February 1, 2010
This is a great stretch for loosening up the outside of your hips and thighs. It you're not limber enough to hold your foot, you can hook a strap or a towel around it to help you reach it. -- Karen Voight 1Lying on your back, bend your right knee into your chest. Keep your left leg extended straight out on the floor in front of you. Straighten your right leg, holding the outer edge of your right food with your left hand or using a strap. Press the thumb of your right hand to the top of your right thigh where it meets your torso.
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.
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.
June 1, 2009 |
Here's a fun yoga exercise that will build strength and flexibility in your core muscles and arms. Prepare your body for this move by starting on all fours, rounding your spine and pushing your navel up to the spine. Hold this cat stretch for a few seconds, then practice the following exercise. -- Karen Voight 1 Bring your feet together, bend your knees and lower your hips. Place your hands on the ground, shoulder-width apart, and move your knees to the outer sides of your upper arms.
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.
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.