Toned in secondsLasting results take work, but these in-a-pinch fitness tricks can help create the appearance of a leaner, more defined body--instantly.
Look Five Pounds Lighter
Adjust your posture with these effortless alignment cues to trim visual inches (and feel more confident!).
Ears Over Shoulders: Rounded shoulders can shorten your torso, making it look thicker than it really is. Picture wearing long, dangly earrings; they should always touch the tops of your shoulders.
Rib Cage Up: Weak upper-back muscles often angle your chest downward and make your boobs look droopy. Lift your sternum (the breast bone in your chest) a few inches to elongate your torso.
Pelvis Parallel: Think of your pelvis as a bucket full of water. When your hips tilt forward or you lift your butt, water spills out the front; it also pushes your stomach out and accentuates the look of a belly pooch. Focus on making the bucket level.
Squeeze, Don't Suck: Imagine your midsection is a sponge, and try to squeeze out a little water. It will make your middle look firmer and flatter than sucking it in.
Pump It Up
Models often bang out a bunch of crunches, lunges, or pushups right before a photo shoot. It's not just a mental boost: Strength training contracts your muscles; it also slows the normal flow of blood and oxygen to them. Afterward, the backed-up blood and oxygen flood the muscle cells, temporarily making them look more defined.
Want to maximize it? Researchers found the effect lasts 44 percent longer when you do 15 reps at a lighter weight (60 percent of your max) compared with four reps at a heavier weight (90 percent max).
Erase Bra Bulges
A too-tight bra pinches. But too loose? Your breasts sag and make your torso appear shorter. The fix: Pick a wide fitted band--it lies flatter on the back, which helps avoid visible back fat and makes you look fitter.
Fitness models and competitors will cut back on their water intake to help lose subcutaneous water, which helps their muscles show. But there's a caveat, says John Romaniello, trainer for Roman Fitness Systems in New York City. "If you're not consistently drinking a lot of water--and most people aren't--cutting back will have little to no effect." In a pinch, try natural diuretics such as ginger, and watch your intake of sodium (which causes you to retain water).
More from MSN Healthy Living:
- 10 abs exercises better than crunches
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