Laurel Leicht – Life by Daily Burn http://dailyburn.com/life Mon, 22 Jan 2018 21:50:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 8 Exercises Trainers Never Do (And What to Do Instead) http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/worst-strength-exercises-trainer-tips/ Mon, 15 Jan 2018 16:15:45 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64783

[caption id="attachment_64798" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Strength Exercises Trainers Never Do (And What to Do Instead) Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Heading into the gym with a solid workout plan is a surefire way to have a successful, efficient sweat session. But figuring out exactly what strength exercises to do can get a little tricky. While certain exercises (think biceps curls and crunches) seem like easy, familiar choices, they’re not always the best bet for seeing results. In fact, just because everyone’s doing a certain move, doesn’t mean it’s even safe.

“It's important to measure the risk-to-benefit ratio of any exercise,” says Susie Crossland-Dwyer, strength and run coach and founder of Studio S in Cincinnati, OH. She tends to avoid exercises that target a single muscle or muscle group and moves that carry little benefit with high risk of injury. So what are the strength exercises trainers never do? Here are eight for starters, plus recommendations for safer, more effective substitutions.

RELATED: The 7 Best Strength Exercises You’re Not Doing

Strength Exercises You Should Skip and What To Do Instead

1. Skip: Crunches

Old news that still rings true: Crunches aren’t nearly as effective as other core exercises. Yet people still continue to do them. “A lot of exercise enthusiasts do crunches ad nauseam without really increasing their core strength,” says Crossland-Dwyer. What’s worse is the move can lead to neck or back pain and sometimes hip issues.

Substitution: Pilates Roll-Up

Unlike a traditional crunch, this move targets deeper layers of your abs, which will increase your stability and improve your posture.

How to: Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms overhead, palms facing one another (a). Slowly roll up, making a C-shape with your spine as you do. Your abs should be pulled in and engaged during the entire movement, creating a hollowing feeling through the low abdominals (b). Continue to roll forward into a stretch, while keeping your shoulders down, away from your ears (c). Hold the stretch for about 10 seconds, then roll back to start and repeat.

2. Skip: Hip Abductor Machine

“People often think that machines make it easier to perform the exercise movement and manipulate the body because they look user-friendly,” says Nikki Snow, a Les Mills International trainer based in Chicago. But strength exercises on hip abductor machines often aren’t as beneficial as moves with free weights or even just your bodyweight. “The abductor machine — aka thigh master machine — packs a big burn, but there are more effective exercises that can isolate the side glutes and hips safe and effectively.”

Substitution: Sumo Squat

This squat variation, with your legs wide apart, targets your inner thighs like none other.

How to: Stand with legs a few steps wider than hip-width apart, toes turned out. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your hips (a). Lower your hips down and back until your thighs are parallel to the floor (b). Stand back up and repeat.

RELATED: 50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes

3. Skip: Weighted Standing Side Bends

Holding a dumbbell on one side of your body during side bends “puts the spine in a compromised position, and it’s hard to maintain alignment to isolate the obliques properly,” says Snow. “It’s easy to use momentum and rock side to side, which can put strain on the lower back and decrease isolation in the targeted muscle group.”

Substitution: Side Plank with Hip Lift

“This move isolates the obliques and strengthens shoulders and surrounding core muscles very effectively,” Snow says.

How to: Lie on your side and prop yourself up on your forearm and elbow. Your feet, hips and shoulders should align. Extend your top arm toward the ceiling (a). Lift your hips off the ground and up toward the ceiling. Hips should stay stacked, with body in one straight line (b). Lower your hips a few inches toward the floor, then lift back up to a straight side plank, using your abs to move you (c). Repeat.

4. Skip: Leg Press

The leg press can be fun, because you can typically lift more weight on the machine than you can handle on a standing squat, so you feel extra-powerful. But that increased weight is part of the problem, says Greg Justice, MA, owner of AYC Health and Fitness in Kansas City, KS. “The biggest problem I see with the leg press is the inclination to put too much weight on the machine, potentially causing the pelvis to rotate away from the back rest as you lower the weight. This can cause a herniated disc.” Plus, using the leg press takes stability out of the equation, forcing your quads to do most of the work, without hitting the hamstrings or glutes, says Crossland-Dwyer.

Substitution: Bulgarian Split Squat

“With split squats, you start with stabilizing the body before going through the range of motion,” Justice explains. “You need to engage the whole body throughout the entire process, and that transfers to real life movements or recreational sports.”

How to: Stand with your back facing a bench or box. Put one foot on top of the bench. Make sure you’re far enough away from the bench so you can create a 90-degree bend in your front knee (a). Bend your front knee to lower your back knee toward the ground, and aim to get your front thigh parallel to the floor (b). Push through the heel of your front foot to return to the starting position, keeping your chest up, eyes forward and shoulders back (c). Repeat.

RELATED: How Strong Is Your Squat? Try This Trainer-Backed Test

[caption id="attachment_64799" align="alignnone" width="620"]Worst Strength Exercises, According to Trainers: Russian Twist (Instead Do Plank Hip Dips) Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Skip: Russian Twist

This core workout move, in which you sit on the floor and twist from side to side (usually holding a weight), is a popular one. While it might seem more functional than a crunch, it’s not necessarily better. “Recent research has shown that Russian twists are more harmful than beneficial,” says James Thomas, a Les Mills national trainer based in New York City. “Combining the compression and flexion of this movement with rotation places a lot of pressure on the spinal disc, excessive compression of the lumbar spine, and movement of disc fluid.”

Substitution: Forearm Plank with Hip Dips

Planks target your entire core while keeping the spine in a safe, neutral position. Add a side-to-side motion and you also get deep into the side of your abs, aka your oblique muscles.

How to: Bring your elbows directly under your shoulders pressing both forearms into the floor. Keeping feet hip-distance apart, extend legs behind you as you bring your body off the ground. Your body should from a straight line from head to heel as you keep your chin tucked in, squeeze your abs tight, and tailbone tucked (a). When you’re steady, slowly drop your left hip toward the floor (b). Bring your hips back toward neutral, and continue through the middle to drop your right hip toward the floor (c). Continue alternating.

6. Skip: Behind-the-Head Military Press

This move is a common one with body builders, but it’s far from the safest way to gain muscle in your upper body. “It puts undue stress on most people’s shoulders — even if you were just doing the movement with a broomstick,” says Mike Donavanik, CSCS, a personal trainer based in Los Angeles. “Most people lack the shoulder mobility, strength, posture and stabilization to do this correctly.” As a result, the movement pattern gets messed up, other muscles start compensating, and you could walk away with an upper body injury.

Substitution: Arnold Press

You’ll work through a full range of motion with this exercise, nixing excess stress on your shoulder joints. Plus, it uses dumbbells rather than a barbell, so each arm and shoulder joint has to work independently of the other, says Donavanik. “If you have any mobility or strength issues on one side, you’ll figure it out pretty quickly this way.”

How to: Start standing with one dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent and palms facing you with dumbbells held at just above collarbone level (don’t let the weights rest on your body) (a). Open your arms out to the sides, bringing your palms to face forward (c). Then, press the dumbbells up overhead. Palms should face away from you by the time you reach the top of the motion (d). Lower back down the way you went up and repeat.

RELATED: 8 Arm Exercises You Haven’t Done Before

7. Skip: Smith Machine Squat

The Smith machine holds the barbell in place while you move up and down. “It makes you move in a straight line. But while this might sound good, it’s not natural for the barbell to travel in a perfectly straight line,” explains Scarlett MacFarlane, a CrossFit level 2 trainer at Brick in New York City. “The body naturally deviates to a small degree, especially taking into account each person's different anatomical needs. So this can be potentially unnatural for the knees, hips or lower back.” The machine can also hinder your range of motion, meaning you don’t get all the strengthening benefits you could with free weights.

Substitution: Front Squat

This strength exercise will allow your body to naturally go up and down to maximize results.

How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell (or two dumbbells) against your body at the front of your chest, palms facing up (if using a barbell) (a). Keeping your weight in your heels to mid-sole, send your hips back and down with your chest up and back flat. Lower until your hips are below your knees (b). Keeping your core tight, return to the starting position (c).

8. Skip: Kipping Pull-Up

These swinging pull-ups —  the ones you see CrossFitters busting out like nobody’s business — do look cool. And the momentum you generate while moving your body forward and back allows you to do more reps than traditional pull-ups. But there’s a catch. You’re putting your shoulders at risk if they aren’t strong enough to support the swinging force. “Most people just don't have the muscular strength and shoulder mobility to do these safely,” says Justice.

Substitution: Traditional Pull-Up

A regular pull-up is one of the best moves you can do for your upper body. It’s a true compound exercise, working muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms at once, says Justice.

How to:  Grab onto a bar with an overhand grip (palms facing away from you), hands shoulder width apart (a). Starting with your arms straightened, pull yourself upward until chin is over the bar. Don't arch your back or swing; instead bend your knees and cross your feet (b). Then lower to start and repeat. (Can’t do a pull-up without swinging? Check out these exercises to get you there, then check out this how-to for working up to full range of motion.)

Read More
The 20 Worst People at the Gym, According to Trainers
6 Common TRX Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)
275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine

The post 8 Exercises Trainers Never Do (And What to Do Instead) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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[caption id="attachment_64798" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Strength Exercises Trainers Never Do (And What to Do Instead) Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Heading into the gym with a solid workout plan is a surefire way to have a successful, efficient sweat session. But figuring out exactly what strength exercises to do can get a little tricky. While certain exercises (think biceps curls and crunches) seem like easy, familiar choices, they’re not always the best bet for seeing results. In fact, just because everyone’s doing a certain move, doesn’t mean it’s even safe. “It's important to measure the risk-to-benefit ratio of any exercise,” says Susie Crossland-Dwyer, strength and run coach and founder of Studio S in Cincinnati, OH. She tends to avoid exercises that target a single muscle or muscle group and moves that carry little benefit with high risk of injury. So what are the strength exercises trainers never do? Here are eight for starters, plus recommendations for safer, more effective substitutions. RELATED: The 7 Best Strength Exercises You’re Not Doing

Strength Exercises You Should Skip and What To Do Instead

1. Skip: Crunches

Old news that still rings true: Crunches aren’t nearly as effective as other core exercises. Yet people still continue to do them. “A lot of exercise enthusiasts do crunches ad nauseam without really increasing their core strength,” says Crossland-Dwyer. What’s worse is the move can lead to neck or back pain and sometimes hip issues. Substitution: Pilates Roll-Up Unlike a traditional crunch, this move targets deeper layers of your abs, which will increase your stability and improve your posture. How to: Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms overhead, palms facing one another (a). Slowly roll up, making a C-shape with your spine as you do. Your abs should be pulled in and engaged during the entire movement, creating a hollowing feeling through the low abdominals (b). Continue to roll forward into a stretch, while keeping your shoulders down, away from your ears (c). Hold the stretch for about 10 seconds, then roll back to start and repeat.

2. Skip: Hip Abductor Machine

“People often think that machines make it easier to perform the exercise movement and manipulate the body because they look user-friendly,” says Nikki Snow, a Les Mills International trainer based in Chicago. But strength exercises on hip abductor machines often aren’t as beneficial as moves with free weights or even just your bodyweight. “The abductor machine — aka thigh master machine — packs a big burn, but there are more effective exercises that can isolate the side glutes and hips safe and effectively.” Substitution: Sumo Squat This squat variation, with your legs wide apart, targets your inner thighs like none other. How to: Stand with legs a few steps wider than hip-width apart, toes turned out. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your hips (a). Lower your hips down and back until your thighs are parallel to the floor (b). Stand back up and repeat. RELATED: 50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes

3. Skip: Weighted Standing Side Bends

Holding a dumbbell on one side of your body during side bends “puts the spine in a compromised position, and it’s hard to maintain alignment to isolate the obliques properly,” says Snow. “It’s easy to use momentum and rock side to side, which can put strain on the lower back and decrease isolation in the targeted muscle group.” Substitution: Side Plank with Hip Lift “This move isolates the obliques and strengthens shoulders and surrounding core muscles very effectively,” Snow says. How to: Lie on your side and prop yourself up on your forearm and elbow. Your feet, hips and shoulders should align. Extend your top arm toward the ceiling (a). Lift your hips off the ground and up toward the ceiling. Hips should stay stacked, with body in one straight line (b). Lower your hips a few inches toward the floor, then lift back up to a straight side plank, using your abs to move you (c). Repeat.

4. Skip: Leg Press

The leg press can be fun, because you can typically lift more weight on the machine than you can handle on a standing squat, so you feel extra-powerful. But that increased weight is part of the problem, says Greg Justice, MA, owner of AYC Health and Fitness in Kansas City, KS. “The biggest problem I see with the leg press is the inclination to put too much weight on the machine, potentially causing the pelvis to rotate away from the back rest as you lower the weight. This can cause a herniated disc.” Plus, using the leg press takes stability out of the equation, forcing your quads to do most of the work, without hitting the hamstrings or glutes, says Crossland-Dwyer. Substitution: Bulgarian Split Squat “With split squats, you start with stabilizing the body before going through the range of motion,” Justice explains. “You need to engage the whole body throughout the entire process, and that transfers to real life movements or recreational sports.” How to: Stand with your back facing a bench or box. Put one foot on top of the bench. Make sure you’re far enough away from the bench so you can create a 90-degree bend in your front knee (a). Bend your front knee to lower your back knee toward the ground, and aim to get your front thigh parallel to the floor (b). Push through the heel of your front foot to return to the starting position, keeping your chest up, eyes forward and shoulders back (c). Repeat. RELATED: How Strong Is Your Squat? Try This Trainer-Backed Test [caption id="attachment_64799" align="alignnone" width="620"]Worst Strength Exercises, According to Trainers: Russian Twist (Instead Do Plank Hip Dips) Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Skip: Russian Twist

This core workout move, in which you sit on the floor and twist from side to side (usually holding a weight), is a popular one. While it might seem more functional than a crunch, it’s not necessarily better. “Recent research has shown that Russian twists are more harmful than beneficial,” says James Thomas, a Les Mills national trainer based in New York City. “Combining the compression and flexion of this movement with rotation places a lot of pressure on the spinal disc, excessive compression of the lumbar spine, and movement of disc fluid.” Substitution: Forearm Plank with Hip Dips Planks target your entire core while keeping the spine in a safe, neutral position. Add a side-to-side motion and you also get deep into the side of your abs, aka your oblique muscles. How to: Bring your elbows directly under your shoulders pressing both forearms into the floor. Keeping feet hip-distance apart, extend legs behind you as you bring your body off the ground. Your body should from a straight line from head to heel as you keep your chin tucked in, squeeze your abs tight, and tailbone tucked (a). When you’re steady, slowly drop your left hip toward the floor (b). Bring your hips back toward neutral, and continue through the middle to drop your right hip toward the floor (c). Continue alternating.

6. Skip: Behind-the-Head Military Press

This move is a common one with body builders, but it’s far from the safest way to gain muscle in your upper body. “It puts undue stress on most people’s shoulders — even if you were just doing the movement with a broomstick,” says Mike Donavanik, CSCS, a personal trainer based in Los Angeles. “Most people lack the shoulder mobility, strength, posture and stabilization to do this correctly.” As a result, the movement pattern gets messed up, other muscles start compensating, and you could walk away with an upper body injury. Substitution: Arnold Press You’ll work through a full range of motion with this exercise, nixing excess stress on your shoulder joints. Plus, it uses dumbbells rather than a barbell, so each arm and shoulder joint has to work independently of the other, says Donavanik. “If you have any mobility or strength issues on one side, you’ll figure it out pretty quickly this way.” How to: Start standing with one dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent and palms facing you with dumbbells held at just above collarbone level (don’t let the weights rest on your body) (a). Open your arms out to the sides, bringing your palms to face forward (c). Then, press the dumbbells up overhead. Palms should face away from you by the time you reach the top of the motion (d). Lower back down the way you went up and repeat. RELATED: 8 Arm Exercises You Haven’t Done Before

7. Skip: Smith Machine Squat

The Smith machine holds the barbell in place while you move up and down. “It makes you move in a straight line. But while this might sound good, it’s not natural for the barbell to travel in a perfectly straight line,” explains Scarlett MacFarlane, a CrossFit level 2 trainer at Brick in New York City. “The body naturally deviates to a small degree, especially taking into account each person's different anatomical needs. So this can be potentially unnatural for the knees, hips or lower back.” The machine can also hinder your range of motion, meaning you don’t get all the strengthening benefits you could with free weights. Substitution: Front Squat This strength exercise will allow your body to naturally go up and down to maximize results. How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell (or two dumbbells) against your body at the front of your chest, palms facing up (if using a barbell) (a). Keeping your weight in your heels to mid-sole, send your hips back and down with your chest up and back flat. Lower until your hips are below your knees (b). Keeping your core tight, return to the starting position (c).

8. Skip: Kipping Pull-Up

These swinging pull-ups —  the ones you see CrossFitters busting out like nobody’s business — do look cool. And the momentum you generate while moving your body forward and back allows you to do more reps than traditional pull-ups. But there’s a catch. You’re putting your shoulders at risk if they aren’t strong enough to support the swinging force. “Most people just don't have the muscular strength and shoulder mobility to do these safely,” says Justice. Substitution: Traditional Pull-Up A regular pull-up is one of the best moves you can do for your upper body. It’s a true compound exercise, working muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms at once, says Justice. How to:  Grab onto a bar with an overhand grip (palms facing away from you), hands shoulder width apart (a). Starting with your arms straightened, pull yourself upward until chin is over the bar. Don't arch your back or swing; instead bend your knees and cross your feet (b). Then lower to start and repeat. (Can’t do a pull-up without swinging? Check out these exercises to get you there, then check out this how-to for working up to full range of motion.) Read More The 20 Worst People at the Gym, According to Trainers 6 Common TRX Mistakes (And How to Fix Them) 275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine

The post 8 Exercises Trainers Never Do (And What to Do Instead) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Sculpt the Back of Your Body with Jason Walsh’s Go-To Moves http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/jason-walsh-posterior-chain-exercises/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/jason-walsh-posterior-chain-exercises/#respond Mon, 23 Oct 2017 11:15:49 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=62805 8 Exercises to Work Your Posterior Chain from Jason Walsh

[caption id="attachment_62812" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Exercises to Strengthen Your Posterior Chain from Jason Walsh Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Forget sexy, we’re bringing strength back — that is, to the back of your body. While you know toughening up your muscles with weight training helps sidestep injury, focusing only on your front (think push-ups, bench presses and bicep curls) won’t cut it. Here’s why: Those moves — favorites among the majority of gym-goers — only work one side of your body.

“People like to focus on the things they see right in front of them, the muscles they see in the mirror,” says celebrity trainer Jason Walsh (who just got Emma Stone top shape for Battle of the Sexes) and founder of Rise Nation in Los Angeles. “They might do some rows, but the back side of the body, known as the posterior chain, is an afterthought. Focusing on that, though, is important to have a balanced body that’s functional, working well and pain-free.”

RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers

Doing moves like presses, crunches or even taking a spin class (not to mention sitting hunched over a laptop) pulls your body forward. And in turn, you ignore the entire backside, which then stays weak. “Weak glutes and hamstrings lead to extra strain on the lower back,” says Walsh. They can also lead to poor posture — or knee pain if your glutes aren’t strong enough to stabilize your legs.

Walsh’s fix: Mix multi-joint exercises into your gym routine, so you move in a variety of directions and work in a functional way. He often takes clients through intervals on the rower, as well as through hip flexion and extension moves. Steal his other eight favorite exercises for working the entire back of your body. Like we said, you’ll bring that strength right (to your) back.

RELATED: 8 Yoga Poses to Help Ease Lower Back Pain

8 Exercises to Strengthen Your Posterior Chain from Jason Walsh

Perform each of the moves below for 30 seconds each, and then repeat for three to five rounds. Aim to get in as many reps as possible in those 30 seconds. Your entire back side is about to get super strong and sculpted.

[caption id="attachment_62813" align="alignnone" width="620"]Posterior Chain Workout from Jason Walsh: Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift Exercise GIFs courtesy of Jason Walsh[/caption]

1. Single-Leg Russian Deadlift

How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand (a). Shift your weight into your right foot and lean forward with a flat back, shoulders relaxed. At the same time, lift your left leg behind you, lowering until your body is parallel to the floor. Arms should extend toward the floor as you keep your shoulders back (don’t round your back) (b). Let your right leg bend slightly as you lower (c). Slowly stand back up and repeat (d). Then switch sides.

Posterior Chain Workout from Jason Walsh: Pull-Up Hold Exercise

2. Isometric Pull-Up Hold

How to: Stand in front of a pull-up bar, hands gripping the bar (a). Jump up so your chin is above the bar, elbows are bent and down by your sides (b). Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds, then lower down (c).

RELATED: 7 Ways Exercise Helps Relieve Back Pain

Posterior Chain Workout from Jason Walsh: Hip Thrust Exercise

3. Hip Thrust

How to: Facing away from a bench, lean your shoulder blades against it, feet flat on floor in front of you (a). Engaging your glutes, push your hips up as if you’re doing a bridge. To up the challenge, bring your feet together, and raise one knee in the air (hitting tabletop position) as your lift your hips (b). Lower back down, then repeat.

Posterior Chain Workout from Jason Walsh: Superman Exercise

4. Superman

How to: Lie face down on the floor or a bench with arms and legs extended (a). Engaging your glutes, lift your torso, arms and legs a few inches off floor (b). Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, then lower to start (c). Repeat.

RELATED: 50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes

Posterior Chain Workout from Jason Walsh: Sled Drag Exercise

5. Sled Drag

How to: Stand facing a weighted sled and holding onto the sides with both hands. Lower into a squat position (a). Keeping chest up and pushing off your heels, walk backwards, pulling the sled with you (b). Repeat.

Posterior Chain Workout from Jason Walsh: Spiderman Crawl Exercise

6. Spiderman Crawl

How to: Start in a high plank position (a). Step your right leg up to the outside of your right hand, knee above your elbow. At the same time, step your left hand forward and lower down into a tricep push-up (b). Push yourself back up, and as you reach the top, step your right foot back, left foot up to the outside of your left hand. Right hand takes a step forward (c). Repeat the push up and continue alternating as you move forward.

Read More
The 5-Minute, No-Equipment Back Workout
Are You Doing the Deadlift All Wrong?
The 7 Best Strength Exercises You’re Not Doing

The post Sculpt the Back of Your Body with Jason Walsh’s Go-To Moves appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
8 Exercises to Work Your Posterior Chain from Jason Walsh

[caption id="attachment_62812" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Exercises to Strengthen Your Posterior Chain from Jason Walsh Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Forget sexy, we’re bringing strength back — that is, to the back of your body. While you know toughening up your muscles with weight training helps sidestep injury, focusing only on your front (think push-ups, bench presses and bicep curls) won’t cut it. Here’s why: Those moves — favorites among the majority of gym-goers — only work one side of your body. “People like to focus on the things they see right in front of them, the muscles they see in the mirror,” says celebrity trainer Jason Walsh (who just got Emma Stone top shape for Battle of the Sexes) and founder of Rise Nation in Los Angeles. “They might do some rows, but the back side of the body, known as the posterior chain, is an afterthought. Focusing on that, though, is important to have a balanced body that’s functional, working well and pain-free.” RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers Doing moves like presses, crunches or even taking a spin class (not to mention sitting hunched over a laptop) pulls your body forward. And in turn, you ignore the entire backside, which then stays weak. “Weak glutes and hamstrings lead to extra strain on the lower back,” says Walsh. They can also lead to poor posture — or knee pain if your glutes aren’t strong enough to stabilize your legs. Walsh’s fix: Mix multi-joint exercises into your gym routine, so you move in a variety of directions and work in a functional way. He often takes clients through intervals on the rower, as well as through hip flexion and extension moves. Steal his other eight favorite exercises for working the entire back of your body. Like we said, you’ll bring that strength right (to your) back. RELATED: 8 Yoga Poses to Help Ease Lower Back Pain

8 Exercises to Strengthen Your Posterior Chain from Jason Walsh

Perform each of the moves below for 30 seconds each, and then repeat for three to five rounds. Aim to get in as many reps as possible in those 30 seconds. Your entire back side is about to get super strong and sculpted. [caption id="attachment_62813" align="alignnone" width="620"]Posterior Chain Workout from Jason Walsh: Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift Exercise GIFs courtesy of Jason Walsh[/caption]

1. Single-Leg Russian Deadlift

How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand (a). Shift your weight into your right foot and lean forward with a flat back, shoulders relaxed. At the same time, lift your left leg behind you, lowering until your body is parallel to the floor. Arms should extend toward the floor as you keep your shoulders back (don’t round your back) (b). Let your right leg bend slightly as you lower (c). Slowly stand back up and repeat (d). Then switch sides. Posterior Chain Workout from Jason Walsh: Pull-Up Hold Exercise

2. Isometric Pull-Up Hold

How to: Stand in front of a pull-up bar, hands gripping the bar (a). Jump up so your chin is above the bar, elbows are bent and down by your sides (b). Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds, then lower down (c). RELATED: 7 Ways Exercise Helps Relieve Back Pain Posterior Chain Workout from Jason Walsh: Hip Thrust Exercise

3. Hip Thrust

How to: Facing away from a bench, lean your shoulder blades against it, feet flat on floor in front of you (a). Engaging your glutes, push your hips up as if you’re doing a bridge. To up the challenge, bring your feet together, and raise one knee in the air (hitting tabletop position) as your lift your hips (b). Lower back down, then repeat. Posterior Chain Workout from Jason Walsh: Superman Exercise

4. Superman

How to: Lie face down on the floor or a bench with arms and legs extended (a). Engaging your glutes, lift your torso, arms and legs a few inches off floor (b). Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, then lower to start (c). Repeat. RELATED: 50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes Posterior Chain Workout from Jason Walsh: Sled Drag Exercise

5. Sled Drag

How to: Stand facing a weighted sled and holding onto the sides with both hands. Lower into a squat position (a). Keeping chest up and pushing off your heels, walk backwards, pulling the sled with you (b). Repeat. Posterior Chain Workout from Jason Walsh: Spiderman Crawl Exercise

6. Spiderman Crawl

How to: Start in a high plank position (a). Step your right leg up to the outside of your right hand, knee above your elbow. At the same time, step your left hand forward and lower down into a tricep push-up (b). Push yourself back up, and as you reach the top, step your right foot back, left foot up to the outside of your left hand. Right hand takes a step forward (c). Repeat the push up and continue alternating as you move forward. Read More The 5-Minute, No-Equipment Back Workout Are You Doing the Deadlift All Wrong? The 7 Best Strength Exercises You’re Not Doing

The post Sculpt the Back of Your Body with Jason Walsh’s Go-To Moves appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? http://dailyburn.com/life/health/pre-workout-supplements-pros-cons/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/pre-workout-supplements-pros-cons/#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:15:32 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=62708 Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements?

[caption id="attachment_62712" align="alignnone" width="620"]Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Fueling for your workouts can require a little education, planning and practice to amplify results. You probably already know what to do post-workout, munching on a mix of protein and carbs within an hour of your sweat session. And you might even have some go-to gummies or gels for extra long gym sessions or training runs. But what about your pre-workout routine?

Pre-workout supplements, in the form of powders and pills, now saturate the sports nutrition supplement market, boasting benefits like increased energy, power and endurance to help you push harder and gain more. But they’re not for everyone or every workout. Read on to find out the pros and cons of pre-workout blends and whether they’re right for you.

RELATED: The Best Forms of Sugar to Eat Pre-Workout

The Pros and Cons of Pre-Workout Supplements

PRO: You might feel more energetic and alert.

“A big part of most pre-workout supplements is their stimulatory effect."

Many pre-workout mixes pack a big dose of caffeine to add a little bounce to your step. “Caffeine’s proven to help [with energy], because it stimulates the nervous system, which makes your exercise feel less taxing and makes you feel more peppy,” says Matthew Kadey, RD, a registered dietician in Ontario and author of Rocket Fuel. “The huge thing you have to pay attention to is the dose.” Kadey recommends aiming for two to six milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of your bodyweight. And make sure to give your body enough time to digest it before your workout. “It takes 45 to 60 minutes for coffee to reach its peak in your blood, so have it at least 30 minutes beforehand,” he says.

CON: The drink could make you jittery.

Forget about blasting through your sweat session if you feel like your heart is about to beat out of your chest. “Some people can have adverse reactions to stimulants,” says Kadey. Your best bet, he says, is trial and error. Be especially cautious with drinks that add a second stimulant to the caffeine, like guarine.

“A big part of most pre-workout supplements is their stimulatory effect, and it’s common for them to use multiple stimulants,” says Kyle Pfaffenbach, PhD, assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at Eastern Oregon University and nutrition consultant for the Brooks Beasts Track Club. “Many times, ingredients used are on the banned or high-risk list from USADA and WADA.” Not ingredients you want to get used to sipping pre-sweat. Check here or here for more info on specific words to look for on labels.

RELATED: Caffeine and Exercise: The Right (And Wrong) Way to Use It

[caption id="attachment_62713" align="alignnone" width="620"]Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

PRO: They can enhance your power and help you push it for longer.

Some pre-workout supplements have creatine, which can pump up your power and improve training results, particularly during anaerobic drills. Though it sounds like something that would appeal to bodybuilders only, creatine has also been shown to boost the performance of endurance athlete. It helps them reach peak power output by potentially delaying fatigue, says Kadey. The fine print? Keep in mind, experts and researchers still debate timing and optimal duration of use.

CON: You don’t know what you’re getting.

"For the average population, the extra sugar could be worrisome."

Sometimes you’ll notice an icon on a product’s label designating that it’s been certified by a third-party, like the NSF (National Science Foundation). But typically, these supplements aren’t regulated by a government agency and don’t need to meet strict guidelines for what goes into the product. “Oftentimes these workout supplements use a 'proprietary blend' of ingredients,” says Pfaffenbach. “It’s important for athletes to know exactly how much and what is going into their body. And with these drinks, we often don't have that exact info.”

RELATED: 4 Things No One Told You About Plant-Based Supplements

PRO: They can help deliver more oxygen to your muscles.

Seek out the words “nitric oxide” on a supplement’s label. This ingredient may help you go strong through a tough session likely by widening the blood vessels, which, in turn, delivers more oxygen to your muscles so you can perform at your peak, explains Kadey. You can also look for mixes made with beets, as this vegetable contains nitrates that then convert to the compound in your body.

CON: You might gain weight.

Part of the energy boost packed in these pre-workout mixes comes from a big helping of sugar. “The sugar is beneficial and necessary for really high-level athletes, but for the average population, the extra sugar could be worrisome,” says Kadey. He notes that the added sweet stuff and high calories of these drinks could easily wind up on your waistline. If you’re going for a pre-workout drink, opt for one with no more than 100 calories per serving. Or instead, stick to a small snack like a banana with a spoonful of peanut butter half an hour before you exercise, suggests Kadey. “That’s enough to tide you over and top off energy stores for your workout,” he says.

RELATED: 8 Low-Calorie Foods That Will Fill You Up

PRO: They can reduce muscle breakdown.

Another common ingredient in pre-workout drinks: amino acids. Some research has shown that these protein compounds can reduce the amount your muscles break down during exercise, so you can bounce back from an intense session faster. Similarly, drinks with tart cherry juice can benefit your muscles by helping to reduce soreness. Look for these if you’re doing a workout with a fair amount of impact, like CrossFit or a long run, advises Kadey.

Finding the Right Pre-Workout Mix for You

If you want to give pre-workout supplements a go, look for ones with natural ingredients on the label — like green tea, beets or tart cherry juice. (Garden of Life Sport Organic Plant-Based Energy + Focus or Dr. Axe Bone Broth Protein Burst are just a couple good options.) And don’t take it for the first time before a race or other important workout, warns Kadey: “Never try these right before a marathon. The number-one rule is experiment carefully and work up to full doses, especially if [the mix] includes stimulants.”

