Cardiovascular exercise does wonders for your heart and is one of the best ways to kick fat loss into high gear. To focus on your bottom half, with the right kind of cardio, can really help balance out a pear shaped figure.
1. Row for Total Body Progress
Hit the rowing machine for a total body workout that promotes fat loss, and increases strength and muscle tone in the upper body. Blast through 25 rep intervals at a difficult pace, mentally concentrating on pushing through the heels and glutes. Pull 10 times at a low intensity to rest. Get your sweat on for 10 minutes for the first week, building by 2-5 minutes each week until you reach 20-25 minutes.
2. Hill Run for Fat Burn
Using a treadmill, run at 6% incline for 30 seconds, then drop the incline down to 1% and jog (or walk if necessary) for 1 minute. Continue the intervals, increasing the incline every interval by .2%. Try not to decrease the incline interval, but rather increase the resting interval if necessary. Keep it up for 15 minutes after your warm up. Don't forget to cool down when you're done!
3. Jump Lunges
Grab a pair of 10-15 lb dumbbells and complete 20 lunges. At the end of the set, drop the weights and complete 20 more lunges. Finally, stand in a lunge with the right foot forward. Jump up, switch legs in the air, and drop down into a lunge on the left side. Repeat a total of 20 times (10 on each side). If necessary, rest for 20 seconds between each exercise.
Calisthenics, or bodyweight exercises--like the lunges described above--are great toning exercises that can be turned into cardio by doing back to back exercises with little rest in between. In a sequence, complete each move for 30 seconds, alternating between upper and lower body exercises. Rest 30 seconds after completing the circuit, then repeat as many times as desired.
- Bodyweight squats
- Plank with arm climb - hold yourself up in an ironing board position and drop down to the right elbow, then left. Rise up onto the right hand, then left. Repeat, alternating starting arm.
- Plyometric squat jumps - squat low and jump, raising arms overhead, landing back in a squat.
- Burpees - squat low, placing hands on the floor. Jump feet back into a plank, then jump feet back too the squat, before jumping up to standing position.
- Speed Skaters - Start in a squat, then jump to the right, placing left foot behind right leg. Jump back to the left and repeat with the right leg.
5. Elliptical Trainer
Use the Elliptical to work your legs and increase strength in your arms. Add resistance for short interval spurts, and alternate concentrating on the upper then lower body.
After your cardio, remember to add strength training exercises, especially for your upper body. Even out the difference in your body proportion with shoulder presses, pull-ups, bicep curls and tricep dips. Add in rows for your back to make your upper half more svelte and lean, and you're on your way to actually reshaping your body.