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Mix Up Your Yoga Sun Salutation for Increased Upper Body Strength

Most fitness experts will tell you that mixing up your workout can lift you out of a plateau and bring you closer to your desired results. Doing the same exercises day in and day out can not only lead to burn out or overuse injuries, it can slow your advancement towards becoming fitter, tougher and leaner. By changing your routine from time to time, your body will be challenged and become stronger as a result.

If you are one of the millions who practice yoga not so much for the repetitive routines some styles offer, but because you love to mix it up, stay fresh and keep it interesting, the following will show you what you can do to add a challenging variation to the classic sun salutation sequence.

In some traditional yoga styles you would normally be exhaling into chaturanga, inhaling into upward dog and then exhaling back into downward dog. This is the mid-section of a sun salute, also referred to as the vinyasa, and is great for developing total upper body strength and tone. However, mixing it up just a touch can be exactly the refreshing change you need to take your upper body strength to a new level.


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Zoe Saldana’s Killer Workout for Colombiana

By Kelsey Murray

Zoe Saldana is a beautiful, talented young actress who is really starting to gain the attention and fame she deserves. Her newest movie to hit the big screens was Colombiana, which opened in the USA on August 26, 2011.

In the film, Saldana plays Cataleya, an assassin who is in killer shape (no pun intended). In order to get the fantastic physique to portray Cataleya, Saldana trained three or four days each week with her personal trainer, Steve Moyer. Saldana has worked with Moyer since 2009; the trainer also works with Amanda Righetti and Shannon Doherty.

Moyer and Saldana both wanted to keep her already athletic build, but also wanted to keep her injury-free and healthy while training for and shooting the film.

“I give her a lot of credit – she knows how to eat healthy for herself,” Moyer said of Saldana. “I give her the tips and suggestions when she wants them.”


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Join the Plank A Day Revolution

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.


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Impressive Planking Requires Extreme Core Strength

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.


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10 Minute Ab Workout Gets More From Your Core

The following ten minute ab workout is designed to target your all your core muscles while firming and toning your entire midsection. Each exercise targets a little bit different part of the core and by adding them all together, you get an amazing, complete- and quick- ab workout.

Ten Minute Ab Workout (video examples of each exercise appears below):

  • Crunch with arms across chest (1 minute): While lying on your back, bend your knees and place your arms across your chest. Crunch forward slightly raising shoulder blades off the ground while releasing your back to the ground. Keep your chin pointed up towards the ceiling to avoid neck pain.
  • Crunch with arms across chest and feet up (1 minute): While lying on your back, bend your knees and raise feet perpendicular to the ground. Crunch forward slightly raising shoulder blades off the ground keeping your chin up.
  • Bicycle crunches (1 minute): While lying on you back, bring one knee in towards your chest while taking opposite elbow towards your knee. Repeat while switching knees and elbows.


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