Read More
How to Choose the Best Protein Powder for You
The Subscription Company That Makes Sports Nutrition Easy
Do You Really Need That Post-Workout Protein Shake?

The post Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements?

[caption id="attachment_62712" align="alignnone" width="620"]Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Fueling for your workouts can require a little education, planning and practice to amplify results. You probably already know what to do post-workout, munching on a mix of protein and carbs within an hour of your sweat session. And you might even have some go-to gummies or gels for extra long gym sessions or training runs. But what about your pre-workout routine? Pre-workout supplements, in the form of powders and pills, now saturate the sports nutrition supplement market, boasting benefits like increased energy, power and endurance to help you push harder and gain more. But they’re not for everyone or every workout. Read on to find out the pros and cons of pre-workout blends and whether they’re right for you. RELATED: The Best Forms of Sugar to Eat Pre-Workout

The Pros and Cons of Pre-Workout Supplements

PRO: You might feel more energetic and alert.

“A big part of most pre-workout supplements is their stimulatory effect."
Many pre-workout mixes pack a big dose of caffeine to add a little bounce to your step. “Caffeine’s proven to help [with energy], because it stimulates the nervous system, which makes your exercise feel less taxing and makes you feel more peppy,” says Matthew Kadey, RD, a registered dietician in Ontario and author of Rocket Fuel. “The huge thing you have to pay attention to is the dose.” Kadey recommends aiming for two to six milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of your bodyweight. And make sure to give your body enough time to digest it before your workout. “It takes 45 to 60 minutes for coffee to reach its peak in your blood, so have it at least 30 minutes beforehand,” he says.

CON: The drink could make you jittery.

Forget about blasting through your sweat session if you feel like your heart is about to beat out of your chest. “Some people can have adverse reactions to stimulants,” says Kadey. Your best bet, he says, is trial and error. Be especially cautious with drinks that add a second stimulant to the caffeine, like guarine. “A big part of most pre-workout supplements is their stimulatory effect, and it’s common for them to use multiple stimulants,” says Kyle Pfaffenbach, PhD, assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at Eastern Oregon University and nutrition consultant for the Brooks Beasts Track Club. “Many times, ingredients used are on the banned or high-risk list from USADA and WADA.” Not ingredients you want to get used to sipping pre-sweat. Check here or here for more info on specific words to look for on labels. RELATED: Caffeine and Exercise: The Right (And Wrong) Way to Use It [caption id="attachment_62713" align="alignnone" width="620"]Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

PRO: They can enhance your power and help you push it for longer.

Some pre-workout supplements have creatine, which can pump up your power and improve training results, particularly during anaerobic drills. Though it sounds like something that would appeal to bodybuilders only, creatine has also been shown to boost the performance of endurance athlete. It helps them reach peak power output by potentially delaying fatigue, says Kadey. The fine print? Keep in mind, experts and researchers still debate timing and optimal duration of use.

CON: You don’t know what you’re getting.

"For the average population, the extra sugar could be worrisome."
Sometimes you’ll notice an icon on a product’s label designating that it’s been certified by a third-party, like the NSF (National Science Foundation). But typically, these supplements aren’t regulated by a government agency and don’t need to meet strict guidelines for what goes into the product. “Oftentimes these workout supplements use a 'proprietary blend' of ingredients,” says Pfaffenbach. “It’s important for athletes to know exactly how much and what is going into their body. And with these drinks, we often don't have that exact info.” RELATED: 4 Things No One Told You About Plant-Based Supplements

PRO: They can help deliver more oxygen to your muscles.

Seek out the words “nitric oxide” on a supplement’s label. This ingredient may help you go strong through a tough session likely by widening the blood vessels, which, in turn, delivers more oxygen to your muscles so you can perform at your peak, explains Kadey. You can also look for mixes made with beets, as this vegetable contains nitrates that then convert to the compound in your body.

CON: You might gain weight.

Part of the energy boost packed in these pre-workout mixes comes from a big helping of sugar. “The sugar is beneficial and necessary for really high-level athletes, but for the average population, the extra sugar could be worrisome,” says Kadey. He notes that the added sweet stuff and high calories of these drinks could easily wind up on your waistline. If you’re going for a pre-workout drink, opt for one with no more than 100 calories per serving. Or instead, stick to a small snack like a banana with a spoonful of peanut butter half an hour before you exercise, suggests Kadey. “That’s enough to tide you over and top off energy stores for your workout,” he says. RELATED: 8 Low-Calorie Foods That Will Fill You Up

PRO: They can reduce muscle breakdown.

Another common ingredient in pre-workout drinks: amino acids. Some research has shown that these protein compounds can reduce the amount your muscles break down during exercise, so you can bounce back from an intense session faster. Similarly, drinks with tart cherry juice can benefit your muscles by helping to reduce soreness. Look for these if you’re doing a workout with a fair amount of impact, like CrossFit or a long run, advises Kadey.

Finding the Right Pre-Workout Mix for You

If you want to give pre-workout supplements a go, look for ones with natural ingredients on the label — like green tea, beets or tart cherry juice. (Garden of Life Sport Organic Plant-Based Energy + Focus or Dr. Axe Bone Broth Protein Burst are just a couple good options.) And don’t take it for the first time before a race or other important workout, warns Kadey: “Never try these right before a marathon. The number-one rule is experiment carefully and work up to full doses, especially if [the mix] includes stimulants.” Read More How to Choose the Best Protein Powder for You The Subscription Company That Makes Sports Nutrition Easy Do You Really Need That Post-Workout Protein Shake?

The post Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
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5 Band Exercises for Your Best Butt Ever http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/band-exercises-glutes/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/band-exercises-glutes/#respond Mon, 25 Sep 2017 11:15:31 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=61996 5 Band Exercises for the Best Butt Ever

[caption id="attachment_62006" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Band Exercises for Your Best Butt Ever Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Resistance bands are a priceless tool to have in your toning arsenal. For starters, they’re inexpensive and easy to take on the road. Even better: “They’re joint-friendly and provide a more functional movement in comparison to free weights,” says Bec Donlan, a certified personal trainer in NYC who teaches band-based classes at Bandier's Studio B.

You can get these bands in different forms, too. Loop resistance bands — the kind that forms a circle, rather than one long strip — around your thighs or ankles during exercise. This makes them especially effective for pinpointing the muscles that make up your backside, says Donlan.

“[They] directly target your glutes, in particular your medial glute — which is a muscle that often refuses to fire for the majority of people,” explains the Australian native. “When it doesn’t activate, the muscles around it overcompensate and start doing all the work.” That can lead to imbalances (think oversized quads but a flat booty) and injuries. Whomp, whomp.

The bands also add ascending resistance to your weight room routine, meaning the exercises get tougher as you move through the full range of motion. That doesn’t happen with free weights, which give a constant resistance throughout the move. More intensity, more stability — aka efficiency at its best.

Convinced to join the band yet? Take on these five band exercises to fire up your glutes, and the rest of your lower body! We promise you’ll love the booty-toning benefits, and the strength upsides, too.

RELATED: 50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes

5 Band Exercises to Build a Stronger Butt

[caption id="attachment_62000" align="alignnone" width="620"]Band Exercises: Banded Side Step GIF: Mallory Creveling / Life by Daily Burn; Filmed at Bandier's Studio B[/caption]

1. Banded Side Step

This is one of the best band exercises to work your hips, abductors and the connective tissue in your legs, slashing your chance of injury. But it’s also a perfect way to prime your backside to work hard. Donlan recommends adding it to every warm-up to ensure your medial glutes fire up throughout your workout.

How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart, band around ankles and holding a dumbbell at chest height in front of you (a). Lower into a squat (b). Staying low, take one step to the right and back, then one step to the left and back for one rep (c). Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

[caption id="attachment_62001" align="alignnone" width="620"]Band Exercises: Deep Squat GIF: Mallory Creveling / Life by Daily Burn; Filmed at Bandier's Studio B[/caption]

2. Deep Squat

Adding a band takes your typical squat to the next level. “Your glutes have to work seriously hard to fight against the band to ensure your knees don't collapse,” says Donlan. Try it as a goblet squat (holding a dumbbell vertically at chest height in front of you) or as a bodyweight banded squat.

How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, band around thighs right above knees (a). Push your hips back and lower down to the ground until thighs are parallel to the ground (b). Stand back up to start (c). Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

RELATED: How Low Should You Squat? (And How to Improve It)

[caption id="attachment_62002" align="alignnone" width="620"]Band Exercises: Curtsy Lunge GIF: Mallory Creveling / Life by Daily Burn; Filmed at Bandier's Studio B[/caption]

3. Curtsy Lunge

A favorite among runners, this move “is a great bang-for-your-buck exercise,” says Donlan. “It works all parts of your glutes, hip abductors and core.” She suggests holding a kettlebell in front of your chest or two dumbbells at your sides when you’re ready to up the intensity.

How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart, band around thighs (a). Step your left foot behind you and to the right, lowering until your right thigh is parallel to the floor (b). Return to standing (c). Do 10 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.

[caption id="attachment_62003" align="alignnone" width="620"]Band Exercises: Single Leg Deadlift GIF: Mallory Creveling / Life by Daily Burn; Filmed at Bandier's Studio B[/caption]

4. Single-Leg Deadlift

Deadlifts do wonders for your entire posterior chain — back, glutes, hamstrings — which people often ignore in the weight room. The single-leg version also challenges your balance, which strengthens your core muscles as well.

How to: Put a band under your right foot and hold it with your right hand (a). Split your stance, right foot in front and left foot behind. Transfer your weight to right leg (b). Keeping your back straight and core engaged, bend your right knee slightly and slowly hinge forward at the hips, lowering until your hand reaches mid-calf (c). Stand back up to start (d). Do 10 to 15 reps, then repeat on opposite side.

RELATED: Are You Doing the Deadlift All Wrong?

[caption id="attachment_62004" align="alignnone" width="620"]Band Exercises: Butt Kick Back GIF: Mallory Creveling / Life by Daily Burn; Filmed at Bandier's Studio B[/caption]

5. Butt Kick Back

Your glutes will be begging for mercy by the time you finish this burner. It primarily targets your butt, says Donlan, but gets your hamstrings in on the action, too.

How to: Start one all fours with a band around your right hand and the bottom of your right foot (a). Extend your right foot behind you, keeping the band straight, and lower for 1 rep (b). Do 10 to 15 reps, then repeat on opposite side.

Read More
Hate Squats? 7 Glute Exercises for an Instant Butt Lift
The 5 Best Stretches for Your Glutes
5 Butt-Sculpting Exercises from Barre Harmony

The post 5 Band Exercises for Your Best Butt Ever appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
5 Band Exercises for the Best Butt Ever

[caption id="attachment_62006" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Band Exercises for Your Best Butt Ever Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Resistance bands are a priceless tool to have in your toning arsenal. For starters, they’re inexpensive and easy to take on the road. Even better: “They’re joint-friendly and provide a more functional movement in comparison to free weights,” says Bec Donlan, a certified personal trainer in NYC who teaches band-based classes at Bandier's Studio B. You can get these bands in different forms, too. Loop resistance bands — the kind that forms a circle, rather than one long strip — around your thighs or ankles during exercise. This makes them especially effective for pinpointing the muscles that make up your backside, says Donlan. “[They] directly target your glutes, in particular your medial glute — which is a muscle that often refuses to fire for the majority of people,” explains the Australian native. “When it doesn’t activate, the muscles around it overcompensate and start doing all the work.” That can lead to imbalances (think oversized quads but a flat booty) and injuries. Whomp, whomp. The bands also add ascending resistance to your weight room routine, meaning the exercises get tougher as you move through the full range of motion. That doesn’t happen with free weights, which give a constant resistance throughout the move. More intensity, more stability — aka efficiency at its best. Convinced to join the band yet? Take on these five band exercises to fire up your glutes, and the rest of your lower body! We promise you’ll love the booty-toning benefits, and the strength upsides, too. RELATED: 50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes

5 Band Exercises to Build a Stronger Butt

[caption id="attachment_62000" align="alignnone" width="620"]Band Exercises: Banded Side Step GIF: Mallory Creveling / Life by Daily Burn; Filmed at Bandier's Studio B[/caption]

1. Banded Side Step

This is one of the best band exercises to work your hips, abductors and the connective tissue in your legs, slashing your chance of injury. But it’s also a perfect way to prime your backside to work hard. Donlan recommends adding it to every warm-up to ensure your medial glutes fire up throughout your workout. How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart, band around ankles and holding a dumbbell at chest height in front of you (a). Lower into a squat (b). Staying low, take one step to the right and back, then one step to the left and back for one rep (c). Do 3 sets of 20 reps. [caption id="attachment_62001" align="alignnone" width="620"]Band Exercises: Deep Squat GIF: Mallory Creveling / Life by Daily Burn; Filmed at Bandier's Studio B[/caption]

2. Deep Squat

Adding a band takes your typical squat to the next level. “Your glutes have to work seriously hard to fight against the band to ensure your knees don't collapse,” says Donlan. Try it as a goblet squat (holding a dumbbell vertically at chest height in front of you) or as a bodyweight banded squat. How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, band around thighs right above knees (a). Push your hips back and lower down to the ground until thighs are parallel to the ground (b). Stand back up to start (c). Do 3 sets of 15 reps. RELATED: How Low Should You Squat? (And How to Improve It) [caption id="attachment_62002" align="alignnone" width="620"]Band Exercises: Curtsy Lunge GIF: Mallory Creveling / Life by Daily Burn; Filmed at Bandier's Studio B[/caption]

3. Curtsy Lunge

A favorite among runners, this move “is a great bang-for-your-buck exercise,” says Donlan. “It works all parts of your glutes, hip abductors and core.” She suggests holding a kettlebell in front of your chest or two dumbbells at your sides when you’re ready to up the intensity. How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart, band around thighs (a). Step your left foot behind you and to the right, lowering until your right thigh is parallel to the floor (b). Return to standing (c). Do 10 reps, then repeat on the opposite side. [caption id="attachment_62003" align="alignnone" width="620"]Band Exercises: Single Leg Deadlift GIF: Mallory Creveling / Life by Daily Burn; Filmed at Bandier's Studio B[/caption]

4. Single-Leg Deadlift

Deadlifts do wonders for your entire posterior chain — back, glutes, hamstrings — which people often ignore in the weight room. The single-leg version also challenges your balance, which strengthens your core muscles as well. How to: Put a band under your right foot and hold it with your right hand (a). Split your stance, right foot in front and left foot behind. Transfer your weight to right leg (b). Keeping your back straight and core engaged, bend your right knee slightly and slowly hinge forward at the hips, lowering until your hand reaches mid-calf (c). Stand back up to start (d). Do 10 to 15 reps, then repeat on opposite side. RELATED: Are You Doing the Deadlift All Wrong? [caption id="attachment_62004" align="alignnone" width="620"]Band Exercises: Butt Kick Back GIF: Mallory Creveling / Life by Daily Burn; Filmed at Bandier's Studio B[/caption]

5. Butt Kick Back

Your glutes will be begging for mercy by the time you finish this burner. It primarily targets your butt, says Donlan, but gets your hamstrings in on the action, too. How to: Start one all fours with a band around your right hand and the bottom of your right foot (a). Extend your right foot behind you, keeping the band straight, and lower for 1 rep (b). Do 10 to 15 reps, then repeat on opposite side. Read More Hate Squats? 7 Glute Exercises for an Instant Butt Lift The 5 Best Stretches for Your Glutes 5 Butt-Sculpting Exercises from Barre Harmony

The post 5 Band Exercises for Your Best Butt Ever appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
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6 Vertical Races for the Ultimate Fitness Test http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-vertical-races-stairs/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-vertical-races-stairs/#respond Mon, 14 Aug 2017 11:15:52 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=60943 6 Vertical Races for the Ultimate Fitness Test

[caption id="attachment_60974" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Vertical Races for the Ultimate Fitness Test Photos (clockwise from top left): Red Bull; the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for Base 2 Space[/caption]

For a total departure from your typical 10K or trail run, move on up with one of these six vertical races. They give “taking the stairs” a whole new meaning, while skyrocketing your calorie burn and frying your quads and glutes. They each require you to scale a peak — whether you’re sprinting up the staircase of a famous skyscraper or climbing a ski slope. Your reward: Killer views and an even more killer workout. Bragging rights also await at the top.

RELATED: 263 Races for Every Distance and Destination

6 Vertical Races That Will Challenge Your Running Skills

[caption id="attachment_60953" align="alignnone" width="620"]Vertical Races: Red Bull 400 Photo courtesy of Red Bull[/caption]

1. Red Bull 400

When: September 30, 2017
Where: Park City, Utah

In the third annual running of this race, you’ll swap out steps for a ski jump in Utah Olympic Park. Running 400 meters might sound like an insignificant distance — but it’s a near completely vertical course. (If that sounds like too much, sign up for the 4x100 meter relay instead.) To make the ascent even tougher: Park City has an elevation of 6,870 feet right from the start. Scale to the top and you’re sure to feel on top of the world.

[caption id="attachment_60954" align="alignnone" width="620"]Vertical Races: Base 2 Space Photo courtesy of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for Base 2 Space[/caption]

2. Base 2 Space

When: October 1, 2017
Where: Seattle, WA

Climb 52 stories (or 832 steps) up one of two intertwining, open-air stairwells in this sprint to the top of Seattle’s famous Space Needle. Hang out in the observation deck afterward — 520 feet above the ground — to soak up sights of the surrounding city. The event raises money for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and if you’re one of the top fundraisers or first finishers, you could win the chance to walk the building’s Halo. Only a handful of people have done so since it opened in 1962.

RELATED: The Best 10K Races Totally Worth the Travel

[caption id="attachment_60976" align="alignnone" width="620"]Vertical Races: SkyRise Chicago Photo courtesy of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab[/caption]

3. SkyRise Chicago

When: November 5, 2017
Where: Chicago, IL

For this late fall race, you'll take on the world’s tallest indoor stair climb. Hoof it up the 103 floors (that’s 2,109 steps) of Chicago's Willis Tower, the second tallest building in the western hemisphere. The view of the Windy City from up above is quite breathtaking — though you’ll probably already be breathless from the run to the top.

[caption id="attachment_60955" align="alignnone" width="620"]Vertical Races: Empire State Building Run-Up Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

4. Empire State Building Run-Up

When: February 2018
Where: New York, NY

Earlier this year marked the 40th anniversary of this climb to the top of one of the most iconic buildings in the Big Apple. During the sprint, you’ll cover 1,576 stairs over 86 flights. Take some time at the top to give your lungs a breather, as you soak up the sights of Central Park and other Manhattan landmarks.

RELATED: The 12 Most Epic Mud Runs in the World

[caption id="attachment_60956" align="alignnone" width="620"]Vertical Races: LA Fight for Air Climb Photo courtesy of American Lung Association in California, Fight For Air Climb Los Angeles[/caption]

5. Fight for Air Climb

When: April 14, 2018
Where: Los Angeles, CA

The American Lung Association sponsors many races to the top of skyscrapers across the country. This one, in the modernist Aon Center in downtown LA, involves running up 63 floors or 1,393 steps. Sign up with a team to raise money to help people with lung disease and you’ll feel even better about hitting your peak.

[caption id="attachment_60957" align="alignnone" width="620"]Vertical Races: Denver CF Climb Photo courtesy of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation[/caption]

6. Denver CF Climb

When: July 2018
Where: Denver, CO

You can find stair races across the country that raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. But take on this one, at Sports Authority Field in Denver, and you’ll hoof it up and down 3,865 steps inside the stadium. If fundraising for kids with CF weren’t inspiration enough, let fire fighters and police officers on the course put some pep in your step. The race has a whole entry category dedicated to first responders running in their full uniforms.

Read More
Step Up Your Running Game with This Stair Workout
The 15 Best Destination Half-Marathons in the World
11 Incredible Charity Races That Give Back

The post 6 Vertical Races for the Ultimate Fitness Test appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
6 Vertical Races for the Ultimate Fitness Test

[caption id="attachment_60974" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Vertical Races for the Ultimate Fitness Test Photos (clockwise from top left): Red Bull; the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for Base 2 Space[/caption] For a total departure from your typical 10K or trail run, move on up with one of these six vertical races. They give “taking the stairs” a whole new meaning, while skyrocketing your calorie burn and frying your quads and glutes. They each require you to scale a peak — whether you’re sprinting up the staircase of a famous skyscraper or climbing a ski slope. Your reward: Killer views and an even more killer workout. Bragging rights also await at the top. RELATED: 263 Races for Every Distance and Destination

6 Vertical Races That Will Challenge Your Running Skills

[caption id="attachment_60953" align="alignnone" width="620"]Vertical Races: Red Bull 400 Photo courtesy of Red Bull[/caption]

1. Red Bull 400

When: September 30, 2017 Where: Park City, Utah In the third annual running of this race, you’ll swap out steps for a ski jump in Utah Olympic Park. Running 400 meters might sound like an insignificant distance — but it’s a near completely vertical course. (If that sounds like too much, sign up for the 4x100 meter relay instead.) To make the ascent even tougher: Park City has an elevation of 6,870 feet right from the start. Scale to the top and you’re sure to feel on top of the world. [caption id="attachment_60954" align="alignnone" width="620"]Vertical Races: Base 2 Space Photo courtesy of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for Base 2 Space[/caption]

2. Base 2 Space

When: October 1, 2017 Where: Seattle, WA Climb 52 stories (or 832 steps) up one of two intertwining, open-air stairwells in this sprint to the top of Seattle’s famous Space Needle. Hang out in the observation deck afterward — 520 feet above the ground — to soak up sights of the surrounding city. The event raises money for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and if you’re one of the top fundraisers or first finishers, you could win the chance to walk the building’s Halo. Only a handful of people have done so since it opened in 1962. RELATED: The Best 10K Races Totally Worth the Travel [caption id="attachment_60976" align="alignnone" width="620"]Vertical Races: SkyRise Chicago Photo courtesy of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab[/caption]

3. SkyRise Chicago

When: November 5, 2017 Where: Chicago, IL For this late fall race, you'll take on the world’s tallest indoor stair climb. Hoof it up the 103 floors (that’s 2,109 steps) of Chicago's Willis Tower, the second tallest building in the western hemisphere. The view of the Windy City from up above is quite breathtaking — though you’ll probably already be breathless from the run to the top. [caption id="attachment_60955" align="alignnone" width="620"]Vertical Races: Empire State Building Run-Up Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

4. Empire State Building Run-Up

When: February 2018 Where: New York, NY Earlier this year marked the 40th anniversary of this climb to the top of one of the most iconic buildings in the Big Apple. During the sprint, you’ll cover 1,576 stairs over 86 flights. Take some time at the top to give your lungs a breather, as you soak up the sights of Central Park and other Manhattan landmarks. RELATED: The 12 Most Epic Mud Runs in the World [caption id="attachment_60956" align="alignnone" width="620"]Vertical Races: LA Fight for Air Climb Photo courtesy of American Lung Association in California, Fight For Air Climb Los Angeles[/caption]

5. Fight for Air Climb

When: April 14, 2018 Where: Los Angeles, CA The American Lung Association sponsors many races to the top of skyscrapers across the country. This one, in the modernist Aon Center in downtown LA, involves running up 63 floors or 1,393 steps. Sign up with a team to raise money to help people with lung disease and you’ll feel even better about hitting your peak. [caption id="attachment_60957" align="alignnone" width="620"]Vertical Races: Denver CF Climb Photo courtesy of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation[/caption]

6. Denver CF Climb

When: July 2018 Where: Denver, CO You can find stair races across the country that raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. But take on this one, at Sports Authority Field in Denver, and you’ll hoof it up and down 3,865 steps inside the stadium. If fundraising for kids with CF weren’t inspiration enough, let fire fighters and police officers on the course put some pep in your step. The race has a whole entry category dedicated to first responders running in their full uniforms. Read More Step Up Your Running Game with This Stair Workout The 15 Best Destination Half-Marathons in the World 11 Incredible Charity Races That Give Back

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Is the Secret to Recovery Something Called Rolfing? http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/rolfing-massage-workout-recovery/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/rolfing-massage-workout-recovery/#respond Fri, 11 Aug 2017 11:15:25 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=60970 Rolfing: What It Is and How It Helps Recovery

[caption id="attachment_60978" align="alignnone" width="620"]Rolfing: What It Is and How It Helps Recovery Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Recovery has been a top priority of the fitness minded in recent years — with everything from stretching and foam rolling to ice baths and cryotherapy surging in popularity.

While I personally love the idea of focusing on R&R to become a better athlete (an excuse for a rest day? Yes, please!), I don’t necessarily spend as much time on it as I should. I might foam roll for a few minutes post-sweat, do yoga occasionally, get sports massages, and ice my legs after a long run. But still...my body is always tight.

I can probably blame this year’s line-up of marathon and triathlon training, as well as hunching over a laptop most days. But it’s definitely not fun to have throbbing shoulders and knots in my legs. While monthly massages have helped over the years, lately the effects have worn off. (And I, like many people, can’t afford weekly sessions.)

My massage therapist felt my pain. Appalled at the stiffness of my mid-back, he suggested I go see a rolfer.

RELATED: 5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Reduce Muscle Soreness

What Is Rolfing?

“When the body gets out of alignment, the muscles and the skeletal system can’t work efficiently."

When I started researching rolfing, I learned it has actually been around since the 1960s. Lately, it's gotten more popular, especially among athletes and dancers. At its foundation, rolfing is a manual therapy — sort of like deep massage — that targets the fascia, or the web of connective tissue holding your muscles and organs in place. It’s known to be intense, and at times, even painful. I love deep massages, but I wondered if I could handle it.

“The thing that makes rolfing different from [other recovery] modalities is that we’re trying to get your joints in the most optimal alignment,” says Rachel Felson, a certified rolfer and cranialsacral therapist in New York City. “With foam rolling, you can’t do that — you might be opening up the tissue, but your joints are still in the compensated place. Foam rolling is a good thing to do, but it’s not necessarily enough.”

Also, unlike stand-alone massages, rolfing requires 10 sessions, 75 minutes each, known as the 10 series. These sessions also follow a very specific progression, moving from superficial areas (like your shoulders or feet) to deeper parts of the body (like your hips). The progression is meant “to unglue the areas that are short and dense and areas that have been compensating, so everything is in alignment and can work together,” says Felson.

So you might go to a masseuse to relax your muscles in a particularly tight area of your body. A rolfer, on the other hand, would examine your entire body, figure out where the imbalance is and start working from there. That means they'll often stop and hold pressure on those tight spots until they readjust. "You can work your muscles with massage till the cows come home, but if your joints are out of alignment, the muscles are still going to fire haphazardly,” Felson explains.

RELATED: 7 Surprising Ingredients for a Muscle-Soothing Recovery Bath

Why You Might Need a Rolfer

It’s pretty easy to mess with your muscles and make them tight, whether you work out regularly or stay in your seat all day. “We’re sitting at desks for eight to 10 hours a day, hunched over our phones all the time. So there’s a lot of lack of movement,” Felson says. “When the body gets out of alignment, the muscles and the skeletal system can’t work efficiently. Muscles are overcompensating or not firing up properly.”

Once you better align your joints, however, you might experience benefits like increased blood flow and an uptick in oxygen to your brain, both of which allow for more freedom of movement. And those results often translate to improved sports performance, too. Anecdotally, Felson says the work she’s done has helped several of her athletic clients achieve new PRs. (Granted that’s not strict science, but we’ll take any finish line-crushing tactic we can get.)

RELATED: No Pain, No Gain? 5 Myths About Muscle Soreness

What to Expect in a Rolfing Session

"Half of it is on the table, the rest is what you do when you get off the table.”

To kick off my first session, Felson observed my body as I stood barefoot. She noted nearly imperceptible details about my posture. For instance, how one shoulder was slightly higher than the other and my left hip pulled forward a bit more than my right. Then, I laid down on the table for the real session to start.

Felson started by using her fingers to make small movements and knead along my shoulders and down my upper back. This worked to open my shoulder and pelvic girdles. “When does it get painful?” I asked. Turns out, that’s part myth, Felson told me. “When Dr. Rolf started developing the technique in the ’60s, the name of the game was the more pain, the better,” she explains. “People would be on therapists’ tables screaming. But as we’ve learned more about the nervous system, we’ve learned that if you want to end that loop of fight or flight, the brain needs to feel safe.”

Later that day, I definitely noticed I was able to take bigger breaths. I stood, waiting for the subway, inhaling and exhaling deeply, just because I was astounded by how far my lungs could puff out. Maybe deeper breaths were my first step to shaving some time off my marathon?

Felson gives little assignments to focus on after each session. My “homework” for the week was to carry a backpack rather than my overloaded leather tote. I was also supposed to practice standing up straight by pulling my shoulders out to the sides, rather than rolling them down my back. (Many people roll their shoulders down their back when they’re thinking about their posture. However, she says, that actually squishes the muscles of your upper back together. And it can even make the whole area more tense.) I started doing this daily, consciously standing up by imagining my shoulders being stretched to the sides.

RELATED: Are You Foam Rolling All Wrong?

Rolfing: The After Effects

In the time since I’ve started rolfing sessions about two months ago, I’ve become aware of how I stand and the way my feet bend when I walk. I also pay attention to the way I puff my lungs out to the sides when I breathe, how to sit on my sits bones while working, and other tiny details about the way I move throughout the day. Making a slight shift in how you stand or sit might seem insignificant, but those small actions are crucial for making lasting changes to your structure, Felson says. “The homework I give clients is maybe 40 or 50 percent of the work. Half of it is on the table, the rest is what you do when you get off the table.”

I’m only halfway through my 10 sessions, so we’ll see if I end up with a new PR or start breezing through my speed drills. But so far I can claim that rolfing has expanded my breath, nixed a nagging ache that used to flare up at the beginning of every run, and improved my awareness of my body. A deep-tissue massage has never given me these benefits. Felson also mentioned the alignment-improving effects of rolfing are often long-lasting. Some people only coming back every few months (or years) for a tune-up. I’d say that’s worth a try.

If you want to give rolfing a go, Felson recommends signing up for series of 10 sessions. She says it's best to go at a time of year when you’re not deep into intense training. To maintain the results, stop in for a tune-up session every month or two while in the thick of it training. To find a certified rolfer, check out the directory at the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration.

Read More
I Tried Cupping Therapy and Here’s What Happened
4 Things a Physical Therapist Can Do That Your Doctor Can’t
6 Running Stretches That Are Too Easy to Skip

The post Is the Secret to Recovery Something Called Rolfing? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Rolfing: What It Is and How It Helps Recovery

[caption id="attachment_60978" align="alignnone" width="620"]Rolfing: What It Is and How It Helps Recovery Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Recovery has been a top priority of the fitness minded in recent years — with everything from stretching and foam rolling to ice baths and cryotherapy surging in popularity. While I personally love the idea of focusing on R&R to become a better athlete (an excuse for a rest day? Yes, please!), I don’t necessarily spend as much time on it as I should. I might foam roll for a few minutes post-sweat, do yoga occasionally, get sports massages, and ice my legs after a long run. But still...my body is always tight. I can probably blame this year’s line-up of marathon and triathlon training, as well as hunching over a laptop most days. But it’s definitely not fun to have throbbing shoulders and knots in my legs. While monthly massages have helped over the years, lately the effects have worn off. (And I, like many people, can’t afford weekly sessions.) My massage therapist felt my pain. Appalled at the stiffness of my mid-back, he suggested I go see a rolfer. RELATED: 5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Reduce Muscle Soreness

What Is Rolfing?

