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.
This episode is loaded with must-see health information.