Friday, February 27, 2009
(works obliques, legs, butt, back) Stand with feet just beyond shoulder-width apart and parallel. Bend knees about 45 degrees and lower hips into a half squat, letting hips sink back behind heels. Raise right arm out to side and up at an angle, palm facing front, and turn head to look up at right hand. Twist torso to right as you bring left hand to meet right. Keeping right arm stationary, imagine slowly drawing back the string of a bow as you turn torso toward front again, pulling left hand across body toward left shoulder and leaning to left (as shown). Contract abs strongly. Arms form a line from right fingers to left elbow. Reach left hand up to right again and repeat for one minute, then switch sides.
(works obliques, legs, butt) Stand with feet just beyond shoulder-width apart and parallel. Bend knees about 45 degrees and lower hips into a half squat, letting hips sink back behind heels. Bend forward and extend arms toward ground in front of you with hands clasped; look at hands. Keeping elbows straight and abs contracted, swing arms to left, turning chest, head and shoulders at the same time (as shown). Return to center and repeat to other side. Continue from side to side for one minute.
(works abs, butt, back) Stand with feet just beyond shoulder-width apart and parallel, knees slightly bent and arms overhead with thumbs entwined, elbows soft and palms facing forward. Roll hips under and squeeze butt tight so back is strong but not arched. Pull shoulder blades down so shoulders don't hunch and try to lengthen the spine (as shown). With hips facing front and abs tight, twist upper body to left. Stand up straight and repeat to other side. Continue back and forth for one minute.
(works legs, butt, back) Stand with feet just beyond shoulder-width apart and parallel. Bend knees about 45 degrees and lower hips into a half squat, letting hips sink back behind heels. Lift arms out to sides at shoulder level and slightly behind you, elbows bent and palms turned up (as shown). Lengthen torso by lifting chest and pulling shoulder blades down and back. You should feel a strong stretch across chest. Hold for several seconds, then straighten legs and lower arms to sides. Repeat for one minute.
(works shoulders, back, abs) Holding a 3- to 5-pound dumbbell in each hand (for extra toning if desired), stand with feet just beyond shoulder-width apart and parallel, knees bent and hips behind heels. Keeping torso straight (abs tight), bend forward and extend left arm forward and right arm back until both are parallel to ground, palms facing in (as shown). Hold for a count, then switch arms; repeat for two minutes. As you get more comfortable, shift weight to right foot when left arm is forward and to left foot when right arm is forward.
(works legs, butt, back, abs) Stand with feet wide, toes turned out diagonally. Raise arms overhead so they're parallel, palms facing forward. Squat down until thighs are parallel to ground, knees bent 90 degrees and aligned over ankles. Keep abs tight, chest high and shoulder blades pulled down and back. Straighten legs until knees are slightly bent, then pivot left leg to right on ball of foot as you turn body to right. Flip palms up and lower arms—elbows straight but not locked—in front of you until hands are at about chin level and not quite parallel to ground (as shown). Lean back over left leg, roll hips under and squeeze butt tight so that body forms a slight C shape. Look toward fingertips. Raise arms overhead, face front and return to deep-squat position, then repeat, turning body to left. Continue for two minutes.
(works abs, legs, butt, shoulders) Stand with abs tight, feet wide and parallel. Bend elbows 90 degrees and press wrists together in front of you so hands form a V. Raise elbows to shoulder level or slightly higher. Bend knees and lower into a squat—hips behind heels—as if sitting in a chair. Gaze at hands (as shown). Straighten legs, keeping arms raised, and repeat for one minute. Go through entire series of moves once more.
Start in mountain pose. Inhale, sweeping arms up overhead. Exhale, hinge forward at hips to a forward bend, stretching arms and head toward floor, legs straight or slightly bent; let spine round. Inhale and look forward, placing fingertips to floor, elongating spine so it's straight. Exhale; return to forward bend, rounding spine. Inhale, bending knees if necessary, sweeping arms out to sides, then up and overhead as you hinge back up to standing. Exhale, release arms to mountain pose and repeat sequence 4-6 times.
Sitting tall, legs crossed, place fingertips on the floor at your sides, arms straight, middle fingers aligned with shoulders. Keeping hips on floor, inhale and extend right arm straight up. Exhale and walk left hand out along the floor away from your left hip as you bend to the side and bring your right arm overhead, to the left [shown]. Hold, then inhale to lift back to center, lowering right arm, and repeat on opposite side.
Sitting tall, place soles of feet together and as close to your groin as possible, keeping torso erect. Interlace your fingers under your feet and let knees fall open naturally. Inhale, then exhale, leaning gently forward from hips, outside edges of feet still touching slightly, shoulders relaxed [shown]. Hold, then inhale to lift back to center.
