Sir Issac Newton famously discovered the effects of gravity by watching an apple fall from a tree. He noticed that it was pulled to the ground. Although this invisible force has been essential to human life, it can do a number on our bodies over time. Turkey necks, flabby arms and saggy butts are just a few consequences of aging and gravity. Typically, it is a combination of
a loss of collagen (a structural protein) that comes with normal aging and being out of shape. Although we can’t do much about the collagen loss, we can do something about being out of shape. If your skin is sagging because your muscles have diminished, then you should be able to grow the muscle to fill in the space. This comes from resistance training. Remember, you can’t isolate where you want to burn fat, that comes from diet modification and energy expenditure. However, you can target where you want to grow muscle. By understanding biomechanics as well as basic muscle physiology we can grow muscle.
By far the most difficult saggy skin to attack would be the turkey neck. The musculature is small and can be hard to work. Flabby arms and saggy butt are a whole other story. There are great exercises that can target those muscles and skin specifically. I cannot stress this enough, if you don’t modify your caloric intake as well as the composition of your food you will only build muscle underneath the fat that is already there.
Muscles to work: The muscle we are trying to work here is the triceps. Its main action is extending the elbow. So really any motion that does that will work it.
Triceps Extension (Skull crusher): This one you will lay flat on a bench. Using a bar or dumbbells, extend your arms so that they are fully extended over your chest. Bend only at the elbow slowly lowering the bar down so that your elbows are flexing. Then raise the weight back up to the starting position. Repeat.
Triceps push down: Using a cable machine attach a bar or a rope. Stand close to the cable and keep your arms close to your body. Grasp the bar with your hands facing down. Pull the bar down by only extending your elbows. Be sure not to involve the shoulder.
Muscles to work: Main muscle is the gluteus maximus. Its main action is to extend the hip.
Lunges: Stand with your feet apart in the vertical direction so that your feet are in line with each other. Drop the back knee down while maintaining a 90-degree angle with the knee of the front leg. You can add weight with dumbbells or a bar on the back
Squats: Stand with your feet apart in the horizontal plane. Be sure to keep your back straight as you drop your bottom toward the floor. Go down until your thighs are just below parallel to the ground for maximal benefit. Add weight by using a bar bell or dumbbells.
Muscles to work: Sternocleidomastoid, Anterior scalene, and hyoid muscles. Most of these muscles work to turn the head or flex the neck.
Supine Head tilt: Lay flat on your back with your head resting on the ground. Lift your head up so that the skin under your neck is tight. Turn your head slowly from side to side.
Supine Head lift with a foam roller: Lay flat on your back with your head resting on a foam roller. Tilt your head up, allowing it to roll on the roller. Then tilt it back down so that you are looking down at your body. Repeat.
Pursed Lips: Simply purse your lips like you are exaggerating a kiss while extending your jaw. Hold for a few seconds then repeat.
BY CHRIS PREGONY