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To change body shape we do need to try - but you may not
have to do anything different – instead just change the way you are
already doing things. By this I mean - targeting the specific muscles whilst carrying out your everyday activities. Ideal when we're too busy to exercise.
For example if you want a bigger bottom – you need to try and use the gluteal muscles in your bottom more whilst you're carrying out your everyday activities.
Mindfulness really helps us to focus and ensure that we use specific muscles. In order for us to complete a task or movement, our body will use the muscles that it is use to, and in the most economical way. However with a bit of thought and concentration – it is possible to engage other muscles more and more.
Eventually as with anything our body becomes so use to the new way of moving whilst performing a particular task that this becomes the new normal. We can effectively re-train our body to use a whole host of different muscles which then adapt to the new stress by becoming stronger and larger to increase strength of particular muscles and change body shape.
One of the easiest ways to ensure you
are using the muscles that you want, so as to change body shape - is to feel the working muscles. For example
if we were to squat down and bend forward - we can either
predominantly use our quads – the muscles at the front of our
thighs, or our gluteal muscles. Changing the way we initiate the movement
will change the muscles that are being used. When we want to stand up from a squatting position or even from a chair, if we
firstly start to straighten up by bringing our upper body up as we then straighten our legs – our quads are more likely to
be used more for the movement. Placing your hands on your thighs will confirm this.
However if we initiate the movement to stand up - from our hips, by thrusting them forward – this will activate the gluteal muscles more. It is possible to feel your gluteal muscles contract more forcefully as we change the way that we carry out the movement. You can try this by placing your hands on your gluteal muscles as you squat down and lean forward. Before you rise up
This will have the effect of straightening you up and so put you in a standing position – with your upper body almost last to straighten as you really thrust your hips forward.
When you stand up or even get out of a chair - try doing it with a hip thrust, this will straighten you up.
If you're alone try doing the hip thrust in a forceful way - it really works.
(Remember to drive your weight through your heels!)
Mindfulness can help us focus upon the muscles we want to use. If we just bend down to pick something up then our body will just do it, however a few seconds to think about what we are doing and how we are going to do it by thinking about the muscles we want to use – will work and is something that we can all get use to doing. This way we are using our everyday life to gradually change our body shape and increase muscle size. When completing the movement – think of nothing else other than the muscles you want to use.
Cooking or cleaning. For example when we are stirring things in a bowl or scrubbing something clean there are at least two ways for our body to carry these tasks out. If the movement initiates from our arm, then our shoulder will help to stabilise the arm and allow muscle of the arm to contract forcefully to carry out the task. However if the arm and the grip is light the movement can be initiated from the pectoral muscles of the chest that will act to bring the upper arm into the body. These differences are very subtle and do take a bit of practice but are well worth pursuing due to the benefits you can derive from just everyday living.
You really can change body shape without going to the gym.