Yoga – Life by Daily Burn https://dailyburn.com/life Sat, 31 Mar 2018 00:21:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 The 9 Most Common Trainer Cues, Decoded https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/common-trainer-cues-decoded/ Tue, 20 Feb 2018 12:15:23 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65841

[caption id="attachment_65843" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 9 Most Common Trainer Cues, Decoded Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Square your hips. Tuck your tailbone. Zip your navel to your spine. Listening to your trainer is much like playing a game of “Simon Says.” But if you’re new to exercise or trying a workout for the first time, it’s not uncommon to get tangled up in a trainer’s cues.

Pete McCall, CSCS, ACE-certified personal trainer and host of the All About Fitness podcast, says, “Trainer cues are meant merely to create awareness to movement. They’re there to help people be more mindful of what they’re doing.” With that said, if you’re unsure about something, don’t be afraid to ask your trainer to clarify or explain. After all, these prompts are intended to help you get the most out of your workout and prevent injury. Read on to learn the most common trainer cues and how to decode them.

RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers

What Your Trainer Really Means When They Say…

1. Tuck your tailbone.

Trainer translation: OK, so you can’t literally tuck away your tailbone. But this common barre phrase is meant to help you bring awareness to the midline of your body, McCall says. Tucking your tailbone means engaging your abs and scooping your hips so that they’re tilted slightly forward. This helps to straighten your spine. “When your spine is rounded or rotates the wrong way, it could be a potential risk of injury,” McCall says.

2. Lead with the hips.

Trainer translation: When squatting, you may have heard the cue to “avoid letting your knees go over your toes” or to “lead with the hips.” McCall explains, “What your trainer really means is that your hips should move before your knees when you perform a squat.” A strong squat starts with a hip hinge and shooting your butt back and down to activate your glutes. “Whether you squat or lunge, your glutes should be doing more of the work,” McCall says.

3. Feel a two-way stretch.

Trainer translation: Another common yoga and barre phrase, this cue simply means to lengthen, says Krystal Dwyer, Daily Burn 365 trainer and FlyBarre instructor. “Lengthen out of the top of your head and tailbone, or in some cases, out of your toes,” Dwyer says. “I want people to feel their entire body stretching and lengthening while they’re moving.”

4. Brace your core.

Trainer translation: Whether you’re performing a push-up or a plank, this cue is all about contracting your abs. “A more effective cue is to grip the floor with both hands. This gives you more stability in your shoulders and turns your abs on,” McCall says. McCall tells his clients to imagine their older brother punching their stomach. “You want to keep your entire core tight,” he says.

RELATED: 50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core

5. Pull your belly button towards the spine.

Trainer translation: This is impossible, obviously, but the point of this cue is to activate your transverse abdominis (TVA), the deepest layer of your abdominals. From a Pilates 100 to an ab roll-up, these waist-cinching moves are best known for engaging your TVA. “By activating your transverse abs, you’re firing up all four layers around your lumbar spine,” McCall says. “This helps keep your back stable and supports your hips and pelvis,” he adds.

6. Pinch your shoulder blades.

Trainer translation: Put some back into it! Imagine that there’s a ball between your shoulders on your upper back, and you don’t want that ball to drop. From renegade rows to reverse flies, scapular retraction will allow for better posture, muscle activation and injury prevention. “Pulling should come from the elbows. Pinching your shoulders keeps them out of the way so your arms can move safely,” McCall says.

RELATED: Get Sculpted Shoulders with These 5 Exercises

7. Draw your chin back.

Trainer translation: It’s all about alignment. Whether you’re doing a plank or a push-up, you want to make sure your entire body from the top of your head to your tailbone is aligned. “When we press our chin forward, we’re creating a lot of tension in our neck and upper back,” Dwyer says.

8. Pull up on the pedals.

Trainer translation: If you’re sprinting during spin class, McCall says it’s actually more effective to think about pulling up on pedals as opposed to pushing them down. Also, he adds, “Imagine wiping your shoe on a mat. This takes advantage of the natural motion of your foot muscles, so you move more efficiently and with more control.” Whether you’re sitting in a neutral on the bike or climbing in third position, this cue is also a good reminder to engage your glutes and hamstrings to pull the pedals away — and not just your quads.

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

9. Open your heart.

Trainer translation: Your trainer isn’t trying to get deep into your psyche here. It simply means to keep your chest lifted and open. “Think of having a diamond necklace on and your showing it off,” Dwyer says. Hunching your back over a desk during the day makes your chest less open and more prone to shoulder injury while lifting. “Press your shoulder blades down into your back pocket and keep your chin lifted and back,” she says.

Read More:
Push Through Any Workout with These Trainer Mantras
The 25 Craziest Workout Excuses Trainers Have Ever Heard
Just Not Feeling It Today? 33 Sources of Workout Motivation

The post The 9 Most Common Trainer Cues, Decoded appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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[caption id="attachment_65843" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 9 Most Common Trainer Cues, Decoded Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Square your hips. Tuck your tailbone. Zip your navel to your spine. Listening to your trainer is much like playing a game of “Simon Says.” But if you’re new to exercise or trying a workout for the first time, it’s not uncommon to get tangled up in a trainer’s cues. Pete McCall, CSCS, ACE-certified personal trainer and host of the All About Fitness podcast, says, “Trainer cues are meant merely to create awareness to movement. They’re there to help people be more mindful of what they’re doing.” With that said, if you’re unsure about something, don’t be afraid to ask your trainer to clarify or explain. After all, these prompts are intended to help you get the most out of your workout and prevent injury. Read on to learn the most common trainer cues and how to decode them. RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers

What Your Trainer Really Means When They Say…

1. Tuck your tailbone.

Trainer translation: OK, so you can’t literally tuck away your tailbone. But this common barre phrase is meant to help you bring awareness to the midline of your body, McCall says. Tucking your tailbone means engaging your abs and scooping your hips so that they’re tilted slightly forward. This helps to straighten your spine. “When your spine is rounded or rotates the wrong way, it could be a potential risk of injury,” McCall says.

2. Lead with the hips.

Trainer translation: When squatting, you may have heard the cue to “avoid letting your knees go over your toes” or to “lead with the hips.” McCall explains, “What your trainer really means is that your hips should move before your knees when you perform a squat.” A strong squat starts with a hip hinge and shooting your butt back and down to activate your glutes. “Whether you squat or lunge, your glutes should be doing more of the work,” McCall says.

3. Feel a two-way stretch.

Trainer translation: Another common yoga and barre phrase, this cue simply means to lengthen, says Krystal Dwyer, Daily Burn 365 trainer and FlyBarre instructor. “Lengthen out of the top of your head and tailbone, or in some cases, out of your toes,” Dwyer says. “I want people to feel their entire body stretching and lengthening while they’re moving.”

4. Brace your core.

Trainer translation: Whether you’re performing a push-up or a plank, this cue is all about contracting your abs. “A more effective cue is to grip the floor with both hands. This gives you more stability in your shoulders and turns your abs on,” McCall says. McCall tells his clients to imagine their older brother punching their stomach. “You want to keep your entire core tight,” he says. RELATED: 50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core

5. Pull your belly button towards the spine.

Trainer translation: This is impossible, obviously, but the point of this cue is to activate your transverse abdominis (TVA), the deepest layer of your abdominals. From a Pilates 100 to an ab roll-up, these waist-cinching moves are best known for engaging your TVA. “By activating your transverse abs, you’re firing up all four layers around your lumbar spine,” McCall says. “This helps keep your back stable and supports your hips and pelvis,” he adds.

6. Pinch your shoulder blades.

Trainer translation: Put some back into it! Imagine that there’s a ball between your shoulders on your upper back, and you don’t want that ball to drop. From renegade rows to reverse flies, scapular retraction will allow for better posture, muscle activation and injury prevention. “Pulling should come from the elbows. Pinching your shoulders keeps them out of the way so your arms can move safely,” McCall says. RELATED: Get Sculpted Shoulders with These 5 Exercises

7. Draw your chin back.

Trainer translation: It’s all about alignment. Whether you’re doing a plank or a push-up, you want to make sure your entire body from the top of your head to your tailbone is aligned. “When we press our chin forward, we’re creating a lot of tension in our neck and upper back,” Dwyer says.

8. Pull up on the pedals.

Trainer translation: If you’re sprinting during spin class, McCall says it’s actually more effective to think about pulling up on pedals as opposed to pushing them down. Also, he adds, “Imagine wiping your shoe on a mat. This takes advantage of the natural motion of your foot muscles, so you move more efficiently and with more control.” Whether you’re sitting in a neutral on the bike or climbing in third position, this cue is also a good reminder to engage your glutes and hamstrings to pull the pedals away — and not just your quads. RELATED: 7 SoulCycle Secrets for Proper Form on a Spin Bike

9. Open your heart.

Trainer translation: Your trainer isn’t trying to get deep into your psyche here. It simply means to keep your chest lifted and open. “Think of having a diamond necklace on and your showing it off,” Dwyer says. Hunching your back over a desk during the day makes your chest less open and more prone to shoulder injury while lifting. “Press your shoulder blades down into your back pocket and keep your chin lifted and back,” she says. Read More: Push Through Any Workout with These Trainer Mantras The 25 Craziest Workout Excuses Trainers Have Ever Heard Just Not Feeling It Today? 33 Sources of Workout Motivation

The post The 9 Most Common Trainer Cues, Decoded appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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15 Home Workouts from the Fittest Trainers We Know https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/home-workouts-trainers/ Mon, 12 Feb 2018 12:15:41 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65629 15 Home Workouts from the Fittest Trainers We Know

[caption id="attachment_65636" align="alignnone" width="620"]15 Home Workouts from the Fittest Trainers We Know Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

You’re traveling. You had a bad day at work. You’re beyond busy. It’s snowing outside. While these might sound like perfectly good reasons to take a rest day, leave it to trainers to find a way to push through. And deep down, you know you’ll be missing out on those health-boosting, feel-good vibes, too.

Their foolproof solution: working out right at home. And we found 15 trainers who’ll show you just how easy — and fun — it is to do it. From 20-minute HIIT workouts to 10-minute ab circuits, here are some of the best home workout ideas from the top fitness pros.

RELATED: 275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine

The 15 Best Home Workouts from Top Trainers

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdF1fcTl5qF/?taken-by=kaisafit

1. Kaisa Keranen

Certified trainer and movement coach
No dumbbells? No problem. Here, the Seattle-based sports performance coach shows us how to take your at-home workout to boiling temps with, yup, a cooking pot. From single-leg deadlifts to pistol squats to Russian twists, you’ll fire up your glutes, core, shoulders and arms. Hey, they don’t say six-packs are made in the kitchen for no reason. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdIVIzFhlUs/?taken-by=alexsilverfagan

2. Alex Silver-Fagan

Trainer and author of Get Strong for Women: Lift Heavy, Train Hard, See Results
Silver-Fagan might be best known for her gritty barbell workouts, but in this at-home flow, we see a softer side to the certified yogi. On your recovery days, get your om on and stretch things out with warrior III, eagle and dancer.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRn--tkANKD/?taken-by=adamrosante

3. Adam Rosante

Trainer and founder of the People’s Bootcamp
Cold temps keeping your workouts indoors? It’s no excuse to take a snow day, according to Rosante. Complete with burpees, froggers and spiderman planks, consider this your winter bodyweight burner.

