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.
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.
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.
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.
February 15, 2010
This is a safe and effective way to train your abdominal muscles to stay flat and firm when you stand. Don't try to touch your feet to the floor right away; over time, you'll develop strength to lower them all the way to the floor. -- Karen Voight 1Lie on a mat or a padded surface. Hold a foam roller lengthwise between your knees and ankles. Begin with your knees directly above your hips and rest your head on the floor. Bend your arms to the side with your elbows at shoulder level.
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.