What Is Body Sculpting and Core Conditioning?

Body sculpting (or core conditioning) is a non-aerobic, muscle-toning class, usually focused on core strength. Most sculpting classes use weight bars, exercise bands, or dumbbells, or a combination of these gadgets. You perform traditional weight-training moves in a class setting.

If you are interested in taking a body sculpting class, consider the following:

  • What body sculpting and core conditioning does for you: Gives you strength and muscle tone and lowers your risk of bone loss, but only if you lift heavy enough weights.

  • The exhaustion factor: Depends on the instructor, the level of class you’re taking, and how much experience you have with strength training. Prepare to be sore if you’re a novice or if you usually do different exercises.

  • The coordination factor: Low. Anyone can do this, although it may take a few sessions to learn proper form.

  • Who digs body sculpting and core conditioning: Anyone who wants to firm up. Body sculpting and core strengthening are great if you want to learn the fundamentals before you venture into the gym on your own.

  • Signs of a sharp instructor: Instructors should tell you to use moderately heavy weights so that you don’t do more than 15 reps per set. Watch out for instructors who do dozens of repetitions with light weights: You’re not going to build much strength or tone that way. The instructor should correct your form and remind you where you should feel the exercise. Watch for a warm-up and cooldown, too.

  • Tips for first-timers: Prepare yourself for muscle soreness the day or two after your workout. If you want to focus on a particular part of your body, look for a specialty class like Express Abs or Lower-Body Sculpting. Just know that you’ll be strengthening (toning) these body parts, not melting fat off them.

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