RELATED: The 25 Craziest Workout Excuses Trainers Have Ever Heard

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bb2X9rHBBoF/?taken-by=kirastokesfit

4. Kira Stokes

Celebrity trainer and creator of the Stoked Method
Want to squeeze in a workout while your slow cooker works its magic? “Your kitchen can transform into a gym,” Stokes says. Using the edge of a counter as a “barre,” Stokes shows Fuller House star Candace Bure how to do knee pulses and tricep push-ups. For bicep curls and shoulder presses, get creative and hold onto something heavy, like bottles of wine (no sips between sets, please!).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BYindLqA7DF/?taken-by=harleypasternak

5. Harley Pasternak

Celebrity trainer
No ab muscle goes untouched in this total-ab circuit. From your obliques (spider planks) to your low abs (pike planks), follow Pasternak’s lead to ignite every inch of your core.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcFZImglDjq/?taken-by=bjgaddour

6. BJ Gaddour

Founder of TheDailyBJ.com and Bodyweight Burners trainer
Gaddour loves to maximize time and space at home with compound exercises. In this dumbbell workout, Gaddour combines step-ups with squats and bent-over rows with bicep curls and shoulder presses. Now, what to do with all that extra time on your hands?

RELATED: The 20 Worst People at the Gym, According to Trainers

https://www.instagram.com/p/BYeKqvoBcFb/?taken-by=seangarner

7. Sean Garner

Functional strength coach
Resistance bands may look pretty basic, but they’re one of the most powerful pieces of exercise equipment. Garner gets his kids in on band action with front raises, glute bridges and overhead presses. Just beware of the slingshot effect...

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaJ6zT7g1yn/?taken-by=anjagarcia

8. Anja Garcia

Daily Burn Undefeated trainer
Beach weather might feel like a lifetime ago, but Garcia’s bikini workout reminds us of good things to come! Get summer strong with this LA-based trainer’s decline push-ups, sumo squat jumps, hollow holds and more.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcSo3K7nT3G/?taken-by=thebodycoach

9. Joe Wicks 

Personal trainer and founder of The Body Coach
The #Leanin15 trainer is best known for his quick and healthy dishes, but this ab circuit will have you cookin’ a six pack. Oblique crunches and side plank reach-throughs will keep your sides in check, while the ab roll-up will tighten your deep abdominis.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbTK9f2hlJc/?taken-by=eshannz

10. Erika Shannon

Daily Burn 365 trainer
If you’re new to kickboxing, Shannon’s at-home workout is sure to get you hooked. The Power Cardio trainer begins this routine with jab-cross combos to work her arms, and then introduces squat crosses to strengthen her glutes. For an extra cardio push, she adds in jumping jacks and kicks between sets.

RELATED: 17 Secret Morning Habits of the Fittest People We Know

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQyMUgRAyFh/?taken-by=melissawoodhealth

11. Melissa Wood

Yoga and Pilates certified trainer
If you follow Woods on Instagram, you know that the yogi is all about mat work. But in this creative “treadmill” workout, Woods uses the cardio machine to do booty-shaping leg lifts and classic barre moves instead. Don’t have a treadmill at home? Use the back of a chair or the edge of your kitchen counter to help prop you up.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbuHEU9AkAa/?taken-by=peterkrauswi

12. Peter Kraus & Bec Donlan

Founder of Peter Kraus Fitness Bootcamps; Booty Bands trainer at Project by Equinox
Bachelorette alum Kraus pairs up with Aussie fitness star Donlan to tag team this booty band workout you can do at home. From squat touchdowns to reverse lunges to deadlifts, you’ll work your entire lower body and posterior. But no resistance band workout is complete without a core finisher. Standing side crunches help sculpt your obliques and target love handles.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdKwPWDH8tf/?taken-by=jess.glazer

13. Jess Glazer

Lead trainer at NYSC RedZone and founder of FITtrips
You don’t have to be at the gym to HIIT it hard — your hotel room will do! In this metabolism-boosting workout, Glazer shows us how to do explosive box jumps, plank to pikes and split squats — without leaving the couch.

RELATED: 17 Secret Morning Habits of the Fittest People We Know

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbKg-nNnykJ/?taken-by=melissaparisfitness

14. Melissa Paris

Founder of BYOBFit
A baby bump isn’t stopping Paris from whipping her core into shape. The kettlebell is one of the most challenging pieces of fitness equipment because its center is loaded. Her kettlebell workout takes you through alternating swings and strict presses, so you recruit your glutes as well as your ab muscles for stability and strength.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BYonHSxnUqU/?taken-by=greggcook

15. Gregg Cook

Daily Burn 365 trainer
Cook knows how to double down on time with his daughter: partner push-ups. Except his partner in crime gets coaching duties while dad does all the work! Ten reps later is a tired, but fit papa — and one amused child.

Read More
15 Genius Meal Prep Ideas from Top Trainers
How Trainers Stay on Top of Their Self-Care
8 Exercises Trainers Never Do (And What to Do Instead)

The post 15 Home Workouts from the Fittest Trainers We Know appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
15 Home Workouts from the Fittest Trainers We Know

[caption id="attachment_65636" align="alignnone" width="620"]15 Home Workouts from the Fittest Trainers We Know Photo: Twenty20[/caption] You’re traveling. You had a bad day at work. You’re beyond busy. It’s snowing outside. While these might sound like perfectly good reasons to take a rest day, leave it to trainers to find a way to push through. And deep down, you know you’ll be missing out on those health-boosting, feel-good vibes, too. Their foolproof solution: working out right at home. And we found 15 trainers who’ll show you just how easy — and fun — it is to do it. From 20-minute HIIT workouts to 10-minute ab circuits, here are some of the best home workout ideas from the top fitness pros. RELATED: 275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine

The 15 Best Home Workouts from Top Trainers

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdF1fcTl5qF/?taken-by=kaisafit

1. Kaisa Keranen

Certified trainer and movement coach No dumbbells? No problem. Here, the Seattle-based sports performance coach shows us how to take your at-home workout to boiling temps with, yup, a cooking pot. From single-leg deadlifts to pistol squats to Russian twists, you’ll fire up your glutes, core, shoulders and arms. Hey, they don’t say six-packs are made in the kitchen for no reason.  https://www.instagram.com/p/BdIVIzFhlUs/?taken-by=alexsilverfagan

2. Alex Silver-Fagan

Trainer and author of Get Strong for Women: Lift Heavy, Train Hard, See Results Silver-Fagan might be best known for her gritty barbell workouts, but in this at-home flow, we see a softer side to the certified yogi. On your recovery days, get your om on and stretch things out with warrior III, eagle and dancer. https://www.instagram.com/p/BRn--tkANKD/?taken-by=adamrosante

3. Adam Rosante

Trainer and founder of the People’s Bootcamp Cold temps keeping your workouts indoors? It’s no excuse to take a snow day, according to Rosante. Complete with burpees, froggers and spiderman planks, consider this your winter bodyweight burner. RELATED: The 25 Craziest Workout Excuses Trainers Have Ever Heard https://www.instagram.com/p/Bb2X9rHBBoF/?taken-by=kirastokesfit

4. Kira Stokes

Celebrity trainer and creator of the Stoked Method Want to squeeze in a workout while your slow cooker works its magic? “Your kitchen can transform into a gym,” Stokes says. Using the edge of a counter as a “barre,” Stokes shows Fuller House star Candace Bure how to do knee pulses and tricep push-ups. For bicep curls and shoulder presses, get creative and hold onto something heavy, like bottles of wine (no sips between sets, please!). https://www.instagram.com/p/BYindLqA7DF/?taken-by=harleypasternak

5. Harley Pasternak

Celebrity trainer No ab muscle goes untouched in this total-ab circuit. From your obliques (spider planks) to your low abs (pike planks), follow Pasternak’s lead to ignite every inch of your core. https://www.instagram.com/p/BcFZImglDjq/?taken-by=bjgaddour

6. BJ Gaddour

Founder of TheDailyBJ.com and Bodyweight Burners trainer Gaddour loves to maximize time and space at home with compound exercises. In this dumbbell workout, Gaddour combines step-ups with squats and bent-over rows with bicep curls and shoulder presses. Now, what to do with all that extra time on your hands? RELATED: The 20 Worst People at the Gym, According to Trainers https://www.instagram.com/p/BYeKqvoBcFb/?taken-by=seangarner

7. Sean Garner

Functional strength coach Resistance bands may look pretty basic, but they’re one of the most powerful pieces of exercise equipment. Garner gets his kids in on band action with front raises, glute bridges and overhead presses. Just beware of the slingshot effect... https://www.instagram.com/p/BaJ6zT7g1yn/?taken-by=anjagarcia

8. Anja Garcia

Daily Burn Undefeated trainer Beach weather might feel like a lifetime ago, but Garcia’s bikini workout reminds us of good things to come! Get summer strong with this LA-based trainer’s decline push-ups, sumo squat jumps, hollow holds and more. https://www.instagram.com/p/BcSo3K7nT3G/?taken-by=thebodycoach

9. Joe Wicks 

Personal trainer and founder of The Body Coach The #Leanin15 trainer is best known for his quick and healthy dishes, but this ab circuit will have you cookin’ a six pack. Oblique crunches and side plank reach-throughs will keep your sides in check, while the ab roll-up will tighten your deep abdominis. https://www.instagram.com/p/BbTK9f2hlJc/?taken-by=eshannz

10. Erika Shannon

Daily Burn 365 trainer If you’re new to kickboxing, Shannon’s at-home workout is sure to get you hooked. The Power Cardio trainer begins this routine with jab-cross combos to work her arms, and then introduces squat crosses to strengthen her glutes. For an extra cardio push, she adds in jumping jacks and kicks between sets. RELATED: 17 Secret Morning Habits of the Fittest People We Know https://www.instagram.com/p/BQyMUgRAyFh/?taken-by=melissawoodhealth

11. Melissa Wood

Yoga and Pilates certified trainer If you follow Woods on Instagram, you know that the yogi is all about mat work. But in this creative “treadmill” workout, Woods uses the cardio machine to do booty-shaping leg lifts and classic barre moves instead. Don’t have a treadmill at home? Use the back of a chair or the edge of your kitchen counter to help prop you up. https://www.instagram.com/p/BbuHEU9AkAa/?taken-by=peterkrauswi

12. Peter Kraus & Bec Donlan

Founder of Peter Kraus Fitness Bootcamps; Booty Bands trainer at Project by Equinox Bachelorette alum Kraus pairs up with Aussie fitness star Donlan to tag team this booty band workout you can do at home. From squat touchdowns to reverse lunges to deadlifts, you’ll work your entire lower body and posterior. But no resistance band workout is complete without a core finisher. Standing side crunches help sculpt your obliques and target love handles. https://www.instagram.com/p/BdKwPWDH8tf/?taken-by=jess.glazer

13. Jess Glazer

Lead trainer at NYSC RedZone and founder of FITtrips You don’t have to be at the gym to HIIT it hard — your hotel room will do! In this metabolism-boosting workout, Glazer shows us how to do explosive box jumps, plank to pikes and split squats — without leaving the couch. RELATED: 17 Secret Morning Habits of the Fittest People We Know https://www.instagram.com/p/BbKg-nNnykJ/?taken-by=melissaparisfitness

14. Melissa Paris

Founder of BYOBFit A baby bump isn’t stopping Paris from whipping her core into shape. The kettlebell is one of the most challenging pieces of fitness equipment because its center is loaded. Her kettlebell workout takes you through alternating swings and strict presses, so you recruit your glutes as well as your ab muscles for stability and strength. https://www.instagram.com/p/BYonHSxnUqU/?taken-by=greggcook

15. Gregg Cook

Daily Burn 365 trainer Cook knows how to double down on time with his daughter: partner push-ups. Except his partner in crime gets coaching duties while dad does all the work! Ten reps later is a tired, but fit papa — and one amused child. Read More 15 Genius Meal Prep Ideas from Top Trainers How Trainers Stay on Top of Their Self-Care 8 Exercises Trainers Never Do (And What to Do Instead)

The post 15 Home Workouts from the Fittest Trainers We Know appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/beginner-yoga-poses-positions/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/beginner-yoga-poses-positions/#comments Fri, 26 Jan 2018 16:15:45 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=41713

[caption id="attachment_65216" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga Poses for Beginners Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

If you’re a yoga newbie, it’s completely normal to feel intimidated by the die-hard yogis who warm up for class with handstands. Yes, handstands. But remember, everyone’s got to start somewhere. “In theory, there are no poses you must know before a class — you’re going there to learn,” says Mandy Ingber, New York Times best-selling author of Yogalosophy: 28-days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover, not to mention the woman responsible for Jennifer Aniston’s yoga addiction (and rock-hard abs).