“When the body gets out of alignment, the muscles and the skeletal system can’t work efficiently."
When I started researching rolfing, I learned it has actually been around since the 1960s. Lately, it's gotten more popular, especially among athletes and dancers. At its foundation, rolfing is a manual therapy — sort of like deep massage — that targets the fascia, or the web of connective tissue holding your muscles and organs in place. It’s known to be intense, and at times, even painful. I love deep massages, but I wondered if I could handle it. “The thing that makes rolfing different from [other recovery] modalities is that we’re trying to get your joints in the most optimal alignment,” says Rachel Felson, a certified rolfer and cranialsacral therapist in New York City. “With foam rolling, you can’t do that — you might be opening up the tissue, but your joints are still in the compensated place. Foam rolling is a good thing to do, but it’s not necessarily enough.” Also, unlike stand-alone massages, rolfing requires 10 sessions, 75 minutes each, known as the 10 series. These sessions also follow a very specific progression, moving from superficial areas (like your shoulders or feet) to deeper parts of the body (like your hips). The progression is meant “to unglue the areas that are short and dense and areas that have been compensating, so everything is in alignment and can work together,” says Felson. So you might go to a masseuse to relax your muscles in a particularly tight area of your body. A rolfer, on the other hand, would examine your entire body, figure out where the imbalance is and start working from there. That means they'll often stop and hold pressure on those tight spots until they readjust. "You can work your muscles with massage till the cows come home, but if your joints are out of alignment, the muscles are still going to fire haphazardly,” Felson explains. RELATED: 7 Surprising Ingredients for a Muscle-Soothing Recovery Bath

Why You Might Need a Rolfer

It’s pretty easy to mess with your muscles and make them tight, whether you work out regularly or stay in your seat all day. “We’re sitting at desks for eight to 10 hours a day, hunched over our phones all the time. So there’s a lot of lack of movement,” Felson says. “When the body gets out of alignment, the muscles and the skeletal system can’t work efficiently. Muscles are overcompensating or not firing up properly.” Once you better align your joints, however, you might experience benefits like increased blood flow and an uptick in oxygen to your brain, both of which allow for more freedom of movement. And those results often translate to improved sports performance, too. Anecdotally, Felson says the work she’s done has helped several of her athletic clients achieve new PRs. (Granted that’s not strict science, but we’ll take any finish line-crushing tactic we can get.) RELATED: No Pain, No Gain? 5 Myths About Muscle Soreness

What to Expect in a Rolfing Session

"Half of it is on the table, the rest is what you do when you get off the table.”
To kick off my first session, Felson observed my body as I stood barefoot. She noted nearly imperceptible details about my posture. For instance, how one shoulder was slightly higher than the other and my left hip pulled forward a bit more than my right. Then, I laid down on the table for the real session to start. Felson started by using her fingers to make small movements and knead along my shoulders and down my upper back. This worked to open my shoulder and pelvic girdles. “When does it get painful?” I asked. Turns out, that’s part myth, Felson told me. “When Dr. Rolf started developing the technique in the ’60s, the name of the game was the more pain, the better,” she explains. “People would be on therapists’ tables screaming. But as we’ve learned more about the nervous system, we’ve learned that if you want to end that loop of fight or flight, the brain needs to feel safe.” Later that day, I definitely noticed I was able to take bigger breaths. I stood, waiting for the subway, inhaling and exhaling deeply, just because I was astounded by how far my lungs could puff out. Maybe deeper breaths were my first step to shaving some time off my marathon? Felson gives little assignments to focus on after each session. My “homework” for the week was to carry a backpack rather than my overloaded leather tote. I was also supposed to practice standing up straight by pulling my shoulders out to the sides, rather than rolling them down my back. (Many people roll their shoulders down their back when they’re thinking about their posture. However, she says, that actually squishes the muscles of your upper back together. And it can even make the whole area more tense.) I started doing this daily, consciously standing up by imagining my shoulders being stretched to the sides. RELATED: Are You Foam Rolling All Wrong?

Rolfing: The After Effects

In the time since I’ve started rolfing sessions about two months ago, I’ve become aware of how I stand and the way my feet bend when I walk. I also pay attention to the way I puff my lungs out to the sides when I breathe, how to sit on my sits bones while working, and other tiny details about the way I move throughout the day. Making a slight shift in how you stand or sit might seem insignificant, but those small actions are crucial for making lasting changes to your structure, Felson says. “The homework I give clients is maybe 40 or 50 percent of the work. Half of it is on the table, the rest is what you do when you get off the table.” I’m only halfway through my 10 sessions, so we’ll see if I end up with a new PR or start breezing through my speed drills. But so far I can claim that rolfing has expanded my breath, nixed a nagging ache that used to flare up at the beginning of every run, and improved my awareness of my body. A deep-tissue massage has never given me these benefits. Felson also mentioned the alignment-improving effects of rolfing are often long-lasting. Some people only coming back every few months (or years) for a tune-up. I’d say that’s worth a try. If you want to give rolfing a go, Felson recommends signing up for series of 10 sessions. She says it's best to go at a time of year when you’re not deep into intense training. To maintain the results, stop in for a tune-up session every month or two while in the thick of it training. To find a certified rolfer, check out the directory at the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration. Read More I Tried Cupping Therapy and Here’s What Happened 4 Things a Physical Therapist Can Do That Your Doctor Can’t 6 Running Stretches That Are Too Easy to Skip

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5 Badass Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/resistance-band-exercises-kaisa-keranen/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/resistance-band-exercises-kaisa-keranen/#respond Thu, 27 Jul 2017 11:15:53 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=60557 5 Badass Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength

[caption id="attachment_60575" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Badass Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength Photo: Courtesy of Kaisa Keranen[/caption]

Give the barbells and weight machines a day off and reach for some resistance bands instead. They might look flimsy, but those brightly colored cords are some of the most powerful pieces of equipment in the gym. And if you’re traveling this summer or have limited real estate at home, these bands take up no space at all. Keeping the bands taut while performing your go-to moves will give you comparable strength gains to using traditional weights, according to new research published in the European Journal of Sport Science.

We tapped Kaisa Keranen, a certified trainer and movement coach based in Seattle, for some of her favorite moves incorporating bands. Like the superhuman Keranen is, these resistance band exercises are full-body, high-energy, dynamic movements that are anything but ordinary. Bonus: All you need to try the moves are a pair of looped resistance bands and dumbbells, and two small towels or gliders. Choose a band with light to medium resistance and work your way up to a band with heavier resistance. Give her amped-up moves a go, and you’ll get your heart pumping and fire up muscles from head to toe.

RELATED: 15 Super-Fit Trainers Challenge You to These Impressive Moves

5 Total-Body Resistance Band Exercises from Kaisa Keranen

5 Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength: Forward Squat Jump to Press Exercise

1. Forward Squat Jump to Press

This move packs the power of a jump squat to an overhead press without added stress on your joints from holding the weights overhead. “The bands are a great alternative to dumbbells because they are easier on your knees when you land,” Keranen says.

How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart with a band looped under your feet. Grab the top of the band with both hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart, using an underhand grip (a). Sit into a deep squat, and then press your hands up overhead as you jump forward (b). Do eight reps.

RELATED: 5 Exercise Machines That Aren't Worth Your Time

5 Badass Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength: Banded Knee Tuck Jump Exercise

2. Banded Knee Tuck Jump

The resistance bands add extra pump-up power to the jumping action of this move. “There is a lot more power needed when you are trying to pull the bands up with you,” Keranen says. Plus, resisting the force of the bands and working against gravity helps you keep your core super engaged, she adds.

How to: Wrap a resistance band around two dumbbells (or other fixed objects close to the floor) several feet apart on the floor so the band is taut (a). Place your feet in between the two dumbbells hip-width apart with the band a few inches above your feet (b). Sit into a squat and swing your arms behind you (c). Then, swing your arms forward and jump up, tucking your knees up toward your chest. Your feet should catch on the band as you jump (d). Do eight reps.

5 Badass Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength: Banded Battle Ropes Exercise

3. Banded Battle Ropes

Battle ropes work your legs and glutes as hard as your arms, since you’re always in a squatting position. Your core is also getting some TLC to help stabilize you. “The amount of effort it takes to slam the ropes with the added resistance of the bands made this exercise 10 times harder than normal,” she says.

How to: Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart with your toes turned out and knees tracking over toes. Loop a resistance band under each foot and stretch them up to hip height to wrap them around each hand (a). Hold a battle rope in each hand and squat low until your thighs are parallel to floor (b). In a squat position, wave the ropes, alternating your hands up and down (c). Continue for 30 seconds.

RELATED: The Ultimate Battle Ropes Workout

5 Badass Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength: Banded Plank Crawl Exercise

4. Banded Plank Crawl

Adding bands to this movement guarantees some serious shoulder burn. “Wrapping the bands around your wrists adds extra resistance to the forward walk, making your shoulders work extra hard to pull you forward,” Keranen says.

How to: Get into a high-plank position with one resistance band wrapped around both feet and both hands. Your shoulders should be directly under your hands, and your toes resting on two small folded hand towels or gliders (a). Maintaining proper plank position, pull in your abs to your spine and slowly walk your hands forward across the floor (b). Continue for 30 seconds.

RELATED: 3 Plyometric Planks You Need to Try ASAP

5 Badass Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength: Banded Dumbbell Bench Press Exercise

5. Banded Dumbbell Bench Press

“I add bands to my bench press to work on acceleration and range of motion strength,” Keranen explains. “The bands keep the press relatively the same weight as the dumbbells you are pressing, but at the top of the motion, they add extra resistance.”

How to: Wrap a resistance band around your upper back and loop each end to a dumbbell in each hand (a). Lie face up on a bench to get into bench press position and extend your arms directly above your shoulders (b). Bend your elbows and lower hands to your chest, and then press your hands up until your arms are fully extended (c). Do eight reps.

Read More
20-Minute Total-Body TRX Workout
Got 30 Minutes? HIIT This Jump Rope Workout
50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core

The post 5 Badass Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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5 Badass Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength

[caption id="attachment_60575" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Badass Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength Photo: Courtesy of Kaisa Keranen[/caption] Give the barbells and weight machines a day off and reach for some resistance bands instead. They might look flimsy, but those brightly colored cords are some of the most powerful pieces of equipment in the gym. And if you’re traveling this summer or have limited real estate at home, these bands take up no space at all. Keeping the bands taut while performing your go-to moves will give you comparable strength gains to using traditional weights, according to new research published in the European Journal of Sport Science. We tapped Kaisa Keranen, a certified trainer and movement coach based in Seattle, for some of her favorite moves incorporating bands. Like the superhuman Keranen is, these resistance band exercises are full-body, high-energy, dynamic movements that are anything but ordinary. Bonus: All you need to try the moves are a pair of looped resistance bands and dumbbells, and two small towels or gliders. Choose a band with light to medium resistance and work your way up to a band with heavier resistance. Give her amped-up moves a go, and you’ll get your heart pumping and fire up muscles from head to toe. RELATED: 15 Super-Fit Trainers Challenge You to These Impressive Moves

5 Total-Body Resistance Band Exercises from Kaisa Keranen

5 Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength: Forward Squat Jump to Press Exercise

1. Forward Squat Jump to Press

This move packs the power of a jump squat to an overhead press without added stress on your joints from holding the weights overhead. “The bands are a great alternative to dumbbells because they are easier on your knees when you land,” Keranen says. How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart with a band looped under your feet. Grab the top of the band with both hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart, using an underhand grip (a). Sit into a deep squat, and then press your hands up overhead as you jump forward (b). Do eight reps. RELATED: 5 Exercise Machines That Aren't Worth Your Time 5 Badass Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength: Banded Knee Tuck Jump Exercise

2. Banded Knee Tuck Jump

The resistance bands add extra pump-up power to the jumping action of this move. “There is a lot more power needed when you are trying to pull the bands up with you,” Keranen says. Plus, resisting the force of the bands and working against gravity helps you keep your core super engaged, she adds. How to: Wrap a resistance band around two dumbbells (or other fixed objects close to the floor) several feet apart on the floor so the band is taut (a). Place your feet in between the two dumbbells hip-width apart with the band a few inches above your feet (b). Sit into a squat and swing your arms behind you (c). Then, swing your arms forward and jump up, tucking your knees up toward your chest. Your feet should catch on the band as you jump (d). Do eight reps. 5 Badass Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength: Banded Battle Ropes Exercise

3. Banded Battle Ropes

Battle ropes work your legs and glutes as hard as your arms, since you’re always in a squatting position. Your core is also getting some TLC to help stabilize you. “The amount of effort it takes to slam the ropes with the added resistance of the bands made this exercise 10 times harder than normal,” she says. How to: Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart with your toes turned out and knees tracking over toes. Loop a resistance band under each foot and stretch them up to hip height to wrap them around each hand (a). Hold a battle rope in each hand and squat low until your thighs are parallel to floor (b). In a squat position, wave the ropes, alternating your hands up and down (c). Continue for 30 seconds. RELATED: The Ultimate Battle Ropes Workout 5 Badass Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength: Banded Plank Crawl Exercise

4. Banded Plank Crawl

Adding bands to this movement guarantees some serious shoulder burn. “Wrapping the bands around your wrists adds extra resistance to the forward walk, making your shoulders work extra hard to pull you forward,” Keranen says. How to: Get into a high-plank position with one resistance band wrapped around both feet and both hands. Your shoulders should be directly under your hands, and your toes resting on two small folded hand towels or gliders (a). Maintaining proper plank position, pull in your abs to your spine and slowly walk your hands forward across the floor (b). Continue for 30 seconds. RELATED: 3 Plyometric Planks You Need to Try ASAP 5 Badass Resistance Band Exercises for Total-Body Strength: Banded Dumbbell Bench Press Exercise

5. Banded Dumbbell Bench Press

“I add bands to my bench press to work on acceleration and range of motion strength,” Keranen explains. “The bands keep the press relatively the same weight as the dumbbells you are pressing, but at the top of the motion, they add extra resistance.” How to: Wrap a resistance band around your upper back and loop each end to a dumbbell in each hand (a). Lie face up on a bench to get into bench press position and extend your arms directly above your shoulders (b). Bend your elbows and lower hands to your chest, and then press your hands up until your arms are fully extended (c). Do eight reps. Read More 20-Minute Total-Body TRX Workout Got 30 Minutes? HIIT This Jump Rope Workout 50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core

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6 Open-Water Swimming Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them) http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/open-water-swimming-tips/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/open-water-swimming-tips/#respond Wed, 26 Jul 2017 11:15:31 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=60539 6 Open-Water Swimming Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

[caption id="attachment_60551" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Open-Water Swimming Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them) Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Even if you hit the pool multiple days a week, your first organized open-water swim can feel disorienting, intimidating or just downright difficult. “Swimming in open water is completely different from swimming in a pool. There are no lane lines, and in most cases you can’t see the ground,” says Andrew Kalley, a USA Triathlon level II coach and senior coach at Chelsea Pier’s Full Throttle Endurance in New York City. To smooth out your stroke, we’re letting you in on the mistakes most open-water swimming newbies make. Plus, you’ll get expert tips on how to avoid them so you can glide right to the finish.

RELATED: 10 Swimming Tips to Improve Every Stroke

6 Open-Water Swimming Mistakes Most Newbies Make

Mistake #1: Not practicing enough (or any) open-water swims

What to do instead: All the pool workouts that fill your training plan will certainly boost your fitness and form, but they won’t fully prep you for race day. “It’s best to practice open-water swimming in a non-stressful environment first, so you get more comfortable,” says Dave Kelsheimer, head coach of Team Santa Monica in California and head coach of Team USA open-water world championship swimming. Ideally, try to get in at least a couple practice swims on the actual course before race day. “It’s important not for increased fitness — but it’s about acclimating to the water temperature and sighting,” Kelsheimer says. Get to know the course and it might help calm your nerves come take off.

Mistake #2: Skipping a gear test run

What to do instead: As with all timed events, when it comes to triathlons or open-water swims, you should practice the golden rule: Never try something new on race day. “Swimming is stressful enough — you don’t want to leave any extra surprises for race morning,” says Kalley. He recommends practicing in your race kit, swimsuit, or wetsuit and goggles for at least three or four workouts ahead of the big day.

“Practice with the same pair or type of goggles you want to use for racing, and make sure they’re appropriate for the time of day you’re racing and the angle of the sun,” adds Kelsheimer. Also, get used to lubing up with BodyGlide or another anti-chafing balm. You should put it along the seams of your tri suit or wetsuit and anywhere it might irritate your skin, says Kelsheimer.

RELATED: 15 Top Picks for Tri Gear if You’re on a Budget or a Baller

Mistake #3: Not warming up

What to do instead: If it’s your first time out on the open water, you might be inclined to conserve your energy and avoid swimming before the start. But skipping a pre-race dip in the water “is a huge mistake, especially for cold-water races,” says Kalley. He advises swimming for 10 to 15 minutes before the race start to acclimate your body to the water temperature. “That amount of time will hardly waste any energy and, on the contrary, will have a huge impact on performance,” he says.

Jumping into the water beforehand isn’t only about warming up your muscles, either, says Kelsheimer: “It gets your shoulders lubricated, gives you the chance to do a final check of your goggles, and takes off a little bit of that nervousness, so you can start the race from a relaxed point.”

Mistake #4: Starting too soon when the gun goes off

What to do instead: Even if you’re eager to get going, resist the urge to charge into the water with the rest of the pack. “Other swimmers can be very aggressive at the start, which can be pretty daunting for newbies,” says Kelsheimer. Holding off for just 30 to 60 seconds will give you more breathing room. “Unless you know you are a good swimmer,” Kalley says, “you should head to the back of your wave and let the faster swimmers go. You’ll have a safer, faster, and more comfortable swim.”

As for positioning, Kelsheimer advises sidestepping the middle of the crowd and lining up on the far left or right of your age group to give yourself more space. Even better: “It’s usually the fastest, most direct distance to the first turn buoy,” he says.

RELATED: A Beginner’s Guide to Triathlon Training

Mistake #5: Sighting too often — or not enough

What to do instead: Unlike in a pool, where lane lines keep you swimming straight, it’s easy to veer off course in open water. Sighting — or regularly looking up from your stroke — is important for staying on course. However, many people do it too often, says Kelsheimer. “A lot of swimmers will come out of the water and say their hip flexors are hurting — that’s a result of lifting their head too much, which puts pressure on your hips.”

On the flip side, not sighting enough can send you off course. “Ninety-nine percent of beginners don’t swim a straight line,” says Kalley. This will waste energy and leave you frustrated, which is why he recommends newbies peek their heads out of the water more often. Pay special attention to your sighting during your open-water trial runs, finding the right balance between looking up and down. That way, you’ll better learn to stay straight without constantly throwing off your body alignment.

Mistake #6: Standing too soon at the end

What to do instead: When you near the end of the swim and the water’s edge is in sight, avoid running through the rest of the water. If you put your feet down too soon, you could trip, twist an ankle, or hurt your foot on a rock, says Kelsheimer. More than that, wading through hip- or waist-deep water actually takes more time and energy than swimming. “To avoid feeling exhausted by the time you get to the transition area, you shouldn’t stand until your hands hit the ground a few times,” Kalley suggests. Repeat after us: Just keep swimming.

The post 6 Open-Water Swimming Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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6 Open-Water Swimming Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

[caption id="attachment_60551" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Open-Water Swimming Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them) Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Even if you hit the pool multiple days a week, your first organized open-water swim can feel disorienting, intimidating or just downright difficult. “Swimming in open water is completely different from swimming in a pool. There are no lane lines, and in most cases you can’t see the ground,” says Andrew Kalley, a USA Triathlon level II coach and senior coach at Chelsea Pier’s Full Throttle Endurance in New York City. To smooth out your stroke, we’re letting you in on the mistakes most open-water swimming newbies make. Plus, you’ll get expert tips on how to avoid them so you can glide right to the finish. RELATED: 10 Swimming Tips to Improve Every Stroke

6 Open-Water Swimming Mistakes Most Newbies Make

Mistake #1: Not practicing enough (or any) open-water swims

What to do instead: All the pool workouts that fill your training plan will certainly boost your fitness and form, but they won’t fully prep you for race day. “It’s best to practice open-water swimming in a non-stressful environment first, so you get more comfortable,” says Dave Kelsheimer, head coach of Team Santa Monica in California and head coach of Team USA open-water world championship swimming. Ideally, try to get in at least a couple practice swims on the actual course before race day. “It’s important not for increased fitness — but it’s about acclimating to the water temperature and sighting,” Kelsheimer says. Get to know the course and it might help calm your nerves come take off.

Mistake #2: Skipping a gear test run

What to do instead: As with all timed events, when it comes to triathlons or open-water swims, you should practice the golden rule: Never try something new on race day. “Swimming is stressful enough — you don’t want to leave any extra surprises for race morning,” says Kalley. He recommends practicing in your race kit, swimsuit, or wetsuit and goggles for at least three or four workouts ahead of the big day. “Practice with the same pair or type of goggles you want to use for racing, and make sure they’re appropriate for the time of day you’re racing and the angle of the sun,” adds Kelsheimer. Also, get used to lubing up with BodyGlide or another anti-chafing balm. You should put it along the seams of your tri suit or wetsuit and anywhere it might irritate your skin, says Kelsheimer. RELATED: 15 Top Picks for Tri Gear if You’re on a Budget or a Baller

Mistake #3: Not warming up

What to do instead: If it’s your first time out on the open water, you might be inclined to conserve your energy and avoid swimming before the start. But skipping a pre-race dip in the water “is a huge mistake, especially for cold-water races,” says Kalley. He advises swimming for 10 to 15 minutes before the race start to acclimate your body to the water temperature. “That amount of time will hardly waste any energy and, on the contrary, will have a huge impact on performance,” he says. Jumping into the water beforehand isn’t only about warming up your muscles, either, says Kelsheimer: “It gets your shoulders lubricated, gives you the chance to do a final check of your goggles, and takes off a little bit of that nervousness, so you can start the race from a relaxed point.”

Mistake #4: Starting too soon when the gun goes off

What to do instead: Even if you’re eager to get going, resist the urge to charge into the water with the rest of the pack. “Other swimmers can be very aggressive at the start, which can be pretty daunting for newbies,” says Kelsheimer. Holding off for just 30 to 60 seconds will give you more breathing room. “Unless you know you are a good swimmer,” Kalley says, “you should head to the back of your wave and let the faster swimmers go. You’ll have a safer, faster, and more comfortable swim.” As for positioning, Kelsheimer advises sidestepping the middle of the crowd and lining up on the far left or right of your age group to give yourself more space. Even better: “It’s usually the fastest, most direct distance to the first turn buoy,” he says. RELATED: A Beginner’s Guide to Triathlon Training

Mistake #5: Sighting too often — or not enough

What to do instead: Unlike in a pool, where lane lines keep you swimming straight, it’s easy to veer off course in open water. Sighting — or regularly looking up from your stroke — is important for staying on course. However, many people do it too often, says Kelsheimer. “A lot of swimmers will come out of the water and say their hip flexors are hurting — that’s a result of lifting their head too much, which puts pressure on your hips.” On the flip side, not sighting enough can send you off course. “Ninety-nine percent of beginners don’t swim a straight line,” says Kalley. This will waste energy and leave you frustrated, which is why he recommends newbies peek their heads out of the water more often. Pay special attention to your sighting during your open-water trial runs, finding the right balance between looking up and down. That way, you’ll better learn to stay straight without constantly throwing off your body alignment.

Mistake #6: Standing too soon at the end

What to do instead: When you near the end of the swim and the water’s edge is in sight, avoid running through the rest of the water. If you put your feet down too soon, you could trip, twist an ankle, or hurt your foot on a rock, says Kelsheimer. More than that, wading through hip- or waist-deep water actually takes more time and energy than swimming. “To avoid feeling exhausted by the time you get to the transition area, you shouldn’t stand until your hands hit the ground a few times,” Kalley suggests. Repeat after us: Just keep swimming.

The post 6 Open-Water Swimming Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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15 Top Picks for Tri Gear If You’re on a Budget or a Baller http://dailyburn.com/life/tech/triathlon-gear-every-budget/ http://dailyburn.com/life/tech/triathlon-gear-every-budget/#respond Tue, 11 Jul 2017 15:15:37 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=60045 Your Guide to Triathlon Gear for Every Budget

Your Guide to Triathlon Gear for Every Budget

If you’re giving the triathlon a go for the first time, getting all the necessary gear can seem a little overwhelming — not to mention super pricey. These races do involve three different sports, after all. While you’re always going to need to haul a bunch of belongings to your spot in the transition area, you don’t have to put a serious dent in your bank account to get there. Read on for our top picks for affordable swim, bike and run gear. Plus, find fancier, advanced-tech pieces for those looking to push their multi-sport performance into high gear. 

RELATED: The 12 Best Bikes for Every Type of Rider

Swim, Bike, Run: Your Guide to Triathlon Gear for Every Budget

Affordable Swim Essentials

Top Triathlon Gear: Speedo MDR 2.4 polarized goggles

1. Speedo MDR 2.4 polarized goggles
These bestselling goggles by Speedo boast large, anti-fog lenses that stretch over your eye socket for a comfortable fit that keeps water out. They’re also polarized to help cut glare on sunny race-day mornings. ($33, speedousa.com)

Top Triathlon Gear: 2XU A:1 Active Wetsuit

2. 2XU A:1 Active wetsuit
You could always rent a wetsuit from a local triathlon shop — you will definitely want one in open water — but to have one of your own, go for this one by 2XU. It features a thickened, coated chest panel meant to keep you higher in the water, and therefore reduce drag and pick up the pace. The strap connected to the back zipper also makes it easy to slip in and out of the wetsuit so you can cut your transition time. ($300, 2xu.com)

RELATED: 3 Swimming Workouts for Every Skill Level

Splurge-Worthy Wetsuit

Top Triathlon Gear: Roka Maverick X Wetsuit

3. Roka Maverick X wetsuit
If you want a seriously efficient stroke, snag this high-end, worth-the-steep-price-tag model by Roka. Designed with an arms-up construction, it gives you the flexibility and freedom to move fast. And when you start feeling fatigued, the internal taping offers support for your core, helping you maintain proper form as you freestyle. The neoprene is also super durable, so you can wear it swim after swim after swim. ($900, roka.com)

RELATED: How to Conquer Your Fear of Open Water Swimming

Budget-Friendly Must-Buys for Biking

Top Triathlon Gear: Cannondale Synapse Disc Tiagra bike

4. Cannondale Synapse Disc Tiagra bike
This bike is a great option for a tri newbie. Its lightweight frame absorbs shock to make for a comfortable ride and helps keep the wheels aligned when you hit bumps, so the ride feels smooth and stable. Its design also lets you sit between a forward race position and an upright posture, which can boost your confidence while still keeping you comfy on long rides. ($1,250, cannondale.com)

Top Triathlon Gear: Bell Stratus MIPS Helmet

5. Bell Stratus MIPS helmet
A moderately priced helmet that’s lightweight and super-breathable, meet the Bell Stratus MIPS. With tons of ventilation, your head always stays cool, no matter how hot the race-day weather. It includes an adjustable dial that you can tighten or loosen for a perfectly snug fit, which is easy to do in transition or even while you pedal thanks to the large size. ($150, bellhelmets.com)

RELATED: The 15 Most Incredible Bike Trails in the U.S.

Top Triathlon Gear: Pearl Izumi Elite Pursuit Tri Suit

6. Pearl Izumi Elite Pursuit Tri Suit
The easiest way to breeze through transitions is in a tri suit that you’ll wear for all three activities. (It’ll go under your wetsuit for the swim.) This design has a fabric made to keep you cool, a quick-dry chamois — so your seat doesn’t feel soggy as you ride after the swim, but you still get the padding — and two easy-access pockets for storing gummies, lip balm or other mid-race necessities. What’s more: Elastic silicone grippers on the legs keep them from riding up so they stay snugly in place throughout the race. ($145, pearlizumi.com)

Top Triathlon Gear: Shimano TR5W Cycling Shoes

7. Shimano TR5W cycling shoes
Get the most power on your two-wheeler with shoes that connect with your pedals, like this pair by Shimano. An asymmetrical loop at the heel makes these simple to pull on when you're anxiously moving from the water to the road, and the straps and extra-wide collar are easy to secure. Once you're pedaling, breathable mesh lets air hit your feet to keep them cool and dry. ($130, amazon.com)

RELATED: How Ironman Competitors Fit In Training (And You Can, Too)

Worth-the-Price Bike Upgrades

Top Triathlon Gear: Specialized Shiv Expert Bike

8. Specialized Shiv Expert bike
If you get super into racing, especially long-distance triathlon courses, investing in a tri-specific bike like the Shiv is smart. The aero bars above the front tire make for a comfortable extended position for your arms as you pedal, while the carbon frame is extra aerodynamic. A bonus on this bike: There are storage compartments for water and mid-ride snacks built right into the frame. ($3,800, specialized.com)

Top Tri Gear: Giro Helmet

9. Giro Aerohead MIPS helmet
Wearing a regular bike helmet is fine...until you start getting serious about shaving the most minutes off your finish time. Then, you might consider getting an extra efficient model like this offering by Giro. Its polycarbonate shell and ventilation are designed to keep your head cooler as you ride. ($250, giro.com)

RELATED: The 13 Most Incredible Triathlons in the U.S.

Top Triathlon Gear: Saris SuperClamp EX Bike Tray

10. Saris SuperClamp EX bike tray

A bike rack makes traveling to your tri ten times easier, especially if you’re racing with a friend and have two bikes to transport. This lightweight option by Saris easily connects to your car and carries up to two bikes. Bonus: It doesn’t have any contact with your bike frame, so it stays protected and scratch-free. ($470, saris.com)

Top Triathlon Gear: Smith Attack Max Sunglasses

11. Smith Attack Max sunglasses
These sunglasses will elevate your performance by blocking bright sunlight — and keeping bugs and road debris from messing with your vision. They come with two interchangeable Chromapop lenses (switch them up depending on the level of sunlight) that’ll increase visibility on both your bike and run. Adjust the two-position nosepiece for a perfect fit. ($250, smithoptics.com)

RELATED: 7 SoulCycle Secrets for Proper Form on a Spin Bike

Gotta-Get Running Sneakers Made for Miles

Top Triathlon Gear: Asics Noosa FF Sneakers

12. Asics Noosa FF sneakers
Featuring a seamless mesh, slipping into these Asics triathlons shoes means you can run sans socks. Their elastic laces and grips on the heel and tongue let you pull them on and take off. To finish it, the FlyteFoam soles keep them super-lightweight. So you'll basically feel like you're flying when you step off the bike and head into the final leg of the race. ($140, asics.com)

RELATED: Gym Class Act: The 7 Best Training Shoes

Quality Accessories for All Three Sports

Top Triathlon Gear: TomTom Spark 3 Cardio Watch

13. TomTom Spark 3 Cardio

Want to track your pace through the swim, bike and run? This watch by TomTom will gather all your stats from the swim start to the post-run finish line without breaking the bank. It has a built-in heart rate monitor, a large face that’s easy to read on the go, one button to simply switch as you move from sport to sport, and a ventilated band to stay comfy and cool on your wrist. ($190, tomtom.com)

Top Triathlon Gear: Fitletic Hydra 12-ox Hydration Belt

14. Fitletic Hydra 12-oz hydration belt

Attach your race number to the toggles on this belt before the race and leave it in transition; pull it on easily after you finish the swim. This belt boasts a pouch big enough to hold your phone, elastic loops to hold onto mid-race nutrition, and two bottles to keep sports drink or water with you as you go. Staying fueled just got simple. ($42, fitletic.com)

RELATED: The 5 Best Hydration Packs for Any Hike or Run

Top Tracker If You’re Willing to Pay Up

Top Triathlon Gear: Garmin Forerunner 935 Watch

15. Garmin Forerunner 935

The Forerunner 935 is one of the sleekest, lightweight triathlon watches out there. It manages to track all your stats, including distance, calories burned and elevation, while allowing for easy toggling on the go, as well as heart rate monitoring. The best part: It analyzes your VO2max (one of the best markers of fitness level) and scores your workouts, telling you whether you’re over- or undertraining or at optimal performance. ($499, garmin.com)

Disclosure: All products featured on our site are hand-picked by our editorial team in the hopes of getting you closer to your health and fitness goals. We only recommend products we love and believe that you will, too. If you come across an affiliate link on our site, that means we receive a small commission should you decide to make a purchase.

