“My hips are so tight.” That’s probably the biggest complaint I hear from people in my yoga classes. Now, I’m not a magician, but I can help you get those tight hips open. Most of us move our legs in two directions, forward and backward. There is typically no lateral movement whatsoever, unless you’re a dancer, gymnast, MMA fighter, or a member of Cirque du Soleil. That’s what we need to change — we must find more ways to move the legs in such a way that keeps our hips mobile.
It’s happening again. You may have a napping infant nearby, a sensitive downstairs neighbor, or even a freak storm keeping you indoors. Want to exercise but need a quiet workout? We’ve got you covered with these tip-toe toning moves. There’s bound to be one — or more — that will work for you and your environment.
When you first start working out and eating right, those initial gains are usually easy to see: You lose some weight. You can see a bit of muscle. You get a little swagger in your step.
After a while, though, that steady stream of improvements may slow to a trickle or even dry up entirely. You might see that your weight has plateaued or that you’ve actually gained a few pounds. What in the world is going on?
Real talk: I didn’t learn to ride a bike until the age of 26 and didn’t run a full mile until a year after that. I was a member of the fancy gym on my university campus but went there only twice in four years. I avoided exercise simply because I wasn’t “good” at it, and just thinking about it made me feel self-conscious and anxious. I was afraid I was going to do it wrong and hurt myself; I was afraid to look like an idiot in front of my friends; I was afraid of failing, so I avoided failure by not trying in the first place.
Whether your goal is to get bigger and stronger, or improve power and explosiveness for sports, you want to see progress — and pronto. But building muscle efficiently requires more than just putting in time at the weight rack. Along with your weight-training regimen, diet and lifestyle choices — such as proper sleep — all play important roles. Here are some resistance training strategies to help get you started:
You smash a bottle. You glue the pieces of that broken bottle back together. You then smash the reconstituted bottle and again affix the shards to one another.
Do this enough times and eventually the bottle will be significantly larger than when you started out due to the amount of reparative material that’s been introduced over several smash-fix cycles. This process is analogous to the one by which muscles get bigger—workout-induced damage to muscle fibers is the smashing, rest and recovery (along with proper nutrition) is the gluing.
Tai chi, often referred to as a moving meditation, is a martial arts discipline that combines slow, steady movements with deep, mindful breathing to achieve balance and harmony in the body, mind, and spirit—and it may be just what you need to run faster, lift heavier, and go longer.
After my pregnancy that forbade most forms of exercise, I was really looking forward to getting back in shape: My abs and belly fat were a mess, my arms were beginning to look like my grandmother’s and my knees had felt the pressure of carrying my sweet little watermelon.
But where to begin? What exercises should I do? And most importantly when should I do them—between my sleepless nights, early morning wake-ups and a clamoring baby in need of my attention (not to mention a house and husband that need to be taken care of, too), how could I possibly squeeze in working out?
By now, you’re probably familiar with P90X, one of Beachbody’s most successful fitness programs. Hopefully, you’re one of the millions of people who’ve used it to get into the best shape of their lives. But there’s also a chance that after a workout or two, you became so sore that even tying your shoes became difficult, and have used the DVDs as coasters ever since. Or maybe you didn’t even get that far. Maybe the infomercial alone gave you night terrors for weeks. Sure, you liked the idea of becoming fitter, stronger, leaner, and more energetic with P90X, but the program itself just seemed too daunting.
For many barbell-and-dumbbell devotees, bodyweight exercises are bush-league: Novice exercises you quickly abandon in favor of those involving iron. But bodyweight squats, push-ups, lunges, jumps, and other moves aren’t just for beginners. Smart trainers know that using your body as your barbell can build just as much muscle — and burn just as much fat — as pumping iron. Don’t believe us? Talk to a gymnast, soldier, or even a convict, many of whom sculpt cover-model worthy physiques without ever lifting a weight.
After you’ve slogged through a Tough Mudder or sweated through a week of The Master’s Hammer and Chisel workouts, it’s no surprise that you could use a break. The terms “rest” and “recovery” are often used interchangeably when in reference to exercise, and while they’re similar — rest is a component of recovery in the same way REM is a part of sleep — they are not the same thing at all.
Crunches might receive most of the attention when it comes to sculpting a six-pack, but if you want a strong, chiseled middle, it also pays to stay still. Isometric exercises such as the plank are among the most effective ways to train your core, according to a recent study at the University of Waterloo. The reason:
Soon after we published “9 Yoga Stretches to Help Relieve Hip and Lower Back Pain,” the comments started rolling in. Or perhaps “flooding in” is more like it. Either way, the message was clear: People wanted more poses for easing back aches, moving with greater ease and fluidity, and enhancing total body mobility and power. If you were one of those people, this article is for you.