Even if it’s Day 1 of your exercise journey, your task is simple: Throw on some form-fitting clothing (you’ll be able to see your body position better — and avoid a wardrobe malfunction), then get familiar with these seven basic poses. While you may not see all of them in every class, they’ll help you get started, plus make you feel more comfortable when you walk into the studio. So grab a mat and read on as Ingber and fellow yogi Tanya Boulton, a New York-based instructor and designer of her own activewear line, break down the must-know beginner yoga poses you'll want to learn to pick up any yoga practice.

RELATED: Yoga Fundamentals: The Yoga Workout You Can Totally Do

7 Basic Yoga Positions for Beginners

[caption id="attachment_65217" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Yoga Poses: Mountain Pose or Tadasana Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn Yoga Fundamentals[/caption]

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

What to Know: “The mother of all yoga poses,” according to Ingber, “mountain only looks easy.” This two-footed stance is the foundation for many other positions that require awareness and balance. “It is through this pose that one finds the proper alignment and shape for additional movements,” she says.

How to Do It: Stand with feet together and arms at your side. Ground your feet, making sure to press all four corners down into the ground. Next, straighten your legs, then tuck your tailbone in as you engage your thigh muscles. As you inhale, elongate through your torso and extend your arms up, then out. Exhale and release your shoulder blades away from your head, toward the back of your waist as you release arms back to your sides.

[caption id="attachment_65218" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Yoga Poses: Child's Pose or Balasana Photo courtesy of Alexis Novak[/caption]

2. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

What to Know: Consider this exercise your reset moment. Simple in design, this easy pose relaxes your nervous system and is a great place to take a breather during class if you need one. Got knee problems? Make sure to lower into this position with extra care.

How to Do It: Start in a kneeling position with toes tucked under. Lower your butt towards your feet as you stretch your upper body forward and down with arms extended. Your stomach should be comfortably resting on thighs, with your forehead touching the mat.

[caption id="attachment_65219" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Yoga Poses: Cat/Cow Pose or Marjaryasana to Bitilasana Photo courtesy of Emily Adams / Bend & Bloom Yoga[/caption]

3. Cat/Cow Pose (Marjaryasana to Bitilasana)

What to Know: Cat/cow is a great way to warm up your back, explains Ingber, and get your body ready for downward-facing dog. It also helps address mobility (hello, desk jobs) and work your core without the extra stress on your wrists and shoulders that you might feel in a down dog move.

How to Do It: Begin with hands and knees on the floor, spine neutral and abs engaged. Take a big inhale, then, as you exhale, round your spine up towards the ceiling and tuck your chin towards your chest, releasing your neck. On the next inhale, arch your back and relax your abs. Lift your head and tailbone upwards, being careful not to place any pressure on your neck by moving too quickly or deeply.

RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game

[caption id="attachment_65220" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Yoga Poses: Downward Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanansana Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanansana)

What to Know: One of the most recognizable poses of the bunch, down dog is a great way to stretch your back, shoulders, arms, hamstrings and well, just about everything. And it gets you calm and centered, too.

How to Do It: Come onto hands and knees with palms just past your shoulder, fingers pointing forwards. Knees should be under your hips and toes tucked. Lift your hips and press back into a V-shape position with your body. Feet should be hip-width apart. Keep in mind, it's OK if you can’t get your feet to the floor (your hamstrings might be too tight). Spread through all 10 fingers and toes and move your chest towards your legs.

[caption id="attachment_65221" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Yoga Poses: Warrior I or Virabhadrasana I Photo: Pond5[/caption]

5. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

What to Know: The first in the Warrior series, this pose strengthens your legs and opens your hips and chest, while also stretching your arms and legs. While holding this exercise, you’ll see an increase in your concentration and balance — both essential qualities to carry through a yoga practice.

How to Do It: Start in mountain pose. As you exhale, step your left foot back about four feet, so you’re in a lunge position with the right ankle over the right knee. Raise your arms straight overhead, biceps by ears, and turn your left foot about 90 degrees to face the left wall. Align your left heel perpendicular with your right heel. Expand your chest and pull your shoulders back, then lower down toward the floor as you lift your arms up. Make sure your hips stay square to the front, as you continue to breathe.

[caption id="attachment_65222" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Yoga Poses: Warrior II or Virabhadrasana II Photo courtesy of Daily Burn Yoga[/caption]

6. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

What to Know: Similar to Warrior I, Warrior II offers just a slight variation, with your upper body rotated to the side instead of facing forward. You’ll still reap the same quad-strengthening benefits of Warrior I, but you'll also open up your hip flexor muscles for greater flexibility.

How to Do It: Begin in mountain pose. Exhale and step your left foot back about four feet, making sure the heels are in line. Turn your back foot 90 degrees so that it’s now perpendicular with the front one. Raise your arms to shoulder height, parallel to floor, with your right arm in front of you, and left arm behind. Bend your front knee so it’s directly over ankle and sink hips low until the front thigh is parallel to floor. Look straight ahead, eyes in line with your front-facing arm.

RELATED: 3 Basic Yoga Poses for Better Balance

[caption id="attachment_65223" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Yoga Poses: Corpse Pose or Savasana Photo courtesy of William Morrow Books[/caption]

7. Corpse Pose (Shavasana)

What to Know: Lying around may seem pointless, but this is one of the most meditative moments in any yoga practice. Corpse pose calms the mind, relieves stress and induces a relaxed state. (Why do you think yogis are so chill?)

How to Do It: Lie down on your back and let your feet fall to their sides. Bring your arms alongside your torso, but slightly separated with palms facing the sky. Relax the entire body — your face included. Usually the final pose in a class, you’ll stay in this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to five or 10 minutes. Your instructor will cue you when to slowly awaken your thoughts and return to a seated position.

Want more beginner-friendly yoga exercises? Check out Daily Burn's new Yoga Fundamentals program. Go to dailyburn.com to start your free trial!

Originally published July 2015. Updated January 2018. 

The post 7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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[caption id="attachment_65216" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga Poses for Beginners Photo: Twenty20[/caption] If you’re a yoga newbie, it’s completely normal to feel intimidated by the die-hard yogis who warm up for class with handstands. Yes, handstands. But remember, everyone’s got to start somewhere. “In theory, there are no poses you must know before a class — you’re going there to learn,” says Mandy Ingber, New York Times best-selling author of Yogalosophy: 28-days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover, not to mention the woman responsible for Jennifer Aniston’s yoga addiction (and rock-hard abs). Even if it’s Day 1 of your exercise journey, your task is simple: Throw on some form-fitting clothing (you’ll be able to see your body position better — and avoid a wardrobe malfunction), then get familiar with these seven basic poses. While you may not see all of them in every class, they’ll help you get started, plus make you feel more comfortable when you walk into the studio. So grab a mat and read on as Ingber and fellow yogi Tanya Boulton, a New York-based instructor and designer of her own activewear line, break down the must-know beginner yoga poses you'll want to learn to pick up any yoga practice. RELATED: Yoga Fundamentals: The Yoga Workout You Can Totally Do

7 Basic Yoga Positions for Beginners

[caption id="attachment_65217" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Yoga Poses: Mountain Pose or Tadasana Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn Yoga Fundamentals[/caption]

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

What to Know: “The mother of all yoga poses,” according to Ingber, “mountain only looks easy.” This two-footed stance is the foundation for many other positions that require awareness and balance. “It is through this pose that one finds the proper alignment and shape for additional movements,” she says. How to Do It: Stand with feet together and arms at your side. Ground your feet, making sure to press all four corners down into the ground. Next, straighten your legs, then tuck your tailbone in as you engage your thigh muscles. As you inhale, elongate through your torso and extend your arms up, then out. Exhale and release your shoulder blades away from your head, toward the back of your waist as you release arms back to your sides. [caption id="attachment_65218" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Yoga Poses: Child's Pose or Balasana Photo courtesy of Alexis Novak[/caption]

2. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

What to Know: Consider this exercise your reset moment. Simple in design, this easy pose relaxes your nervous system and is a great place to take a breather during class if you need one. Got knee problems? Make sure to lower into this position with extra care. How to Do It: Start in a kneeling position with toes tucked under. Lower your butt towards your feet as you stretch your upper body forward and down with arms extended. Your stomach should be comfortably resting on thighs, with your forehead touching the mat. [caption id="attachment_65219" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Yoga Poses: Cat/Cow Pose or Marjaryasana to Bitilasana Photo courtesy of Emily Adams / Bend & Bloom Yoga[/caption]

3. Cat/Cow Pose (Marjaryasana to Bitilasana)

What to Know: Cat/cow is a great way to warm up your back, explains Ingber, and get your body ready for downward-facing dog. It also helps address mobility (hello, desk jobs) and work your core without the extra stress on your wrists and shoulders that you might feel in a down dog move. How to Do It: Begin with hands and knees on the floor, spine neutral and abs engaged. Take a big inhale, then, as you exhale, round your spine up towards the ceiling and tuck your chin towards your chest, releasing your neck. On the next inhale, arch your back and relax your abs. Lift your head and tailbone upwards, being careful not to place any pressure on your neck by moving too quickly or deeply. RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game [caption id="attachment_65220" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Yoga Poses: Downward Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanansana Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanansana)

What to Know: One of the most recognizable poses of the bunch, down dog is a great way to stretch your back, shoulders, arms, hamstrings and well, just about everything. And it gets you calm and centered, too. How to Do It: Come onto hands and knees with palms just past your shoulder, fingers pointing forwards. Knees should be under your hips and toes tucked. Lift your hips and press back into a V-shape position with your body. Feet should be hip-width apart. Keep in mind, it's OK if you can’t get your feet to the floor (your hamstrings might be too tight). Spread through all 10 fingers and toes and move your chest towards your legs. [caption id="attachment_65221" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Yoga Poses: Warrior I or Virabhadrasana I Photo: Pond5[/caption]

5. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

What to Know: The first in the Warrior series, this pose strengthens your legs and opens your hips and chest, while also stretching your arms and legs. While holding this exercise, you’ll see an increase in your concentration and balance — both essential qualities to carry through a yoga practice. How to Do It: Start in mountain pose. As you exhale, step your left foot back about four feet, so you’re in a lunge position with the right ankle over the right knee. Raise your arms straight overhead, biceps by ears, and turn your left foot about 90 degrees to face the left wall. Align your left heel perpendicular with your right heel. Expand your chest and pull your shoulders back, then lower down toward the floor as you lift your arms up. Make sure your hips stay square to the front, as you continue to breathe. [caption id="attachment_65222" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Yoga Poses: Warrior II or Virabhadrasana II Photo courtesy of Daily Burn Yoga[/caption]

6. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

What to Know: Similar to Warrior I, Warrior II offers just a slight variation, with your upper body rotated to the side instead of facing forward. You’ll still reap the same quad-strengthening benefits of Warrior I, but you'll also open up your hip flexor muscles for greater flexibility. How to Do It: Begin in mountain pose. Exhale and step your left foot back about four feet, making sure the heels are in line. Turn your back foot 90 degrees so that it’s now perpendicular with the front one. Raise your arms to shoulder height, parallel to floor, with your right arm in front of you, and left arm behind. Bend your front knee so it’s directly over ankle and sink hips low until the front thigh is parallel to floor. Look straight ahead, eyes in line with your front-facing arm. RELATED: 3 Basic Yoga Poses for Better Balance [caption id="attachment_65223" align="alignnone" width="620"]Beginner Yoga Poses: Corpse Pose or Savasana Photo courtesy of William Morrow Books[/caption]

7. Corpse Pose (Shavasana)

What to Know: Lying around may seem pointless, but this is one of the most meditative moments in any yoga practice. Corpse pose calms the mind, relieves stress and induces a relaxed state. (Why do you think yogis are so chill?) How to Do It: Lie down on your back and let your feet fall to their sides. Bring your arms alongside your torso, but slightly separated with palms facing the sky. Relax the entire body — your face included. Usually the final pose in a class, you’ll stay in this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to five or 10 minutes. Your instructor will cue you when to slowly awaken your thoughts and return to a seated position.

Want more beginner-friendly yoga exercises? Check out Daily Burn's new Yoga Fundamentals program. Go to dailyburn.com to start your free trial!

Originally published July 2015. Updated January 2018. 

The post 7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/50-butt-exercises-strong-glutes/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/50-butt-exercises-strong-glutes/#respond Wed, 24 Jan 2018 16:15:56 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=59531 50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes

[caption id="attachment_59591" align="alignnone" width="620"]50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony[/caption]

Coveting a better behind isn’t just about aesthetics. A strong and sculpted butt is the secret to improving speed, power and overall sports performance, while also decreasing your risk of injury. After all, your glutes (made up of the gluteus minimus, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus) are the largest and strongest muscles in your body.

So how do you build a stronger backside? Squats are a good place to start. But if you really want to get your booty rock solid, it’s a good idea to incorporate weights, resistance bands, stability balls and even foam rollers into your glute workout. Here are 50 butt exercises that will help you think outside of the box when it comes to squats, lunges, glute bridges, leg lifts and more.

Butt Exercises: Squats, Lunges, Glute Bridges, Leg Lifts and More

Squat Low

Whether you love or hate ‘em, squats are one of the best butt exercises for strengthening your backside. Experts say that if you want to run faster, jump higher and lift heavier, squatting low is the way to go. They might look easy, but prepare to work when you add a barbell, slam ball or heel raise to the mix. These squat variations not only add some power to your jumps and kicks, but they also help improve your knee stability and range of motion. So how low can you go? Try these exercises to find out.

[caption id="attachment_59175" align="alignnone" width="620"]Butt Exercises: Squat to Press Exercise GIF: Daily Burn Power Cardio[/caption]

1. Dumbbell Squat to Press

The beauty of compound exercise really shines through with this squat thruster. Using power from your glutes and lower body, you’ll press the dumbbells up overhead in one continuous movement.

Butt Exercises: Bulgarian Squat Exercise

2. Bulgarian Squat with Slam Ball

Want to amp up your split squat? Try balancing on a slam ball. Engaging your core will help keep your foot from rolling off the ball and move with control. Consider it a must-do if you want a workout that offers core strengthening and a butt lift.

Butt Exercises: Squat Press Exercise

3. Landmine Squat Press

Riding the line between free weights and fixed machines, the landmine is a great way to practice proper form with the squat. Feet should be hip-distance apart and the weight in your heels. Holding onto the landmine with both hands will help keep your chest upright while squatting.

Butt Exercises: Back Squat Exercise

4. Back Squat

Want to nail a badass move with the barbell? The back squat is a good start. Here, you want to sit your body straight down, weight in your heels, while keeping your chest and back upright. Check out more tips on how to nail this move here.

Butt Exercises: Lateral Pistol Squat Exercise

5. Lateral Pistol Squats on Rower

Aside from getting in a killer cardio workout, the rower can work your booty in surprising ways. This lateral pistol squat not only ignites your glutes, but also your inner thighs and quads.

[caption id="attachment_57238" align="alignnone" width="620"]Butt Exercises: Sumo Squat Exercise Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony[/caption]

6. Sumo Squat

This barre-inspired bodyweight squat gives you the benefits of isometric exercise without putting pressure on your joints. You’ll not only get your glutes in gear, but your hamstrings and inner thighs, too.

[caption id="attachment_58999" align="alignnone" width="620"]Butt Exercises: Squat Jump Tap Exercise GIF: Daily Burn Power Cardio[/caption]

7. Squat Jump Tap

If you want to train like LeBron (or, ahem, Steph Curry), you’ll get a taste with this basketball-inspired move. As you jump up from the squat position, bring your legs together and pencil your arms up with the ball in your hands. It's one of the best exercises for increasing power.

8. Tricep Extension Squat

You’ll give your triceps some TLC in this squat with extension. As you squat down, swing your arms slightly behind your hips. And then as you stand up straight, extend your arms overhead. Feel free to use a pair of dumbbells to add some weight.

Butt Exercises: Pencil Squat Exercise

9. Pencil Squat

If you’re someone who gets confused about know what to do with your arms in a squat, this move is for you. Reaching your hands up will help you focus on height, while getting your heart rate up, too.

Butt Exercises: Side-to-Side BOSU Squat Exercise

10. Side to Side Squats with Bosu Ball

Testing your agility and coordination, these side-to-side squats will force you to get lower and move more precisely as you tap each foot on the BOSU ball. It's a sneaky way to add in some core work, too.

[caption id="attachment_53508" align="alignnone" width="620"]Butt Exercises: Deep Squat with Heel Raise Exercise Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn 365[/caption]

11. Deep Squat with Heel Raise

Reminiscent of chair pose in yoga, the heel raise will get your calves and quads burning, as well as your back and shoulders. If you want to make it more challenging, alternate heel raises.

[caption id="attachment_22163" align="alignnone" width="620"]Butt Exercises: Front Squat Exercise Photo: Pond5[/caption]

12. Front Squat

Unlike a back squat where you place the barbell across your shoulders and lats, the barbell goes across your collarbone and in front of your body. This will force you to recruit more muscles in your core to maintain proper form.

[caption id="attachment_55643" align="alignnone" width="620"]Butt Exercises: Diagonal Squat Thrust Exercise GIF: Daily Burn 365[/caption]

13. Diagonal Squat Thrust

A variation of the burpee, you’ll jump your feet forward from plank position to a diagonal squat with your hips squared to the front.

Next Up: Lunges

The post 50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes

[caption id="attachment_59591" align="alignnone" width="620"]50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony[/caption]

Coveting a better behind isn’t just about aesthetics. A strong and sculpted butt is the secret to improving speed, power and overall sports performance, while also decreasing your risk of injury. After all, your glutes (made up of the gluteus minimus, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus) are the largest and strongest muscles in your body.

So how do you build a stronger backside? Squats are a good place to start. But if you really want to get your booty rock solid, it’s a good idea to incorporate weights, resistance bands, stability balls and even foam rollers into your glute workout. Here are 50 butt exercises that will help you think outside of the box when it comes to squats, lunges, glute bridges, leg lifts and more.

Butt Exercises: Squats, Lunges, Glute Bridges, Leg Lifts and More

Squat Low

Whether you love or hate ‘em, squats are one of the best butt exercises for strengthening your backside. Experts say that if you want to run faster, jump higher and lift heavier, squatting low is the way to go. They might look easy, but prepare to work when you add a barbell, slam ball or heel raise to the mix. These squat variations not only add some power to your jumps and kicks, but they also help improve your knee stability and range of motion. So how low can you go? Try these exercises to find out. [caption id="attachment_59175" align="alignnone" width="620"]Butt Exercises: Squat to Press Exercise GIF: Daily Burn Power Cardio[/caption]

1. Dumbbell Squat to Press

The beauty of compound exercise really shines through with this squat thruster. Using power from your glutes and lower body, you’ll press the dumbbells up overhead in one continuous movement. Butt Exercises: Bulgarian Squat Exercise

2. Bulgarian Squat with Slam Ball

Want to amp up your split squat? Try balancing on a slam ball. Engaging your core will help keep your foot from rolling off the ball and move with control. Consider it a must-do if you want a workout that offers core strengthening and a butt lift. Butt Exercises: Squat Press Exercise

3. Landmine Squat Press

Riding the line between free weights and fixed machines, the landmine is a great way to practice proper form with the squat. Feet should be hip-distance apart and the weight in your heels. Holding onto the landmine with both hands will help keep your chest upright while squatting.

Butt Exercises: Back Squat Exercise

4. Back Squat

Want to nail a badass move with the barbell? The back squat is a good start. Here, you want to sit your body straight down, weight in your heels, while keeping your chest and back upright. Check out more tips on how to nail this move here.

Butt Exercises: Lateral Pistol Squat Exercise

5. Lateral Pistol Squats on Rower

Aside from getting in a killer cardio workout, the rower can work your booty in surprising ways. This lateral pistol squat not only ignites your glutes, but also your inner thighs and quads. [caption id="attachment_57238" align="alignnone" width="620"]Butt Exercises: Sumo Squat Exercise Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony[/caption]

6. Sumo Squat

This barre-inspired bodyweight squat gives you the benefits of isometric exercise without putting pressure on your joints. You’ll not only get your glutes in gear, but your hamstrings and inner thighs, too. [caption id="attachment_58999" align="alignnone" width="620"]Butt Exercises: Squat Jump Tap Exercise GIF: Daily Burn Power Cardio[/caption]

7. Squat Jump Tap

If you want to train like LeBron (or, ahem, Steph Curry), you’ll get a taste with this basketball-inspired move. As you jump up from the squat position, bring your legs together and pencil your arms up with the ball in your hands. It's one of the best exercises for increasing power.

