The rules of fitness are pretty simple: eat healthy and put time into breaking a sweat, and you should see the results you want, right? Well, that's a sound starting point. Any workout is a good workout, but to maximize your results and target any trouble spots, you'll want to get in tune with your body. Figuring out your body shape can actually help you see results sooner. "Getting specific about your goals can be really helpful and you can customize your plan," says Jessi Kneeland, personal trainer, coach, and founder of Remodel Fitness.
We tapped Kneeland to create an exclusive series for Bustle of the best workouts for all four body types: pear, apple, ruler, and hourglass. No need to completely ditch your current fitness routine, but add her body-specific workouts to your existing regimen and you'll be at your fittest in no time. First up, the curvy pears:
Celebrity Doubles: Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez
Features: Smaller on top, with wider hips and bottom
Trouble spots: Hips, thighs
Your plan: Kneeland suggests focusing on glutes and hamstrings instead of quads. "Many women are already quad-dominant and you'll often do better in the long run by doing lower body exercises that hit the butt cheeks hard instead of the front of the thighs," she explains.
Below are her favorite pear-friendly moves. Perform three sets of of 12 reps for each exercise, resting 60 seconds between sets.
Lay flat on your back with bent knees, legs hip width apart, and feet flat on the floor. Engaging your ab muscles, lift hips off the floor so that your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Hold position for two seconds, squeezing butt checks as hard as you can before lowering to start. "This move is not only great for your behind, it will also strengthen your core, all in one move," Kneeland notes.
DEAD LIFTS WITH KETTLE BELL
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip width apart and toes turned slightly out, with a kettle bell on the floor between your feet. Push your hips back and down with a very straight spine, until you can grab the kettle bell handle with both hands. Stand back up (holding the kettle bell) by snapping the hips forward, squeezing the glutes at the top. That's one rep. With this exercise, don't be afraid to lift heavy: "Even if you are a beginner, I'd recommend starting with 15 or 20 pound bells. It's actually harder to learn the move properly when it's too light. The weight forces you to use the right muscles," Kneeland explains.
EXERCISE BALL HAMSTRING CURLS
Lie on your back with feet placed on the center of an exercise ball and hands along sides to stabilize the body. Exhale and lift hips toward the ceiling. With your feet flexed, pull the Swiss ball toward your body, squeezing butt and abs. Inhale through as you lengthen the legs back to start. "This is a great multi-tasking move because you'll engage the hamstrings and glutes while strengthening the lower back and abs at the same time," says Kneeland.
Stand two feet away from pulley machine with your back to it and feet shoulder width apart. Grab handle between your legs. Push your hips back and down while keeping a very straight spine, until your torso is almost parallel to the ground. Keeping your head up, drive your heels into the floor and straighten your legs to standing, pulling the handle out in front of you and keeping your arms straight. Pause, then lower the weight and repeat.
Tip: No gym membership? You can also do this at home, with a resistance band attached to a sturdy piece of furniture, says Kneeland.