April 12, 2010 |
Use a chair as a helpful tool in stretching the backs of your upper thighs, or hamstrings. The elevation of the chair allows you to maintain a straight back so you can focus the stretch in the legs. — Karen Voight Stand in front of a sturdy chair with toes facing forward. Shift your weight to your left leg and place your right foot on the seat of the chair, keeping your right knee straight and your toes facing up toward the ceiling. Maintain a straight back as you bend forward at the hips, resting your fingertips on the chair seat on each side of your foot.
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.
September 28, 2009 |
Here's an excellent way to simultaneously train the large muscles in your lower body and your shoulders and biceps. You can use a kettlebell or substitute a dumbbell. -- Karen Voight 1Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in your right hand. Stand with your feet 3 to 3 1/2 feet apart, toes pointing forward. Place your left hand on your left thigh, inhale and bend your left knee. Shift your weight over your left heel and keep your right leg straight. Lean forward, reaching down with your right hand until the kettlebell is just below your left knee.
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.
January 18, 2010
Here's a nice stretch for your middle and lower back that fits easily into your workday. Just move your chair away from the desk and give it a try whenever your back feels tight or stiff. This move is also a great way to release tension in your neck and shoulders. -- Karen Voight 1Sit all the way to the back of a sturdy chair (not a rolling one). Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your ankles below your knees, feet flat on the floor. Bend forward at the hips, bringing your chest and ribcage in between your inner thighs.