8. Tricep Extension Squat

You’ll give your triceps some TLC in this squat with extension. As you squat down, swing your arms slightly behind your hips. And then as you stand up straight, extend your arms overhead. Feel free to use a pair of dumbbells to add some weight. Butt Exercises: Pencil Squat Exercise

9. Pencil Squat

If you’re someone who gets confused about know what to do with your arms in a squat, this move is for you. Reaching your hands up will help you focus on height, while getting your heart rate up, too. Butt Exercises: Side-to-Side BOSU Squat Exercise

10. Side to Side Squats with Bosu Ball

Testing your agility and coordination, these side-to-side squats will force you to get lower and move more precisely as you tap each foot on the BOSU ball. It's a sneaky way to add in some core work, too. [caption id="attachment_53508" align="alignnone" width="620"]Butt Exercises: Deep Squat with Heel Raise Exercise Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn 365[/caption]

11. Deep Squat with Heel Raise

Reminiscent of chair pose in yoga, the heel raise will get your calves and quads burning, as well as your back and shoulders. If you want to make it more challenging, alternate heel raises. [caption id="attachment_22163" align="alignnone" width="620"]Butt Exercises: Front Squat Exercise Photo: Pond5[/caption]

12. Front Squat

Unlike a back squat where you place the barbell across your shoulders and lats, the barbell goes across your collarbone and in front of your body. This will force you to recruit more muscles in your core to maintain proper form. [caption id="attachment_55643" align="alignnone" width="620"]Butt Exercises: Diagonal Squat Thrust Exercise GIF: Daily Burn 365[/caption]

13. Diagonal Squat Thrust

A variation of the burpee, you’ll jump your feet forward from plank position to a diagonal squat with your hips squared to the front.

Next Up: Lunges

The post 50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
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How Exercise Changed These 7 People’s Lives https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/inspiring-stories-fitness-motivation/ Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:15:50 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64876 Fitness Motivation: 7 Inspiring Stories of How Exercise Changed 7 Lives

[caption id="attachment_64888" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fitness Motivation: 7 Inspiring Stories of How Exercise Changed These 7 Lives Photos (clockwise from top left): Stephanie Laska / PowerBar, Heather Laptolo / Michael Lambert, Mike Ergo / Tony Svensson, Krista Meinert[/caption]

Exercise has countless benefits. Of course, there’s the weight loss and muscle gains — the aesthetic changes that people tend to notice the most. Then, there’s the physiological advantages of better sleep, more energy, disease prevention and enhanced immunity. Finally comes the mental side — a boost in self-confidence, a new joy for life, and even a drive for stronger social connections. All of these powerful pay-offs can come from taking it just one step at a time. And these seven women and men provide living proof.

Let their inspiring stories of struggles and triumph, heartbreak and resilience drive you to sign up for that 5K you’re nervous about, to take that strength class you’ve always wanted to, or even just to take a walk outside this afternoon. All you need is a little reminder about how good it can feel — for your body and mind — to keep moving forward.

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

7 Inspiring Stories on How Exercise Can Change a Life

[caption id="attachment_64889" align="alignnone" width="620"]Inspiring Stories for Fitness Motivation: Stephanie Laska Photo Courtesy of PowerBar[/caption]

1. Stephanie Laska: Small Steps, Big Benefits

“Exercise for me is not about running a marathon, it’s about those daily decisions to just go outside.”

Growing up, Stephanie Laska, 44, never worked out. She chose music class over P.E., and had Kool-Aid and Froot Loops every day. It wasn’t until her 40s, weighing around 300 pounds, that she decided she need a lifestyle reboot. A few simple diet changes, like dropping sugary soda and limiting beer and desserts, helped her lose 50 pounds. But she quickly hit a plateau and knew it was time to start moving.

“The details [of a workout schedule] stressed me out at first,” says the Californian. “When do you exercise? Who takes the kids to school? Who makes dinner?” After a few months of putting it off, she decided to just walk. Not long after, when she was walking her typical route around a tennis court, she decided to pick it up and run the length of one side. Then, she ran two sides, then three, then a full loop, until she ran her first mile in 2014.

“I was keeping it a secret at this point and I remember taking my kids to the park one day. They were on the bikes and got far ahead of me, so I decided to run to catch up,” Laska recalls. “The look on my daughter’s face when she saw me running was like she saw Santa Claus.” That’s when Laska started taking her one-mile jogs up to a 5k, 10k, half-marathon and eventually, marathon distance.

Laska ran her first 26.2 in 2015, scoring first place in her age group. She completed her second this past fall in NYC, as a member of the PowerBar Clean Start team, just one year after having major surgery.

“What motivated me to keep going was that it wasn’t as hard as I made it out to be,” says Laska, who lost a total of 140 pounds and has kept it off for four years now. “People tend to make these huge decisions — like joining a gym or signing up for bootcamp — but I just made a tiny choice to take a walk around the block. I always try to remind myself that those little decisions snowball, positive or negative.”

The idea of taking life one step at a time has led Laska to make more time for herself, and say no to responsibilities that don’t improve her well-being. This has also improved her relationships with her husband and kids and even brought on a promotion at work, she says. “People always ask the hardest thing about losing weight, and I respond that it was saying no to buttered popcorn at the movies,” Laska says. “Exercise for me is not about running a marathon, it’s about those daily decisions to just go outside.”

RELATED: Why I Started Running — And Never Stopped

Click HERE to Read Mike Ergo's Story of Resilience Post-Military

The post How Exercise Changed These 7 People’s Lives appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Fitness Motivation: 7 Inspiring Stories of How Exercise Changed 7 Lives

[caption id="attachment_64888" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fitness Motivation: 7 Inspiring Stories of How Exercise Changed These 7 Lives Photos (clockwise from top left): Stephanie Laska / PowerBar, Heather Laptolo / Michael Lambert, Mike Ergo / Tony Svensson, Krista Meinert[/caption] Exercise has countless benefits. Of course, there’s the weight loss and muscle gains — the aesthetic changes that people tend to notice the most. Then, there’s the physiological advantages of better sleep, more energy, disease prevention and enhanced immunity. Finally comes the mental side — a boost in self-confidence, a new joy for life, and even a drive for stronger social connections. All of these powerful pay-offs can come from taking it just one step at a time. And these seven women and men provide living proof. Let their inspiring stories of struggles and triumph, heartbreak and resilience drive you to sign up for that 5K you’re nervous about, to take that strength class you’ve always wanted to, or even just to take a walk outside this afternoon. All you need is a little reminder about how good it can feel — for your body and mind — to keep moving forward. RELATED: 9 Ways to Find Workout Motivation (Every Damn Day)

7 Inspiring Stories on How Exercise Can Change a Life

[caption id="attachment_64889" align="alignnone" width="620"]Inspiring Stories for Fitness Motivation: Stephanie Laska Photo Courtesy of PowerBar[/caption]

1. Stephanie Laska: Small Steps, Big Benefits

“Exercise for me is not about running a marathon, it’s about those daily decisions to just go outside.”
Growing up, Stephanie Laska, 44, never worked out. She chose music class over P.E., and had Kool-Aid and Froot Loops every day. It wasn’t until her 40s, weighing around 300 pounds, that she decided she need a lifestyle reboot. A few simple diet changes, like dropping sugary soda and limiting beer and desserts, helped her lose 50 pounds. But she quickly hit a plateau and knew it was time to start moving. “The details [of a workout schedule] stressed me out at first,” says the Californian. “When do you exercise? Who takes the kids to school? Who makes dinner?” After a few months of putting it off, she decided to just walk. Not long after, when she was walking her typical route around a tennis court, she decided to pick it up and run the length of one side. Then, she ran two sides, then three, then a full loop, until she ran her first mile in 2014. “I was keeping it a secret at this point and I remember taking my kids to the park one day. They were on the bikes and got far ahead of me, so I decided to run to catch up,” Laska recalls. “The look on my daughter’s face when she saw me running was like she saw Santa Claus.” That’s when Laska started taking her one-mile jogs up to a 5k, 10k, half-marathon and eventually, marathon distance. Laska ran her first 26.2 in 2015, scoring first place in her age group. She completed her second this past fall in NYC, as a member of the PowerBar Clean Start team, just one year after having major surgery. “What motivated me to keep going was that it wasn’t as hard as I made it out to be,” says Laska, who lost a total of 140 pounds and has kept it off for four years now. “People tend to make these huge decisions — like joining a gym or signing up for bootcamp — but I just made a tiny choice to take a walk around the block. I always try to remind myself that those little decisions snowball, positive or negative.” The idea of taking life one step at a time has led Laska to make more time for herself, and say no to responsibilities that don’t improve her well-being. This has also improved her relationships with her husband and kids and even brought on a promotion at work, she says. “People always ask the hardest thing about losing weight, and I respond that it was saying no to buttered popcorn at the movies,” Laska says. “Exercise for me is not about running a marathon, it’s about those daily decisions to just go outside.” RELATED: Why I Started Running — And Never Stopped Click HERE to Read Mike Ergo's Story of Resilience Post-Military

The post How Exercise Changed These 7 People’s Lives appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-ab-exercises-core-workout/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-ab-exercises-core-workout/#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:15:51 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=59957 50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core

[caption id="attachment_59968" align="alignnone" width="620"]50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony[/caption]

The goal of ab exercises isn’t all about sculpting a six-pack or chiseling your middle. The core of every day movements comes from just that — your core. You need a solid midsection to stand upright, stay steady on your feet and twist and turn sans injury. (Though scoring flat abs is certainly a sweet bonus!)

So how do you land a stronger core? Work it from every angle and switch up your routine often. That’s where these 50 anything-but-boring abs exercises come in. They’ll skyrocket your strength and stability — and help you score that toned midsection in the meantime. Say hello to going hardcore.

RELATED: 50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes

Take Your Core Workout Beyond Crunches and Sit-Ups

Planks

When it comes to improving core stability, the plank has your back (and your front!). By working your transverse abdominis — the deep core muscles that wrap around your middle — as well as your back, shoulders and glutes (yes, you should activate your butt, too), you get a full body burn in one isometric movement. But the best thing about planks: You can continuously switch them up and make your muscles work even more. Check out these creative twists on a typical plank routine and you’ll see what we mean.

50 Ab Exercises: Spiderman Crunch

1. Spiderman Plank 

Get total-body toned with this amped up plank. While performing a triceps push-up, bring your knee to the outside of your elbow, and switch sides on the next rep. Don’t drop or pike your hips through the entire move — your body should stay in a straight line from shoulders to ankles.

[caption id="attachment_53637" align="alignnone" width="620"]50 Ab Exercises: Sphinx to Forearm Plank Photo courtesy of CorePower Yoga[/caption]

2. Sphinx to Forearm Plank

A slight twist on a high-low plank move, you’ll flow from a yoga sphinx pose (similar to a baby cobra) into a forearm plank. Try to minimize movement in your hips as you go.

50 Ab Exercises: Around the Clock Planks

3. Reach Around the Clock Planks

A regular plank is tough in itself. But balancing on one arm? Talk about taking this core challenge up a notch.

[caption id="attachment_52461" align="alignnone" width="620"]50 Ab Exercises: Army Crawl Side Planks GIF: Daily Burn 365[/caption]

4. Army Crawl Side Planks

Take your abs workout to P.E. class and army crawl your way across the mat. Stay low in a strong forearm plank as you slither your arms and legs forward. Then finish with a side plank to target your obliques.

