February 22, 2010 |
Whenever you feel tightness in your chest, shoulders and back, practice this variation of a backbend, or bridge pose. It will help release tension in your mid- and upper back as well as stretch and strengthen your hips and legs. Karen Voight Lie back on a mat with your heels resting on a sturdy chair. Extend your arms alongside your body, palms flat on the floor. Make sure your feet are hip-distance apart and your knees are parallel to each other. On an inhale, press firmly on your feet as you raise your hips toward the ceiling.
September 21, 2009 |
Update this popular abdominal exercise by performing it on a foam roller. You'll train multiple core muscles at the same time with one simple move. -- Karen Voight 1 Lie face up on a full-length, round foam roller with your head and hips supported on the roller. Place your hands on the floor with your palms down. Start with your knees bent above your hips at a 90-degree angle. Focus on keeping your abdominal muscles pulled in toward your spine. Straighten your right leg out in front of you. Pause for two seconds.
August 10, 2009 |
Develop strong, sculpted back muscles and firm buttock and thigh muscles by incorporating this move into your daily fitness routine. When you first start practicing this exercise, don't expect to lift your arms and legs very high. But even raising them just a few inches is beneficial. -- Karen Voight 1Lie face down on a mat or padded surface, extending both arms overhead on the floor and straightening your legs behind you with your inner ankles facing each other. Raise your head, shoulder and right arm (thumb pointed up, palm facing in)
August 31, 2009 |
Here are two ways to help you stretch your inner thighs and hamstrings. It's very important that you remember to keep your back straight. A common mistake is to lean forward with a rounded upper spine, which makes the stretch less effective. -- Karen Voight 1 Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you. Place your hands behind you and keep your spine upright as you slide both legs out to the sides as far as they can go. Make sure your toes and knees are facing up toward the ceiling.
October 5, 2009 |
The more active we are, the tighter our hips tend to be. Perform this stretch on a regular basis and you'll keep those strong gluteal muscles flexible. -- Karen Voight 1Sit in a cross-legged position on the floor. Inhale and sit up tall. Hold your right ankle in the palms of both hands above your left knee. Relax the right buttock muscle and allow your right thigh and knee to drop toward the ground. Hold for 3 to 6 breaths. 2Move into a deeper stretch by grasping your hands together under your right leg and cradling your ankle and knee in your arms.
November 16, 2009 |
Adding core stability to this arm exercise will shape and tone the muscles in your midsection as well as the backs of your upper arms, called the triceps. -- Karen Voight -- 1--Hold a 5- to 10-pound dumbbell in each hand and lie on a full-length round roller. Place your hips and head on the roller (you can use a yoga block under your head if necessary). Put your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, toes and knees facing forward. Straighten your arms above your chest and press the ends of the dumbbells together.
December 14, 2009
To kick up the intensity of your workout, use a kettle bell. The iron bell is more unstable than a traditional dumbbell, so you'll need to work harder to control it. To safely do this move, you'll need plenty of space. -- Karen Voight 1Holding a kettle bell in your left hand, stand with your feet staggered, right foot in front of your left, about 2 1/2 feet apart. Bend your right knee, right hand resting on your right thigh. Lean forward at a 45-degree angle. Begin with your left hand below shoulder level.
December 28, 2009
This stretch is a relaxing way to end your workouts. It will keep your legs and back muscles limber and help reduce the stiffness and soreness that often follow a tough workout. -- Karen Voight 1Sit on a flat, padded surface or mat. Extend both legs straight out in front of you. Hook a towel or a band around the balls of your feet and grasp the ends with each hand. Inhale and sit upright. Exhale and lean forward from the hips, maintaining a straight spine. Engage your upper back muscles to slide your shoulder blades down your back.
June 15, 2009 |
This yoga pose stretches the backs of your thighs, your outer hips and your calves. In the deeper variation, you can lengthen your spine and also feel a great stretch in the sides of your back. -- Karen Voight 1 Stand facing the front of a sturdy chair. Place your right foot forward, close to the legs of the chair. Put your hands on your hips and step your left foot back 3 1/2 to 4 feet. Turn the left foot out 30 degrees. Align your right heel with your left heel.