Lie faceup on the floor, knees bent and aligned over ankles with feet hip-width apart and flat, arms relaxed on the floor alongside your torso, palms down. Inhale as you extend arms overhead, palms up, and lift torso, forming a straight line from shoulders to knees, shoulder blades still in contact with the floor [shown]. Exhale, lower arms and torso to starting position and repeat 6-8 times. Hold final bridge for recommended breaths.
Lie faceup with legs flat on the floor, then bend right knee in toward chest, placing left hand on the outside of right knee. Extend right arm out to the side on the floor, in line with right shoulder, palm down. Inhale, then exhale, pulling right knee over left leg toward the floor; look at your right hand, keeping shoulders on floor [shown]. Hold, inhale back to center position, and exhale as you straighten right leg. Switch legs and repeat on opposite side.
Works legs, abs, butt Lie faceup with knees bent, feet flat, a disk under each heel, arms down, palms down. Squeeze butt to lift hips off floor as high as you can (as shown). Keep abs and butt contracted and hips off floor as you press through heels and straighten legs. Bend knees as you slide back to bridge position; do 8 to 12 reps.
Works back, shoulders, abs Lie facedown with legs together and arms extended in front of you, a disk under each palm. Lift torso as you circle arms from overhead position to behind you, next to thighs (as shown). Hold for one count and return to start. Do 12 to 15 reps.
Works butt, abs, legs Stand with feet hip-width apart, a disk under left foot, arms at chest level, elbows bent, palms in. Bend right knee and slide left leg back as far as you can while reaching arms forward (as shown). Slide back to start. Do 12 to 15 reps. Switch legs; repeat.
Works abs, legs Lie on back with knees bent, a disk under each heel, hands behind head, elbows out. Slide right leg out straight as you lift head and shoulders off floor and twist torso to left (as shown). Slide back to start and switch sides to complete one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps.
Works abs, shoulders, chest, legs Get into push-up position on hands and toes, a disk under each toe. Keeping hips neutral and head in line with spine, slide left knee toward chest (as shown), then back to start. Switch legs to complete one rep. Start slowly at a walking pace, then progress to a run as you improve. Do 12 to 15 reps.
Works legs, arms, abs, butt Stand with feet hip-width apart, a disk under right heel and arms extended in front of thighs, palms up. Bend left knee as you slide right heel in front of you as far as you can while curling arms toward chest, hands in fists (as shown). Slide right leg back to start and lower arms. Do 12 to 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.
Works triceps, chest, abs Start in kneeling push-up position, hands directly beneath shoulders, a disk under each palm. Slowly lower body toward floor as you slide left hand back toward rib cage and right hand diagonally to the right in front of you (as shown). Push up as you slide both hands back to start. Repeat, sliding right hand back and left hand forward, to complete one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps.
Works outer thighs, butt Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees bent, a disk under each foot and arms down, elbows bent, hands in fists. Bend forward slightly at hips and plant left heel on floor. Slide right leg to side, then lift it about 12 inches off floor (as shown). Lower leg and slide back to start. Do 12 to 15 reps. Switch legs; repeat.
Works legs, abs, butt Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees bent, a disk under each foot, arms down. Plant right heel on floor and slide left foot back and to right side, lowering until right thigh is almost parallel to floor. Simultaneously rotate torso to reach arms across body to right at shoulder level and look right (as shown). Slide back to start; switch sides to complete one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps.
Works butt, back, abs, legs Lie on right side, legs stacked with right knee bent, left leg straight with a disk under big toe, head resting on raised right hand. Slide left leg out to front of body and sweep left arm forward and overhead (as shown). Swing left leg behind body, sweeping arm back toward hip, to complete one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.
Works legs, arms, abs, butt Stand with feet hip-width apart, a disk under each foot, arms down. Plant right heel on floor, slide left leg to side, reach left arm past right foot to touch floor and reach right arm back (as shown). Slide to standing. Switch sides to complete one rep; do 12 to 15 reps.
Works abs, arms, legs Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees bent, a disk (or paper plate) on carpet under each foot. Raise arms to chest level, elbows bent to 90 degrees, palms down. Lift heels and twist torso right, moving arms in opposition to legs (as shown). Return to center; twist left to complete one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps.
Works abs, thighs Lie faceup, arms at sides, palms down. Raise legs, bend knees to 90 degrees and hold legs together. With feet touching, open knees and crunch up (as shown), then close legs. Continue to flutter legs open and closed while you crunch up and down. Do three sets of 12 crunches.
Works butt, thighs Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands on hips. Step back into a lunge with left leg, lowering until right thigh is parallel to floor. Shift weight to right leg and stand, knee soft. As left leg comes forward, tap back of right calf with left foot (as shown). Return to lunge. Do 12 reps; switch legs and repeat for one set. Do three sets.
