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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
March 30, 2009 |
For on-the-go people who want an alternative to the traditional push-up, here's a quick and easy move to keep your upper body strong. You can work one side's tricep while targeting the other side's chest, back and shoulders. -- Karen Voight 1 Get into a push-up position, balancing on your toes and hands. Move your left hand down until it's below your left shoulder, with your fingers pointing forward. Move your right hand out to the side slightly in front of your shoulder.
November 2, 2009 |
To strengthen the muscles in your upper back and rear delts (those muscles in the back of your shoulders), try this simple move. It's ideal after hours of sitting in front of a computer or driving. Pulling your elbows behind you engages your upper back, which helps relieve tension in your chest, neck and upper trapezius muscles. -- Karen Voight 1Place the center of a resistance band or stretch tubing under your right foot. Grasp the ends of the band in each hand.