Fitness focus: how to develop a split routine to tackle problem areas
Do you have a problem area that you wish to shape up? Don’t stress - whether it’s your legs, bum or tum that is particularly irksome, it’s time to inject a little focus into your workout with our breakdown of the split routine.
Rather than concentrating on overall weight loss, this style of workout, often known as a split routine, puts the spotlight on specific muscle groups. With targeted development in mind, it’s all about creating lean form in particular areas.
While a split routine isn’t as metabolically challenging on your body (hooray), the overall calorie burn is less than a full-body workout. But don’t let that scare you off. Remember that the end objective is those shapely, defined muscles beginning to form.
You’ll need to complete three or more exercises to fatigue your muscles, in order to increase size and definition. Don’t forget to leave 48 hours between muscle group focuses, giving plenty of time to repair and recover. Which is ideal, as it is essential that you alternative different focuses throughout the week, otherwise you’ll end up looking disproportionate - nobody wants to look like a lollipop, do they?
Eventually though, your body will get used to the same old routine - so you’ll need to do is shake things up a little. Change your workout on a regular basis (we recommend monthly), looking at repetition volume, set volume and specific techniques.
To get you started on your first month of training, tackle these muscle-focused routines. Don’t forget to rest for 30-60 seconds between sets and alternate between exercises.
BACK AND SHOULDERS
This workout doesn’t just tone you up - it also helps improve posture and banishes back pain. Loving the sound of it already? Here’s what to do.
- Pull ups (using assisted machine): Sets: 3; Reps: 12
- Superwoman (arms and legs off gorund): Sets: 3; Reps: 8
- Push up rows with weights: Sets: 3; Reps: 10
- Lat pull down: Sets: 3; Reps: 12
- Dumbbell side lateral: Sets: 3; Reps: 10
LEGS AND BUM
Dreaming of perfect pins? Then it’s time to embrace #legsday; working your glutes, hamstrings and inner thighs hard. It’s totally worth it though - you’ll soon be rocking those skinny jeans with confidence.
- Squat: Sets: 3; Reps: 20
- Leg press: Sets: 3; Reps: 15
- Reverse lunge: Sets: 5; Reps: 10
- Kettlebell swing: Sets: 3; Reps: 15
- Side lunge: Sets: 5; Reps: 10
ABS AND CORE
With summer looming, there’s no better time to focus on your midsection. Don’t forget to pull your bellybutton in during exercise to make sure you're working your deepest ab muscle - it helps create a sleek midriff, and who doesn’t lust after one of them? That six pack is in sight...
- Side plank: 3 (Hold for 30 seconds then repeat on the other side)
- Crunches: Sets: 4; Reps: 25
- Hanging ab curls: Sets: 3; Reps: 10
- Seated Russian twists: Sets: 3; Reps: 15
- Bicycle crunches: Sets: 3; Reps: 20
ARMS AND CHEST
Wave goodbye to bingo wings and say hello to the gun show. Strong, well-defined arms are the perfect accessory to a strapless dress - summer season is approaching, after all...
- Shoulder press: Sets: 3; Reps: 8
- Press ups: Sets: 3; Reps: 12
- Dumbbell curls : Sets: 3; Reps: 12
- Overhead dumbbell press: Sets: 3; Reps: 10
- Seated chest fly: Sets: 3; Reps: 12
We recommend you to stretch your muscles before training. Click here and learn about streching before upper body workout.