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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.