50 Ab Exercises: TRX Plank to Pike

5. TRX Plank to Pike

Talk about tough! This pike-up plank offers a gymnastic element to build strength in your lower abs. The higher you pike, the harder the exercise...and the stronger your core.

6. Push-Up

Ask most fitness experts to break down the basics of a push-up and they’ll tell you it’s a moving plank. So learn how to master that solid, isometric position before you move onto the push-up part. When you do, you’ll build muscle in your entire upper body.

50 Ab Exercises: Side Plank with Leg Raise on a Foam Roller

7. Side Plank with Leg Raise

Foam rollers not only loosen up your fascia, they also add a stabilization challenge to ab exercises. In this side plank variation, you’ll feel your midsection fighting to keep your body steady.

50 Ab Exercises: The Snake Plank

8. The Snake 

A chaturanga-inspired exercise often done on a reformer, you’ll take this move to the mat. Your obliques work to bring you upright, as the rest of your core stays tight to move you through the middle.

9. Starfish

Do three moves for the work of one! This combination exercise not only targets your obliques and transverse abdominis, but also your hips and lats. A triple threat you’ll want to keep tackling.

[caption id="attachment_55642" align="alignnone" width="620"]50 Ab Exercises: Plank Jack to Tuck Jump GIF: Daily Burn 365[/caption]

10. Plank Jacks to Tuck Jump

Crush a core workout while also squeezing in some cardio. This two-for-one move will rev your heart rate, as you reach new calorie-torching heights. From the jack to the jump, it's one quick ab-strengthening routine.

11. Ab Roller

Skip the infomercial-inspired equipment and grab a towel for this “rolling” move. As you slide the towel forward on the floor, you’ll sculpt your stomach. Just don’t forget to keep your pelvis in a neutral position.

50 Ab Exercises: Giant Clam on a BOSU Ball

12. Giant Clam

BOSU balls work great for bettering your balance — and improving your core stability. This take on a conventional clamshell further challenges your abs, as you aim to keep your hips lifted.

13. Rotating Renegade Row

Chisel your core by mixing a push-up, row and T raise. Your midsection muscles work to keep your body in one long line, as you flow through the three-move mash-up.

50 Ab Exercises: Plank Knee Tucks on a Rower

14. Knee Tucks

Rowers aren’t reserved for cardio — though this will get your heart pumping. Hold a solid plank as you use your lower abs to drive both knees into your chest, without dropping or raising your hips.

Next Up: Crunches and Sit-Ups

The post 50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core

[caption id="attachment_59968" align="alignnone" width="620"]50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony[/caption] The goal of ab exercises isn’t all about sculpting a six-pack or chiseling your middle. The core of every day movements comes from just that — your core. You need a solid midsection to stand upright, stay steady on your feet and twist and turn sans injury. (Though scoring flat abs is certainly a sweet bonus!) So how do you land a stronger core? Work it from every angle and switch up your routine often. That’s where these 50 anything-but-boring abs exercises come in. They’ll skyrocket your strength and stability — and help you score that toned midsection in the meantime. Say hello to going hardcore. RELATED: 50 Butt Exercises to Sculpt Stronger Glutes

Take Your Core Workout Beyond Crunches and Sit-Ups

Planks

When it comes to improving core stability, the plank has your back (and your front!). By working your transverse abdominis — the deep core muscles that wrap around your middle — as well as your back, shoulders and glutes (yes, you should activate your butt, too), you get a full body burn in one isometric movement. But the best thing about planks: You can continuously switch them up and make your muscles work even more. Check out these creative twists on a typical plank routine and you’ll see what we mean. 50 Ab Exercises: Spiderman Crunch

1. Spiderman Plank 

Get total-body toned with this amped up plank. While performing a triceps push-up, bring your knee to the outside of your elbow, and switch sides on the next rep. Don’t drop or pike your hips through the entire move — your body should stay in a straight line from shoulders to ankles. [caption id="attachment_53637" align="alignnone" width="620"]50 Ab Exercises: Sphinx to Forearm Plank Photo courtesy of CorePower Yoga[/caption]

2. Sphinx to Forearm Plank

A slight twist on a high-low plank move, you’ll flow from a yoga sphinx pose (similar to a baby cobra) into a forearm plank. Try to minimize movement in your hips as you go.

50 Ab Exercises: Around the Clock Planks

3. Reach Around the Clock Planks

A regular plank is tough in itself. But balancing on one arm? Talk about taking this core challenge up a notch. [caption id="attachment_52461" align="alignnone" width="620"]50 Ab Exercises: Army Crawl Side Planks GIF: Daily Burn 365[/caption]

4. Army Crawl Side Planks

Take your abs workout to P.E. class and army crawl your way across the mat. Stay low in a strong forearm plank as you slither your arms and legs forward. Then finish with a side plank to target your obliques. 50 Ab Exercises: TRX Plank to Pike

5. TRX Plank to Pike

Talk about tough! This pike-up plank offers a gymnastic element to build strength in your lower abs. The higher you pike, the harder the exercise...and the stronger your core.

6. Push-Up

Ask most fitness experts to break down the basics of a push-up and they’ll tell you it’s a moving plank. So learn how to master that solid, isometric position before you move onto the push-up part. When you do, you’ll build muscle in your entire upper body. 50 Ab Exercises: Side Plank with Leg Raise on a Foam Roller

7. Side Plank with Leg Raise

Foam rollers not only loosen up your fascia, they also add a stabilization challenge to ab exercises. In this side plank variation, you’ll feel your midsection fighting to keep your body steady. 50 Ab Exercises: The Snake Plank

8. The Snake 

A chaturanga-inspired exercise often done on a reformer, you’ll take this move to the mat. Your obliques work to bring you upright, as the rest of your core stays tight to move you through the middle.

9. Starfish

Do three moves for the work of one! This combination exercise not only targets your obliques and transverse abdominis, but also your hips and lats. A triple threat you’ll want to keep tackling. [caption id="attachment_55642" align="alignnone" width="620"]50 Ab Exercises: Plank Jack to Tuck Jump GIF: Daily Burn 365[/caption]

10. Plank Jacks to Tuck Jump

Crush a core workout while also squeezing in some cardio. This two-for-one move will rev your heart rate, as you reach new calorie-torching heights. From the jack to the jump, it's one quick ab-strengthening routine.

11. Ab Roller

Skip the infomercial-inspired equipment and grab a towel for this “rolling” move. As you slide the towel forward on the floor, you’ll sculpt your stomach. Just don’t forget to keep your pelvis in a neutral position. 50 Ab Exercises: Giant Clam on a BOSU Ball

12. Giant Clam

BOSU balls work great for bettering your balance — and improving your core stability. This take on a conventional clamshell further challenges your abs, as you aim to keep your hips lifted.

13. Rotating Renegade Row

Chisel your core by mixing a push-up, row and T raise. Your midsection muscles work to keep your body in one long line, as you flow through the three-move mash-up.

50 Ab Exercises: Plank Knee Tucks on a Rower

14. Knee Tucks

Rowers aren’t reserved for cardio — though this will get your heart pumping. Hold a solid plank as you use your lower abs to drive both knees into your chest, without dropping or raising your hips.

Next Up: Crunches and Sit-Ups

The post 50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
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8 Fitness Goals to Set for 2018 and How to Crush Them https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/fitness-goals-workout-resolutions/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/fitness-goals-workout-resolutions/#respond Mon, 25 Dec 2017 14:10:44 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=54986 7 Fitness Goals to Set for 2018 and How to Crush Them

[caption id="attachment_64302" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Fitness Goals to Set for 2018 and How to Crush Them Photo: Pond5[/caption]

It’s time to set that New Year’s resolution. And we’re not talking about vowing to drop pounds or get lean (though these ideas might help in those departments, too). When it comes to following through with resolutions, the more specific, the better. So we rounded up eight of the most badass (yet doable!) fitness goals you’ll want to steal for 2018 — from finally crushing a pull-up to balancing in a handstand, and a few others in between. Plus, we share the concrete steps to help get you to the finish.­ Pick one or tackle all eight. Either way, we see some big wins in your future.

RELATED: 19 Reasons to Work Out (Beyond the Perfect Body)

8 Big-Time Fitness Goals to Set for 2018

1. Master the Perfect Push-Up

Why it matters: Most trainers will tout push-ups as a top total-body move, targeting your shoulders and back to your core and thighs. So becoming a push-up protégé will do your body some serious good.

How to nail it: Believe us, it’s A-OK to perform the move on your knees, especially if you’re a workout newbie. But don’t settle for the modified version. Work on progressing to that high plank position. Daily Burn 365 trainer Prince Brathwaite explains how to do just that in the video above. Start by holding the top of the push-up position (aka a plank), then the bottom. Next, work on the eccentric or downward motion. Before you know it, you’ll perform it like a pro. Feeling super motivated? Work toward the plyo variation in this story, which scorches mega calories.

RELATED: THIS Is How to Do Perfect Push-Ups (Even on Your Knees)

[caption id="attachment_64287" align="alignnone" width="620"]2018 Fitness Goals: Finish a Race Photo: Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon[/caption]

2. Finish Your First Race

Why it matters: Nothing compares to the glory you’ll feel at the finish line of your first 5K, 10K, half-marathon, marathon or triathlon (take your pick!). Even if you’ve covered a shorter distance before and move on to the next feat, you’ll feel so proud of the medal you earn after conquering that longer run. Other options for more cardio adventure: a trail race or mud run, like the Spartan Race. “Aroo!” as the Spartans say. (For a kick-ass training plan that’ll get you ready for the obstacle race, sign up for the Daily Burn Spartan program.)

How to nail it: Of course, any distance requires some prep. Lucky for you, we have lots of race day tips and training plans. Sign up for a race in a cool new city or see your hometown from a different angle. (Check out this list of 263 races to choose from.) Then peep this advice to get you to the finish:

The 5K Training Plan You Can Actually Do

The Easiest 10K Training Plan Ever

The Half-Marathon Training Plan for Beginners

A Beginner’s Guide to Triathlon Training

13 Race Day Tips for Newbie Runners

5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time

7 Expert Tips for Pacing Yourself on the Run

12 Secrets from the Pros to Run a Personal Best

3. Hit That Handstand

Why it matters: Besides seriously impressing your friends and Instagram followers, balancing in an inverted position requires pretty top-notch core strength. It also builds muscle in your arms, shoulders and back. Not to mention, it can increase circulation in your upper body, while taking some pressure off your legs (at least for a little while).

How to nail it: Defying gravity requires tackling small steps along the way. To do so, follow yoga expert Briohny Smyth’s progression in the video above. She’ll take you through grip and stabilization exercises, and teach you how to gain more strength in your core. Put in the effort and balancing on your hands could become as easy as standing on your feet.

RELATED: 50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core

[caption id="attachment_64285" align="alignnone" width="620"]2018 Fitness Goals: Do a Pull-Up Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Finally Do a Pull-Up

Why it matters: You probably perform the pulling motion — one of the body’s primary movement patterns — countless times in your day. So gaining strength in that area just makes everyday tasks way easier. Besides a more defined back, you’ll also gain arm and core power and improve your strength in relation to your body mass (aka relative strength). Ladies, we totally understand this move is exceptionally difficult to master, which is exactly why you should try.