The post 15 Top Picks for Tri Gear If You’re on a Budget or a Baller appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Your Guide to Triathlon Gear for Every Budget

Your Guide to Triathlon Gear for Every Budget
If you’re giving the triathlon a go for the first time, getting all the necessary gear can seem a little overwhelming — not to mention super pricey. These races do involve three different sports, after all. While you’re always going to need to haul a bunch of belongings to your spot in the transition area, you don’t have to put a serious dent in your bank account to get there. Read on for our top picks for affordable swim, bike and run gear. Plus, find fancier, advanced-tech pieces for those looking to push their multi-sport performance into high gear.  RELATED: The 12 Best Bikes for Every Type of Rider

Swim, Bike, Run: Your Guide to Triathlon Gear for Every Budget

Affordable Swim Essentials

Top Triathlon Gear: Speedo MDR 2.4 polarized goggles 1. Speedo MDR 2.4 polarized goggles These bestselling goggles by Speedo boast large, anti-fog lenses that stretch over your eye socket for a comfortable fit that keeps water out. They’re also polarized to help cut glare on sunny race-day mornings. ($33, speedousa.com) Top Triathlon Gear: 2XU A:1 Active Wetsuit 2. 2XU A:1 Active wetsuit You could always rent a wetsuit from a local triathlon shop — you will definitely want one in open water — but to have one of your own, go for this one by 2XU. It features a thickened, coated chest panel meant to keep you higher in the water, and therefore reduce drag and pick up the pace. The strap connected to the back zipper also makes it easy to slip in and out of the wetsuit so you can cut your transition time. ($300, 2xu.com) RELATED: 3 Swimming Workouts for Every Skill Level

Splurge-Worthy Wetsuit

Top Triathlon Gear: Roka Maverick X Wetsuit 3. Roka Maverick X wetsuit If you want a seriously efficient stroke, snag this high-end, worth-the-steep-price-tag model by Roka. Designed with an arms-up construction, it gives you the flexibility and freedom to move fast. And when you start feeling fatigued, the internal taping offers support for your core, helping you maintain proper form as you freestyle. The neoprene is also super durable, so you can wear it swim after swim after swim. ($900, roka.com) RELATED: How to Conquer Your Fear of Open Water Swimming

Budget-Friendly Must-Buys for Biking

Top Triathlon Gear: Cannondale Synapse Disc Tiagra bike 4. Cannondale Synapse Disc Tiagra bike This bike is a great option for a tri newbie. Its lightweight frame absorbs shock to make for a comfortable ride and helps keep the wheels aligned when you hit bumps, so the ride feels smooth and stable. Its design also lets you sit between a forward race position and an upright posture, which can boost your confidence while still keeping you comfy on long rides. ($1,250, cannondale.com)
Top Triathlon Gear: Bell Stratus MIPS Helmet 5. Bell Stratus MIPS helmet A moderately priced helmet that’s lightweight and super-breathable, meet the Bell Stratus MIPS. With tons of ventilation, your head always stays cool, no matter how hot the race-day weather. It includes an adjustable dial that you can tighten or loosen for a perfectly snug fit, which is easy to do in transition or even while you pedal thanks to the large size. ($150, bellhelmets.com) RELATED: The 15 Most Incredible Bike Trails in the U.S. Top Triathlon Gear: Pearl Izumi Elite Pursuit Tri Suit 6. Pearl Izumi Elite Pursuit Tri Suit The easiest way to breeze through transitions is in a tri suit that you’ll wear for all three activities. (It’ll go under your wetsuit for the swim.) This design has a fabric made to keep you cool, a quick-dry chamois — so your seat doesn’t feel soggy as you ride after the swim, but you still get the padding — and two easy-access pockets for storing gummies, lip balm or other mid-race necessities. What’s more: Elastic silicone grippers on the legs keep them from riding up so they stay snugly in place throughout the race. ($145, pearlizumi.com) Top Triathlon Gear: Shimano TR5W Cycling Shoes 7. Shimano TR5W cycling shoes Get the most power on your two-wheeler with shoes that connect with your pedals, like this pair by Shimano. An asymmetrical loop at the heel makes these simple to pull on when you're anxiously moving from the water to the road, and the straps and extra-wide collar are easy to secure. Once you're pedaling, breathable mesh lets air hit your feet to keep them cool and dry. ($130, amazon.com) RELATED: How Ironman Competitors Fit In Training (And You Can, Too)

Worth-the-Price Bike Upgrades

Top Triathlon Gear: Specialized Shiv Expert Bike 8. Specialized Shiv Expert bike If you get super into racing, especially long-distance triathlon courses, investing in a tri-specific bike like the Shiv is smart. The aero bars above the front tire make for a comfortable extended position for your arms as you pedal, while the carbon frame is extra aerodynamic. A bonus on this bike: There are storage compartments for water and mid-ride snacks built right into the frame. ($3,800, specialized.com) Top Tri Gear: Giro Helmet 9. Giro Aerohead MIPS helmet Wearing a regular bike helmet is fine...until you start getting serious about shaving the most minutes off your finish time. Then, you might consider getting an extra efficient model like this offering by Giro. Its polycarbonate shell and ventilation are designed to keep your head cooler as you ride. ($250, giro.com) RELATED: The 13 Most Incredible Triathlons in the U.S. Top Triathlon Gear: Saris SuperClamp EX Bike Tray 10. Saris SuperClamp EX bike tray A bike rack makes traveling to your tri ten times easier, especially if you’re racing with a friend and have two bikes to transport. This lightweight option by Saris easily connects to your car and carries up to two bikes. Bonus: It doesn’t have any contact with your bike frame, so it stays protected and scratch-free. ($470, saris.com) Top Triathlon Gear: Smith Attack Max Sunglasses 11. Smith Attack Max sunglasses These sunglasses will elevate your performance by blocking bright sunlight — and keeping bugs and road debris from messing with your vision. They come with two interchangeable Chromapop lenses (switch them up depending on the level of sunlight) that’ll increase visibility on both your bike and run. Adjust the two-position nosepiece for a perfect fit. ($250, smithoptics.com) RELATED: 7 SoulCycle Secrets for Proper Form on a Spin Bike

Gotta-Get Running Sneakers Made for Miles

Top Triathlon Gear: Asics Noosa FF Sneakers 12. Asics Noosa FF sneakers Featuring a seamless mesh, slipping into these Asics triathlons shoes means you can run sans socks. Their elastic laces and grips on the heel and tongue let you pull them on and take off. To finish it, the FlyteFoam soles keep them super-lightweight. So you'll basically feel like you're flying when you step off the bike and head into the final leg of the race. ($140, asics.com) RELATED: Gym Class Act: The 7 Best Training Shoes

Quality Accessories for All Three Sports

Top Triathlon Gear: TomTom Spark 3 Cardio Watch 13. TomTom Spark 3 Cardio Want to track your pace through the swim, bike and run? This watch by TomTom will gather all your stats from the swim start to the post-run finish line without breaking the bank. It has a built-in heart rate monitor, a large face that’s easy to read on the go, one button to simply switch as you move from sport to sport, and a ventilated band to stay comfy and cool on your wrist. ($190, tomtom.com) Top Triathlon Gear: Fitletic Hydra 12-ox Hydration Belt 14. Fitletic Hydra 12-oz hydration belt Attach your race number to the toggles on this belt before the race and leave it in transition; pull it on easily after you finish the swim. This belt boasts a pouch big enough to hold your phone, elastic loops to hold onto mid-race nutrition, and two bottles to keep sports drink or water with you as you go. Staying fueled just got simple. ($42, fitletic.com) RELATED: The 5 Best Hydration Packs for Any Hike or Run

Top Tracker If You’re Willing to Pay Up

Top Triathlon Gear: Garmin Forerunner 935 Watch 15. Garmin Forerunner 935 The Forerunner 935 is one of the sleekest, lightweight triathlon watches out there. It manages to track all your stats, including distance, calories burned and elevation, while allowing for easy toggling on the go, as well as heart rate monitoring. The best part: It analyzes your VO2max (one of the best markers of fitness level) and scores your workouts, telling you whether you’re over- or undertraining or at optimal performance. ($499, garmin.com) Disclosure: All products featured on our site are hand-picked by our editorial team in the hopes of getting you closer to your health and fitness goals. We only recommend products we love and believe that you will, too. If you come across an affiliate link on our site, that means we receive a small commission should you decide to make a purchase.

The post 15 Top Picks for Tri Gear If You’re on a Budget or a Baller appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Step Up Your Running Game with This Stair Workout http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/stair-workout-run-faster/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/stair-workout-run-faster/#respond Tue, 11 Jul 2017 11:15:37 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=60036

[caption id="attachment_60040" align="alignnone" width="620"]Step Up Your Running Game with This Stair Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Forget the treadmill. Stair-climbing machines are likely the most dreaded piece of cardio equipment in the gym, and for good reason: Trotting up step after step is tough work. But that’s exactly why you should add climbing to your fitness routine. Running up stairs makes for a high-charged cardio session that you can knock out in minutes. Plus, it fires up your quads and glutes and pumps up your power — so you’ll end up stronger for all your flat-ground workouts, too.

“Running stairs is very similar to running hills,” says John Honerkamp, founder and chief fitness officer at J.R. Honerkamp Consulting in New York City. “You're not able to run up stairs as fast as you can on flats, but you're using your sprint muscles and mechanics. You use your legs more, engage your core more and drive with your arms, so it’s a full-body movement.”

RELATED: Get Seriously Faster with These Hill Running Workouts

The Case for a Stair Workout

Depending on where you live, a running route with hills may be hard to find. And even the steepest hills in your city likely don’t come close to the grade incline you’ll get from a set of stairs.

If continuously huffing up and down a staircase sounds monotonous, not to worry: It doesn’t have to last very long. Tackling an incline (and moving against gravity) is so effective that even brief sessions can lead to major results. In fact, running stairs for just 10 minutes, three times a week, improved women’s cardiovascular fitness after only six weeks, according to a new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

To work climbing into your exercise schedule, start swapping out one of your regular runs or elliptical workouts per week with 20 or 30 minutes on the stair master or some steps. Your high school stadium or nearby cement staircase will work. “Do stairs once a week and think of it as a way to break up the boring, easy runs,” suggests Honerkamp. Ready to rise to the challenge? Give this vertical workout designed by Honerkamp a go.

RELATED: Why I Started Running — And Never Stopped

Your 25-Minute Stair Workout

When running stairs, Honerkamp recommends going hard on the way up, and then jogging down at an easy pace to avoid heavy pounding on your joints. Besides playing with your pace, this workout also mixes in upper- and total-body strength moves between flights. So you can cross cardio and strength off your to-do list simultaneously. Now get stepping!

RELATED: Love Puppies, Beer and Brunch? 11 Run Clubs to Join Now

[caption id="attachment_60041" align="alignnone" width="620"]Your 25-Minute Stair Workout to Run Faster and Stronger Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

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[caption id="attachment_60040" align="alignnone" width="620"]Step Up Your Running Game with This Stair Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption] Forget the treadmill. Stair-climbing machines are likely the most dreaded piece of cardio equipment in the gym, and for good reason: Trotting up step after step is tough work. But that’s exactly why you should add climbing to your fitness routine. Running up stairs makes for a high-charged cardio session that you can knock out in minutes. Plus, it fires up your quads and glutes and pumps up your power — so you’ll end up stronger for all your flat-ground workouts, too. “Running stairs is very similar to running hills,” says John Honerkamp, founder and chief fitness officer at J.R. Honerkamp Consulting in New York City. “You're not able to run up stairs as fast as you can on flats, but you're using your sprint muscles and mechanics. You use your legs more, engage your core more and drive with your arms, so it’s a full-body movement.” RELATED: Get Seriously Faster with These Hill Running Workouts

The Case for a Stair Workout

Depending on where you live, a running route with hills may be hard to find. And even the steepest hills in your city likely don’t come close to the grade incline you’ll get from a set of stairs. If continuously huffing up and down a staircase sounds monotonous, not to worry: It doesn’t have to last very long. Tackling an incline (and moving against gravity) is so effective that even brief sessions can lead to major results. In fact, running stairs for just 10 minutes, three times a week, improved women’s cardiovascular fitness after only six weeks, according to a new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. To work climbing into your exercise schedule, start swapping out one of your regular runs or elliptical workouts per week with 20 or 30 minutes on the stair master or some steps. Your high school stadium or nearby cement staircase will work. “Do stairs once a week and think of it as a way to break up the boring, easy runs,” suggests Honerkamp. Ready to rise to the challenge? Give this vertical workout designed by Honerkamp a go. RELATED: Why I Started Running — And Never Stopped

Your 25-Minute Stair Workout

When running stairs, Honerkamp recommends going hard on the way up, and then jogging down at an easy pace to avoid heavy pounding on your joints. Besides playing with your pace, this workout also mixes in upper- and total-body strength moves between flights. So you can cross cardio and strength off your to-do list simultaneously. Now get stepping! RELATED: Love Puppies, Beer and Brunch? 11 Run Clubs to Join Now [caption id="attachment_60041" align="alignnone" width="620"]Your 25-Minute Stair Workout to Run Faster and Stronger Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

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Carb Cycling: A Daily Meal Plan to Get Started http://dailyburn.com/life/health/carb-cycling-meal-plan/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/carb-cycling-meal-plan/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:10:28 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=25990 Carb Cycling, A Daily Meal Plan to Get Started

[caption id="attachment_59598" align="alignnone" width="620"]Carb Cycling: A Daily Meal Plan to Get Started Photo: Pond5[/caption]

You know a no-carb diet isn’t up your alley, but you don’t exactly want to fill up on a pre-race pasta feast every night either. No matter your health and fitness aspirations, carb cycling might be a good middle ground. Although its roots are in the world of bodybuilding, trainers are turning to the nutrition strategy to help clients achieve their goals — whether they’re trying to slim down or build muscle — or both.

“Eating healthy carbs on certain days keeps your metabolism revved up, and sticking to mostly protein and vegetables on days in between keeps insulin low enough that you can burn fat without losing muscle,” explains Shelby Starnes, a competitive bodybuilder and carb cycling expert. “It’s a routine that anyone can modify for their individual goals.” If you’re intrigued but don’t know how to start, read on for tips about how to put together a weekly carb cycling menu.

RELATED: Carb Cycling for Weight Loss: Does It Work?

Find the Right Formula

The classic carb cycling schedule alternates between high- and low-carb days, six times a week, saving the seventh day for reward meals. Depending on your health and fitness objectives, however, you might want to alter your setup for the week. For instance, to lose weight, you might aim for five low-carb days interspersed with two high-carb days, suggests Starnes. On the other hand, if gaining weight and adding muscle is your goal, think about including four or even five high-carb days. “Just make sure not to put all your high-carb days back-to-back,” Starnes says. “You should space them evenly throughout the week.” No matter your plan, be prepared to closely monitor your progress and consider adjusting your schedule to see what brings the best results for you.

RELATED: 12 Brilliant Meal Prep Ideas to Free Up Your Time

Choose Your Fuel

So should you just munch on meat during your low-carb days and pig out on pasta the rest of the week? Not exactly. Jessica Crandall, R.D.N, a dietician and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommends getting the majority of your calories on high-carb days from complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, legumes and fruits (or a high-quality protein shake if you're in a pinch). “They’ll keep you energized throughout the day while still promoting weight loss,” she says. To power through low-carb days, try to get your protein from chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs or tofu and complement it with non-starchy veggies — basically anything besides potatoes, corn and peas is fair game. As a general rule, says Starnes, do the majority of your shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store. You’ll load up on fresh staples and sidestep preservative-packed processed foods.

RELATED: 25 Three-Ingredient Smoothie Recipes

Snack on Track

Many trainers suggest taking a “cheat day” and allowing yourself to eat what you like, but make sure that approach isn’t setting you back. “To sustain a diet, a weekly reward day is not the best option,” says Crandall. “If you’re in the mindset to indulge after depriving yourself, you could end up eating 5,000 calories in one day when you only need 1,400 — and that will derail any progress you’ve made.” But don’t be discouraged; there is a little wiggle room for treats in a carb cycling plan. “If having an occasional bagel or bowl of sugary cereal helps you comply with your meal plan, work that into a high-carb day,” says Starnes. “Just scale back the other meals a bit that day.”

RELATED: When Is It OK to Cheat? The Pros and Cons of Cheat Days

Make a Carb Cycling Meal Plan

Once you’ve stocked your fridge and pantry with healthy grains, proteins and produce, coming up with a daily menu is key for achieving the best results. As a general rule, though it will vary from person to person, Crandall says that women should take in around 1,200 calories and men around 1,500 on low-carb days, with slightly more on high-carb days. Starnes recommends calculating the correct portions of each macronutrient by getting a certain number of grams per pound of body weight.

[CP_CALCULATED_FIELDS id="12"]

[CP_CALCULATED_FIELDS id="13"]
For both low- and high-carb days, be sure to eat breakfast as soon as possible when you wake up, then consume the rest of your calories across another four to six small meals throughout the day, advises Starnes. Here’s how you might schedule your meals:

Carb Cycling: Low-Carb Day Meal Plan

Carb Cycling: Low Carb Day Meal Plan

A typical low-carb day:

7 a.m: two scrambled eggs with 1/2 red bell pepper
10 a.m: protein shake with berries
1 p.m: 3 ounces grilled chicken with 1 cup asparagus
4 p.m: 1/3 cup oatmeal with 10 almonds
7 p.m: 3 ounces steak with 2 cups steamed broccoli and cauliflower

RELATED: 5 Meal Delivery Services That Are Athlete-Approved

Carb Cycling: High-Carb Day Meal Plan

Carb Cycling: High Carb Meal Plan

A typical high-carb day:

7 a.m: 1/2 cup oatmeal with walnuts and berries
10 a.m: apple with 2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
1 p.m: half turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread
4 p.m: 1 cup three-bean salad with 1 cup quinoa
7 p.m: 3 ounces grilled chicken with 1 cup whole-wheat pasta and pesto

Keep in mind that you can to still enjoy your favorite foods — just in moderation. “The goal is to slowly change your eating habits to include a variety of healthy foods,” says Crandall. That’s the kind of formula you can stick to for continued success.

The calculators within this article use the equations below for a rough estimation of your daily needs.

RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Pre- and Post-Workout Carbs

Men

High-carb day
2–3 grams of carbs (x your body weight)
1–1.25 grams of protein (x your body weight)
As little fat as possible

Low-carb day
0.5–1.5 grams of carbs (x your bodyweight)
1.25–1.5 grams of protein (x your bodyweight)
0.15–0.35 grams of fat (x your bodyweight)

Women

High-carb day
About 1 gram of carbs (x your bodyweight)
0.75 grams of protein (x your bodyweight)
As little fat as possible

Low-carb day
0.2–0.5 grams of carbs (x your bodyweight)
About 1 gram of protein (x your bodyweight)
0.1–0.2 grams of fat (x your bodyweight)

Originally published March 2014. Updated June 2017. 

The post Carb Cycling: A Daily Meal Plan to Get Started appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Carb Cycling, A Daily Meal Plan to Get Started

[caption id="attachment_59598" align="alignnone" width="620"]Carb Cycling: A Daily Meal Plan to Get Started Photo: Pond5[/caption] You know a no-carb diet isn’t up your alley, but you don’t exactly want to fill up on a pre-race pasta feast every night either. No matter your health and fitness aspirations, carb cycling might be a good middle ground. Although its roots are in the world of bodybuilding, trainers are turning to the nutrition strategy to help clients achieve their goals — whether they’re trying to slim down or build muscle — or both. “Eating healthy carbs on certain days keeps your metabolism revved up, and sticking to mostly protein and vegetables on days in between keeps insulin low enough that you can burn fat without losing muscle,” explains Shelby Starnes, a competitive bodybuilder and carb cycling expert. “It’s a routine that anyone can modify for their individual goals.” If you’re intrigued but don’t know how to start, read on for tips about how to put together a weekly carb cycling menu. RELATED: Carb Cycling for Weight Loss: Does It Work?

Find the Right Formula

The classic carb cycling schedule alternates between high- and low-carb days, six times a week, saving the seventh day for reward meals. Depending on your health and fitness objectives, however, you might want to alter your setup for the week. For instance, to lose weight, you might aim for five low-carb days interspersed with two high-carb days, suggests Starnes. On the other hand, if gaining weight and adding muscle is your goal, think about including four or even five high-carb days. “Just make sure not to put all your high-carb days back-to-back,” Starnes says. “You should space them evenly throughout the week.” No matter your plan, be prepared to closely monitor your progress and consider adjusting your schedule to see what brings the best results for you. RELATED: 12 Brilliant Meal Prep Ideas to Free Up Your Time

Choose Your Fuel

So should you just munch on meat during your low-carb days and pig out on pasta the rest of the week? Not exactly. Jessica Crandall, R.D.N, a dietician and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommends getting the majority of your calories on high-carb days from complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, legumes and fruits (or a high-quality protein shake if you're in a pinch). “They’ll keep you energized throughout the day while still promoting weight loss,” she says. To power through low-carb days, try to get your protein from chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs or tofu and complement it with non-starchy veggies — basically anything besides potatoes, corn and peas is fair game. As a general rule, says Starnes, do the majority of your shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store. You’ll load up on fresh staples and sidestep preservative-packed processed foods. RELATED: 25 Three-Ingredient Smoothie Recipes

Snack on Track

Many trainers suggest taking a “cheat day” and allowing yourself to eat what you like, but make sure that approach isn’t setting you back. “To sustain a diet, a weekly reward day is not the best option,” says Crandall. “If you’re in the mindset to indulge after depriving yourself, you could end up eating 5,000 calories in one day when you only need 1,400 — and that will derail any progress you’ve made.” But don’t be discouraged; there is a little wiggle room for treats in a carb cycling plan. “If having an occasional bagel or bowl of sugary cereal helps you comply with your meal plan, work that into a high-carb day,” says Starnes. “Just scale back the other meals a bit that day.” RELATED: When Is It OK to Cheat? The Pros and Cons of Cheat Days

Make a Carb Cycling Meal Plan

Once you’ve stocked your fridge and pantry with healthy grains, proteins and produce, coming up with a daily menu is key for achieving the best results. As a general rule, though it will vary from person to person, Crandall says that women should take in around 1,200 calories and men around 1,500 on low-carb days, with slightly more on high-carb days. Starnes recommends calculating the correct portions of each macronutrient by getting a certain number of grams per pound of body weight. [CP_CALCULATED_FIELDS id="12"] [CP_CALCULATED_FIELDS id="13"] For both low- and high-carb days, be sure to eat breakfast as soon as possible when you wake up, then consume the rest of your calories across another four to six small meals throughout the day, advises Starnes. Here’s how you might schedule your meals:

Carb Cycling: Low-Carb Day Meal Plan

Carb Cycling: Low Carb Day Meal Plan A typical low-carb day: 7 a.m: two scrambled eggs with 1/2 red bell pepper 10 a.m: protein shake with berries 1 p.m: 3 ounces grilled chicken with 1 cup asparagus 4 p.m: 1/3 cup oatmeal with 10 almonds 7 p.m: 3 ounces steak with 2 cups steamed broccoli and cauliflower RELATED: 5 Meal Delivery Services That Are Athlete-Approved

Carb Cycling: High-Carb Day Meal Plan

Carb Cycling: High Carb Meal Plan

A typical high-carb day:

7 a.m: 1/2 cup oatmeal with walnuts and berries 10 a.m: apple with 2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter 1 p.m: half turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread 4 p.m: 1 cup three-bean salad with 1 cup quinoa 7 p.m: 3 ounces grilled chicken with 1 cup whole-wheat pasta and pesto

Keep in mind that you can to still enjoy your favorite foods — just in moderation. “The goal is to slowly change your eating habits to include a variety of healthy foods,” says Crandall. That’s the kind of formula you can stick to for continued success. The calculators within this article use the equations below for a rough estimation of your daily needs. RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Pre- and Post-Workout Carbs

Men

High-carb day 2–3 grams of carbs (x your body weight) 1–1.25 grams of protein (x your body weight) As little fat as possible Low-carb day 0.5–1.5 grams of carbs (x your bodyweight) 1.25–1.5 grams of protein (x your bodyweight) 0.15–0.35 grams of fat (x your bodyweight)

Women

High-carb day About 1 gram of carbs (x your bodyweight) 0.75 grams of protein (x your bodyweight) As little fat as possible Low-carb day 0.2–0.5 grams of carbs (x your bodyweight) About 1 gram of protein (x your bodyweight) 0.1–0.2 grams of fat (x your bodyweight) Originally published March 2014. Updated June 2017. 

The post Carb Cycling: A Daily Meal Plan to Get Started appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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7 Top Outdoor Destinations for Rock Climbing Newbies http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/how-to-rock-climb-outdoors-destinations/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/how-to-rock-climb-outdoors-destinations/#respond Fri, 09 Jun 2017 11:15:57 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=59275 The 7 Best Outdoor Spots for Learning How to Rock Climb

[caption id="attachment_59326" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Top Outdoor Destinations for Rock Climbing Newbies Photos (clockwise from top left): Karsten Delap / Fox Mountain Guides; Outessa; REI Adventures; Peak Mountain Guides[/caption]

If you feel like your social feed has been saturated with photos of people standing on the top of a cliff (or scaling the side of it!), it’s not just you. The number of people who participate in rock climbing has seriously climbed over the last three years, rising more than 20 percent, according to the Outdoor Foundation. Indoor climbing is super-trendy too — and a great option for urbanites without rocky crags nearby. But with the sunny days of summer ahead, there’s no time like the present to give this outdoor adventure a go.

So we pulled together some of the top destinations around the country to help you reach new heights. Though they feature varied terrain and some have expert-level courses, each spot includes ascents that are simple enough for first-timers. Keep reading to find the perfect spot to take on the sport, plus a local school that offers guided climbs to help you move on up.

RELATED: Hit the Trails: 7 Best Mountain Biking Camps

Learn How to Rock Climb at These 7 Amazing Outdoor Spots

[caption id="attachment_59319" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Rock Climb: Red Rock Canyon Photo courtesy of Jason Martin[/caption]

1. Red Rock Canyon, Southern Nevada

You only have to drive 20 miles from downtown Las Vegas to hit this 3,000-foot-tall wall of red, pink and cream Aztec sandstone. The area features hundreds of one-pitch sport climbs, making it ideal for first-timers. Once you get confident in your skills, you can move up to the multi-pitch climbs, which Red Rock also has in store. These involve stopping at a belay station as you make your way to the top. To work your way up, join a guided climb with the American Alpine Institute (from $140 for a group full day).

[caption id="attachment_59320" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Rock Climb: Pisgah National Forest Photo courtesy of REI Adventures[/caption]

2. Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

For breathtaking scenery in the Southeast, the Pisgah National Forest can't be beat. You'll take in picturesque peaks and densely wooded areas as you get familiar with the rock faces. Some spots ideal for newbies include Looking Glass and Cedar Rocks, which you can explore on a guided getaway with REI (from $549 for a three-day trip). You’ll spend plenty of time on the rocks over the course of three days, learning about climbing technique and even how to pack properly for your adventures.

RELATED: The 10 Most Incredible Hiking Trails in the World

[caption id="attachment_59321" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Rock Climb: Outessa / Kirkwood Photo courtesy of Outessa[/caption]

3. Kirkwood, California

This locale, just 35 miles from South Lake Tahoe, is a must-see. With surrounding sights that boast mountain tops, valleys, lakes and rivers, you’ll want to take in all the scenery from above. Head there on an REI Outessa excursion (from $199 for a three-day trip), where they provide the gear and instruction from pro climbers. They’ve even created a new climbing area with five routes, designed perfectly for first-timers. One has an especially mellow ascent that’ll help you hone in on your footing and grips.

[caption id="attachment_59322" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Rock Climb: Red River Gorge Photo courtesy of Karsten Delap / Fox Mountain Guides[/caption]

4. Red River Gorge, Kentucky

The sandstone cliffs and tree-filled terrain in this area of eastern-central Kentucky makes it great for climbing in the spring and fall when foliage is on point. The area covers a wide swath of land, including grounds in Daniel Boone National Forest. In other words, the views of vast greenery are endless. Find your footing first by signing up for a climb with Fox Mountain Guides and Climbing School, where you’ll learn rope work, belaying and more, all while mountain side (from $350 for two days).

RELATED: The 15 Most Incredible Bike Trails in the U.S.

[caption id="attachment_59325" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Rock Climb: Joshua Tree Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Joshua Tree, California

This legendary Southern California locale features more than 8,000 routes to the summit that you can scale all year. And it's just a few hours from Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas. The quartz monzonite that fills the area also offers an advantage for beginners. (It’s a solid, grippy rock that allows you to latch on better.) Expect clear desert views for days and blue skies as far as you can see. Head out with Joshua Tree Rock Climbing School (from $195) and you can choose single- or multi-day courses and seminars that help you make like Spiderman and conquer any peak.

[caption id="attachment_59323" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Rock Climb: Boulder Canyon Photo courtesy of Peak Mountain Guides[/caption]

6. Boulder Canyon, Colorado

Some of the best mountain scenery in the West is just a short trip from downtown Boulder. Though it’s a favorite spot for expert climbers, there are hundreds of routes easy enough for novices to tackle, too. This includes Surprising Slab and Hare Balls. The granite in the canyon is textured, giving it more friction to hold onto and find your footing. Need some instruction? Turn to Peak Mountain Guides (from $139 for a full day) for certified guide leaders who will teach rope management, route navigation and multi-pitch systems.

RELATED: 15 Adventures You Should Definitely Take This Summer

https://www.instagram.com/p/BUpbs_UlLrW/

7. The Shawangunks, New York

This climbing area, affectionately known as the Gunks, is 85 miles from New York City. It’s also a short drive from New Paltz, a small but cool, artsy college town. Made of solid quartz, most of the Gunks is part of the Mohonk Preserve, a protected land trust (and New York’s largest nonprofit nature preserve) that also offers activities like biking and trail running. Take a course with Eastern Mountain Sports ($150 for a group full day) nearby to learn how to make it safely to the top.

The post 7 Top Outdoor Destinations for Rock Climbing Newbies appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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The 7 Best Outdoor Spots for Learning How to Rock Climb

[caption id="attachment_59326" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Top Outdoor Destinations for Rock Climbing Newbies Photos (clockwise from top left): Karsten Delap / Fox Mountain Guides; Outessa; REI Adventures; Peak Mountain Guides[/caption] If you feel like your social feed has been saturated with photos of people standing on the top of a cliff (or scaling the side of it!), it’s not just you. The number of people who participate in rock climbing has seriously climbed over the last three years, rising more than 20 percent, according to the Outdoor Foundation. Indoor climbing is super-trendy too — and a great option for urbanites without rocky crags nearby. But with the sunny days of summer ahead, there’s no time like the present to give this outdoor adventure a go. So we pulled together some of the top destinations around the country to help you reach new heights. Though they feature varied terrain and some have expert-level courses, each spot includes ascents that are simple enough for first-timers. Keep reading to find the perfect spot to take on the sport, plus a local school that offers guided climbs to help you move on up. RELATED: Hit the Trails: 7 Best Mountain Biking Camps

Learn How to Rock Climb at These 7 Amazing Outdoor Spots

[caption id="attachment_59319" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Rock Climb: Red Rock Canyon Photo courtesy of Jason Martin[/caption]

1. Red Rock Canyon, Southern Nevada

You only have to drive 20 miles from downtown Las Vegas to hit this 3,000-foot-tall wall of red, pink and cream Aztec sandstone. The area features hundreds of one-pitch sport climbs, making it ideal for first-timers. Once you get confident in your skills, you can move up to the multi-pitch climbs, which Red Rock also has in store. These involve stopping at a belay station as you make your way to the top. To work your way up, join a guided climb with the American Alpine Institute (from $140 for a group full day). [caption id="attachment_59320" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Rock Climb: Pisgah National Forest Photo courtesy of REI Adventures[/caption]

2. Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

For breathtaking scenery in the Southeast, the Pisgah National Forest can't be beat. You'll take in picturesque peaks and densely wooded areas as you get familiar with the rock faces. Some spots ideal for newbies include Looking Glass and Cedar Rocks, which you can explore on a guided getaway with REI (from $549 for a three-day trip). You’ll spend plenty of time on the rocks over the course of three days, learning about climbing technique and even how to pack properly for your adventures. RELATED: The 10 Most Incredible Hiking Trails in the World [caption id="attachment_59321" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Rock Climb: Outessa / Kirkwood Photo courtesy of Outessa[/caption]

3. Kirkwood, California

This locale, just 35 miles from South Lake Tahoe, is a must-see. With surrounding sights that boast mountain tops, valleys, lakes and rivers, you’ll want to take in all the scenery from above. Head there on an REI Outessa excursion (from $199 for a three-day trip), where they provide the gear and instruction from pro climbers. They’ve even created a new climbing area with five routes, designed perfectly for first-timers. One has an especially mellow ascent that’ll help you hone in on your footing and grips. [caption id="attachment_59322" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Rock Climb: Red River Gorge Photo courtesy of Karsten Delap / Fox Mountain Guides[/caption]

4. Red River Gorge, Kentucky

The sandstone cliffs and tree-filled terrain in this area of eastern-central Kentucky makes it great for climbing in the spring and fall when foliage is on point. The area covers a wide swath of land, including grounds in Daniel Boone National Forest. In other words, the views of vast greenery are endless. Find your footing first by signing up for a climb with Fox Mountain Guides and Climbing School, where you’ll learn rope work, belaying and more, all while mountain side (from $350 for two days). RELATED: The 15 Most Incredible Bike Trails in the U.S. [caption id="attachment_59325" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Rock Climb: Joshua Tree Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Joshua Tree, California

This legendary Southern California locale features more than 8,000 routes to the summit that you can scale all year. And it's just a few hours from Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas. The quartz monzonite that fills the area also offers an advantage for beginners. (It’s a solid, grippy rock that allows you to latch on better.) Expect clear desert views for days and blue skies as far as you can see. Head out with Joshua Tree Rock Climbing School (from $195) and you can choose single- or multi-day courses and seminars that help you make like Spiderman and conquer any peak. [caption id="attachment_59323" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Rock Climb: Boulder Canyon Photo courtesy of Peak Mountain Guides[/caption]

6. Boulder Canyon, Colorado

Some of the best mountain scenery in the West is just a short trip from downtown Boulder. Though it’s a favorite spot for expert climbers, there are hundreds of routes easy enough for novices to tackle, too. This includes Surprising Slab and Hare Balls. The granite in the canyon is textured, giving it more friction to hold onto and find your footing. Need some instruction? Turn to Peak Mountain Guides (from $139 for a full day) for certified guide leaders who will teach rope management, route navigation and multi-pitch systems. RELATED: 15 Adventures You Should Definitely Take This Summer https://www.instagram.com/p/BUpbs_UlLrW/

7. The Shawangunks, New York

This climbing area, affectionately known as the Gunks, is 85 miles from New York City. It’s also a short drive from New Paltz, a small but cool, artsy college town. Made of solid quartz, most of the Gunks is part of the Mohonk Preserve, a protected land trust (and New York’s largest nonprofit nature preserve) that also offers activities like biking and trail running. Take a course with Eastern Mountain Sports ($150 for a group full day) nearby to learn how to make it safely to the top.

The post 7 Top Outdoor Destinations for Rock Climbing Newbies appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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The Most Popular Running Routes in All 50 States http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-running-routes-us-cities/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-running-routes-us-cities/#respond Wed, 07 Jun 2017 15:15:24 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=54404

[caption id="attachment_54415" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Running Routes in the U.S. Photos (clockwise from top left): @xojenni_lynn, @cherry.hk, @keithwebb00, @dustinkahia[/caption]

Whether you’re in your hometown or visiting a new place, running outdoors is one of the best ways to see a city, learn about its culture and discover sights you might otherwise have missed. Sometimes, though, finding the right spot to explore can get tricky. Good news for all you countryside travelers and city adventurers: We found the most popular running routes in every single state, according to Strava users. Plus, we've got tips on what to look for as you cover the area on foot, from historic landmarks to gorgeous greenery to some seriously ‘grammable sights.

So in honor of Global Running Day — and any day we're fortunate enough to get outside — here are 50 roads worth traveling. Get ready to run this country!

RELATED: Why I Started Running — And Never Stopped

The 50 Most Popular Running Routes

https://www.instagram.com/p/BD6UMo4tACu/

1. Alabama

Location: Homewood, AL
For the most-run route in this southern state, head to Homewood, a suburb outside of Birmingham. There’s a four-mile path, called the Shades Creek Greenway that joggers love (and walkers and bikers, too). The paved trail stretches along the banks of Shades Creek and offers a woody setting through the floodplain forest.

RELATED: Love Puppies, Beer and Brunch? 11 Run Clubs to Join Now

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFqcZARs0Ld/

2. Alaska

Location: Anchorage, AK
Start in downtown Anchorage at Delaney Park Strip and head along the Knik Arm waterway ‘til you hit the lush, 134-acre Earthquake Park. Keep an eye out for moose in the park and enjoy the (often snowy) views of the water and the city skyline as you cover more than six miles.

RELATED: Hate Running? 25 Ways to Learn to Love It

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3. Arizona

Location: Mt Lemmon, AZ
The most popular route in this southwestern state is a tough trail run in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness area, just north of Tucson. Part of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the more than seven-mile stretch features cool greenery, from cactus to pine trees. Just make sure to bring water, as it’s hard to find on this course.

RELATED: Get Seriously Faster With These Hill Running Workouts

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4. Arkansas

Location: Little Rock, AR
Kick off your run by heading over the Two Rivers Park Bridge and follow the trail into and around the park, which includes beautiful views of the Arkansas River. This favored section of the Arkansas River Trail System (which spans 88 miles) features the most natural landscape, with wooded wetlands, a garden of trees and wildlife like deer and birds. When you’re done scoping out the area, head back over the bridge to complete four miles.

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5. California

Location: San Francisco, CA
California’s winning route approaches one of the state’s most iconic sites: the Golden Gate Bridge. Begin your route near San Fran’s famous Ghiradelli Square, near Fisherman’s Wharf, and head up past the Marina District. Continue along the water, past Crissy Field, until you reach the far end of Fort Point parking lot. Find your perfect spot under the bridge to snap a sweaty selfie or look for “Hopper’s Hands” along the fence. Many runners stop here for a high five or fist bump.

RELATED: 9 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Running

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6. Colorado

Location: Denver, CO
When you’re in the Mile High City (named after its one-mile elevation), go for a jog around Washington Park. Located in the middle of the coveted Wash Park neighborhood, you’ll cover nearly five miles running around the 150-plus acres (twice!). Make sure you take in the sights as you’ll pass green meadows, two small lakes and gorgeous flower gardens.

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7. Connecticut

Location: West Hartford, CT
Jog along beautiful woodlands and trails in the Metropolitan District of West Hartford, which spans 3,000 acres of forest. The area offers 30 miles of paved and gravel roads for bikers and runners in the area. But the most popular route spans just 3.6 miles and runs along reservoirs three and five.

RELATED: The 15 Best Destination Half-Marathons in the World

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8. Delaware

Location: Wilmington, DE
The 178-acre Brandywine Park flanks both sides of the Brandywine Creek in Wilmington. Run a three-mile course through it to pass a zoo, the Jasper Crane Rose Garden and Josephine Fountain. If you’re running in the spring, you’ll spot the fountain’s surrounding grove of flowering cherry trees.

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9. Florida

Location: Miami, FL
The hottest running route in the Sunshine State starts in Museum Park and heads toward downtown Miami. Once you cross over the Miami River, turn left on Brickell Key Drive and continue to jog a loop around the man-made island of Brickell Key. Return across the bridge and finishing up where you started, about seven miles later.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFrl-7jwZlT/

10. Georgia

Location: Atlanta, GA
To run like the locals in Atlanta, start your outing in the southeast corner of Piedmont Park and continue to the BeltLine. This former railway corridor around the city was converted to a system of trails for runners, walkers and cyclists. The most popular route is the Eastside Trail, passing the Historic Fourth Ward Park and other green spaces.

RELATED: 8 Running Apps for Marathoners, Skeptics and Everyone in Between

https://www.instagram.com/p/BNXZTlYj5Ej/

11. Hawaii

Location: Lahaina, HI
Any run in this tropical state provides some sweet views, but the most popular place to jog is along the west coast of Maui in Ka’anapali Beach. It’s the site of Hawaii’s first resort, and on this 2.5-mile out-and-back run, you’ll take in views of blue water, sand and the boardwalk-lined Kahekili Beach Park. If you time it right, you might also catch the daily cliff-diving ceremony off Black Rock.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BNIamdpgns3/

12. Idaho

Location: Boise, ID
For the most popular run in Boise, head north of downtown to the Hulls Gulch Reserve — 292 acres of land at the base of the foothills. You’ll find two trails here, The Grove and Lower Hulls Gulch that start the 180 miles of trails. (Don’t worry, you can run a loop in just five!) Keep an eye out for wildlife like horned owls, mule deer and foxes along your trek.

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13. Illinois

Location: Chicago, IL
No surprise here: The number-one place for people to run in Illinois is the picturesque Lakeshore Trail in Chicago, which lines Lake Michigan. Hit some stand-out sights in the city by starting at historic Grant Park. Then head north, passing the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Chicago History Museum on your way. Turn around when you hit Diversey Harbor and make your way back to cover approximately eight miles. Take a mini detour to Millennium Park on your way in, so you can stop for a photo opp at the reflective Bean.

RELATED: The Half-Marathon Training Plan for Beginners

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14. Indiana

Location: Indianapolis, IN
A scenic stint along the Canal Walk in Indianapolis is one of the most frequently covered running routes in this state. Start at 11th Street and run down past Watanabe Garden and the NCAA Hall of Champions to White River State Park. Jog over the bridge for some waterside views or head straight back to the start. Either way, you’ll find some peace from the city and you’ll most likely catch some art sculptures and hear music along the route.

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15. Iowa

Location: Solon, IA
Run around Lake MacBride in Solon (a few miles from Iowa City), starting at the MacBridge Nature and Recreation Area. Or feel free to go off-road and onto the serene trails closer to the water so you can enjoy the breeze as you go. The gravel paths make it easier on your joints than pavement and the search for wildlife will take your mind off the mileage. Some animals you might spot include ospreys and waterfowls.

RELATED: The 15 Most Epic Trail Races Across the U.S.

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16. Kansas

Location: Topeka, KS
There’s no place like home — or like Kaw River State Park, where locals clock miles. This 76-acre park is threaded with trails made for running and hiking, and with access to the Kaw River, it makes for beautiful views. Leave your headphones at home to soak up the natural, tranquil vibes as you rack up various mileage, depending on the loop you choose inside the park (a popular one is just two).

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17. Kentucky

Location: Louisville, KY
The 1.2-mile path inside Louisville’s Seneca Park is a favorite among native runners — especially for a.m. workouts. Also popular: tacking on multiple laps to up the mileage. You’ll pass playgrounds and horseback riding trails in this serene park, which also has basketball and volleyball courts, soccer fields and cross country trails. Even better: The track is well lit for safe outings in the early morning or evening.

RELATED: 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition

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18. Louisiana

Location: New Orleans, LA
Instead of lounging in the Big Easy, get up and out to see its southern charm by foot. Take a lap on the paved path in Audubon Park, where you’ll view gorgeous oak trees, green spaces and lagoons. Then exit the park and jog along St. Charles Street until you get to the Garden District; you’ll pass historical homes with stunning architecture along the way.

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19. Maine

Location: Portland, ME
Enjoy views of the Portland skyline as you trek along the nearly six-mile trail encompassing Back Cove. The coastal city’s popular running path is mostly flat, with a combination of paved and dusty surfaces. The path also boasts water fountains and bathrooms so you can keep circling around if you want to hit double-digit mileage.

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20. Maryland

Location: Balitmore, MD
Begin your run in the state’s capital city of Baltimore at Canton Waterfront Park. Run with the water of the Patapsco River and sailboats to your side, as you go by the bustling Waterfront Promenade and Maritime Park. (Do your best not to stop for crabs along the way!) Most runners turn right at Fleet Street and continue until they’ve reached the end of Patterson Park.

RELATED: The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S.

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21. Massachusetts

Location: Boston, MA
A run along the Charles River in Boston is a must when you’re in the Bay State. Start at the Boston Common and head to the water, over the Longfellow Bridge. Follow the Dr. Paul Dudley White Path that traces the river and you’ll pass Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cross the river again at Harvard Bridge and head up the Esplanade for breathtaking views of the water.

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22. Michigan

Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
Rack up your step count as you run around Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids. Locals start at the corner of Hall Street and Breton Road and continue for about 4.5 miles along the trail that traces the lake. You’ll run on both paved paths and boardwalks as you go through wooded sections, wetlands and residential areas. Your total distance will be a little more than seven miles.

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23. Minnesota

Location: Minneapolis, MN
Hit both sides of the Mississippi River to cover 3.5 miles of tranquil terrain in Minneapolis. Start by heading over the Stone Arch Bridge to Philip W Pillsbury Park. Continue along the water to Nicollet Island Park, which includes a promenade and a view of the oldest dam on the river. Then head back over the river, on NE 8th Ave and down West River Parkway.

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24. Mississippi

Location: Ocean Springs, MS
The Biloxi Bay Bridge has a wide path for cyclists and runners — and it makes of most of this super-popular course. Start in Ocean Springs and head across the 1.6-mile bridge toward Biloxi before turning around and crossing the bay a second time to total about four miles.

RELATED: 20-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout to Get Fit Fast

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25. Missouri

Location: St. Louis, MO
The most popular running route in the Show-Me State traces most of the perimeter of the 1,371-acre Forest Park in St. Louis. As you cover more than five miles, you’ll pass the city’s world-class zoo and its famous outdoor theater, The Muny.

RELATED: The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S.

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26. Montana

Location: Bozeman, MT
The favorite trail run of people in Montana is a 1.7-mile loop in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness Area (home to a whopping 300 miles of scenic trails) near Bozeman. Check out the stunning rocky peaks and pine ridges nearby — and make sure keep an eye out for local animals including sheep, elk and grizzly bears.

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27. Nebraska

Location: Omaha, NE
A 5.5-mile run in Omaha is the most popular route in this state. Starting at Willowdale Elementary School, you’ll head to a tree-lined trail that goes around Zorinsky Lake. Slow down to catch a glimpse of swans and ducks in the lake and deer in the woods by the path.

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28. Nevada

Location: Henderson, NV
Run the loop around Cornerstone Park in Henderson, the most frequented course in Nevada. The route is just a little longer than a mile, but it takes you around the 31-acre Railroad Lake. Enjoy the views of the water and mountains as you cover the mostly flat, paved path and keep going around if you've got energy left after one lap.

RELATED: 3 Cardio Workouts Under 20 Minutes (No Treadmill Required)

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29. New Hampshire

Location: Jaffrey, NH
The state whose motto is “Live free or Die” has a favorite running route that’s just as epic. On the popular 3.8-mile course near Manchester, you’ll ascend 1,790 feet. Hit the White Dot Trail and head up Monadnock Mountain; try to run it in the fall so you’ll catch the blazing foliage. No judgement if you need to walk up this steep climb.

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30. New Jersey

Location: Manasquan, NJ
You don’t have to stick to gym, tanning and laundry at the Jersey Shore. Get outside (and a little farther inland) to take on a five-mile loop around the Manasquan Reservoir. Start at the visitor’s center, then set foot on the gravel trail, which has mile markers to help you check off the distance as you jog. Go off-route to experience the one-mile nature trail that gives an up-close look at the lakeshore.

RELATED: Want to Run Faster? Here’s How to Do It

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31. New Mexico

Location: Albuquerque, NM
It may seem like a state set in the desert, but New Mexico boasts a super-green run as its favorite route. As you jog for 2.6 miles along the edge of the University of New Mexico North Golf Course, take time to look around at the rolling hills and lush grasses around you.

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32. New York

Location: New York, NY
The most-frequented course in the Empire State is unsurprisingly in the Big Apple — more specifically, Central Park. Start at the base of the park and run up the main paved road on the east side until you get to the dirt Bridle Path encircling the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Circle the water, then head south on the paved road to the park’s west side. You’ll see lots of greenery and ponds in between the city’s sprawling skyline — while logging 6.5 miles.

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33. North Carolina

Location: Durham, NC
To cover the favorite running route in this southeastern state, head to Duke University. You’ll start at the Durham School of Arts and take a lap around the school’s East Campus to total 2.4 miles. There’s a gravel path for pedestrians with small rolling hills along the way.

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34. North Dakota

Location: Bismarck, ND
You’ll cross the Missouri River twice in this popular seven-mile loop in Bismarck. Begin at the top of the Tom O’Leary Golf Course and go down North Washington Street to Riverwood Drive, then head over the river and to Memorial Highway. You’ll pass Memorial Bridge Park and the Dakota Zoo as you go.

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35. Ohio

Location: Columbus, OH
A 5.4-mile run on the Olentangy River Trail in Columbus is incredibly popular in this state. Take note of native plants along the scenic wetlands that surround the path. If you have a chance, try catching the trail at different entrances in several city parks — there’s lots of room to explore new grounds.

RELATED: 5 Expert Tips for Proper Running Form

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36. Oklahoma

Location: Oklahoma City, OK
When you’re in this state’s capital of Oklahoma City, go for a run around Pat Murphy Park and Bluff Creek. There are trails and picnic areas in the 13-acre park, plus you can catch peaceful views of the nearby Lake Hefner as you complete nearly three miles.

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37. Oregon

Location: Dexter, OR
This state’s most popular run is a 5.6-mile loop around a stretch of the Willamette River. Start your outing at Salmon Street Springs and go along the Willamette Greenway Trail, which has picturesque views of the water and the Portland skyline. You’ll cross over the river via the Southwest Hawthorne Bridge on your way out and the Steel Bridge as you loop back.

RELATED: How to Score Perfect Running Form Like the Pros

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38. Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia, PA
Start running at South Street and South 27th to Lombard, and head to the Schuykill River. Continue along the river trail, with views of the water and (likely) people rowing to your left. Wind around the Philadelphia Museum of Art so you can conquer a triumphant run up the steps — just like Rocky. You’ll cover a little over four miles by the time you get back to where you started. Gonna fly now!

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39. Rhode Island

Location: Providence, RI
You’ll cover a lot of greenspace as you run five miles in Providence. Start at Constance Witherby Park and go through Blackstone Park, as you catch views of the Seekonk River. Continue up to the edge of Lippitt Memorial Park, then head back.

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40. South Carolina

Location: Charleston, SC
If you need another reason to visit Charleston (besides seeing the cute town itself), it boasts one of the prettiest bridge runs in the south. You'll cross over the Cooper River via the Arthur Raveler Jr Bridge, which features a wide bike and pedestrian path named "Wonders' Way." Above the water, you'll catch epic views of the Charleston Harbor, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum and the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier. Once you reach Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park, turn around and retrace your steps to finish five miles.

RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Trail Running

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41. South Dakota

Location: Sioux Falls, SD
In Sioux Falls, run along the Big Sioux River, starting at Spencer Park and turning around at Sertoma Park. You’ll cover close to six miles and enjoy a landscape of greens, a riverfront bike path, formal gardens and cool whitewater rapids.

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42. Tennessee

Location: Nashville, TN
Cover just over four miles along Mossy Ridge Trail (blazed red) in Nashville’s Percy Warner Park. The park features paved and dirt trails, as well as nature areas. Want more distance? Grab a map of all the paths at the Nature Center trailhead before you head out so you can explore all the running routes at your disposal.

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43. Texas

Location: Austin, TX
Along the Lady Bird Lake trail in Austin is a super-popular three-mile route for runners and walkers, which loops around a section of the Colorado River. Go at dusk between March and November and you could catch a glimpse of the city’s famous bats as they fly out from under the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge.

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44. Utah

Location: Salt Lake City, UT
The favorite place to run in this state is 2.8 miles around Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park, the oldest park in Utah. Run on sidewalks or a wood-chip path as you enjoy sights of green trees and shrubs — and soak up the clean mountain air. When you’re ready to switch up your workout and try something new, the park also has a path dedicated to rollerbladers.

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45. Vermont

Location: Burlington, VT
The go-to route in the Green Mountain State is along the shore of Lake Champlain in the college town of Burlington. Start your trek where the Burlington Bike Path connects with the Island Line Trail in Waterfront Park; follow the trail ‘til you turn around at North Beach Park. The lake and Adirondack Mountains together make a peaceful backdrop for this 5.5-mile course.

RELATED: The 15 Best Spring Marathons in the U.S.

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46. Virginia

Location: Richmond, VA
For a picturesque run near Richmond, start at Virginia Capital Trail and run along the James River, spotting lots of farmland along the way. Cross a foot bridge to serene Belle Isle, covered with shrubbery and large flat rocks. Circle the island before heading back where you came from. You’ll log nearly six miles by the time you get back to the start.

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47. Washington

Location: Seattle, WA
The three-mile dirt path around Green Lake in Seattle is this state’s most popular course. Begin a bit north of the city at Latona Avenue NE and head down to the path to make up the mileage. Look for local animals like ducks and beavers while enjoying the beautiful water of the glacial lake.

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48. West Virginia

Location: Charleston, WV
Log about five miles as you jog along the Kanawha River, starting at Haddad Riverfront Park and turning around when you hit the Kanawha City Bridge. You’ll get views of the water and the Charleston skyline. If you go out on the weekend, you might even get some musical motivation for your run courtesy of free outdoor concerts held in the park.

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49. Wisconsin

Location: Milwaukee, WI
A two-mile run along the 108-mile paved Oak Leaf Trail in Milwaukee is the favorite route in this state. Start at Bradford Beach and go along Lake Michigan — enjoying wooded areas, wooden bridges and views of the water. When you reach William F. O’Donnell Park, head back — or keep going if you’re looking to clock a longer distance. The city also has the perfect post-workout indulgence: local brews and cheese curds.

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50. Wyoming

Location: Casper Mountain, WY
Take on the three-mile Split Rock Trail in Casper Mountain. The area is named for a famous local landmark: a huge slab of granite with a notch cut out of the middle of its crest. You’ll feel empowered by the majesty of the rock and the peaceful prairies along the path.

Want to take your run outside the U.S.? Check out are the 30 best marathons in the world

Originally published December 2016. Updated June 7, 2017. 

The post The Most Popular Running Routes in All 50 States appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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[caption id="attachment_54415" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 50 Best Running Routes in the U.S. Photos (clockwise from top left): @xojenni_lynn, @cherry.hk, @keithwebb00, @dustinkahia[/caption] Whether you’re in your hometown or visiting a new place, running outdoors is one of the best ways to see a city, learn about its culture and discover sights you might otherwise have missed. Sometimes, though, finding the right spot to explore can get tricky. Good news for all you countryside travelers and city adventurers: We found the most popular running routes in every single state, according to Strava users. Plus, we've got tips on what to look for as you cover the area on foot, from historic landmarks to gorgeous greenery to some seriously ‘grammable sights. So in honor of Global Running Day — and any day we're fortunate enough to get outside — here are 50 roads worth traveling. Get ready to run this country! RELATED: Why I Started Running — And Never Stopped

The 50 Most Popular Running Routes

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1. Alabama

Location: Homewood, AL For the most-run route in this southern state, head to Homewood, a suburb outside of Birmingham. There’s a four-mile path, called the Shades Creek Greenway that joggers love (and walkers and bikers, too). The paved trail stretches along the banks of Shades Creek and offers a woody setting through the floodplain forest. RELATED: Love Puppies, Beer and Brunch? 11 Run Clubs to Join Now https://www.instagram.com/p/BFqcZARs0Ld/

2. Alaska

Location: Anchorage, AK Start in downtown Anchorage at Delaney Park Strip and head along the Knik Arm waterway ‘til you hit the lush, 134-acre Earthquake Park. Keep an eye out for moose in the park and enjoy the (often snowy) views of the water and the city skyline as you cover more than six miles. RELATED: Hate Running? 25 Ways to Learn to Love It https://www.instagram.com/p/BKf0xfSAT-F/

3. Arizona

Location: Mt Lemmon, AZ The most popular route in this southwestern state is a tough trail run in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness area, just north of Tucson. Part of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the more than seven-mile stretch features cool greenery, from cactus to pine trees. Just make sure to bring water, as it’s hard to find on this course. RELATED: Get Seriously Faster With These Hill Running Workouts https://www.instagram.com/p/BMPzjP2B1Z8/

4. Arkansas

Location: Little Rock, AR Kick off your run by heading over the Two Rivers Park Bridge and follow the trail into and around the park, which includes beautiful views of the Arkansas River. This favored section of the Arkansas River Trail System (which spans 88 miles) features the most natural landscape, with wooded wetlands, a garden of trees and wildlife like deer and birds. When you’re done scoping out the area, head back over the bridge to complete four miles. https://www.instagram.com/p/BJRjzJtgn7O/

5. California

Location: San Francisco, CA California’s winning route approaches one of the state’s most iconic sites: the Golden Gate Bridge. Begin your route near San Fran’s famous Ghiradelli Square, near Fisherman’s Wharf, and head up past the Marina District. Continue along the water, past Crissy Field, until you reach the far end of Fort Point parking lot. Find your perfect spot under the bridge to snap a sweaty selfie or look for “Hopper’s Hands” along the fence. Many runners stop here for a high five or fist bump. RELATED: 9 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Running https://www.instagram.com/p/BNU6p4wFHHP/

6. Colorado

Location: Denver, CO When you’re in the Mile High City (named after its one-mile elevation), go for a jog around Washington Park. Located in the middle of the coveted Wash Park neighborhood, you’ll cover nearly five miles running around the 150-plus acres (twice!). Make sure you take in the sights as you’ll pass green meadows, two small lakes and gorgeous flower gardens. https://www.instagram.com/p/BMwzkdrFovS/

7. Connecticut

Location: West Hartford, CT Jog along beautiful woodlands and trails in the Metropolitan District of West Hartford, which spans 3,000 acres of forest. The area offers 30 miles of paved and gravel roads for bikers and runners in the area. But the most popular route spans just 3.6 miles and runs along reservoirs three and five. RELATED: The 15 Best Destination Half-Marathons in the World https://www.instagram.com/p/BLwwlFoggxl/

8. Delaware

Location: Wilmington, DE The 178-acre Brandywine Park flanks both sides of the Brandywine Creek in Wilmington. Run a three-mile course through it to pass a zoo, the Jasper Crane Rose Garden and Josephine Fountain. If you’re running in the spring, you’ll spot the fountain’s surrounding grove of flowering cherry trees. https://www.instagram.com/p/BNXBfsFA2-a/

9. Florida

Location: Miami, FL The hottest running route in the Sunshine State starts in Museum Park and heads toward downtown Miami. Once you cross over the Miami River, turn left on Brickell Key Drive and continue to jog a loop around the man-made island of Brickell Key. Return across the bridge and finishing up where you started, about seven miles later. https://www.instagram.com/p/BFrl-7jwZlT/

10. Georgia

Location: Atlanta, GA To run like the locals in Atlanta, start your outing in the southeast corner of Piedmont Park and continue to the BeltLine. This former railway corridor around the city was converted to a system of trails for runners, walkers and cyclists. The most popular route is the Eastside Trail, passing the Historic Fourth Ward Park and other green spaces. RELATED: 8 Running Apps for Marathoners, Skeptics and Everyone in Between https://www.instagram.com/p/BNXZTlYj5Ej/

11. Hawaii

Location: Lahaina, HI Any run in this tropical state provides some sweet views, but the most popular place to jog is along the west coast of Maui in Ka’anapali Beach. It’s the site of Hawaii’s first resort, and on this 2.5-mile out-and-back run, you’ll take in views of blue water, sand and the boardwalk-lined Kahekili Beach Park. If you time it right, you might also catch the daily cliff-diving ceremony off Black Rock. https://www.instagram.com/p/BNIamdpgns3/

12. Idaho

Location: Boise, ID For the most popular run in Boise, head north of downtown to the Hulls Gulch Reserve — 292 acres of land at the base of the foothills. You’ll find two trails here, The Grove and Lower Hulls Gulch that start the 180 miles of trails. (Don’t worry, you can run a loop in just five!) Keep an eye out for wildlife like horned owls, mule deer and foxes along your trek. https://www.instagram.com/p/BMZUnerjQFU/

13. Illinois

Location: Chicago, IL No surprise here: The number-one place for people to run in Illinois is the picturesque Lakeshore Trail in Chicago, which lines Lake Michigan. Hit some stand-out sights in the city by starting at historic Grant Park. Then head north, passing the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Chicago History Museum on your way. Turn around when you hit Diversey Harbor and make your way back to cover approximately eight miles. Take a mini detour to Millennium Park on your way in, so you can stop for a photo opp at the reflective Bean. RELATED: The Half-Marathon Training Plan for Beginners https://www.instagram.com/p/BE4spt-jd0g/

14. Indiana

Location: Indianapolis, IN A scenic stint along the Canal Walk in Indianapolis is one of the most frequently covered running routes in this state. Start at 11th Street and run down past Watanabe Garden and the NCAA Hall of Champions to White River State Park. Jog over the bridge for some waterside views or head straight back to the start. Either way, you’ll find some peace from the city and you’ll most likely catch some art sculptures and hear music along the route. https://www.instagram.com/p/58TOzlCAEG/

15. Iowa

Location: Solon, IA Run around Lake MacBride in Solon (a few miles from Iowa City), starting at the MacBridge Nature and Recreation Area. Or feel free to go off-road and onto the serene trails closer to the water so you can enjoy the breeze as you go. The gravel paths make it easier on your joints than pavement and the search for wildlife will take your mind off the mileage. Some animals you might spot include ospreys and waterfowls. RELATED: The 15 Most Epic Trail Races Across the U.S. https://www.instagram.com/p/3kTfrxlPon/

16. Kansas

Location: Topeka, KS There’s no place like home — or like Kaw River State Park, where locals clock miles. This 76-acre park is threaded with trails made for running and hiking, and with access to the Kaw River, it makes for beautiful views. Leave your headphones at home to soak up the natural, tranquil vibes as you rack up various mileage, depending on the loop you choose inside the park (a popular one is just two). https://www.instagram.com/p/BMkMKgmhZ5l/

17. Kentucky

Location: Louisville, KY The 1.2-mile path inside Louisville’s Seneca Park is a favorite among native runners — especially for a.m. workouts. Also popular: tacking on multiple laps to up the mileage. You’ll pass playgrounds and horseback riding trails in this serene park, which also has basketball and volleyball courts, soccer fields and cross country trails. Even better: The track is well lit for safe outings in the early morning or evening. RELATED: 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition https://www.instagram.com/p/BNXEg5LjiKk/

18. Louisiana

Location: New Orleans, LA Instead of lounging in the Big Easy, get up and out to see its southern charm by foot. Take a lap on the paved path in Audubon Park, where you’ll view gorgeous oak trees, green spaces and lagoons. Then exit the park and jog along St. Charles Street until you get to the Garden District; you’ll pass historical homes with stunning architecture along the way. https://www.instagram.com/p/6GicmdPONp/

19. Maine

Location: Portland, ME Enjoy views of the Portland skyline as you trek along the nearly six-mile trail encompassing Back Cove. The coastal city’s popular running path is mostly flat, with a combination of paved and dusty surfaces. The path also boasts water fountains and bathrooms so you can keep circling around if you want to hit double-digit mileage. https://www.instagram.com/p/4SuLsqiW--/

20. Maryland

Location: Balitmore, MD Begin your run in the state’s capital city of Baltimore at Canton Waterfront Park. Run with the water of the Patapsco River and sailboats to your side, as you go by the bustling Waterfront Promenade and Maritime Park. (Do your best not to stop for crabs along the way!) Most runners turn right at Fleet Street and continue until they’ve reached the end of Patterson Park. RELATED: The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. https://www.instagram.com/p/BNWxylbAvsU/

