September 7, 2009 |
Stretch your entire upper body with this supported back arch. You'll need a folding chair with the back rest removed in order to fit your body through it. Many gyms and yoga studios provide them, or you can make your own. -- Karen Voight 1Sit backward on the chair, placing your legs through the empty backrest. Your feet should be flat on the floor at hip-width apart. Lie back, resting your hips and upper back on the seat of the chair and your hands along the frame of the back rest.
April 19, 1999 |
Beware. The Gym Rat is snooping around Southern California, looking at the best and worst in health clubs. And he isn't just any rat. He's been teaching more than four years at various clubs in the area. He is a member of IDEA / the Assn. of Fitness Professionals and is certified by the Aerobics and Fitness Assn. of America. * Pssst! I'm gonna share a secret with you--but, please, feel free to pass the word. Karen Voight--yes, the Karen Voight--is teaching again.
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.
February 8, 2010
Here's a new way to spice up your basic abdominal crunches using a 36-inch round roller. This is a challenging exercise, so be patient if you find it difficult at first. And remember: It's important to keep your shoulders and hips level throughout the entire move. -- Karen Voight 1Sit at one end of the roller, line up your spine on the roller and lie down on it. (Scoot down enough to make sure the back of your head rests on the roller.) Place your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart, with your knees bent, toes facing forward.
August 24, 2009 |
When practicing the triangle pose, many people sacrifice correct alignment by trying to touch the floor before they are ready. Make sure your hips are not falling backward and your bottom arm is not supporting much of your weight. Here are two variations that encourage proper alignment. -- Karen Voight 1Stand with your legs three to four feet apart. Turn your left thigh outward with your toes pointing to the left. Turn your right thigh slightly inward, toes pointed slightly left.
May 11, 2009 |
If you travel and need a convenient way to exercise without packing dumbbells, exercise tubing is an excellent alternative for creating resistance. With this one move, you'll be able to train multiple muscles in your upper and lower body at the same time. -- Karen Voight 1 Grasp the handles at each end of the rubber tubing. Place your feet on the tubing as an anchor. Be sure your feet are shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward, feet parallel to each other. Lower your arms by your sides.
May 4, 2009 |
As we age, we gradually lose our sense of balance. To reverse this, challenge yourself with stability exercises for a complete workout routine. Here is a typical yoga pose that will help you stand tall and improve your sense of balance. -- Karen Voight 1 Stand upright on a level surface with both feet flat on the floor. Shift your weight toward your right foot. Slowly bend your left knee and place your left foot against the inside of your right calf.
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.