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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.