Unlike those living in the time of the Tang Dynasty, which adored overweight women, people nowadays usually equate “thin” with beauty and want a toned body shape. So how do you lose excess body fat and improve your shape?

Japanese experts on dieting and fitness recommend three kinds of fat-loss methods that may help you.

Breathing Slimming Method

Ann Masumi, a Japanese vocal trainer, created a breathing slimming method that makes it easier to burn fat and that is incredibly effective for toning the abdomen and lower body.

In her book “おじぎ呼吸ダイエット 呼吸力をつけて体脂肪を燃焼する (Breathing Diet),” Masumi says that breathing while bowing helps correct bad posture and expands the movable area of the diaphragm, allowing oxygen to enter the body in large quantities, promoting blood circulation throughout the body, and improving muscle strength and metabolism. This method can also suppress appetite and relieve back pain.

Kiyoka Wada, a Japanese expert on dieting and fitness, said in an article, “Stars also follow the bowing-breathing slimming method.” The bowing-breathing slimming method can strengthen the muscle group in the deep abdominal layer that supports the spine, so each breath has the same effect as the whole body muscle exercise. This is the slimming principle of the “bowing and breathing slimming method.”

Wada says, “If you stick to it for even three minutes a day, you will feel your body heat up from inside out, and your metabolism will improve.”

The steps are as follows:

  1. Put your back against a wall, feet shoulder-width apart, and place hands on the front of your thighs.
  2. While exhaling, slowly bend the upper body, keeping hips against the wall, and slide hands down along the thighs.
  3. Bend your knees to 90 degrees and exhale as you straighten your back against the wall and keep your hands on your thighs. Maintain this position for a few minutes, breathing through your abdomen.

Repeat the exercise five to 10 times.

3-Week Aerobic Exercise

Kazuyo Mori, a Japanese yogi, created this three-week aerobic exercise to tighten the upper arms, abdomen, waist, and hips and create a tighter body shape.

Mori said this exercise might be challenging for people who do not usually exercise. However, if you continue to practice, it will become easier. Meanwhile, it will increase muscle strength and can burn off excess body fat. You can see results doing this just three times a week.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Get onto all fours. Spread elbows to shoulder width so that the elbows are located directly below the shoulders, fingertips facing forward, and elbows bent to 90 degrees. Extend your feet so that your head and toes are in a straight line. Keeping your eyes slightly ahead, raise your body off the ground in a plank pose and hold for 30 seconds.
  2. Rest and let your breathing return to normal. Return to the last position, but straighten your left arm (don’t move your hand), pulling your left shoulder up and back to accommodate the stretched arm.
  3. Return the left forearm to the ground, then repeat on the right side. Alternate between left and right three times.

Mori emphasized that “the arms and back are connected; when the elbow is pressed to the ground, the back exerts force to lift. The core is connected to the waist; when the core leaves the ground, the core also exerts force to lift, consciously using the front and the inside part of the body. If you find it challenging to do this exercise, you can use your knees to touch the ground and then leave your knees on the floor after you get used to it.”

Bulgarian Squat

The Bulgarian squat is a deep squat that moves the hips significantly. Not only can it tighten the hips and thighs, but it also improves the body’s blood circulation, increases metabolism, and can quickly burn fat.

Takenori Torimitsu, Japan’s famous fitness trainer, said that 60 percent of the body’s muscles are in the lower body. Therefore, exercising large muscles will increase energy consumption and basal metabolism.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Stand 23 to 35 inches (60 to 90 centimeters) in front of a sturdy chair that won’t slide around. Keeping a straight back, rest your left foot on the chair seat behind you so that you’re standing on only your right foot.
  2. Inhale through the nose while slowly squatting, bending the right knee while relaxing the upper body as much as possible without swaying. Look straight ahead.
  3. Avoid bending the knee too far forward over your foot and let the hips lean back, even if you feel tired when squatting. Try to keep both knees bent 90 degrees as you squat. When your hands are on your hips, it is easy to feel the muscles being exercised.
  4. Return to the starting position. Do this move 10 times, then repeat 10 times on the left side. This will make one complete set. Do a total of three sets, resting 10 seconds between each.

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