WHEN it comes to the perfect body shape, it seems women are on a learning curve.
Forget the boyish straight-up-and-down look, now women believe Nigella Lawson's classic hourglass shape is the figure to diet for. Do you agree - Do curvy girls look hotter than their thinner sisters? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
Her generous curves topped the list of figures that women would most like to have themselves.
In fact, two in three yearn for an hourglass 'in and out' figure, a survey of 2000 British women found.
Picture special: Our favourite curvy celebrities
Lawson topped the poll when the women were asked whose figure they found most inspiring. She was followed by the womanly Dame Helen Mirren (whose photo last year in a red bikini was regarded as the epitome of mature glamour), the elegant Dame Judi Dench and Kate Winslet, a curvy English rose.
Leaner shapes, along with the out-of-proportion figure of Katie Price, were no longer regarded as ideal.
A third of British women (35 per cent) saw themselves as apple-shaped with an undefined waistline.
A further 25 per cent claimed to be pear-shaped with a big bottom.
Only 13 per cent of women regarded themselves as the perfect hourglass. But a whopping 65 per cent dream of acquiring this shape.
The poll, carried out for Special K breakfast cereal, suggests it is shape rather than size which is most important to women these days.
'The report shows that women's attitudes to slimming over the last 50 years have changed with their figures,' said a spokesman for the brand.
'It seems British women have lost their waists but now they are demanding them back.
'They are more concerned about getting a curvy hourglass shape instead of being the perfect size 10.'
"Weight training is the secret to a leaner body, because it can boost metabolism - the process through which you burn calories and create muscle definition," says Nicki.
"Do three sets of eight to 12 repetitions three times a week."
(warms up your whole body; tones legs, butt, hips)
Stand sideways next to something low and sturdy, like a curb.
Jump off and on, using your arms for momentum if needed.
As soon as you land (knees bent), immediately explode up again using the power of your butt, feet and abs.
Repeat 10 times, then face the other side and repeat.
STARTING BLOCK KICKBACK
(works backs and fronts of arms, shoulders, thighs and butt muscles)
Stand with legs split, left foot in front of right.
Bend legs, placing right knee on the floor with left knee bent.
Tighten you're your abs, lean over from the waist and hold a 3 to 5lb dumbbell (half litre bottle of water or can of beans will do) in your right hand with your elbow bent 90 degrees.
Lift your hips into "get set" position.
Extend weight back by straightening your right arm.
Straighten right knee as you do.
Then bend and curl weight into chest while lowering hips. Repeat 15 to 20 times; switch sides.
WALL SIT AND PUNCH
(works thighs and butt muscles)
Stand with your back pressed flat against a wall.
Walk your feet 18 inches in front of you, hip-width apart. Slide down the wall until you are sitting with thighs parallel to the floor and knees bent at a 90 degree angle.
Keep your ankles directly under knees and hold this position while alternating slow punches at chest level for 20 counts (light weights in each hand are optional).
Rise, shake out your legs, and repeat 20 times.
PILLAR BRIDGE LEG LIFT
(works abs, lower back, shoulders and butt muscles)
Get into the press-up position, bending elbows and placing your forearms on the floor (no weights).
Tip your pelvis under, contract your abs and butt muscles, and hold for 10 seconds.
Lift your hips and use your abs to stabilize.
Slowly lift straight right leg off the floor to slightly past hip level, hold for two seconds, and return to floor.
Alternate your legs 20 times per side.
At the end, hold your body in press-up position for an additional 10 seconds.
(works upper and lower abs)
Lie back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor
Extend both arms overhead and straddle either side of your head with your arms.
Interlock your fingers and press the front of your arms to your ears.
Simultaneously pul yourl right knee in toward your forehead as you curl torso off the floor, holding for two seconds.
Return your torso to floor and pull the other knee toward your forehead; continue alternating.
Tip your pelvis under, tighten your butt muscles, and contract your abs for 20 slow repetitions per leg. Keep head stable throughout.
(Works abs and waist)
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and place your fists on top of knees.
Lower your chest away from your knees.
Tuck pelvis and contract your inner thighs and abs.
While you're balanced on your tailbone, pull your arms back and forth together in a rowing motion 20 times (keep abs tight for stability).
Next, row both arms to the left for 20 reps, then to the right for 20 more reps.
(Works arms, chest and upper back)
Sit on the floor with arms in back of body and ease into a tabletop position (hands behind you with fingers forward, hips lifted, knees bent, feet flat).
Bend your elbows, pressing your arms straight back.
As you straighten your arms, simultaneously kick one leg straight up in a single controlled motion.
Return the foot to the floor as you bend elbows again and press back up, alternating the kicks. Repeat 20 times per side.
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Denise Austin: Best Bun & Leg Shapers (2009)