More sunlight in the evening means the days are getting warmer and your pants are getting shorter. Spring is right around the corner, and soon we will reunite with our scant summer clothes whether we like it or not.
If you have been hiding your unused arms and legs under layers of bulky winter clothes, breaking out the tank tops and bikini bottoms will feel like a shock to your system. To give your muscles a much-needed wake up call, the following five yoga poses are a must for springing into action and shedding excess layers of all kinds.
An overall great pose to sculpt your shoulders and triceps and firm up your core, plank pose works wonders to whip your body into shape for spring. Build a solid foundation from your feet (or knees) to the palms of your hands by engaging all of the muscles between your hips and your ribs. Take several deep breaths in plank while imaging your spine lengthening and your entire body strengthening. Hold for up to one minute and repeat up to three times throughout the day.
Personal trainer at the exclusive Reebok Sports Club in NYC, Melissa Paris has your secret to great abs by swimsuit season, but if you are picturing endless amounts of crunches, think again.
Great abs are the hallmark of a well rounded athlete: low body fat, a muscular core and a clean, healthy diet. “It’s a combination of exercise and diet that ultimately fights fat,” says Paris, “so stock up on those fruits, veggies and protein packed snacks.”
“Nutrition is 85% [of results], so if you’re not fueling yourself with lean meats, lots of fruits and veggies, and healthy fats you will not get the abs you desire no matter how many exercises you do,” says Paris.
While great abs are a sign of a clean eater, they are also a sign of an athlete that knows good form- no matter what workout they are doing. While crunches are good for hitting your superficial ab muscles, the exercises that are going to get you great results aren’t traditional ab exercises at all.
Core work is an integral part of having a strong, lithe body with an upright and healthy posture, but if the mere thought of boat pose (an intense core centered yoga pose) makes you want to keel over and abandon ship, read how you can make it smooth sailing and much easier on yourself.
Don’t go overboard
Start with the basics. Before attempting the full expression of boat pose (with both legs and arms extended off the floor) practice the beginner version until you can fully integrate your core without compromising your low back.
Sit comfortably on your mat. Place both hands about 12 inches behind your hips and place them shoulder width apart. Bend both elbows and lean slightly onto your hands. Rock your pelvis forward just enough so you are teetering on top of your sit bones (the bony protrusions at the base of your pelvis).
Fitness Magazine’s model Sarah, a trainer in New York City, maintains tight abdominals by running intervals, biking, and swimming regularly.
Sarah shares some of her favorite ab workouts with us. The best part is that they don’t require doing those dreaded crunches!
These ab workouts are ideal no matter if your fitness level is beginner, intermediate or advanced.
Tune in Tuesday, October 25, 2011 to The Doctors to learn how to “supersize your health.”
The cast will be sharing great advice and tips on how to look younger, get fitter and feel healthier. Jillian Michaels will also be sharing her no-sit-up secrets for great abs.
This episode is loaded with must-see health information.
Ok, confession time. Or better yet, twitter-fession time. I’m a bit of a Twitter addict. Ok, maybe more than a bit. I may be a big enough addict that I find myself talking about my “tweeps” like they are good personal friends. But it’s a new world and social media serves more than just entertainment purposes. Twitter really does have more to offer than just seeing what Justin Beiber had for lunch today.
This summer a particular hashtag kept coming across my feed that caught my attention. #Plankaday was showing up after several of my “tweeps” mentioned they got their ab workout in. Having just lamented that I needed to commit to a more consistent ab routine to help me with my running, the Plank a Day challenge walked into my life.
Apparently I’m not alone in my loathing of ab work. While I know it’s useful, I still hate to do it.
A new viral trend has swept the nation, where mature, upstanding citizens take pictures of themselves laying face-down, motionless and expressionless, on…something. Anything, really. This trend is called “planking”, and while it sounds stupid, lazy and like a waste of time, it is.
I know, I know, they aren’t hurting anything, but I can’t help but roll my eyes that the newest craze in America is to take pictures of yourself not moving. We’ve always been fond of not moving here in the great U.S. of A., but documenting it and putting it on the Internet for all to see is a new development. You can now become a YouTube sensation for being sedentary.
I see the lure, though. While I am used to thinking of planks as a core exercise that actually, literally, makes me angry, as I started scrolling through Google images of planking, I saw some planks that made me laugh, cringe, gasp and scratch my head.
In 1997, certified Pilates instructor Jonathan Urla combined yoga postures and Pilates exercises and named it Yogilates. Louise Solomon created her own blend of both and termed it Yogalates. Whatever you call it, hybrid classes like these are very popular in health clubs and studios across the country.
Yogilates and other hybrid yoga and Pilates workouts are designed for the purpose of gaining the benefits of core work from Pilates while mixing in the breath and flexibility training of yoga. Just as a yoga practice may not target all of the core muscles, a Pilates class may overlook certain stretches that promote a balanced and healthy body. Combining the two introduces a dynamic experience of connecting the breath with a new level of mind and body fitness.
We all know those gym-goers that bounce into the gym, bright-eyed and energetic, excited to start their workout. And then there is you: the person that wants to slap the grin off their face and the six pack off their abs.
Not everyone loves to workout, but everyone needs to workout, so I’m not going to waste my energy trying to use the benefits of exercise as motivation for you. Your body doesn’t know if you loved your workout, it just knows if you did it or not.
Lazy folks usually hate exercise for 2 reasons: the physical exertion of it all and the time it takes up. These aren’t an excuse anymore. While the definition of exercise is making your body do work, you can make the work less obvious, and that it-just-takes-too-long excuse doesn’t fly when you- get this bomb I’m about to drop on you- speed it up.
Here are 5 exercises that even the most blase about fitness can do in 30 minutes or less.
Tune in to The Doctors on Tuesday, April 12 to see Dr. Travis’ tips for getting a flat stomach. Although the diet you tried at the beginning of January may seem like a distant memory, this tips can help you turn your “fat belly into a flat belly” in just 28 days.
Dr. Travis will show you the easy workout moves you can do at home, flat-belly friendly cocktails and some tips for eating. Try these moves at home or in your office, you don’t even have to go to the gym!