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5 Must Do Yoga Poses to Get in Shape for Spring

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.

Plank

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.


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Gunnar Peterson Reveals the Secrets to Jennifer Lopez’s Booty Workout

by Dani Stone

Jennifer Lopez is an accomplished dancer, actress, singer, American Idol judge and style icon but let’s face it, she’s also known for her fabulous figure, including that curvy backside. She may have been blessed with super star genetics but diet and exercise play an important part in maintaining her great shape. If you want to reshape your derriere, grab some hand weights and be prepared to squat – a lot.

Gunnar Peterson, a personal trainer who put JLo through grueling workouts for nearly 10 years, says the key to changing the shape of the butt is to tone and tighten. The most successful workouts to target this area are squats and lunges. Adding weights increases the intensity of the workout and ultimately, the results.

Gunnar suggests starting with dumbbell weights and sit-down squats. Once that exercise gets easier, switch to kettle bell weights and do a split-squat or twisting lunges from different angles to target the butt muscles, obliques and lower body. The key is not letting your body get too used to one exercise. Keep switching it up to surprise your muscles and target as many as you can. Also, be sure to add in 30 minutes of cardio a day. Whether it’s a brisk walk, elliptical machine or even a jog in your neighborhood, anything that raises your heart rate is a good choice.

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Lose Your Saddlebags by Spring Break

If the dreary weather has you chomping at the bit to plan a sun soaked Spring Break, you may want to start planning your bikini bod as well. If the eating over the holidays and low energy from the winter blues have left you self conscious about your saddlebags, leave the “leg work” to us.

The butt/thigh area is a big trouble zone for many, and despite what most think, squats and lunges are not enough to get rid of your saddlebags. While these exercises work you forward and backward, making them great for the hammies and quads, to hit the saddlebag area you have to work on an angle.

The following exercises will shrink your saddlebags, and these are personally some of my favorites to do because you can perform them laying on the ground, surfing the ‘net or watching TV. Not that I’m recommending that, it would probably be more professional to tell you to concentrate on your working muscles, breathing deeply and watching your form closely. So do that.


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Sitting is Killing You So Get Off Your Butt

I used to work for my dad in his office, the very first “real” job I ever had, and his favorite joke was saying that I was getting the “secretary spread,” a delightfully insensitive term he used to poke fun at the stereotype of overweight office women with flat butts munching out of candy bowls all day. Little did I know, while his delivery was anything but tactful, his message was pretty dead on.

If you sit for more than 6 hours a day, (think about work, driving, watching TV, surfing the internet- are you sitting right now?) here are some disturbing facts: your risk of heart disease is increased by up to 64 percent. You’re also more at risk for certain types of cancer. If kept up long enough, you’re shaving years of quality time off your life. Sitting is literally killing you. Want one more scary fact? Most people sit for 15 hours a day.

Why is sitting so bad for you? Let us explore.

While the effects of sitting also depend on diet and other health factors, let’s assume you are a relatively healthy person of a healthy weight. You finally land your dream job, which unfortunately, has you parked at a desk for the full work day, minus an hour for lunch, and few bathroom and coffee breaks, for a total of 6 hours. Uh oh. There’s that number. And keep in mind, most people sit while eating lunch and, well, during bathroom breaks.

Immediately after sitting down, the electrical activity in your muscles slows and your calorie-burning rate drops to one calorie per minute- about a third of what it does while walking, setting you up for weight gain.

Within five days of working your fancy new desk job, your body increases plasma triglycerides, which are fatty molecules, your LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff), and your insulin resistance. This means your muscles aren’t taking in fat and your blood sugar levels skyrocket, putting you at further risk of weight gain and cholesterol issues.


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Dr. Oz Claims You Can Lose Your Behind with a “Butt-Busting” Brownie

dr oz show black and white logoToday, The Dr. Oz Show is featuring a four-step guide to getting rid of butt fat. The “Butt-Blasting Plan” consists of a supplement, a low-fat diet, a seven-day workout and a brownie. How can eating dessert help you lose fat? Dr. Oz claims that his no-bake dessert “revs up your metabolism.” There’s no sugar in this brownie either, just raw cacao powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, milk, raisins and oats (see the full recipe at the end of this post).

For the rest of the diet, Dr. Oz recommends eating plenty of complex carbs and no more than 34 grams of fat. He explains that the butt is prone to storing fat, so it’s better to increase your carb intake when targeting this area. Dr. Oz adds that you should supplement this diet with 100 milligrams of kudzu root at breakfast. Kudzu is a climbing vine native to Japan and southeast China and is used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Of course, exercise is also key to the butt blasting plan. Dr. Oz lays out a seven-day workout schedule, which consists of a different exercise to work the booty for each day. The exercises are donkey kicks, twisting lunges, dead lifts, a squat-to-jump move, glute glides using a chair, leg lifts while lying on your back and a bridge pose. Each exercise will be done 10 or 15 times.


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