How to nail it: The most important step of the move comes from the eccentric or downward motion, says Ben Bruno, a Los Angeles-based trainer, in this overview of how to do a pull-up. You’ll spend a good amount of time practicing this portion, until you’re ready to try the real deal. (An assisted band will help with the full range of motion, too.) Continue practicing the movement, as many times as you can, until you’re ready to incorporate it into a workout. To build more strength before you even take it to the bar, try these 10 upper body exercises that prime your muscles for the pull-up.

RELATED: 5 Total-Body Moves to Take Your TRX Training Up a Notch

5. Show Off an Impressive Lift

Why it matters: Not only will you blend in with CrossFit crowd (and look like a regular amongst them) when you learn to lift heavy, but you’ll also get seriously stronger. While lifting heavy might seem scary at first, it’s the most effective way to build muscle — which will burn more cals for you in the long run.

Three notable lifts to add to your list: the deadlift (a total-body move that focuses on your posterior chain, especially hamstrings and glutes, and helps improve alignment), barbell snatch (for strength and power in your core, glutes and calves) and the clean and jerk (which targets the entire body and throws in a cardio endurance challenge).

How to nail it: It’s all about breaking ‘em down — and we don’t just mean your muscle fibers, but the moves as well. Follow these links to master each step of the three lifts mentioned:

The 5 Most Important Lifts to Master (deadlifts are number one)

How to Do a Perfect Deadlift

Olympic Lifts 101: How to Do the Barbell Snatch

Weight Lifting 101: The Ultimate Clean and Jerk Guide

[caption id="attachment_64286" align="alignnone" width="620"]2018 Fitness Goals: Master Crow Pose Photo: Pond5[/caption]

6. Balance in Crow Pose

Why it matters: A skill any wannabe yogi covets, crow takes you from a deep squat position to putting all your bodyweight on your hands. You’ll do this by placing your knees right at your armpits. Anyone looking to work their core will also see the advantages of this move, as it’s all about balance.

How to nail it: You’ll need to stretch and strengthen a few key areas of the body before bouncing up into the balance position. Practice these three moves to master crow from Kristin McGee, a New York City-based yoga instructor. Then, follow her form tips for reaching the top. (Just have a crash pad handy if you’re scared of falling!) You’ll be a crow pose pro in no time.

RELATED: Are You Doing These Yoga Poses All Wrong?

7. Tackle a Pistol Squat

Why it matters: You probably do hundreds of regular squats throughout your day, but this single-leg variation kicks up the stability challenge. It’s the ultimate test for strength, ankle mobility and balance. The payoff: running and jumping off one foot more efficiently (looking at you, racers!), enhanced mobility, muscle gain and improved coordination. Oh, and some serious CrossFit cred. Who can turn that down?

How to nail it: Form takes priority with this move, so that you don’t overload the knee joint. Follow the steps to building up to full range of (unassisted) motion in the beginner’s guide to the pistol squat video above. You’ll know you need to start from the bottom of the progression if your toes or heels leave the floor at any time during the exercise.

8. Learn a New Dance

Why it matters: Experts say the best workout you can do is the one you'll actually keep doing. And who can turn down a fun-filled dance party? Not only will you smile right through the sweat, but you'll also raise your heart rate for a cardio kick, while twisting and turning your way to fit. It's the perfect way to build stamina while testing your coordination skills, too.

How to nail it: Just follow Dancing with the Stars alum and creator of Daily Burn's LaBlast program, Louis van Amstel in the video above. He teaches the main step of four ballroom dance methods, including the hustle, cha-cha, quickstep and lindy hop. Master all four and rule the dance floor. Or take it up a level by trying the Daily Burn LaBlast program, featuring even more personality and creative sequences from van Amstel — plus a ton more fun and fitness.

Originally published December 2016. Updated December 2017. 

Read More
Winter Running Guide: How to Run Faster by Spring
5 Agility Ladder Drills for a Full-Body Burn
Train Like an Athlete with This 30-Day Plan

The post 8 Fitness Goals to Set for 2018 and How to Crush Them appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
7 Fitness Goals to Set for 2018 and How to Crush Them

[caption id="attachment_64302" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Fitness Goals to Set for 2018 and How to Crush Them Photo: Pond5[/caption] It’s time to set that New Year’s resolution. And we’re not talking about vowing to drop pounds or get lean (though these ideas might help in those departments, too). When it comes to following through with resolutions, the more specific, the better. So we rounded up eight of the most badass (yet doable!) fitness goals you’ll want to steal for 2018 — from finally crushing a pull-up to balancing in a handstand, and a few others in between. Plus, we share the concrete steps to help get you to the finish.­ Pick one or tackle all eight. Either way, we see some big wins in your future. RELATED: 19 Reasons to Work Out (Beyond the Perfect Body)

8 Big-Time Fitness Goals to Set for 2018

1. Master the Perfect Push-Up

Why it matters: Most trainers will tout push-ups as a top total-body move, targeting your shoulders and back to your core and thighs. So becoming a push-up protégé will do your body some serious good. How to nail it: Believe us, it’s A-OK to perform the move on your knees, especially if you’re a workout newbie. But don’t settle for the modified version. Work on progressing to that high plank position. Daily Burn 365 trainer Prince Brathwaite explains how to do just that in the video above. Start by holding the top of the push-up position (aka a plank), then the bottom. Next, work on the eccentric or downward motion. Before you know it, you’ll perform it like a pro. Feeling super motivated? Work toward the plyo variation in this story, which scorches mega calories. RELATED: THIS Is How to Do Perfect Push-Ups (Even on Your Knees) [caption id="attachment_64287" align="alignnone" width="620"]2018 Fitness Goals: Finish a Race Photo: Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon[/caption]

2. Finish Your First Race

Why it matters: Nothing compares to the glory you’ll feel at the finish line of your first 5K, 10K, half-marathon, marathon or triathlon (take your pick!). Even if you’ve covered a shorter distance before and move on to the next feat, you’ll feel so proud of the medal you earn after conquering that longer run. Other options for more cardio adventure: a trail race or mud run, like the Spartan Race. “Aroo!” as the Spartans say. (For a kick-ass training plan that’ll get you ready for the obstacle race, sign up for the Daily Burn Spartan program.) How to nail it: Of course, any distance requires some prep. Lucky for you, we have lots of race day tips and training plans. Sign up for a race in a cool new city or see your hometown from a different angle. (Check out this list of 263 races to choose from.) Then peep this advice to get you to the finish: The 5K Training Plan You Can Actually Do The Easiest 10K Training Plan Ever The Half-Marathon Training Plan for Beginners A Beginner’s Guide to Triathlon Training 13 Race Day Tips for Newbie Runners 5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time 7 Expert Tips for Pacing Yourself on the Run 12 Secrets from the Pros to Run a Personal Best

3. Hit That Handstand

Why it matters: Besides seriously impressing your friends and Instagram followers, balancing in an inverted position requires pretty top-notch core strength. It also builds muscle in your arms, shoulders and back. Not to mention, it can increase circulation in your upper body, while taking some pressure off your legs (at least for a little while). How to nail it: Defying gravity requires tackling small steps along the way. To do so, follow yoga expert Briohny Smyth’s progression in the video above. She’ll take you through grip and stabilization exercises, and teach you how to gain more strength in your core. Put in the effort and balancing on your hands could become as easy as standing on your feet. RELATED: 50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core [caption id="attachment_64285" align="alignnone" width="620"]2018 Fitness Goals: Do a Pull-Up Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Finally Do a Pull-Up

Why it matters: You probably perform the pulling motion — one of the body’s primary movement patterns — countless times in your day. So gaining strength in that area just makes everyday tasks way easier. Besides a more defined back, you’ll also gain arm and core power and improve your strength in relation to your body mass (aka relative strength). Ladies, we totally understand this move is exceptionally difficult to master, which is exactly why you should try. How to nail it: The most important step of the move comes from the eccentric or downward motion, says Ben Bruno, a Los Angeles-based trainer, in this overview of how to do a pull-up. You’ll spend a good amount of time practicing this portion, until you’re ready to try the real deal. (An assisted band will help with the full range of motion, too.) Continue practicing the movement, as many times as you can, until you’re ready to incorporate it into a workout. To build more strength before you even take it to the bar, try these 10 upper body exercises that prime your muscles for the pull-up. RELATED: 5 Total-Body Moves to Take Your TRX Training Up a Notch

5. Show Off an Impressive Lift

Why it matters: Not only will you blend in with CrossFit crowd (and look like a regular amongst them) when you learn to lift heavy, but you’ll also get seriously stronger. While lifting heavy might seem scary at first, it’s the most effective way to build muscle — which will burn more cals for you in the long run. Three notable lifts to add to your list: the deadlift (a total-body move that focuses on your posterior chain, especially hamstrings and glutes, and helps improve alignment), barbell snatch (for strength and power in your core, glutes and calves) and the clean and jerk (which targets the entire body and throws in a cardio endurance challenge). How to nail it: It’s all about breaking ‘em down — and we don’t just mean your muscle fibers, but the moves as well. Follow these links to master each step of the three lifts mentioned: The 5 Most Important Lifts to Master (deadlifts are number one) How to Do a Perfect Deadlift Olympic Lifts 101: How to Do the Barbell Snatch Weight Lifting 101: The Ultimate Clean and Jerk Guide [caption id="attachment_64286" align="alignnone" width="620"]2018 Fitness Goals: Master Crow Pose Photo: Pond5[/caption]

6. Balance in Crow Pose

Why it matters: A skill any wannabe yogi covets, crow takes you from a deep squat position to putting all your bodyweight on your hands. You’ll do this by placing your knees right at your armpits. Anyone looking to work their core will also see the advantages of this move, as it’s all about balance. How to nail it: You’ll need to stretch and strengthen a few key areas of the body before bouncing up into the balance position. Practice these three moves to master crow from Kristin McGee, a New York City-based yoga instructor. Then, follow her form tips for reaching the top. (Just have a crash pad handy if you’re scared of falling!) You’ll be a crow pose pro in no time. RELATED: Are You Doing These Yoga Poses All Wrong?

7. Tackle a Pistol Squat

Why it matters: You probably do hundreds of regular squats throughout your day, but this single-leg variation kicks up the stability challenge. It’s the ultimate test for strength, ankle mobility and balance. The payoff: running and jumping off one foot more efficiently (looking at you, racers!), enhanced mobility, muscle gain and improved coordination. Oh, and some serious CrossFit cred. Who can turn that down? How to nail it: Form takes priority with this move, so that you don’t overload the knee joint. Follow the steps to building up to full range of (unassisted) motion in the beginner’s guide to the pistol squat video above. You’ll know you need to start from the bottom of the progression if your toes or heels leave the floor at any time during the exercise.