21. Massachusetts

Location: Boston, MA A run along the Charles River in Boston is a must when you’re in the Bay State. Start at the Boston Common and head to the water, over the Longfellow Bridge. Follow the Dr. Paul Dudley White Path that traces the river and you’ll pass Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cross the river again at Harvard Bridge and head up the Esplanade for breathtaking views of the water. https://www.instagram.com/p/BMZlZZwgDns/

22. Michigan

Location: East Grand Rapids, MI Rack up your step count as you run around Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids. Locals start at the corner of Hall Street and Breton Road and continue for about 4.5 miles along the trail that traces the lake. You’ll run on both paved paths and boardwalks as you go through wooded sections, wetlands and residential areas. Your total distance will be a little more than seven miles. https://www.instagram.com/p/BNYBIXcAtLW/

23. Minnesota

Location: Minneapolis, MN Hit both sides of the Mississippi River to cover 3.5 miles of tranquil terrain in Minneapolis. Start by heading over the Stone Arch Bridge to Philip W Pillsbury Park. Continue along the water to Nicollet Island Park, which includes a promenade and a view of the oldest dam on the river. Then head back over the river, on NE 8th Ave and down West River Parkway. https://www.instagram.com/p/_zrvrNNdS6/

24. Mississippi

Location: Ocean Springs, MS The Biloxi Bay Bridge has a wide path for cyclists and runners — and it makes of most of this super-popular course. Start in Ocean Springs and head across the 1.6-mile bridge toward Biloxi before turning around and crossing the bay a second time to total about four miles. RELATED: 20-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout to Get Fit Fast https://www.instagram.com/p/BLZz3o_DgJX/

25. Missouri

Location: St. Louis, MO The most popular running route in the Show-Me State traces most of the perimeter of the 1,371-acre Forest Park in St. Louis. As you cover more than five miles, you’ll pass the city’s world-class zoo and its famous outdoor theater, The Muny. RELATED: The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S. https://www.instagram.com/p/9j0W42IGka/

26. Montana

Location: Bozeman, MT The favorite trail run of people in Montana is a 1.7-mile loop in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness Area (home to a whopping 300 miles of scenic trails) near Bozeman. Check out the stunning rocky peaks and pine ridges nearby — and make sure keep an eye out for local animals including sheep, elk and grizzly bears. https://www.instagram.com/p/7O3x2UOk_T/

27. Nebraska

Location: Omaha, NE A 5.5-mile run in Omaha is the most popular route in this state. Starting at Willowdale Elementary School, you’ll head to a tree-lined trail that goes around Zorinsky Lake. Slow down to catch a glimpse of swans and ducks in the lake and deer in the woods by the path. https://www.instagram.com/p/BMScOLNj0_B/

28. Nevada

Location: Henderson, NV Run the loop around Cornerstone Park in Henderson, the most frequented course in Nevada. The route is just a little longer than a mile, but it takes you around the 31-acre Railroad Lake. Enjoy the views of the water and mountains as you cover the mostly flat, paved path and keep going around if you've got energy left after one lap. RELATED: 3 Cardio Workouts Under 20 Minutes (No Treadmill Required) https://www.instagram.com/p/BIX6JgEhewY/

29. New Hampshire

Location: Jaffrey, NH The state whose motto is “Live free or Die” has a favorite running route that’s just as epic. On the popular 3.8-mile course near Manchester, you’ll ascend 1,790 feet. Hit the White Dot Trail and head up Monadnock Mountain; try to run it in the fall so you’ll catch the blazing foliage. No judgement if you need to walk up this steep climb. https://www.instagram.com/p/BNWsEL7hp-Y/

30. New Jersey

Location: Manasquan, NJ You don’t have to stick to gym, tanning and laundry at the Jersey Shore. Get outside (and a little farther inland) to take on a five-mile loop around the Manasquan Reservoir. Start at the visitor’s center, then set foot on the gravel trail, which has mile markers to help you check off the distance as you jog. Go off-route to experience the one-mile nature trail that gives an up-close look at the lakeshore. RELATED: Want to Run Faster? Here’s How to Do It https://www.instagram.com/p/BMgrmMiF_EW/

31. New Mexico

Location: Albuquerque, NM It may seem like a state set in the desert, but New Mexico boasts a super-green run as its favorite route. As you jog for 2.6 miles along the edge of the University of New Mexico North Golf Course, take time to look around at the rolling hills and lush grasses around you. https://www.instagram.com/p/BNW_0xmAZLT/

32. New York

Location: New York, NY The most-frequented course in the Empire State is unsurprisingly in the Big Apple — more specifically, Central Park. Start at the base of the park and run up the main paved road on the east side until you get to the dirt Bridle Path encircling the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Circle the water, then head south on the paved road to the park’s west side. You’ll see lots of greenery and ponds in between the city’s sprawling skyline — while logging 6.5 miles. https://www.instagram.com/p/BNVOulLDi3x/

33. North Carolina

Location: Durham, NC To cover the favorite running route in this southeastern state, head to Duke University. You’ll start at the Durham School of Arts and take a lap around the school’s East Campus to total 2.4 miles. There’s a gravel path for pedestrians with small rolling hills along the way. https://www.instagram.com/p/BKUNl67BfSd/

34. North Dakota

Location: Bismarck, ND You’ll cross the Missouri River twice in this popular seven-mile loop in Bismarck. Begin at the top of the Tom O’Leary Golf Course and go down North Washington Street to Riverwood Drive, then head over the river and to Memorial Highway. You’ll pass Memorial Bridge Park and the Dakota Zoo as you go. https://www.instagram.com/p/7i3lRJONw2/

35. Ohio

Location: Columbus, OH A 5.4-mile run on the Olentangy River Trail in Columbus is incredibly popular in this state. Take note of native plants along the scenic wetlands that surround the path. If you have a chance, try catching the trail at different entrances in several city parks — there’s lots of room to explore new grounds. RELATED: 5 Expert Tips for Proper Running Form https://www.instagram.com/p/BNQWWqsBB3J/

36. Oklahoma

Location: Oklahoma City, OK When you’re in this state’s capital of Oklahoma City, go for a run around Pat Murphy Park and Bluff Creek. There are trails and picnic areas in the 13-acre park, plus you can catch peaceful views of the nearby Lake Hefner as you complete nearly three miles. https://www.instagram.com/p/BLxhw-fgxor/

37. Oregon

Location: Dexter, OR This state’s most popular run is a 5.6-mile loop around a stretch of the Willamette River. Start your outing at Salmon Street Springs and go along the Willamette Greenway Trail, which has picturesque views of the water and the Portland skyline. You’ll cross over the river via the Southwest Hawthorne Bridge on your way out and the Steel Bridge as you loop back. RELATED: How to Score Perfect Running Form Like the Pros https://www.instagram.com/p/BNRmiomDX8y/

38. Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia, PA Start running at South Street and South 27th to Lombard, and head to the Schuykill River. Continue along the river trail, with views of the water and (likely) people rowing to your left. Wind around the Philadelphia Museum of Art so you can conquer a triumphant run up the steps — just like Rocky. You’ll cover a little over four miles by the time you get back to where you started. Gonna fly now! https://www.instagram.com/p/BL_qLebB32e/

39. Rhode Island

Location: Providence, RI You’ll cover a lot of greenspace as you run five miles in Providence. Start at Constance Witherby Park and go through Blackstone Park, as you catch views of the Seekonk River. Continue up to the edge of Lippitt Memorial Park, then head back. https://www.instagram.com/p/BIsBj7jAOd1/

40. South Carolina

Location: Charleston, SC If you need another reason to visit Charleston (besides seeing the cute town itself), it boasts one of the prettiest bridge runs in the south. You'll cross over the Cooper River via the Arthur Raveler Jr Bridge, which features a wide bike and pedestrian path named "Wonders' Way." Above the water, you'll catch epic views of the Charleston Harbor, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum and the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier. Once you reach Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park, turn around and retrace your steps to finish five miles. RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Trail Running https://www.instagram.com/p/BMjDFZoATHO/

41. South Dakota

Location: Sioux Falls, SD In Sioux Falls, run along the Big Sioux River, starting at Spencer Park and turning around at Sertoma Park. You’ll cover close to six miles and enjoy a landscape of greens, a riverfront bike path, formal gardens and cool whitewater rapids. https://www.instagram.com/p/BNX5mkJBwjq/

42. Tennessee

Location: Nashville, TN Cover just over four miles along Mossy Ridge Trail (blazed red) in Nashville’s Percy Warner Park. The park features paved and dirt trails, as well as nature areas. Want more distance? Grab a map of all the paths at the Nature Center trailhead before you head out so you can explore all the running routes at your disposal. https://www.instagram.com/p/BNX6yFLj1nI/

43. Texas

Location: Austin, TX Along the Lady Bird Lake trail in Austin is a super-popular three-mile route for runners and walkers, which loops around a section of the Colorado River. Go at dusk between March and November and you could catch a glimpse of the city’s famous bats as they fly out from under the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. https://www.instagram.com/p/-I5BkugBJe/

44. Utah

Location: Salt Lake City, UT The favorite place to run in this state is 2.8 miles around Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park, the oldest park in Utah. Run on sidewalks or a wood-chip path as you enjoy sights of green trees and shrubs — and soak up the clean mountain air. When you’re ready to switch up your workout and try something new, the park also has a path dedicated to rollerbladers. https://www.instagram.com/p/BJh-yp7DodL/

45. Vermont

Location: Burlington, VT The go-to route in the Green Mountain State is along the shore of Lake Champlain in the college town of Burlington. Start your trek where the Burlington Bike Path connects with the Island Line Trail in Waterfront Park; follow the trail ‘til you turn around at North Beach Park. The lake and Adirondack Mountains together make a peaceful backdrop for this 5.5-mile course. RELATED: The 15 Best Spring Marathons in the U.S. https://www.instagram.com/p/BMIjz6dF4Gy/

46. Virginia

Location: Richmond, VA For a picturesque run near Richmond, start at Virginia Capital Trail and run along the James River, spotting lots of farmland along the way. Cross a foot bridge to serene Belle Isle, covered with shrubbery and large flat rocks. Circle the island before heading back where you came from. You’ll log nearly six miles by the time you get back to the start. https://www.instagram.com/p/BMb0qYJBstx/

47. Washington

Location: Seattle, WA The three-mile dirt path around Green Lake in Seattle is this state’s most popular course. Begin a bit north of the city at Latona Avenue NE and head down to the path to make up the mileage. Look for local animals like ducks and beavers while enjoying the beautiful water of the glacial lake. https://www.instagram.com/p/5siOCpFAAC/

48. West Virginia

Location: Charleston, WV Log about five miles as you jog along the Kanawha River, starting at Haddad Riverfront Park and turning around when you hit the Kanawha City Bridge. You’ll get views of the water and the Charleston skyline. If you go out on the weekend, you might even get some musical motivation for your run courtesy of free outdoor concerts held in the park. https://www.instagram.com/p/BMuVg6PABL4/

49. Wisconsin

Location: Milwaukee, WI A two-mile run along the 108-mile paved Oak Leaf Trail in Milwaukee is the favorite route in this state. Start at Bradford Beach and go along Lake Michigan — enjoying wooded areas, wooden bridges and views of the water. When you reach William F. O’Donnell Park, head back — or keep going if you’re looking to clock a longer distance. The city also has the perfect post-workout indulgence: local brews and cheese curds. https://www.instagram.com/p/BHdoqvIgi_5/

50. Wyoming

Location: Casper Mountain, WY Take on the three-mile Split Rock Trail in Casper Mountain. The area is named for a famous local landmark: a huge slab of granite with a notch cut out of the middle of its crest. You’ll feel empowered by the majesty of the rock and the peaceful prairies along the path. Want to take your run outside the U.S.? Check out are the 30 best marathons in the world Originally published December 2016. Updated June 7, 2017. 

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6 Pool Workouts Worth Diving Into This Summer http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/pool-workouts-group-fitness-classes/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/pool-workouts-group-fitness-classes/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 11:15:33 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=58839 6 Pool Workouts Worth Diving Into This Summer

[caption id="attachment_58948" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Cool Pool Workouts Worth Diving into This Summer Photo: Courtesy of TMPL Gym[/caption]

For a hot new summer workout, look no further than your nearest pool deck. Niche water-fitness studios (think: cycling or doing yoga while immersed in H2O) are on the rise, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. And they’re getting popular for good reason: You can strengthen and burn — without even breaking a sweat.

"Working out in the water is low-impact, so it doesn't stress your joints," says Bryan Mineo, coach and founder of the Swim Mechanic. "At the same time, the density of the water creates resistance, which helps strengthen and tone muscles." Plus, surrounding your body with water offers a bit of natural compression, which can improve blood flow as you go.

Want to dip your toes in the trend? Keep reading for six refreshing pool workouts that appeal to every sweat style.

RELATED: 8 Beginner Swimming Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

6 Pool Workouts That’ll Get You Moving This Summer

[caption id="attachment_58937" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Cool Pool Workouts to Dive Into This Summer Photo: AQUASTUDIO® by photographer Robin Cerutti[/caption]

1. Aqua Cycling

Bikes plopped in a pool might sound weird, but it’s actually kind of brilliant. Cycling in the water offers resistance (more the faster you pedal), so you don’t have to worry about dialing a resistance knob up and down. During rides like those at Aqua in NYC, you’ll do intervals sitting and standing. Plus, you’ll get to recline behind the bikes (an extra position that’s impossible on regular stationary bikes). Another bonus: Waving your arms back and forth in the water offers some awesome upper-body sculpting.
Try It: Aqua Studio NY

[caption id="attachment_58846" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Pool Workouts Worth Diving Into This Summer: Aqua Zumba Photo: Courtesy of Aqua Zumba[/caption]

2. Aqua Zumba

What could make the upbeat music and hip-shaking dance moves of Zumba an even more fun workout? Just add water. This caliente cardio session in the pool nixes the high impact of your favorite dance moves and adds a little resistance to every step.
Try it: Zumba

RELATED: 5 Dance-Inspired Yoga Moves to Turn Up the Burn

[caption id="attachment_58848" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Pool Workouts Worth Diving Into This Summer: Mermaid Fitness Courtesy of Hotel Del Coronado[/caption]

 3. Mermaid Fitness

Head to the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego to bring your Splash dreams to life. The hotel offers a class that’ll have the wannabe mermaid in you flipping. During the 45-minute session in and by the pool, you’ll do kicking drills (with your bottom half inside a colorful tail), resistance work with a foam noodle and core work, like V sits on the side of the pool.
Try it: Hotel Del Coronado

[caption id="attachment_58944" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Cool Pool Workouts Worth Diving into This Summer Photo: @SunWaterSpa[/caption]

4. Aqua Yoga

A typical yoga class is already pretty low-impact, but certain poses can spell uncomfortable pressure on your palms, knees and other joints. Enter this pool-based offering at Sunwater Spa in Colorado. Taking the flow to the water challenges your stability and adds some extra toning power for your core as you move through your practice.
Try it: Sun Water Spa

RELATED: 12 Priciest Fitness Classes (Actually Worth the Splurge)

[caption id="attachment_58850" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Pool Workouts Worth Diving Into This Summer: TMPL Gym Photo: Courtesy of TMPL Gym[/caption]

5. Holy Water

During this buzzy class at NYC’s TMPL gym, you’ll work out in the pool on a floating mat reminiscent of a paddleboard. Think of it like yoga kicked up into high gear: You’ll sculpt and stretch your entire body as you move through poses and low-intensity strength moves. The session also offers major core toning, since you have to work hard to stay balanced on the board as it shifts on the water’s surface.
Try it: TMPL Gym

[caption id="attachment_58851" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Pool Workouts Worth Diving Into This Summer: WTRX Exercise Courtesy of LifeTime Fitness[/caption]

6. WTRX

LifeTime Fitness partnered with Speedo to bring the swim brand’s Speedo Fit program to gyms nationwide (it’s currently offered at 40 locations and will be at 85 by the end of the year). Warning: This is not your mother’s water aerobics. Expect a high-intensity session involving strength moves like squats and kettlebell swings in the pool. You’ll also use cool equipment, like a Speedo Push Plate and Clutch paddles, to create functional resistance exercises that work your muscles in every plane as you move through the water.
Try it: Speedo USA

The post 6 Pool Workouts Worth Diving Into This Summer appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
6 Pool Workouts Worth Diving Into This Summer

[caption id="attachment_58948" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Cool Pool Workouts Worth Diving into This Summer Photo: Courtesy of TMPL Gym[/caption] For a hot new summer workout, look no further than your nearest pool deck. Niche water-fitness studios (think: cycling or doing yoga while immersed in H2O) are on the rise, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. And they’re getting popular for good reason: You can strengthen and burn — without even breaking a sweat. "Working out in the water is low-impact, so it doesn't stress your joints," says Bryan Mineo, coach and founder of the Swim Mechanic. "At the same time, the density of the water creates resistance, which helps strengthen and tone muscles." Plus, surrounding your body with water offers a bit of natural compression, which can improve blood flow as you go. Want to dip your toes in the trend? Keep reading for six refreshing pool workouts that appeal to every sweat style. RELATED: 8 Beginner Swimming Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

6 Pool Workouts That’ll Get You Moving This Summer

[caption id="attachment_58937" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Cool Pool Workouts to Dive Into This Summer Photo: AQUASTUDIO® by photographer Robin Cerutti[/caption]

1. Aqua Cycling

Bikes plopped in a pool might sound weird, but it’s actually kind of brilliant. Cycling in the water offers resistance (more the faster you pedal), so you don’t have to worry about dialing a resistance knob up and down. During rides like those at Aqua in NYC, you’ll do intervals sitting and standing. Plus, you’ll get to recline behind the bikes (an extra position that’s impossible on regular stationary bikes). Another bonus: Waving your arms back and forth in the water offers some awesome upper-body sculpting. Try It: Aqua Studio NY [caption id="attachment_58846" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Pool Workouts Worth Diving Into This Summer: Aqua Zumba Photo: Courtesy of Aqua Zumba[/caption]

2. Aqua Zumba

What could make the upbeat music and hip-shaking dance moves of Zumba an even more fun workout? Just add water. This caliente cardio session in the pool nixes the high impact of your favorite dance moves and adds a little resistance to every step. Try it: Zumba RELATED: 5 Dance-Inspired Yoga Moves to Turn Up the Burn [caption id="attachment_58848" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Pool Workouts Worth Diving Into This Summer: Mermaid Fitness Courtesy of Hotel Del Coronado[/caption]

 3. Mermaid Fitness

Head to the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego to bring your Splash dreams to life. The hotel offers a class that’ll have the wannabe mermaid in you flipping. During the 45-minute session in and by the pool, you’ll do kicking drills (with your bottom half inside a colorful tail), resistance work with a foam noodle and core work, like V sits on the side of the pool. Try it: Hotel Del Coronado [caption id="attachment_58944" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Cool Pool Workouts Worth Diving into This Summer Photo: @SunWaterSpa[/caption]

4. Aqua Yoga

A typical yoga class is already pretty low-impact, but certain poses can spell uncomfortable pressure on your palms, knees and other joints. Enter this pool-based offering at Sunwater Spa in Colorado. Taking the flow to the water challenges your stability and adds some extra toning power for your core as you move through your practice. Try it: Sun Water Spa RELATED: 12 Priciest Fitness Classes (Actually Worth the Splurge) [caption id="attachment_58850" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Pool Workouts Worth Diving Into This Summer: TMPL Gym Photo: Courtesy of TMPL Gym[/caption]

5. Holy Water

During this buzzy class at NYC’s TMPL gym, you’ll work out in the pool on a floating mat reminiscent of a paddleboard. Think of it like yoga kicked up into high gear: You’ll sculpt and stretch your entire body as you move through poses and low-intensity strength moves. The session also offers major core toning, since you have to work hard to stay balanced on the board as it shifts on the water’s surface. Try it: TMPL Gym [caption id="attachment_58851" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Pool Workouts Worth Diving Into This Summer: WTRX Exercise Courtesy of LifeTime Fitness[/caption]

6. WTRX

LifeTime Fitness partnered with Speedo to bring the swim brand’s Speedo Fit program to gyms nationwide (it’s currently offered at 40 locations and will be at 85 by the end of the year). Warning: This is not your mother’s water aerobics. Expect a high-intensity session involving strength moves like squats and kettlebell swings in the pool. You’ll also use cool equipment, like a Speedo Push Plate and Clutch paddles, to create functional resistance exercises that work your muscles in every plane as you move through the water. Try it: Speedo USA

The post 6 Pool Workouts Worth Diving Into This Summer appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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4 Things No One Told You About Plant-Based Supplements http://dailyburn.com/life/health/plant-based-supplements-buying-tips/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/plant-based-supplements-buying-tips/#respond Mon, 22 May 2017 15:15:11 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=58812 4 Things No One Told You About Plant-Based Supplements

[caption id="attachment_58818" align="alignnone" width="620"]4 Things No One Told You About Plant-Based Supplements Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Whether you’re searching for a B-complex vitamin or a hemp protein powder, when it comes to plant-based supplements, there are a ton of options on store shelves. And to make it more confusing, lots of companies have recently launched their own lines — Goop, The Beauty Chef and even Lo Bosworth, to name a few.

So how do you find a top-shelf product among the not-so-trustworthy ones? “There are so many supplements out in the market and they aren't closely regulated by the FDA,” says Nora Minno, RD, a Daily Burn 365 trainer and registered dietician based in New York City. Her advice: “Consult a dietitian or physician and make sure that the supplements you are taking contain safe quantities of active ingredients and are actually proven to drive results.”

Aside from checking with your MD before popping any new pills, a few helpful hints will steer you toward a healthful brand. Read on for expert advice about how to decode supplement labels and find the right fit for you.

RELATED: The Beginner’s’ Guide to Pre- and Post-Workout Supplements

4 Steps to Find the Best Plant-Based Supplements

1. First things first: Check for certifications.

Just because a brand claims to be "all natural" or "organic" doesn’t guarantee its ingredients are up to snuff. Your best bet, says Jaclyn Jacobsen, on-staff nutritionist at the Vitamin Shoppe, is to look for a certification from a governing body. For instance, a bottle with a “USDA Organic” label lets you know that at least 95 percent of the product’s ingredients are truly organic

Another good one to keep an eye out for: a stamp of approval from the Non-GMO Project, meaning the supplement contains zero genetically modified ingredients. Those missing this label could contain pesticides.

Manufacturers need to renew these certifications annually, says Jacobsen. So if you see these stamps on your brand, take comfort in knowing it’s been evaluated recently.

RELATED: Shop Smarter: 6 Common Food Labels, Explained

2. Look for words that show quality.

Along with symbols showing a product is USDA organic and non-GMO, certain terms denote a quality supplement. Jacobsen recommends searching for raw and sprouted. Raw foods have not been chemically altered, processed or cooked which preserves their enzymes and nutrients, Jacobsen explains. Sprouted seeds also contain more nutrients, like fiber, and are low glycemic.

If you’re looking for a plant-based protein powder specifically, Minno advises making sure the product contains branched chain amino acids, like leucine, isoleucine and valine, which promote lean muscle mass.

Finally, check the ingredients label. Make sure that all the food sources included in the supplement are, in fact, from plants and real foods.

RELATED: How to Choose the Best Protein Powder for You

3. Steer clear of the artificial stuff.

On the other hand, there are the phrases that suggest a product’s contents aren’t so high quality. And they could potentially even harm your health. Jacobsen recommends passing on anything flavored with artificial ingredients or containing artificial colors. You can also step away from “all natural” products, as that could mean it’s still grown with pesticides. Also, extracts, such as Stevia extract versus whole Stevia leaf as a sweetener, means you should pass, because extracts go through chemical processing, Jacobsen explains. Step away from those with carrageenan, too. This ingredient promotes inflammation and the National Organics Standards Board removed it from the allowable organic foods list in 2016.

You’ll also want to avoid hydrogenated oils, because they can increase inflammation and could possibly increase your LDL cholesterol, says Jacobsen. Others to steer clear of: magnesium stearate (which may prevent nutrient absorption and impair your immune system) and titanium dioxide (it can also affect your immunity).

RELATED: Why Young People Need to Worry About Cholesterol, Too

4. Pick your pills or powder.

Tons of high-quality supplements flood the market, but we rounded up a few of our favorites. As always, check with your doc before trying any new vitamin or supplement.

Many of the products in the new Plnt line at the Vitamin Shoppe are non-GMO, like the protein powder, as well as organic and free of artificial stabilizers or preservatives, like the milk thistle capsules.

With USDA Organic and Non-GMO stamps of approval, the Garden of Life line is another top choice. They recently released a sport line, featuring plant-based protein powders. It also includes energy and focus pre-workout mix and a recovery formula for after exercise. Also, because they contain no ingredients banned by sports leagues, they’re also a top brand among athletes.

New Chapter has a line of supplements — from multivitamins to blends meant for specific purposes, like boosting your immune system, bumping up bone health or nixing stress — that are certified USDA Organic and non-GMO.

Offerings from Raw Green Organics also get a USDA Organic label. Check out their multivitamins, vegan protein powder, and drinks mixes, like Super Greens and Raw Beet Root Powder.

Already have some vitamins, protein or other supplements in your cabinet and not sure whether they pass the test? If you can’t tell from the label, one way to check: Head to the USDA site and search the brand name. The site boasts a comprehensive database. So if your current brand doesn’t seem up to par, you can easily search for a new one.

Disclosure: All products featured on our site are hand-picked by our editorial team in the hopes of getting you closer to your health and fitness goals. We only recommend products we love and believe that you will, too. In some cases, you might come across an affiliate link on our site, which means we receive a small commission should you decide to make a purchase.

The post 4 Things No One Told You About Plant-Based Supplements appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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4 Things No One Told You About Plant-Based Supplements

[caption id="attachment_58818" align="alignnone" width="620"]4 Things No One Told You About Plant-Based Supplements Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Whether you’re searching for a B-complex vitamin or a hemp protein powder, when it comes to plant-based supplements, there are a ton of options on store shelves. And to make it more confusing, lots of companies have recently launched their own lines — Goop, The Beauty Chef and even Lo Bosworth, to name a few. So how do you find a top-shelf product among the not-so-trustworthy ones? “There are so many supplements out in the market and they aren't closely regulated by the FDA,” says Nora Minno, RD, a Daily Burn 365 trainer and registered dietician based in New York City. Her advice: “Consult a dietitian or physician and make sure that the supplements you are taking contain safe quantities of active ingredients and are actually proven to drive results.” Aside from checking with your MD before popping any new pills, a few helpful hints will steer you toward a healthful brand. Read on for expert advice about how to decode supplement labels and find the right fit for you. RELATED: The Beginner’s’ Guide to Pre- and Post-Workout Supplements

4 Steps to Find the Best Plant-Based Supplements

1. First things first: Check for certifications.

Just because a brand claims to be "all natural" or "organic" doesn’t guarantee its ingredients are up to snuff. Your best bet, says Jaclyn Jacobsen, on-staff nutritionist at the Vitamin Shoppe, is to look for a certification from a governing body. For instance, a bottle with a “USDA Organic” label lets you know that at least 95 percent of the product’s ingredients are truly organic Another good one to keep an eye out for: a stamp of approval from the Non-GMO Project, meaning the supplement contains zero genetically modified ingredients. Those missing this label could contain pesticides. Manufacturers need to renew these certifications annually, says Jacobsen. So if you see these stamps on your brand, take comfort in knowing it’s been evaluated recently. RELATED: Shop Smarter: 6 Common Food Labels, Explained

2. Look for words that show quality.

Along with symbols showing a product is USDA organic and non-GMO, certain terms denote a quality supplement. Jacobsen recommends searching for raw and sprouted. Raw foods have not been chemically altered, processed or cooked which preserves their enzymes and nutrients, Jacobsen explains. Sprouted seeds also contain more nutrients, like fiber, and are low glycemic. If you’re looking for a plant-based protein powder specifically, Minno advises making sure the product contains branched chain amino acids, like leucine, isoleucine and valine, which promote lean muscle mass. Finally, check the ingredients label. Make sure that all the food sources included in the supplement are, in fact, from plants and real foods. RELATED: How to Choose the Best Protein Powder for You

3. Steer clear of the artificial stuff.

On the other hand, there are the phrases that suggest a product’s contents aren’t so high quality. And they could potentially even harm your health. Jacobsen recommends passing on anything flavored with artificial ingredients or containing artificial colors. You can also step away from “all natural” products, as that could mean it’s still grown with pesticides. Also, extracts, such as Stevia extract versus whole Stevia leaf as a sweetener, means you should pass, because extracts go through chemical processing, Jacobsen explains. Step away from those with carrageenan, too. This ingredient promotes inflammation and the National Organics Standards Board removed it from the allowable organic foods list in 2016. You’ll also want to avoid hydrogenated oils, because they can increase inflammation and could possibly increase your LDL cholesterol, says Jacobsen. Others to steer clear of: magnesium stearate (which may prevent nutrient absorption and impair your immune system) and titanium dioxide (it can also affect your immunity). RELATED: Why Young People Need to Worry About Cholesterol, Too

4. Pick your pills or powder.

Tons of high-quality supplements flood the market, but we rounded up a few of our favorites. As always, check with your doc before trying any new vitamin or supplement. Many of the products in the new Plnt line at the Vitamin Shoppe are non-GMO, like the protein powder, as well as organic and free of artificial stabilizers or preservatives, like the milk thistle capsules. With USDA Organic and Non-GMO stamps of approval, the Garden of Life line is another top choice. They recently released a sport line, featuring plant-based protein powders. It also includes energy and focus pre-workout mix and a recovery formula for after exercise. Also, because they contain no ingredients banned by sports leagues, they’re also a top brand among athletes. New Chapter has a line of supplements — from multivitamins to blends meant for specific purposes, like boosting your immune system, bumping up bone health or nixing stress — that are certified USDA Organic and non-GMO. Offerings from Raw Green Organics also get a USDA Organic label. Check out their multivitamins, vegan protein powder, and drinks mixes, like Super Greens and Raw Beet Root Powder. Already have some vitamins, protein or other supplements in your cabinet and not sure whether they pass the test? If you can’t tell from the label, one way to check: Head to the USDA site and search the brand name. The site boasts a comprehensive database. So if your current brand doesn’t seem up to par, you can easily search for a new one. Disclosure: All products featured on our site are hand-picked by our editorial team in the hopes of getting you closer to your health and fitness goals. We only recommend products we love and believe that you will, too. In some cases, you might come across an affiliate link on our site, which means we receive a small commission should you decide to make a purchase.

The post 4 Things No One Told You About Plant-Based Supplements appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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How Athletes Thrive Off Fear — And You Can Too http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/how-athletes-channel-fear-success/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/how-athletes-channel-fear-success/#respond Thu, 11 May 2017 15:15:18 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=58458

[caption id="attachment_58461" align="alignnone" width="620"]How Athletes Thrive Off Fear — And You Can Too Photo courtesy of The North Face[/caption]

Big physical challenges can definitely be frightening. Just the thought of hiking Kilimanjaro, signing up for an ultramarathon or even trying a crazy-intense new HIIT class can put your nerves on high alert. But, it turns out those nerves can actually be a good thing.

Thinking about your fears can improve athletic performance significantly, according to a study from the University of Arizona. In the study, researchers observed basketball players and how well they played after receiving prompts that made them consider the fear of death. Those who were led through questions that made them think about their fears ahead of time performed a whopping 40 percent better than they had in a previous game without a fear-inducing prompt.

The resulting boost in performance likely stems from people’s subconscious desire to bump up their self-esteem, say researchers. The basketball players, they determined, associated doing well with a chance at immortality (like overcoming the fear of death). It’s the same idea behind pump-up phrases like “pain is temporary, pride is forever” — they get you fired up and help you channel your nerves into high performance.

RELATED: 9 Athletes Over 60 Who Can Kick Your Butt

Turning Fear into Triumph

Of course, all different types of fears can pop up when you take on an athletic challenge. When you feel that nervousness, “There are the bodily changes — such as muscle tension, increased sweating, uneasy feeling in the stomach, shaking — and also changes in the thought process, such as dwelling on the importance of the activity or thinking about the possible outcomes,” says Vincent Granito, PhD, president of the sport psychology division of the American Psychological Association. “Most of these things are negative and would not necessarily help sport performance. However, there are some athletes that need to have that fear in order to compete at their best.”

