced exercise that demands proper technique in order to avoid injury. However, once you master this exercise, it will go a long way to help you firm up those flabby areas. Deadlifts work nearly every muscle from head to toe, especially when you challenge yourself with heavier weights. To perform a deadlift, stand facing a barbell with your legs hip-width to shoulder-width apart. Begin with an empty bar if you are new to this lift. Bend your knees and bend forward at the waist to grasp the bar with a shoulder-width overhand grip. Straighten your back, pull your shoulder blades back and look up as you press through your heels and begin to straighten your knees and hips to lift the bar from the floor. Once the bar rises past your knees, push your hips forward to achieve a full upright position. Carefully bend your knees and hips to return the bar to the floor. Never round your back during this exercise.
- ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer, Second Edition; Nicki Anderson et al.
- fitbie: Dumbbell Back Squat to Overhead Press
- Fitness Magazine: The Love Your Shape Total-Body Workout
- Bodybuilding.com: Barbell Deadlift
Jen Weir writes for several websites, specializing in the health and fitness field. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Montana State University, is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist and maintains a personal trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine.