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Exercises for the Body Shaper

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

Body shapers are exercise machines that work with vibration to increase the efficiency of workouts. Whether you want a full body shaper like the Total Body Shaper or a mini version like the Mini Euro Body Shaper, you will benefit from the oscillating motion of the machine's platform. Benefits include balance training, increased blood circulation and a greater caloric burn than you would get from similar exercises performed on the floor.

Basic Position

Practice the basic position. It's easy to do, but it will still tone your legs and work your core. Step onto the platform with your feet evenly spaced at hip distance apart. Bend your knees to take pressure off the joint. Grab the side rails if using a full version, or use two chairs if you have the mini. Turn the machine on and feel the platform vibrate side to side. Maintain this position for five minutes. Keep your posture perfect by straightening your spine and pulling back your shoulders. You can watch TV while you do this, but do not tilt your chin up or down. You should be looking straight ahead with your chin pulled back.

You can also do a variation of this exercise to target your calves, inner thighs and abdominals by simply bringing your heels together as turn your feet outwards and slightly bending your knees. Hold this position for two to three minutes.

Lower Body Exercises

The Body Shaper can be used to tone your legs, thighs, glutes and hips. An introductory exercise that you should first master is the squat. Step onto the platform and assume the basic position. Now, bend your knees as much as you can without dropping your hips below your knees. Bend your torso forward but keep your spine straight. Do not round your back. Hold this position for as long as you can and remember to breathe deeply. Your muscles need oxygen to keep from fatiguing rapidly. Do this exercise daily and increase the duration of the exercise and the bend in your knees as often as you can.

Balance and Core Exercises

The Body Shaper offers many options for balance and core exercises. These exercises will target your abs, lower back and glutes. A beginner core exercise that hits all these areas is a swan dive. Stand on the machine in the basic position, then lift your left leg straight behind you. Soften your right knee joint but do not bend your leg. Lean forward and rest on the hand rails. Your chest will be over the machine's display and your elbows will be bent. Keep your spine straight and look forward. Point your left toe. Hold this position for two to three minutes and feel yourself tightening your abs and glutes. If you do not feel these muscles tightening then this is a good indication that you need to practice. Imagine pulling your belly button into your spine and squeezing a quarter between your buttocks.

Upper Body

The Body Shaper isn't really designed for upper body exercises, but you can do pushups and dips off of the hand rails. You can also grab a pair of dumbbells and stand on the machine while you do your regular arm exercises like shoulder presses, bicep curls and French presses. Use the same form you normally do when sitting or standing on the floor. You will not be able to hold the side rails while also holding dumbbells, so you may wish to try holding one rail and using one dumbbell at a time to make balancing easier. Stand up straight on the machine with a dumbbell in your right hand. Grab the left rail with your left hand. Do 10 to 20 bicep curls with your right arm and then switch sides.

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