Works butt, obliques, thighs Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, toes out, and extend arms at chest level, palms together. Bend knees to 45 degrees. Maintain wide squat as you take baby steps forward. With each step, move arms mechanically in a semicircle, from left (as shown), to center, to right, then back to center, to complete one rep. Do 12 continuous reps for one set. Do three sets.
Works butt, abs, thighs Start facedown, supported on forearms and right knee, and extend left leg behind you as high as you can, toes pointed (as shown). Contract abs and butt and slowly cross left leg behind right foot, reaching toes toward floor without touching down. Return leg to start. Do 12 reps; switch legs and repeat for one set. Do three sets.
Works thighs, abs, butt Sit with right leg extended, foot flexed, and left knee bent, foot flat. Grasp shin of left leg. Raise right leg a few inches off floor and sweep away from body (as shown). Hold for one count. Return leg to center. Do 12 reps; switch legs and repeat for one set. Do three sets.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Works calves, abs, butt Stand with toes together, heels out, hands on hips. Contract abs as you slowly lift heels, rising onto balls of feet (as shown). Hold for two seconds. Lower to start and repeat. Do three sets of 15 reps; speed up for the last 5 reps of each set.
Use your 20s to explore new sports and exercises to find activities you'll love for a lifetime.
to your health
At this point in life, the quest for a sleek and sexy physique typically trumps long-term health concerns. But there are so many reasons, beyond looking good, to exercise. Both cardio and strength training will keep your body burning calories efficiently, so you won't just be trim and toned, you'll be greatly reducing your risk for obesity-related conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Those aren't just ailments for old folks: "Type 2 diabetes, once thought of as a disease for middle-aged adults, now affects teenagers and even children," says certified trainer Joy Prouty. "You can't afford to delay taking care of your body until you're 40." The patterns you establish now are key to setting you up for a lifetime of good habits.
Perform a cardio workout 4-6 times a week. Push yourself, but be aware of the signs of overtraining, such as fatigue, difficulty sleeping, joint or muscle discomfort and more than your share of colds. "Doing step aerobics 6 times a week can do long-term damage," Prouty cautions. Mix up low- and high-impact training to prevent overuse injuries.
why target moves work
These moves focus on core stability -- the cornerstone to better posture, control and performance for every activity you do -- as well as lower-body strength. Develop muscles that are strong and balanced now, and you'll see the payoffs as you age.
(works your entire rectus abdominis and obliques) Sit on the edge of a chair, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Cross left forearm over right as shown; tighten abs and lean back slightly. Keeping torso reclined toward the back of the chair, twist to the right as far as you comfortably can.
Immediately twist to the left; repeat, going from side to side for a minute, working up to two minutes.
(works your upper rectus abdominis and obliques) Lie back, knees bent 90 degrees, feet 2 feet apart; place right hand on stomach and rest left arm by sidLift shoulders several inches off the floor and reach left hand toward right knee.
Lower almost to start and repeat on opposite side, placing left hand on stomach and reaching right hand toward left knee (that?s one rep).
(works your obliques) Lie on your left side, left leg extended, left knee soft, right knee bent, foot on the floor behind left kneExtend left arm on floor, bend right elbow and place hand behind head.
Crunch up to the side, lifting right shoulder toward right hip. Lower almost to starting position and repeat. Complete both sets; switch sides and repeat.
works your upper rectus abdominis) Lie back with your knees bent 90 degrees, feet about 2 feet apart. Loop a towel around the back of your neck and hold an end in each hand; contract abs.
Lift your shoulder blades several inches off the floor (don?t pull on the towel to lift). Slowly lower until shoulders are about an inch from the floor and repeat.
(works your lower rectus abdominis) Sit on the edge of a chair, knees bent, feet flat on the floor; hold on to sides of chair. Tighten abs, lean back slightly and lift feet several inches (keeping knees bent).
Pull knees in toward chest and crunch upper body forwarLower feet almost to floor and repeat
(works your lower rectus abdominis) Lie back, holding a ball (any kind will do) in both hands, arms raised toward the ceiling, legs extended, feet flexed.
Contract abs and butt and lift shoulder blades a few inches off the floor. Aim to lift the ball straight up toward the ceiling rather than forwarLower until shoulders are about an inch from the floor and repeat.
(works your upper rectus ab-dominis) Lie down, knees bent, feet together and anchored under an ottoman or a couch; loop a towel around the back of your neck and hold each end.
Contract abs and lift shoulders, then your back, curling all the way up. Too strenuous? Just lift shoulder blades off the floor. Lower almost to floor and repeat.
(works your lower rectus abdominis) Stand with your back to a wall, feet about a foot away from it, knees soft. Keeping feet in place, lean against the wall and rest hands on it by your sides. Contract your abs and bend and lift right knee as you raise shoulders a few inches off the wall and curl down toward your knee.
diately repeat with left knee, keeping your shoulders lifted off the wall the entire time.