That type of athlete, he says, really relies on feelings of uneasiness to help get mentally prepped to compete. In general, using fear as motivation tends to help people participating in sports with a big focus on speed, strength or power — like basketball, running races or powerlifting, says Granito.

RELATED: 9 Ways to Find Workout Motivation (Every Damn Day)

To determine whether you’re motivated by fear, Granito recommends thinking back on how you’ve performed during past activities, whether that’s a half-marathon, a grueling hike or a CrossFit class. Try to remember your mental state at the time. Were you totally nervous toeing the start line and then busted out a PR? Or did nerves get to you and hold you back from doing your best?

You can learn to harness that nervous feeling and turn it into good next time you get antsy mid-competition. Granito recommends using cue words to get psyched — like “It’s go time,” “Let’s do this” or “This point is the most important point of the match.”

For more ways to use anxiety to your advantage, we turned to people who know fear best: Extreme athletes. Read on to learn how they work with fear to excel at their sports and how you can do the same. Even if you’re not riding waves or climbing peaks, you can adopt their strategies for nailing any challenge.

RELATED: 10 Marathoner Mantras for When You’re Ready to Give Up

5 Ways to Turn Your Distress Into Success

[caption id="attachment_58462" align="alignnone" width="620"]Using Fear for Success: Paige Alms, surfer Photo courtesy of Russell Hoover[/caption]

1. Take a deep breath.

“In scary situations I just try to be really present, not overreact, and just breathe,” says Paige Alms, a big wave surfer and the 2016 women’s big wave world champion. “Take big breaths and analyze the situation, then you’ll know how to react calmly.”

2. Repeat a mantra.

“When I’m moving, I say the word ‘yes’ in my head,” says Emily Harrington, a rock climber who’s free climbed El Capitan, summited Mount Everest, and became the U.S. national champion in sport climbing five times. “It’s so simple, one syllable, and a positive affirmation. It helps me focus in times of hard movement and keeps me from letting doubt creep in.”

RELATED: 7 Trainer Quotes That Will Instantly Boost Your Confidence

[caption id="attachment_58463" align="alignnone" width="620"]Use Fear for Success: Jacob Puzey, ultramarathoner Photo courtesy of Altra Footwear[/caption]

3. Focus on the small stuff.

“I try to consciously slow my heart rate down, and I stare at a tiny piece of rock in front of me, like a little crystal or something,” says Harrington. “I try to study it and think only about it for a few seconds. It helps me be present.”

Jacob Puzey — an elite endurance runner who’s tackled ultra trail marathons and set a record for covering 50 miles on a treadmill in one go — also pays attention to his surroundings to help channel any nerves into extra energy. “I just try to focus on everything around me, putting myself in a place of gratitude,” he says.

4. Make your muscles relax.

Because fear can cause your muscles to tighten up, Puzey takes a minute to check in with his body and nix any stiffness to ensure he runs his best. “I try to identify places where I feel tense and relax that area, whether it's my shoulders or my hands or my jaw,” he says. “I focus on running naturally and relaxed. If one area tightens up, it usually tightens up everything else in the entire chain and that can lead to injuries.”

RELATED: Meditation Meets HIIT in New Mindful Fitness Approach

[caption id="attachment_58464" align="alignnone" width="620"]Use Fear for Success: Emily Harrington, rock climber Photo courtesy of The North Face[/caption]

5. Remind yourself of your prep.

“I find confidence in physical preparation. With everything I do in the gym and during every surf session, I am learning something new and making myself a better athlete,” says Alms. While training, Alms also does breath holds to help prepare her lungs to handle long pauses underwater. She reminds herself of this practice when nerves start firing. “For sure knowing you can hold your breath for a long time helps! Trusting in my skill is what I rely on to push through and know that I can do it.”

The post How Athletes Thrive Off Fear — And You Can Too appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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[caption id="attachment_58461" align="alignnone" width="620"]How Athletes Thrive Off Fear — And You Can Too Photo courtesy of The North Face[/caption] Big physical challenges can definitely be frightening. Just the thought of hiking Kilimanjaro, signing up for an ultramarathon or even trying a crazy-intense new HIIT class can put your nerves on high alert. But, it turns out those nerves can actually be a good thing. Thinking about your fears can improve athletic performance significantly, according to a study from the University of Arizona. In the study, researchers observed basketball players and how well they played after receiving prompts that made them consider the fear of death. Those who were led through questions that made them think about their fears ahead of time performed a whopping 40 percent better than they had in a previous game without a fear-inducing prompt. The resulting boost in performance likely stems from people’s subconscious desire to bump up their self-esteem, say researchers. The basketball players, they determined, associated doing well with a chance at immortality (like overcoming the fear of death). It’s the same idea behind pump-up phrases like “pain is temporary, pride is forever” — they get you fired up and help you channel your nerves into high performance. RELATED: 9 Athletes Over 60 Who Can Kick Your Butt

Turning Fear into Triumph

Of course, all different types of fears can pop up when you take on an athletic challenge. When you feel that nervousness, “There are the bodily changes — such as muscle tension, increased sweating, uneasy feeling in the stomach, shaking — and also changes in the thought process, such as dwelling on the importance of the activity or thinking about the possible outcomes,” says Vincent Granito, PhD, president of the sport psychology division of the American Psychological Association. “Most of these things are negative and would not necessarily help sport performance. However, there are some athletes that need to have that fear in order to compete at their best.” That type of athlete, he says, really relies on feelings of uneasiness to help get mentally prepped to compete. In general, using fear as motivation tends to help people participating in sports with a big focus on speed, strength or power — like basketball, running races or powerlifting, says Granito. RELATED: 9 Ways to Find Workout Motivation (Every Damn Day) To determine whether you’re motivated by fear, Granito recommends thinking back on how you’ve performed during past activities, whether that’s a half-marathon, a grueling hike or a CrossFit class. Try to remember your mental state at the time. Were you totally nervous toeing the start line and then busted out a PR? Or did nerves get to you and hold you back from doing your best? You can learn to harness that nervous feeling and turn it into good next time you get antsy mid-competition. Granito recommends using cue words to get psyched — like “It’s go time,” “Let’s do this” or “This point is the most important point of the match.” For more ways to use anxiety to your advantage, we turned to people who know fear best: Extreme athletes. Read on to learn how they work with fear to excel at their sports and how you can do the same. Even if you’re not riding waves or climbing peaks, you can adopt their strategies for nailing any challenge. RELATED: 10 Marathoner Mantras for When You’re Ready to Give Up

5 Ways to Turn Your Distress Into Success

[caption id="attachment_58462" align="alignnone" width="620"]Using Fear for Success: Paige Alms, surfer Photo courtesy of Russell Hoover[/caption]

1. Take a deep breath.

“In scary situations I just try to be really present, not overreact, and just breathe,” says Paige Alms, a big wave surfer and the 2016 women’s big wave world champion. “Take big breaths and analyze the situation, then you’ll know how to react calmly.”

2. Repeat a mantra.

“When I’m moving, I say the word ‘yes’ in my head,” says Emily Harrington, a rock climber who’s free climbed El Capitan, summited Mount Everest, and became the U.S. national champion in sport climbing five times. “It’s so simple, one syllable, and a positive affirmation. It helps me focus in times of hard movement and keeps me from letting doubt creep in.” RELATED: 7 Trainer Quotes That Will Instantly Boost Your Confidence [caption id="attachment_58463" align="alignnone" width="620"]Use Fear for Success: Jacob Puzey, ultramarathoner Photo courtesy of Altra Footwear[/caption]

3. Focus on the small stuff.

“I try to consciously slow my heart rate down, and I stare at a tiny piece of rock in front of me, like a little crystal or something,” says Harrington. “I try to study it and think only about it for a few seconds. It helps me be present.” Jacob Puzey — an elite endurance runner who’s tackled ultra trail marathons and set a record for covering 50 miles on a treadmill in one go — also pays attention to his surroundings to help channel any nerves into extra energy. “I just try to focus on everything around me, putting myself in a place of gratitude,” he says.

4. Make your muscles relax.

Because fear can cause your muscles to tighten up, Puzey takes a minute to check in with his body and nix any stiffness to ensure he runs his best. “I try to identify places where I feel tense and relax that area, whether it's my shoulders or my hands or my jaw,” he says. “I focus on running naturally and relaxed. If one area tightens up, it usually tightens up everything else in the entire chain and that can lead to injuries.” RELATED: Meditation Meets HIIT in New Mindful Fitness Approach [caption id="attachment_58464" align="alignnone" width="620"]Use Fear for Success: Emily Harrington, rock climber Photo courtesy of The North Face[/caption]

5. Remind yourself of your prep.

“I find confidence in physical preparation. With everything I do in the gym and during every surf session, I am learning something new and making myself a better athlete,” says Alms. While training, Alms also does breath holds to help prepare her lungs to handle long pauses underwater. She reminds herself of this practice when nerves start firing. “For sure knowing you can hold your breath for a long time helps! Trusting in my skill is what I rely on to push through and know that I can do it.”

The post How Athletes Thrive Off Fear — And You Can Too appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
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6 Top Wearables for Every Kind of Activity Tracking http://dailyburn.com/life/tech/best-wearables-activity-tracking/ http://dailyburn.com/life/tech/best-wearables-activity-tracking/#respond Mon, 10 Apr 2017 11:15:22 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=57430 6 Top Wearables for Every Kind of Activity Tracking

6 Top Wearables for Every Kind of Activity Tracking

All wellness wearables are not created equal. Yes, they typically count your daily steps and often follow the hours you sleep, and many now tap into how quickly your heart beats. But these days, activity trackers specialize in a distinct feature or two within a certain niche. Totally into triathlons? There’s a gadget for that. Care more about a band that looks chic? We’ve got you covered.

Read on for our roundup of the sleekest, tech-iest, smartest new fitness trackers on the market. Then find the perfect fit for your sweat style.

RELATED: The Best New Fitness Trackers to Step Up Your Game

6 Wellness Wearables to Fit Your Fitness Style

[caption id="attachment_57434" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wearables: FitBit Alta HR Photo courtesy of FitBit[/caption]

1. Fitbit Alta HR

Best for: Getting clues about how you snooze

The chicest accessory in the Fitbit line gets an upgrade with a heart rate monitor and top-notch sleep stats. Built around HR technology, the Alta HR provides more in-depth readings on how many minutes you spend awake, in light sleep, deep sleep and REM. Even if you think you got a solid seven hours of zzz’s, this band will clue you in to every minute you actually spent tossing and turning — explaining why your groggy or wide awake the next day. It also provides tips on getting more shut-eye right in the app.

Updates aside, Fitbit boasts one of the most user-friendly interfaces of all the wearables. That’s thanks to its automatic activity tracking (it’ll recognize your workout after 10 minutes) and full data display right on the home screen of the watch and app. Info includes steps, active minutes, calories burned, current heart rate and distance traveled. ($150; fitbit.com)

[caption id="attachment_57435" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wearables: MisFit Phase Photo courtesy of Misfit[/caption]

2. Misfit Phase

Best for: Wearing a tracker on the sly

The classy new offering from Misfit is the perfect option if you want a tracker that doesn’t look like a clunky band, sporty watch — or anything that reveals you’re watching your numbers. The Phase’s design could pass for a regular watch, but it still subtly nudges you to get moving throughout the day by vibrating and quickly spinning the minute and hour hands. There’s also a dot at the bottom of the face that flashes various colors to let you know which alert its signaling, like an incoming text or time to stand up.

Though this watch doesn’t show stats on the main screen, it continuously keeps tabs on your wellness numbers — just check the app when you want an update. You can also use its Smart Button feature to control your phone for selfies and music play. Perhaps the most important feature for people on the go: no battery charging required. The Phase is ready to go the second you take it out of the box, and it doesn’t need more juice until about six months later, when it’s time for a battery replacement. (Starting at $175; misfit.com)

RELATED: Is It Possible That You’re Tracking Too Much?

[caption id="attachment_57436" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wearables: Garmin Vivoactive HR Photo courtesy of Garmin[/caption]

3. Garmin Vivoactive HR

Best for: Gearing up for a big race

Toe the start line of a 10K, half or full marathon and you’re likely to see tons of Garmin watches on the wrists of your fellow racers. A favorite among athletes with an upcoming event, the Vivoactive HR packs all the route-tracking greatness of the brand’s regular sport watches into a slim band. You can easily swipe up on the screen to see your heart rate, steps taken and floors climbed. Or easily toggle over and you can track workouts ranging from runs and rides to rounds of golf or cross-country ski outings. Its built-in GPS accurately tracks the distance and course of your treks, and the calendar screen on its corresponding app lets you look back at tons of past activities.

Of course, this band isn’t all about recording your hard-core exercise — it’s got great social features, too. You can easily connect with friends on Facebook and Google and compete against one another on the reg by joining daily step or workout challenges. Plus, while the band’s touchscreen is low-profile, it’s large enough to display full text messages and other app and social media alerts. ($250; buy.garmin.com)

[caption id="attachment_57437" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wearables: TomTom Spark 3 Photo courtesy of TomTom[/caption]

4. TomTom Spark 3

Best for: Training for a tri

Swim, run, bike and beyond with the TomTom Spark 3. This watch has a heart rate monitor and GPS, plus constant step tracking. It also has room to upload more than 500 songs, making it a great option for phone-free sweat sessions synced to your fave jams.

Like other trackers on the market, this one boasts lots of workout modes — even treadmill, gym, indoor cycling and intervals. Yet unlike the competition, it lets you select one of your past performances and race against it, so you’re always pushing toward a new PR. (Just be sure to read the user guide for the complete how-to.) Another cool note: The Spark 3 lets you discover new trails with the “route exploration” option, which also helps you find your way back to the start. A key component for anyone looking to get lost in a workout — without literally getting lost. ($129; tomtom.com)

RELATED: The 13 Most Incredible Triathlons in the U.S.

[caption id="attachment_57438" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wearables: Sona Photo courtesy of Caeden[/caption]

5. Sona

Best for: Taking care of your body and mind

While most trackers give you insight into your body’s fitness level, they don’t necessarily tell you about the health of your mind. Enter Sona, an innovative band by Caeden. Sona helps you focus on your total wellness by tracking not only your calories burned, heart rate, and steps, but also your stress levels. How does it know when you’re feeling tense? Sure, most bands have an HRM, but this one keeps tabs on your heart rate variability — a higher HRV means you’re more fit and less stressed, while a lower reading can be a clue that you’re tired or tense.

Sona also offers a tool to help train your brain to combat stress. All you have to do is open the app on your phone and go through a quick guided meditation. The app includes five of these sessions, accessible throughout the day: one for when you rise in the a.m., another for when you need an energy boost, and three for when you need to breathe, relax or rest. While the band has no watch face — it looks like a sleek leather bracelet — it does vibrate to alert you to incoming calls and texts. (Coming this summer; $180; caeden.com)

[caption id="attachment_57439" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wearables: Samsung Gear Fit 2 Photo courtesy of Samsung[/caption]

6. Samsung Gear Fit 2

Best for: Going from heavy lifting to happy hour

Consider this band the wrist version of stylish athleisure. It tracks your running, cycling and elliptical workouts, plus it gauges your intensity level via the heart rate monitor — all while looking sleek enough to blend in with your bangles. (Still, you can read your texts and stats on screen).

In addition to its discreet look, it has built-in GPS, so you don’t have to carry your phone in your pocket (or shove it in your sports bra) to get an accurate mileage reading on your ride or run. And it intuitively measures these activities when you get moving for 10 minutes or more.

This one also stores up to 500 songs, which you can easily change with the swipe of your finger for convenient music motivation on the go. Need more workout inspiration? Pick a swole mate and it’ll let you compete for steps right on the home screen. Because a little friendly competition never hurts to push you toward your goals. ($180; samsung.com)

The post 6 Top Wearables for Every Kind of Activity Tracking appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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6 Top Wearables for Every Kind of Activity Tracking

6 Top Wearables for Every Kind of Activity Tracking All wellness wearables are not created equal. Yes, they typically count your daily steps and often follow the hours you sleep, and many now tap into how quickly your heart beats. But these days, activity trackers specialize in a distinct feature or two within a certain niche. Totally into triathlons? There’s a gadget for that. Care more about a band that looks chic? We’ve got you covered. Read on for our roundup of the sleekest, tech-iest, smartest new fitness trackers on the market. Then find the perfect fit for your sweat style. RELATED: The Best New Fitness Trackers to Step Up Your Game

6 Wellness Wearables to Fit Your Fitness Style

[caption id="attachment_57434" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wearables: FitBit Alta HR Photo courtesy of FitBit[/caption]

1. Fitbit Alta HR

Best for: Getting clues about how you snooze The chicest accessory in the Fitbit line gets an upgrade with a heart rate monitor and top-notch sleep stats. Built around HR technology, the Alta HR provides more in-depth readings on how many minutes you spend awake, in light sleep, deep sleep and REM. Even if you think you got a solid seven hours of zzz’s, this band will clue you in to every minute you actually spent tossing and turning — explaining why your groggy or wide awake the next day. It also provides tips on getting more shut-eye right in the app. Updates aside, Fitbit boasts one of the most user-friendly interfaces of all the wearables. That’s thanks to its automatic activity tracking (it’ll recognize your workout after 10 minutes) and full data display right on the home screen of the watch and app. Info includes steps, active minutes, calories burned, current heart rate and distance traveled. ($150; fitbit.com) [caption id="attachment_57435" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wearables: MisFit Phase Photo courtesy of Misfit[/caption]

2. Misfit Phase

Best for: Wearing a tracker on the sly The classy new offering from Misfit is the perfect option if you want a tracker that doesn’t look like a clunky band, sporty watch — or anything that reveals you’re watching your numbers. The Phase’s design could pass for a regular watch, but it still subtly nudges you to get moving throughout the day by vibrating and quickly spinning the minute and hour hands. There’s also a dot at the bottom of the face that flashes various colors to let you know which alert its signaling, like an incoming text or time to stand up. Though this watch doesn’t show stats on the main screen, it continuously keeps tabs on your wellness numbers — just check the app when you want an update. You can also use its Smart Button feature to control your phone for selfies and music play. Perhaps the most important feature for people on the go: no battery charging required. The Phase is ready to go the second you take it out of the box, and it doesn’t need more juice until about six months later, when it’s time for a battery replacement. (Starting at $175; misfit.com) RELATED: Is It Possible That You’re Tracking Too Much? [caption id="attachment_57436" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wearables: Garmin Vivoactive HR Photo courtesy of Garmin[/caption]

3. Garmin Vivoactive HR

Best for: Gearing up for a big race Toe the start line of a 10K, half or full marathon and you’re likely to see tons of Garmin watches on the wrists of your fellow racers. A favorite among athletes with an upcoming event, the Vivoactive HR packs all the route-tracking greatness of the brand’s regular sport watches into a slim band. You can easily swipe up on the screen to see your heart rate, steps taken and floors climbed. Or easily toggle over and you can track workouts ranging from runs and rides to rounds of golf or cross-country ski outings. Its built-in GPS accurately tracks the distance and course of your treks, and the calendar screen on its corresponding app lets you look back at tons of past activities. Of course, this band isn’t all about recording your hard-core exercise — it’s got great social features, too. You can easily connect with friends on Facebook and Google and compete against one another on the reg by joining daily step or workout challenges. Plus, while the band’s touchscreen is low-profile, it’s large enough to display full text messages and other app and social media alerts. ($250; buy.garmin.com) [caption id="attachment_57437" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wearables: TomTom Spark 3 Photo courtesy of TomTom[/caption]

4. TomTom Spark 3

Best for: Training for a tri Swim, run, bike and beyond with the TomTom Spark 3. This watch has a heart rate monitor and GPS, plus constant step tracking. It also has room to upload more than 500 songs, making it a great option for phone-free sweat sessions synced to your fave jams. Like other trackers on the market, this one boasts lots of workout modes — even treadmill, gym, indoor cycling and intervals. Yet unlike the competition, it lets you select one of your past performances and race against it, so you’re always pushing toward a new PR. (Just be sure to read the user guide for the complete how-to.) Another cool note: The Spark 3 lets you discover new trails with the “route exploration” option, which also helps you find your way back to the start. A key component for anyone looking to get lost in a workout — without literally getting lost. ($129; tomtom.com) RELATED: The 13 Most Incredible Triathlons in the U.S. [caption id="attachment_57438" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wearables: Sona Photo courtesy of Caeden[/caption]

5. Sona

Best for: Taking care of your body and mind While most trackers give you insight into your body’s fitness level, they don’t necessarily tell you about the health of your mind. Enter Sona, an innovative band by Caeden. Sona helps you focus on your total wellness by tracking not only your calories burned, heart rate, and steps, but also your stress levels. How does it know when you’re feeling tense? Sure, most bands have an HRM, but this one keeps tabs on your heart rate variability — a higher HRV means you’re more fit and less stressed, while a lower reading can be a clue that you’re tired or tense. Sona also offers a tool to help train your brain to combat stress. All you have to do is open the app on your phone and go through a quick guided meditation. The app includes five of these sessions, accessible throughout the day: one for when you rise in the a.m., another for when you need an energy boost, and three for when you need to breathe, relax or rest. While the band has no watch face — it looks like a sleek leather bracelet — it does vibrate to alert you to incoming calls and texts. (Coming this summer; $180; caeden.com) [caption id="attachment_57439" align="alignnone" width="620"]Wearables: Samsung Gear Fit 2 Photo courtesy of Samsung[/caption]

6. Samsung Gear Fit 2

Best for: Going from heavy lifting to happy hour Consider this band the wrist version of stylish athleisure. It tracks your running, cycling and elliptical workouts, plus it gauges your intensity level via the heart rate monitor — all while looking sleek enough to blend in with your bangles. (Still, you can read your texts and stats on screen). In addition to its discreet look, it has built-in GPS, so you don’t have to carry your phone in your pocket (or shove it in your sports bra) to get an accurate mileage reading on your ride or run. And it intuitively measures these activities when you get moving for 10 minutes or more. This one also stores up to 500 songs, which you can easily change with the swipe of your finger for convenient music motivation on the go. Need more workout inspiration? Pick a swole mate and it’ll let you compete for steps right on the home screen. Because a little friendly competition never hurts to push you toward your goals. ($180; samsung.com)

The post 6 Top Wearables for Every Kind of Activity Tracking appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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How Trainers Stay on Top of Their Self-Care http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/self-care-strategies-top-trainers/ http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/self-care-strategies-top-trainers/#respond Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:15:46 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=57154 8 Self-Care Ideas from Top Trainers

[caption id="attachment_57169" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Self-Care Strategies from Top Trainers Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Even trainers at peak performance levels (the ones you turn to for major fitspo on Instagram) don’t go hard all the time. They know that taking time to practice self-care by resting and recharging — whether that’s meditating for five minutes in the a.m. or indulging in a glass of wine at dinner — is an important part of the health equation, too.

Giving yourself recovery time allows both your body and your mind a chance to bounce back from your workout and get a better grip on everyday stressors. Research has found that massage, for instance, helps your muscles recover after endurance exercise by reducing pain and fatigue. (Older preliminary studies show massage therapy can also relieve stress.) And people who combined aerobic workouts with meditation significantly improved their mood and reduced their anxiety, according to another recent study.

So how do top trainers get a little R&R in their own lives? We asked eight pros to reveal their favorite ways to practice self-care. Follow their lead to show yourself some love, too.

RELATED: 7 Self-Care Rituals to Practice Every Day

8 Trainers’ Favorite Ways to Practice Self-Care

1. Dance, Dance, Meditation

“I look at my body as a machine, and machines take some serious TLC in order to run their best. I have a weekly self-care regimen that includes a deep-tissue massage, a cryotherapy session and a dance lesson. The massage and cryotherapy are my way of saying ‘thank you’ to my body for all the hard work it did for me that week, and the dance lesson is my version of meditation. It may sound odd, but dance is one of the few moments in my week that I am so focused on learning new ways to move that everything else in my world seems to fade away.” —Kaisa Keranen, movement coach based in Seattle.

RELATED: 5 Ways to Feel More Like Beyoncé in Cardio Dance Class

2. Starting with Gratitude

“Mornings are my thing. I wake up a bit earlier than I need to and the first word I see when I wake up is gratitude. I really want to appreciate every moment in life. So I take time first thing in the a.m. to slow down before the rest of the world catches up to me.

I generally take a yoga class to help balance out the higher intensity workouts I do, too. And I swim from time to time. There's something about controlling my breath that really helps. Plus, knowing no one can distract me in the water, I can get kind of lost. I also like to go outside (weather permitting), and take a mental health walk or sit on the rooftop somewhere and just reflect. Finally, I love a good coffee table book. Life's Little Instruction Book is on mine and when I need a moment to remind myself of the little things I open it up and read a couple of them.” —CeCe Marizu, Daily Burn 365 trainer

3. Times of Knead

“With a full-time job as a trainer, plus a full-time job as mother of four, taking care of myself is crucial to my overall health — and sanity! As I always tell other moms and clients, you must be ‘beneficially selfish.’ In other words, be selfish for the benefit of other people. If you can't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anybody else. My self-care ritual is a routine 90-minute deep-tissue massage at least once a month. That means no kids, no to-dos, no phone, no talking. Just me and my own thoughts. (I get so lost in my thoughts that I often forget the massage therapist is even there!) Sixty minutes isn't enough time; two hours is too long with kids. Ninety is just right, and I emerge feeling like a new woman, ready to tackle the world!” — Heidi Powell, celebrity trainer, transformation specialist and coauthor of Extreme Transformation: Lifelong Weight Loss in 21 Days

RELATED: 17 Tips from Fit Moms on Finding Time for Exercise

4. Three’s a Charm

“Taking time for yourself is actually one of the least selfish things you can do. I always find when I invest the time to take care of myself, I am a better person for everyone else. In terms of pampering myself…I’m all about the 3 S’s: shopping, supplements and skincare. I have to have the freshest Nike gear, always make sure to take my daily BCAA and grass-fed whey protein supplements from Eat The Bear, and keep my skin smooth with Nubian Heritage organic lotions. Those three things keep me feeling fresh as hell so I can put in all the hard work necessary to leave my mark on NYC.

If I ever find myself needing more to recharge, I turn to tequila, acupuncture and cupping at The Drodge clinic. Or for an emotional recharge, I hit up my mother — just like any nice Jewish boy with a half-sleeve of tattoos, an affinity for rap music and punching things would do.” —Noah Neiman, co-founder and trainer at Rumble Boxing

5. Best Foot Forward

“How do I recover mentally, physically and spiritually from the intense training and coaching at Tone House? There are a few simple things I do every day. Along with weight training, every day I spend 45 minutes in NormaTec [compression boots used to improve blood flow and speed recovery]. I'm on my feet all day, so these boots provide the perfect opportunity to stimulate blood circulation and bring down any inflammation in my legs. I also nap during this time! And I like to do one to two hours of Brazilian Jujitsu or Muay Thai. Martial arts help me clear my head and focus on me.” —Shaun Jenkins, training manager at Tone House in New York City

RELATED: Train Different: 5 UFC Workout Moves for Beginners

6. Home Stretch

“Meditating for 10 to 20 minutes each morning helps me stay centered and focused. For my body, I use Jill Miller’s Yoga Tune-Up balls to keep my muscles pliable — they’re like a surgeon’s scalpel for your soft tissue. I also stretch throughout the day for about five minutes at a time. I’m a big fan of incorporating mobility work in short pockets throughout the day, rather than trying to take on a single hour-long effort. I also make it a priority to connect with my friends and family every day. I like to spend as much time with them as possible, ideally cooking a big meal and enjoying it with a few glasses of wine while we laugh our asses off.” —Adam Rosante, strength and nutrition coach and creator of Two Week Transformation

7. Knot at All

“Working out definitely relaxes me and is a form of self-care, but my true relaxation comes when I go for a massage. I try to get one weekly and usually opt for deep-tissue. It's an hour completely to myself when I can unwind, and it just feels so good!” —Cassey Ho, founder of Blogilates and Pop Pilates

RELATED: 5 Foam Rolling Moves You Aren’t Doing (But Should

8. Finally Say “Ah”

“I go to a yoga studio that does alignment-based classes, and I have a yoga mat in a beautiful shade of blue that calms me. As soon as I step on that mat, it's my time. I actually need this at least once a week to feel really great. Also, I love baths. I make the water as hot as I can take it, use sea salt like Ahava’s Dead Sea Bath Salts, add 10 to 12 drops of lavender essential oil and light a candle. Then I soak for at least 20 minutes. Usually after that I head directly to bed which leads me to my next must-do: sleep!

