Having a “pear shaped” figure implies we are proportionately smaller on our top half, have a smaller waist and larger hips and butt. When we gain weight, we first tend to pack those extra pounds on our lower half…in other words, our butts, thighs and hips. That’s also the area where we are sometimes inclined to focus our workouts on. But let’s not forget to tone our upper bodies too! This entry includes some workout recommendations for women like us, along with some additional tips for our overall health.
First and foremost, workouts and exercise are for our health. Getting toned and in shape are secondary benefits to the health benefits you get from a good exercise routine and balanced diet. And of course, you should always consult your doctor before you start any new exercise routine.
So, what is a good workout for us? Here are some basic recommendations to get you started:
- Goal. Set a goal for yourself first and write it down. Put it somewhere that you’ll see it every day.
- Schedule. Try to set aside 30 minutes 4 to 5 days a week for your workout. I schedule my workouts Monday through Friday while still making sure I keep busy during the weekend. Stick to it for a couple of weeks and then it becomes a routine you’ll crave.
- Warm Up. Always warm up and stretch before you begin your workout.
- Cool Down. After each workout, don’t forget to stretch while your body cools down. This helps you minimize soreness and cramps.
- Walk. On days when you don’t have a scheduled workout (and even on days you do), walk. Download an app like Argus to help you track your steps and set some goals for yourself or challenge your friends.
- Stretch. You can never stretch too much. Both before and after a workout, stretch those muscles, hamstrings and back.
Exercises For Pear Shaped Bodies
Ok, so now that we have that framework down and you have a goal set, here are some basic exercises you may want to consider:
Cardio Routines: Any exercise that gets you moving, sweating and your heart pumping is good for you. Try to do at least two cardio routines a week and remember to not over-do it at first. Last thing you want is to have an injury sideline you. Exercises that get your heart rate up such as running (even running in place), biking (on a real bike or recumbent exercise bike), rowing and working on an elliptical trainer are good activities that shift your metabolism into fat-burning mode and help take off excess weight from all over your body, including the lower part.
Lower Body Toning: If you want to tone up your lower body, focus on exercises that firm up the hips, glutes and thighs. Do sets of single leg and glute kickbacks, squats, lunges, hamstring curls and scissor jumps. These strengthen and tone your lower body while not adding bulk. Try to do 2 lower body toning sessions a week.
Upper Body Toning: Balance your routine with at least one day of upper body workouts per week. While we may tend to put more emphasis on our lower body, making sure your upper body is tone helps keep our bodies balanced. For pear shaped bodies, the best exercises are those that focus on the triceps, shoulders, chest and abs. Try push-ups while supporting your legs at the shins on a stability ball. Challenge yourself and lift alternate legs between push-ups for an abs workout. Simple bicycle curls/sit-ups that work out the abs also are working your arms and shoulders. If you have a bench, try triceps kickbacks and dips to work the triceps, shoulders and neck.
Accompany your exercises with a well-balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. The food and liquids you drink have an immense impact on how effective your workouts are. Obviously, lowering your calorie intake will result in quicker full-body weight loss. But focus on eating nutritious foods such as whole grains, plenty of vegetables and fruits, and lean protein. Drink plenty of water. Avoid sugar drinks, alcohol, fatty proteins, too many carbs and pre-packaged foods which often have too much salt or sugar. A low-fat, balanced diet, coupled with regular exercise, will also lead to better sleep and less stress on your body.