I am not a napper, so I go to bed at 10 p.m. at the latest. And I do not play when it comes to sleep. I'm ready for anything with earplugs, a pillow to put between my legs (great for the lower back when you sleep on your side like I do), even aromatherapy if I'm especially stressed. Most importantly, and yet hardest to keep up with: meditation. I try for twice a day for 20 minutes each time, but usually it's only once. I practice primordial sound meditation, which uses an assigned mantra based on the date and time of your birth. You can get yours for free here. Don't tell anyone your mantra — it's a secret!” —Erika Shannon, Daily Burn 365 trainer

The post How Trainers Stay on Top of Their Self-Care appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
8 Self-Care Ideas from Top Trainers

[caption id="attachment_57169" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Self-Care Strategies from Top Trainers Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Even trainers at peak performance levels (the ones you turn to for major fitspo on Instagram) don’t go hard all the time. They know that taking time to practice self-care by resting and recharging — whether that’s meditating for five minutes in the a.m. or indulging in a glass of wine at dinner — is an important part of the health equation, too. Giving yourself recovery time allows both your body and your mind a chance to bounce back from your workout and get a better grip on everyday stressors. Research has found that massage, for instance, helps your muscles recover after endurance exercise by reducing pain and fatigue. (Older preliminary studies show massage therapy can also relieve stress.) And people who combined aerobic workouts with meditation significantly improved their mood and reduced their anxiety, according to another recent study. So how do top trainers get a little R&R in their own lives? We asked eight pros to reveal their favorite ways to practice self-care. Follow their lead to show yourself some love, too. RELATED: 7 Self-Care Rituals to Practice Every Day

8 Trainers’ Favorite Ways to Practice Self-Care

1. Dance, Dance, Meditation

“I look at my body as a machine, and machines take some serious TLC in order to run their best. I have a weekly self-care regimen that includes a deep-tissue massage, a cryotherapy session and a dance lesson. The massage and cryotherapy are my way of saying ‘thank you’ to my body for all the hard work it did for me that week, and the dance lesson is my version of meditation. It may sound odd, but dance is one of the few moments in my week that I am so focused on learning new ways to move that everything else in my world seems to fade away.” —Kaisa Keranen, movement coach based in Seattle. RELATED: 5 Ways to Feel More Like Beyoncé in Cardio Dance Class

2. Starting with Gratitude

“Mornings are my thing. I wake up a bit earlier than I need to and the first word I see when I wake up is gratitude. I really want to appreciate every moment in life. So I take time first thing in the a.m. to slow down before the rest of the world catches up to me. I generally take a yoga class to help balance out the higher intensity workouts I do, too. And I swim from time to time. There's something about controlling my breath that really helps. Plus, knowing no one can distract me in the water, I can get kind of lost. I also like to go outside (weather permitting), and take a mental health walk or sit on the rooftop somewhere and just reflect. Finally, I love a good coffee table book. Life's Little Instruction Book is on mine and when I need a moment to remind myself of the little things I open it up and read a couple of them.” —CeCe Marizu, Daily Burn 365 trainer

3. Times of Knead

“With a full-time job as a trainer, plus a full-time job as mother of four, taking care of myself is crucial to my overall health — and sanity! As I always tell other moms and clients, you must be ‘beneficially selfish.’ In other words, be selfish for the benefit of other people. If you can't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anybody else. My self-care ritual is a routine 90-minute deep-tissue massage at least once a month. That means no kids, no to-dos, no phone, no talking. Just me and my own thoughts. (I get so lost in my thoughts that I often forget the massage therapist is even there!) Sixty minutes isn't enough time; two hours is too long with kids. Ninety is just right, and I emerge feeling like a new woman, ready to tackle the world!” — Heidi Powell, celebrity trainer, transformation specialist and coauthor of Extreme Transformation: Lifelong Weight Loss in 21 Days RELATED: 17 Tips from Fit Moms on Finding Time for Exercise

4. Three’s a Charm

“Taking time for yourself is actually one of the least selfish things you can do. I always find when I invest the time to take care of myself, I am a better person for everyone else. In terms of pampering myself…I’m all about the 3 S’s: shopping, supplements and skincare. I have to have the freshest Nike gear, always make sure to take my daily BCAA and grass-fed whey protein supplements from Eat The Bear, and keep my skin smooth with Nubian Heritage organic lotions. Those three things keep me feeling fresh as hell so I can put in all the hard work necessary to leave my mark on NYC. If I ever find myself needing more to recharge, I turn to tequila, acupuncture and cupping at The Drodge clinic. Or for an emotional recharge, I hit up my mother — just like any nice Jewish boy with a half-sleeve of tattoos, an affinity for rap music and punching things would do.” —Noah Neiman, co-founder and trainer at Rumble Boxing

5. Best Foot Forward

“How do I recover mentally, physically and spiritually from the intense training and coaching at Tone House? There are a few simple things I do every day. Along with weight training, every day I spend 45 minutes in NormaTec [compression boots used to improve blood flow and speed recovery]. I'm on my feet all day, so these boots provide the perfect opportunity to stimulate blood circulation and bring down any inflammation in my legs. I also nap during this time! And I like to do one to two hours of Brazilian Jujitsu or Muay Thai. Martial arts help me clear my head and focus on me.” —Shaun Jenkins, training manager at Tone House in New York City RELATED: Train Different: 5 UFC Workout Moves for Beginners

6. Home Stretch

“Meditating for 10 to 20 minutes each morning helps me stay centered and focused. For my body, I use Jill Miller’s Yoga Tune-Up balls to keep my muscles pliable — they’re like a surgeon’s scalpel for your soft tissue. I also stretch throughout the day for about five minutes at a time. I’m a big fan of incorporating mobility work in short pockets throughout the day, rather than trying to take on a single hour-long effort. I also make it a priority to connect with my friends and family every day. I like to spend as much time with them as possible, ideally cooking a big meal and enjoying it with a few glasses of wine while we laugh our asses off.” —Adam Rosante, strength and nutrition coach and creator of Two Week Transformation

7. Knot at All

“Working out definitely relaxes me and is a form of self-care, but my true relaxation comes when I go for a massage. I try to get one weekly and usually opt for deep-tissue. It's an hour completely to myself when I can unwind, and it just feels so good!” —Cassey Ho, founder of Blogilates and Pop Pilates RELATED: 5 Foam Rolling Moves You Aren’t Doing (But Should

8. Finally Say “Ah”

“I go to a yoga studio that does alignment-based classes, and I have a yoga mat in a beautiful shade of blue that calms me. As soon as I step on that mat, it's my time. I actually need this at least once a week to feel really great. Also, I love baths. I make the water as hot as I can take it, use sea salt like Ahava’s Dead Sea Bath Salts, add 10 to 12 drops of lavender essential oil and light a candle. Then I soak for at least 20 minutes. Usually after that I head directly to bed which leads me to my next must-do: sleep! I am not a napper, so I go to bed at 10 p.m. at the latest. And I do not play when it comes to sleep. I'm ready for anything with earplugs, a pillow to put between my legs (great for the lower back when you sleep on your side like I do), even aromatherapy if I'm especially stressed. Most importantly, and yet hardest to keep up with: meditation. I try for twice a day for 20 minutes each time, but usually it's only once. I practice primordial sound meditation, which uses an assigned mantra based on the date and time of your birth. You can get yours for free here. Don't tell anyone your mantra — it's a secret!” —Erika Shannon, Daily Burn 365 trainer

The post How Trainers Stay on Top of Their Self-Care appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
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7 Impressive Kettlebell Exercises for a Total-Body Workout http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/kettlebell-exercises-total-body-workout/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/kettlebell-exercises-total-body-workout/#respond Tue, 28 Feb 2017 12:15:17 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=56405 7 Impressive Kettlebell Exercises for a Total-Body Workout

[caption id="attachment_56409" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Impressive Kettlebell Exercises for a Total-Body Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Kettlebell swings have topped trainers’ lists of must-do exercises for a few years now. And for good reason: Traditional swings with the orb-shaped weights can improve your core strength by a whopping 70 percent, research has found. Plus, when you switch to single-arm moves, you challenge your stability and target your abs even more, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

But sticking to those regular old forward-and-back kettlebell swings isn’t the only way to whip yourself into shape. Adding other innovative movements to your kettlebell workout will target your muscles from different angles, keep you from hitting a plateau — and they can’t be done with other strength equipment.

RELATED: 5 Reasons to Start Kettlebell Training Today

“When you move a kettlebell through various planes of motion, the weight feels like it’s changing because it’s displaced from its center — unlike other tools, like a dumbbell, which has a load symmetrical to its center of mass,” says Kelvin Gary, owner of Body Space Fitness in New York City. “So while you could do moves with either tool, they feel much more challenging with a kettlebell.”

Gary is all about functional strength training movements that stray from the norm. (For proof of his plethora of ideas, just check out his Instagram feed.) So we asked him to develop an outside-the-box routine of creative kettlebell exercises you’ve likely never tried before. Give them a go to add variety to your fitness routine — and work every muscle of your body in the process.

RELATED: 5 Kettlebell Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

7 Kettlebell Exercises You Haven’t Tried Before

More kettlebell, coming your way. For these advanced moves, “start with a weight you can swing comfortably,” Gary says. You might need to do some trial and error to find what works best, but he suggests women try 12 kilograms for a swing, 10 for a clean and 8 for a snatch. Men, aim for a 20-kilogram swing, 16 kilograms on the clean and 12 for the snatch. Now grab those kettlebells and start ringing in a stronger body.

[caption id="attachment_56410" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kettlebell Exercises: Anchored Swing GIFs: Mallory Creveling / Life by Daily Burn[/caption]

1. Anchored Swing

This adds a fancy twist to the tried-and-true kettlebell swing, which burns major calories and works your core, glutes, hamstrings and shoulders. You’ll swing one kettlebell, while holding another at your side. Gary says this intensifies the stability challenge, meaning you build more strength in your midsection. Hello, sculpted abs.

How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a kettlebell in your right hand, arm extended down in front of your hips, and another in your left hand, arm extended at your side (a). Hinge forward at the hips and swing the kettlebell in your right hand between your legs (b). Then thrust your hips forward, engage your glutes and swing your right arm up to chest height and straight out in front of you. Keep your left arm extended at your side during the entire movement (c). Do 8 to 10 reps, then switch sides.

RELATED: Kettlebells vs. Dumbbells: Which Should I Choose?

Kettlebell Exercises: Cross-Body Kettlebell Clean

2. Cross-Body Kettlebell Clean

The clean is a great explosive movement that works your whole body and ups your power and coordination. You’ll also target your obliques thanks to the turn you take with each move.

How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Place a kettlebell between your feet (a). Pivot on your right foot and turn your body toward the kettlebell, leaning down to grab it in your right hand (b). Clean the weight across your body by pushing through your left leg and pulling the kettlebell diagonally until it’s at chest height. Let the kettlebell slide over your hand to your wrist as you pull it to the front of your right shoulder (c). Return to the starting position and repeat (d). Do 8 to 10 reps, then repeat on opposite side.

Kettlebell Exercises: Staggered-Stance Clean with Squat and Press

3. Staggered-Stance Clean with Squat and Press

A total-body combo move that’ll soon be your gym-time staple. Putting more weight on one foot means you get that increased core challenge, as your abs fire up to keep you stable. With both feet still on the ground, though, you don’t have to worry about toppling over.

How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Step your right foot back slightly so your right toes line up with left heel (a). Holding a kettlebell in your right hand, hinge forward at the hips so the kettlebell touches the ground (b). Then thrust your hips forward, and pull the kettlebell up to your right shoulder. Once the kettlebell reaches chest height, let it slide over your hand to your wrist for the clean (c). Then lower down into a squat, still keeping your weight on your left foot (d). As you stand back up straight, push the kettlebell straight overhead (e). Lower the weight back to the ground for the starting position. That completes one rep (f). Do 6 reps, then repeat on the other side.

RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers

Kettlebell Exercises: Mixed Clean and Snatch

4. Mixed Clean and Snatch

This complex exercise, in which you perform a clean with one kettlebell while snatching another one overhead, “requires a lot of coordination and motor control and is very taxing on the nervous system,” Gary says. Translation: It’s super tough but super effective, too. Just remember to stay focused and warm up with some swings first if you need the momentum.

How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold two kettlebells, one in each hand, arms extended down in front of you (a). Hinge forward at hips and swing the kettlebells between your legs (b). Then thrust your hips forward. Swing your arms up to chest height in front of you (c). At this point, let the kettlebell in your left hand slide over to your wrist as you pull it toward the front of your left shoulder. Simultaneously let the kettlebell in your right hand slide over to your wrist as you push it overhead (d). Lower both kettlebells back down to the starting position (e). Do 8 reps, then repeat on opposite sides.

Kettlebell Exercises: Snatch to Forward Lunge

5. Snatch to Forward Lunge

Adding a lunge to a typical snatch obviously gets your lower body in on the action. But it’s not all about toning your butt and thighs. Holding the kettlebell overhead while you step forward also makes your core work overtime to keep you upright.

How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a kettlebell in your right hand (a). Swing the kettlebell between your legs (b). Thrust your hips forward and your swing the kettlebell to chest height (c). Let the kettlebell slide over your hand to your wrist as you push it overhead (d). Lunge forward with your left leg until right knee is hovering just off the ground (e). Stand back up and lower the kettlebell to the starting position to complete one rep (f). Do 4 to 6 reps, then repeat on opposite side.

RELATED: 4 Lower Body Exercises You Can Do in Front of Your TV

Kettlebell Exercises: Lateral Lunge to Clean

6. Lateral Lunge to Clean

Lateral lunges work your lower body one side at a time, making the motion more difficult and improving your balance skills. Better yet, this exercise is awesome for toning your glutes, quads and inner thighs.

How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a kettlebell in each hand at your chest, elbows bent (a). Push your hips back and lunge to your left, as you drop and swing both kettlebells between your legs (b). Thrust your hips forward, as you push off your left leg to return to the starting position. As you stand, thrust the kettlebells forward and bring them up to your chest, letting the weight slide over your hand to your wrist. That’s one rep (c). Do 6 to 8 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.

Kettlebell Exercises: Single-Leg Deadlift to Row to Clean

7. Single-Leg Deadlift to Row to Clean

We saved the best for last! This variation of a deadlift will improve your balance, strengthen your core and sculpt the posterior muscles of your leg (aka your hamstrings and glutes).

How to: Stand on your right leg, with a slight bend in your knee. Hold a kettlebell in your left hand, arm down at your side (a). Lean your torso forward, keeping your back straight until it’s parallel to the floor. At the same time, raise your left leg behind you and lower the kettlebell toward the floor (b). While holding this position, bend your left elbow, pulling the kettlebell up toward your chest (c). Extend your arm again (d). As you lower your left leg back toward the ground and bring your chest up, pull the kettlebell swiftly up toward your chest. Let it slide over your hand to your wrist as you pull it toward the front of your right shoulder and stand straight up. That’s one rep (e). Do 4 to 6 reps, then repeat on opposite side.

The post 7 Impressive Kettlebell Exercises for a Total-Body Workout appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
7 Impressive Kettlebell Exercises for a Total-Body Workout

[caption id="attachment_56409" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Impressive Kettlebell Exercises for a Total-Body Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption] Kettlebell swings have topped trainers’ lists of must-do exercises for a few years now. And for good reason: Traditional swings with the orb-shaped weights can improve your core strength by a whopping 70 percent, research has found. Plus, when you switch to single-arm moves, you challenge your stability and target your abs even more, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. But sticking to those regular old forward-and-back kettlebell swings isn’t the only way to whip yourself into shape. Adding other innovative movements to your kettlebell workout will target your muscles from different angles, keep you from hitting a plateau — and they can’t be done with other strength equipment. RELATED: 5 Reasons to Start Kettlebell Training Today “When you move a kettlebell through various planes of motion, the weight feels like it’s changing because it’s displaced from its center — unlike other tools, like a dumbbell, which has a load symmetrical to its center of mass,” says Kelvin Gary, owner of Body Space Fitness in New York City. “So while you could do moves with either tool, they feel much more challenging with a kettlebell.” Gary is all about functional strength training movements that stray from the norm. (For proof of his plethora of ideas, just check out his Instagram feed.) So we asked him to develop an outside-the-box routine of creative kettlebell exercises you’ve likely never tried before. Give them a go to add variety to your fitness routine — and work every muscle of your body in the process. RELATED: 5 Kettlebell Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

7 Kettlebell Exercises You Haven’t Tried Before

More kettlebell, coming your way. For these advanced moves, “start with a weight you can swing comfortably,” Gary says. You might need to do some trial and error to find what works best, but he suggests women try 12 kilograms for a swing, 10 for a clean and 8 for a snatch. Men, aim for a 20-kilogram swing, 16 kilograms on the clean and 12 for the snatch. Now grab those kettlebells and start ringing in a stronger body. [caption id="attachment_56410" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kettlebell Exercises: Anchored Swing GIFs: Mallory Creveling / Life by Daily Burn[/caption]

1. Anchored Swing

This adds a fancy twist to the tried-and-true kettlebell swing, which burns major calories and works your core, glutes, hamstrings and shoulders. You’ll swing one kettlebell, while holding another at your side. Gary says this intensifies the stability challenge, meaning you build more strength in your midsection. Hello, sculpted abs. How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a kettlebell in your right hand, arm extended down in front of your hips, and another in your left hand, arm extended at your side (a). Hinge forward at the hips and swing the kettlebell in your right hand between your legs (b). Then thrust your hips forward, engage your glutes and swing your right arm up to chest height and straight out in front of you. Keep your left arm extended at your side during the entire movement (c). Do 8 to 10 reps, then switch sides. RELATED: Kettlebells vs. Dumbbells: Which Should I Choose?

Kettlebell Exercises: Cross-Body Kettlebell Clean

2. Cross-Body Kettlebell Clean

The clean is a great explosive movement that works your whole body and ups your power and coordination. You’ll also target your obliques thanks to the turn you take with each move. How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Place a kettlebell between your feet (a). Pivot on your right foot and turn your body toward the kettlebell, leaning down to grab it in your right hand (b). Clean the weight across your body by pushing through your left leg and pulling the kettlebell diagonally until it’s at chest height. Let the kettlebell slide over your hand to your wrist as you pull it to the front of your right shoulder (c). Return to the starting position and repeat (d). Do 8 to 10 reps, then repeat on opposite side.

Kettlebell Exercises: Staggered-Stance Clean with Squat and Press

3. Staggered-Stance Clean with Squat and Press

A total-body combo move that’ll soon be your gym-time staple. Putting more weight on one foot means you get that increased core challenge, as your abs fire up to keep you stable. With both feet still on the ground, though, you don’t have to worry about toppling over. How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Step your right foot back slightly so your right toes line up with left heel (a). Holding a kettlebell in your right hand, hinge forward at the hips so the kettlebell touches the ground (b). Then thrust your hips forward, and pull the kettlebell up to your right shoulder. Once the kettlebell reaches chest height, let it slide over your hand to your wrist for the clean (c). Then lower down into a squat, still keeping your weight on your left foot (d). As you stand back up straight, push the kettlebell straight overhead (e). Lower the weight back to the ground for the starting position. That completes one rep (f). Do 6 reps, then repeat on the other side. RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers

Kettlebell Exercises: Mixed Clean and Snatch

4. Mixed Clean and Snatch

This complex exercise, in which you perform a clean with one kettlebell while snatching another one overhead, “requires a lot of coordination and motor control and is very taxing on the nervous system,” Gary says. Translation: It’s super tough but super effective, too. Just remember to stay focused and warm up with some swings first if you need the momentum. How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold two kettlebells, one in each hand, arms extended down in front of you (a). Hinge forward at hips and swing the kettlebells between your legs (b). Then thrust your hips forward. Swing your arms up to chest height in front of you (c). At this point, let the kettlebell in your left hand slide over to your wrist as you pull it toward the front of your left shoulder. Simultaneously let the kettlebell in your right hand slide over to your wrist as you push it overhead (d). Lower both kettlebells back down to the starting position (e). Do 8 reps, then repeat on opposite sides.

Kettlebell Exercises: Snatch to Forward Lunge

5. Snatch to Forward Lunge

Adding a lunge to a typical snatch obviously gets your lower body in on the action. But it’s not all about toning your butt and thighs. Holding the kettlebell overhead while you step forward also makes your core work overtime to keep you upright. How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a kettlebell in your right hand (a). Swing the kettlebell between your legs (b). Thrust your hips forward and your swing the kettlebell to chest height (c). Let the kettlebell slide over your hand to your wrist as you push it overhead (d). Lunge forward with your left leg until right knee is hovering just off the ground (e). Stand back up and lower the kettlebell to the starting position to complete one rep (f). Do 4 to 6 reps, then repeat on opposite side. RELATED: 4 Lower Body Exercises You Can Do in Front of Your TV

Kettlebell Exercises: Lateral Lunge to Clean

6. Lateral Lunge to Clean

Lateral lunges work your lower body one side at a time, making the motion more difficult and improving your balance skills. Better yet, this exercise is awesome for toning your glutes, quads and inner thighs. How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a kettlebell in each hand at your chest, elbows bent (a). Push your hips back and lunge to your left, as you drop and swing both kettlebells between your legs (b). Thrust your hips forward, as you push off your left leg to return to the starting position. As you stand, thrust the kettlebells forward and bring them up to your chest, letting the weight slide over your hand to your wrist. That’s one rep (c). Do 6 to 8 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.

Kettlebell Exercises: Single-Leg Deadlift to Row to Clean

7. Single-Leg Deadlift to Row to Clean

We saved the best for last! This variation of a deadlift will improve your balance, strengthen your core and sculpt the posterior muscles of your leg (aka your hamstrings and glutes). How to: Stand on your right leg, with a slight bend in your knee. Hold a kettlebell in your left hand, arm down at your side (a). Lean your torso forward, keeping your back straight until it’s parallel to the floor. At the same time, raise your left leg behind you and lower the kettlebell toward the floor (b). While holding this position, bend your left elbow, pulling the kettlebell up toward your chest (c). Extend your arm again (d). As you lower your left leg back toward the ground and bring your chest up, pull the kettlebell swiftly up toward your chest. Let it slide over your hand to your wrist as you pull it toward the front of your right shoulder and stand straight up. That’s one rep (e). Do 4 to 6 reps, then repeat on opposite side.

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7 Snowga Poses to Prep You for the Slopes http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/snowga-yoga-poses-snow-skiing/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/snowga-yoga-poses-snow-skiing/#respond Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:15:25 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=56275 7 Snowga Poses to Prep You for the Slopes

[caption id="attachment_56319" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Snowga Poses to Prep You for the Slopes Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Since last winter, you might have seen pretty pictures popping up on your social feeds of people practicing yoga in the snow. Now, the yoga trend known as snowga has taken over ski resorts and vacation destinations across the country. In Bozeman, MT, there’s Flow Outside, which offers snowga paired with snowshoeing adventures. And there’s the Finger Lakes Yogascapes in Canandaigua, NY, a cold-weather retreat that brings yogis to the yard twice a year (just to name a few).

RELATED: The Best Ski and Snowboard Destinations in the U.S.

But besides providing the mind-body benefits everyone loves from yoga class, adding a pre- or post-snow sports stretch, can actually help you perform better out on the slopes. “It warms up the body, builds balance and concentration, and gives you a sense of freedom that can easily transfer to your day on the mountain,” says Hannah Navarro, a skier, snowboarder and yoga instructor at the Four Seasons Jackson Hole in Wyoming. (They’re launching a snowga program next month.) What’s more, she says, doing your practice outside gives you a prime opportunity to breathe fresh, crisp air and soak up some natural light — a powerful recipe for battling winter blues, she says.

Even better news: You don’t have to go to a resort that offers snowga to reap the benefits. It all comes down to bundling up, going outdoors and getting bendy with these seven poses, handpicked by Navarro. Note to snowgis: She suggests using ski poles as props in standing and balancing poses so you don’t slip on frozen ground.

RELATED: How to Maximize Your Yoga Calorie Burn

4 Pre-Skiing Snowga Poses

If you’re cranking out a flow ahead of skiing or snowboarding, get your blood moving first by doing a few sun salutations indoors. Or, take a short hike around the snowy area where you’ll practice your yoga poses, advises Navarro. Warm muscles will help you get flexible faster, especially when you’re in chilly temps. When you’re ready to go, start these four poses.

[caption id="attachment_56308" align="alignnone" width="620"]Snowga Poses: Crescent Lunge Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole[/caption]

1. Crescent Lunge

This pose loosens up your hip flexors, which lowers your risk of injury and makes twists and turns down the mountain feel easier.

How to: Stand with feet together (a). Take a big step forward with your left leg and lower your body straight down until your left knee forms a right angle (b). Sweep arms forward and up until they’re straight overhead, palms facing each other (c). Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then repeat on the opposite side.

2. Downward Dog with Core Moves

This one’s your typical downward-facing dog, taken up a notch. “You’ll build heat in the muscles, engage the core, and stretch the legs — all while tapping into the power of your rhythmic breathing,” Navarro says.

How to: Start on all fours (a). Curl your toes under and raise your hips up until your body forms an upside-down V (b). From here, slowly extend your right leg up toward the sky. Then bend your left knee slightly as you draw your right knee toward your chest (c). Next, straighten your left leg and return your right foot to the ground (d). Do this move five times, then repeat on the opposite side.

RELATED: 7 Easy Pilates Moves for a Quick Core Workout

[caption id="attachment_56310" align="alignnone" width="620"]Snowga Poses: Eagle Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole[/caption]

3. Eagle

This twisted position challenges your balance — something you’ll appreciate once you strap into that board. It also sends blood to your extremities. Pro tip: Deepen and slow your breath during this pose to help reduce anxiety, Navarro says.

How to: Stand with feet together and arms extended overhead, palms facing each other (a). Lower your arms, crossing them in front of your torso so your right arm is on top of the left, then bend your elbows. Your right elbow should be in the crook of the left, and your hands should wrap around each other so your palms are touching (b). Raise your hands so your forearms are perpendicular to the floor (c). Then bend your knees slightly and lift your left leg, crossing it over right. Your left thigh should be pressed over your right (d). Wrap your left leg the rest of the way around the right, so that your left shin is pressing against your right calf (e). Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then unwind to return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.

4. Wide-Legged Forward Fold

Not only does this pose stretch your hamstrings, calves and inner thighs, says Navarro, but it also can calm your mind. And who doesn’t like floating down the slopes in a state of zen?

How to: Start standing with feet together. Then step feet about 3 to 4 feet apart, keeping them parallel. Put your hands on your hips (a). Maintaining a flat back, hinge forward at hips and lower down until your hands touch the ground in front of you (b). Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute.

RELATED: 7 Restorative Yoga Poses to Ease Your Muscles (And Your Mind)

3 Après-Ski Snowga Poses

Yoga at the end of the day can help you sidestep soreness. “The après-ski practice is a chance to relax and release any overworked muscles,” says Navarro. It’s especially good for snowboarders, she says, because it can get you centered after spending a day twisted on your board, which primarily works one side of the body. Practice these three poses to wring out your muscles. Then get inside and warm up even more. Perhaps with some hot chocolate?

1. Chair pose

After prying off those boots, you’ll want to stretch your glutes and ankles — and this pose gets the job done, says Navarro.

How to: Stand with feet together (b). Bend your knees and lower your butt to the ground, as far as you can comfortably go. Ideally, you want your thighs parallel to the floor. At the same time, sweep your arms forward and up until they’re overhead, palms facing each other (b). Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing deeply.

RELATED: 3 Breathing Techniques for a More Effective Workout

[caption id="attachment_56312" align="alignnone" width="620"]Snowga Poses: Lunge with Quad Stretch Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole[/caption]

2. Low Lunge with Quad Stretch

Serving all the post-ski sweet spots, this pose opens your groin, hip flexors, quads, shoulders, chest and neck. To intensify the stretch, focus on taking deeper breaths with each inhale and exhale, says Navarro.

How to: Stand with feet together (a). Take a big step forward with your left leg (b). Bend your left knee until it’s bent 90 degrees. Keep your knee directly over your ankle (c). Lower your right knee to the floor (d). Sweep your arms forward and up until they’re straight overhead (e). If you feel comfortable here, take it further by bending your right knee to lift your foot toward your butt, as you twist your torso to the left. Grab and hold your right foot with your left hand (f). Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then reverse to return to start, and repeat on opposite side.

3. Corpse

End your day on a totally blissed-out note. Also known as savasana, this pose helps you completely relax and restore your body so it’s ready for more snow-filled action tomorrow. We won’t blame you if you want to work in some snow angels, though.

How to: Lie on your back, legs straight and arms by your sides, palms facing up toward the sky. Let your heels touch and toes fall out to the sides (a).  Focus on your breath and stay in position for a few minutes or longer, if you’d like (b). It helps to put on your favorite mellow song, too.

The post 7 Snowga Poses to Prep You for the Slopes appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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7 Snowga Poses to Prep You for the Slopes

[caption id="attachment_56319" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Snowga Poses to Prep You for the Slopes Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Since last winter, you might have seen pretty pictures popping up on your social feeds of people practicing yoga in the snow. Now, the yoga trend known as snowga has taken over ski resorts and vacation destinations across the country. In Bozeman, MT, there’s Flow Outside, which offers snowga paired with snowshoeing adventures. And there’s the Finger Lakes Yogascapes in Canandaigua, NY, a cold-weather retreat that brings yogis to the yard twice a year (just to name a few). RELATED: The Best Ski and Snowboard Destinations in the U.S. But besides providing the mind-body benefits everyone loves from yoga class, adding a pre- or post-snow sports stretch, can actually help you perform better out on the slopes. “It warms up the body, builds balance and concentration, and gives you a sense of freedom that can easily transfer to your day on the mountain,” says Hannah Navarro, a skier, snowboarder and yoga instructor at the Four Seasons Jackson Hole in Wyoming. (They’re launching a snowga program next month.) What’s more, she says, doing your practice outside gives you a prime opportunity to breathe fresh, crisp air and soak up some natural light — a powerful recipe for battling winter blues, she says. Even better news: You don’t have to go to a resort that offers snowga to reap the benefits. It all comes down to bundling up, going outdoors and getting bendy with these seven poses, handpicked by Navarro. Note to snowgis: She suggests using ski poles as props in standing and balancing poses so you don’t slip on frozen ground. RELATED: How to Maximize Your Yoga Calorie Burn

4 Pre-Skiing Snowga Poses

If you’re cranking out a flow ahead of skiing or snowboarding, get your blood moving first by doing a few sun salutations indoors. Or, take a short hike around the snowy area where you’ll practice your yoga poses, advises Navarro. Warm muscles will help you get flexible faster, especially when you’re in chilly temps. When you’re ready to go, start these four poses. [caption id="attachment_56308" align="alignnone" width="620"]Snowga Poses: Crescent Lunge Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole[/caption]

1. Crescent Lunge

This pose loosens up your hip flexors, which lowers your risk of injury and makes twists and turns down the mountain feel easier. How to: Stand with feet together (a). Take a big step forward with your left leg and lower your body straight down until your left knee forms a right angle (b). Sweep arms forward and up until they’re straight overhead, palms facing each other (c). Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then repeat on the opposite side.

2. Downward Dog with Core Moves

This one’s your typical downward-facing dog, taken up a notch. “You’ll build heat in the muscles, engage the core, and stretch the legs — all while tapping into the power of your rhythmic breathing,” Navarro says. How to: Start on all fours (a). Curl your toes under and raise your hips up until your body forms an upside-down V (b). From here, slowly extend your right leg up toward the sky. Then bend your left knee slightly as you draw your right knee toward your chest (c). Next, straighten your left leg and return your right foot to the ground (d). Do this move five times, then repeat on the opposite side. RELATED: 7 Easy Pilates Moves for a Quick Core Workout [caption id="attachment_56310" align="alignnone" width="620"]Snowga Poses: Eagle Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole[/caption]

3. Eagle

This twisted position challenges your balance — something you’ll appreciate once you strap into that board. It also sends blood to your extremities. Pro tip: Deepen and slow your breath during this pose to help reduce anxiety, Navarro says. How to: Stand with feet together and arms extended overhead, palms facing each other (a). Lower your arms, crossing them in front of your torso so your right arm is on top of the left, then bend your elbows. Your right elbow should be in the crook of the left, and your hands should wrap around each other so your palms are touching (b). Raise your hands so your forearms are perpendicular to the floor (c). Then bend your knees slightly and lift your left leg, crossing it over right. Your left thigh should be pressed over your right (d). Wrap your left leg the rest of the way around the right, so that your left shin is pressing against your right calf (e). Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then unwind to return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.

4. Wide-Legged Forward Fold

Not only does this pose stretch your hamstrings, calves and inner thighs, says Navarro, but it also can calm your mind. And who doesn’t like floating down the slopes in a state of zen? How to: Start standing with feet together. Then step feet about 3 to 4 feet apart, keeping them parallel. Put your hands on your hips (a). Maintaining a flat back, hinge forward at hips and lower down until your hands touch the ground in front of you (b). Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute. RELATED: 7 Restorative Yoga Poses to Ease Your Muscles (And Your Mind)

3 Après-Ski Snowga Poses

Yoga at the end of the day can help you sidestep soreness. “The après-ski practice is a chance to relax and release any overworked muscles,” says Navarro. It’s especially good for snowboarders, she says, because it can get you centered after spending a day twisted on your board, which primarily works one side of the body. Practice these three poses to wring out your muscles. Then get inside and warm up even more. Perhaps with some hot chocolate?

1. Chair pose

After prying off those boots, you’ll want to stretch your glutes and ankles — and this pose gets the job done, says Navarro. How to: Stand with feet together (b). Bend your knees and lower your butt to the ground, as far as you can comfortably go. Ideally, you want your thighs parallel to the floor. At the same time, sweep your arms forward and up until they’re overhead, palms facing each other (b). Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing deeply. RELATED: 3 Breathing Techniques for a More Effective Workout [caption id="attachment_56312" align="alignnone" width="620"]Snowga Poses: Lunge with Quad Stretch Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole[/caption]

2. Low Lunge with Quad Stretch

Serving all the post-ski sweet spots, this pose opens your groin, hip flexors, quads, shoulders, chest and neck. To intensify the stretch, focus on taking deeper breaths with each inhale and exhale, says Navarro. How to: Stand with feet together (a). Take a big step forward with your left leg (b). Bend your left knee until it’s bent 90 degrees. Keep your knee directly over your ankle (c). Lower your right knee to the floor (d). Sweep your arms forward and up until they’re straight overhead (e). If you feel comfortable here, take it further by bending your right knee to lift your foot toward your butt, as you twist your torso to the left. Grab and hold your right foot with your left hand (f). Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then reverse to return to start, and repeat on opposite side.

3. Corpse

End your day on a totally blissed-out note. Also known as savasana, this pose helps you completely relax and restore your body so it’s ready for more snow-filled action tomorrow. We won’t blame you if you want to work in some snow angels, though. How to: Lie on your back, legs straight and arms by your sides, palms facing up toward the sky. Let your heels touch and toes fall out to the sides (a).  Focus on your breath and stay in position for a few minutes or longer, if you’d like (b). It helps to put on your favorite mellow song, too.

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