8. Learn a New Dance

Why it matters: Experts say the best workout you can do is the one you'll actually keep doing. And who can turn down a fun-filled dance party? Not only will you smile right through the sweat, but you'll also raise your heart rate for a cardio kick, while twisting and turning your way to fit. It's the perfect way to build stamina while testing your coordination skills, too. How to nail it: Just follow Dancing with the Stars alum and creator of Daily Burn's LaBlast program, Louis van Amstel in the video above. He teaches the main step of four ballroom dance methods, including the hustle, cha-cha, quickstep and lindy hop. Master all four and rule the dance floor. Or take it up a level by trying the Daily Burn LaBlast program, featuring even more personality and creative sequences from van Amstel — plus a ton more fun and fitness. Originally published December 2016. Updated December 2017.  Read More Winter Running Guide: How to Run Faster by Spring 5 Agility Ladder Drills for a Full-Body Burn Train Like an Athlete with This 30-Day Plan

The post 8 Fitness Goals to Set for 2018 and How to Crush Them appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/workout-routine-bodyweight-exercises/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/workout-routine-bodyweight-exercises/#respond Sun, 24 Dec 2017 14:15:52 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=51889 275 Ways to Shake Up Your Workout Routine

[caption id="attachment_51932" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

You know the drill: Hop on the treadmill for a 20-minute interval workout. Next, hit the mat for a few sets of squats and lunges. Then, finish off with some planks and crunches. The thing about getting into a regular workout routine is that it can become, well, routine — even boring.

But thanks to these countless variations and modifications from top fitness experts, including our very own Daily Burn 365 trainers, you’ll never run out of ideas on how to challenge your arms, abs, glutes, quads, calves. You’ll be able to mix up your workout style, too — from barre to HIIT to CrossFit, and more. Whether your goal is to torch serious calories, tighten and tone, or improve your flexibility and mobility, we’ve got 275 exercises to reignite your workout motivation. (Seriously, you’ll never think of a burpee, squat, plank or jumping jack the same way again!) Exercise equipment is optional, but having some dumbbells on hand can challenge your body in new ways. Now, get up and get moving!

275 Bodyweight Exercises to Mix Up Your Workout Routine

[caption id="attachment_51890" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine: Arm Workouts Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

7 Arm Workouts for Stronger Shoulders, Biceps and Triceps

The beauty of most full-body strength training workouts is that they’ll, in some shape or form, hit the arms. But if you want to devote some quality reps to your shoulders, tris and bis, this is where it’s at. From push-ups to renegade rows to battle ropes, you’ll get pro tips on how to flex your arms and test the limits of your upper body. Plus, learn how to engage your arm muscles and create resistance with no-equipment workouts.

30-Minute Arm Workout

5 Moves, 15 Minutes: Your Bodyweight Arm Workout

6 Moves for Awesome Triceps and Biceps

20-Minute Battle Ropes Workout

6 Resistance Band Exercises for Strong, Lean Arms

5 Advanced Push-Up Exercises to Try Now

The Towel Workout for Your Arms

[caption id="attachment_51891" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine: Ab Workouts Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

8 Ab Workouts for a Stronger Core

Crunches, planks, side planks, leg raises, spidermans, toe touches, bicycles — there’s no shortage of exercises to help you tone and strengthen your core. What’s more, there are countless variations — standing, sitting or laying on a mat — for these classic moves. Consider your core repertoire upgraded!

5 New Crunch Variations to Try Now

5 Planks to Sculpt Your Entire Core

7 TRX Moves to Work Your Abs

Your 6-Minute Ab Workout

6 Core Exercises for Beginners

5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs

6 Essential Core Exercises for Runners

7 No-Crunch Exercises for Six-Pack Abs

[caption id="attachment_51892" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

8 Plyometric Workouts for Better Conditioning

Plyometrics are high-intensity exercises that stretch and shorten your muscles, while raising your heart rate. The result is a calorie-torching and muscle-toning workout. From plyo lunges to jump squats to plank jacks and broad jumps, here are some exercises that will help you improve agility, while increasing strength and speed. Ready to jump?

5 Plyo Box Exercises to Rev Your Fitness

4 Bodyweight Partner Moves

7 Creative Burpee Variations to Test Your Strength

15-Minute Plyometrics Workout for Cardio and Power

Your 20-Minute MetCon Workout

30-Minute HIIT Jump Rope Workout

Full-Body Plyometrics Workout

The Weight Vest CrossFit Workout

[caption id="attachment_51893" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine: Cardio Workouts Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

8 Cardio Workouts to Burn Calories Fast

These days, cardio doesn’t just mean a 30-minute jog on the treadmill or power walking on the elliptical. Virtually any workout can incorporate a little cardio by simply adding a jump, increasing speed and challenging your agility and mobility. Here, you’ll find new ways to get your heart rate up, go outside of your comfort zone and break a sweat.

The 5-Minute Kickboxing Workout

22-Minute, 5-Circuit Total-Body Workout

3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now

3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners

7 Burpee Progressions to Get Your Heart Pumping

5 Quick Cardio Exercises That Don't Involve Running

3 Treadmill Workouts for Power Walkers

A 10-Minute Rowing Workout

[caption id="attachment_51895" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine: Butt Workouts Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

9 Butt Workouts to Get Your Glutes in Gear

While some people are obsessed with toning their arms and show off their perfectly sculpted guns, others would prefer a much more shapely and stronger backside to charge through hills or pack serious kicks. Lunges, squats, single-leg touchdowns, donkey kicks and bridges are designed to work the glutes, sculpt thigh muscles and strengthen your hamstrings. Check out these exercises to show your lower half some TLC.

5 Power Lunges for Killer Glutes

3 Exercises for Seriously Toned Thighs

4 Lower-Body Exercises Towel Exercises

5 Moves for Your Butt, Hips and Thighs

How to Kettlebell Swing Like the Pros

How to Do a Pistol Squat

6 Squat Variations for Total-Body Strength

5 Exercises to Sculpt a Stronger Butt

6 Butt Exercises for Runners

[caption id="attachment_51896" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine: Full-Body Workouts Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

6 Total-Body Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

Sure, dumbbells, kettlebells and med balls can help you build muscle mass and achieve a leaner physique. But no piece of equipment can compare to your own bodyweight. Bodyweight training can help improve your stability and condition your muscles so that you shed more pounds faster.

The 15 Bodyweight Exercises You Should Be Doing

5 Two-for-One Bodyweight Moves From Brooke Burke

3 Fat-Blasting Bodyweight Workouts

8 Ways to Amp Up Your Bodyweight Workout

5 No-Equipment Back Exercises

8 Advanced TRX Exercises to Build Total-Body Strength

[caption id="attachment_51897" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine: Barre Workouts Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

10 Low-Impact Workouts to Improve Your Mobility 

Don’t let these barefoot exercises fool you! Sure, you can get comfy by doing these workouts at home, but we guarantee you’ll be feeling the burn and maybe even wiping some sweat off your brow in no time. The bonus is that these yoga and barre-inspired exercises will help relieve stress and put mind over matter. Don’t forget to throw in some stretches to start or end your day!

30-Minute Inner Thigh Barre Workout

5 Butt-Sculpting Barre Exercises

2 Sun Salutation Flows for Mega Calorie Burn

7 Beginner Yoga Poses

5 Relaxing Yoga Poses to Do Before Bed

3 Yoga Poses to Energize Your Morning

9 Yoga Poses to Survive Work, Stress and Travel

10 Easy Yoga Poses to Help Relieve Stress

5 Standing Desk Stretches

15 Stretches You Should Do Every Damn Day

Want more daily workouts and be part of a community that inspires you to be fit? Sign up for Daily Burn 365!

This story was originally published August 2016. Updated December 2017.

The post 275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
275 Ways to Shake Up Your Workout Routine

[caption id="attachment_51932" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption] You know the drill: Hop on the treadmill for a 20-minute interval workout. Next, hit the mat for a few sets of squats and lunges. Then, finish off with some planks and crunches. The thing about getting into a regular workout routine is that it can become, well, routine — even boring. But thanks to these countless variations and modifications from top fitness experts, including our very own Daily Burn 365 trainers, you’ll never run out of ideas on how to challenge your arms, abs, glutes, quads, calves. You’ll be able to mix up your workout style, too — from barre to HIIT to CrossFit, and more. Whether your goal is to torch serious calories, tighten and tone, or improve your flexibility and mobility, we’ve got 275 exercises to reignite your workout motivation. (Seriously, you’ll never think of a burpee, squat, plank or jumping jack the same way again!) Exercise equipment is optional, but having some dumbbells on hand can challenge your body in new ways. Now, get up and get moving!

275 Bodyweight Exercises to Mix Up Your Workout Routine

[caption id="attachment_51890" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine: Arm Workouts Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

7 Arm Workouts for Stronger Shoulders, Biceps and Triceps

The beauty of most full-body strength training workouts is that they’ll, in some shape or form, hit the arms. But if you want to devote some quality reps to your shoulders, tris and bis, this is where it’s at. From push-ups to renegade rows to battle ropes, you’ll get pro tips on how to flex your arms and test the limits of your upper body. Plus, learn how to engage your arm muscles and create resistance with no-equipment workouts.

30-Minute Arm Workout

5 Moves, 15 Minutes: Your Bodyweight Arm Workout

6 Moves for Awesome Triceps and Biceps

20-Minute Battle Ropes Workout

6 Resistance Band Exercises for Strong, Lean Arms

5 Advanced Push-Up Exercises to Try Now

The Towel Workout for Your Arms

[caption id="attachment_51891" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine: Ab Workouts Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

8 Ab Workouts for a Stronger Core

Crunches, planks, side planks, leg raises, spidermans, toe touches, bicycles — there’s no shortage of exercises to help you tone and strengthen your core. What’s more, there are countless variations — standing, sitting or laying on a mat — for these classic moves. Consider your core repertoire upgraded!

5 New Crunch Variations to Try Now

5 Planks to Sculpt Your Entire Core

7 TRX Moves to Work Your Abs

Your 6-Minute Ab Workout

6 Core Exercises for Beginners

5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs

6 Essential Core Exercises for Runners

7 No-Crunch Exercises for Six-Pack Abs

[caption id="attachment_51892" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

8 Plyometric Workouts for Better Conditioning

Plyometrics are high-intensity exercises that stretch and shorten your muscles, while raising your heart rate. The result is a calorie-torching and muscle-toning workout. From plyo lunges to jump squats to plank jacks and broad jumps, here are some exercises that will help you improve agility, while increasing strength and speed. Ready to jump?

5 Plyo Box Exercises to Rev Your Fitness

4 Bodyweight Partner Moves

7 Creative Burpee Variations to Test Your Strength

15-Minute Plyometrics Workout for Cardio and Power

Your 20-Minute MetCon Workout

30-Minute HIIT Jump Rope Workout

Full-Body Plyometrics Workout

The Weight Vest CrossFit Workout

[caption id="attachment_51893" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine: Cardio Workouts Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

8 Cardio Workouts to Burn Calories Fast

These days, cardio doesn’t just mean a 30-minute jog on the treadmill or power walking on the elliptical. Virtually any workout can incorporate a little cardio by simply adding a jump, increasing speed and challenging your agility and mobility. Here, you’ll find new ways to get your heart rate up, go outside of your comfort zone and break a sweat.

The 5-Minute Kickboxing Workout

22-Minute, 5-Circuit Total-Body Workout

3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now

3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners

7 Burpee Progressions to Get Your Heart Pumping

5 Quick Cardio Exercises That Don't Involve Running

3 Treadmill Workouts for Power Walkers

A 10-Minute Rowing Workout

[caption id="attachment_51895" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine: Butt Workouts Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

9 Butt Workouts to Get Your Glutes in Gear

While some people are obsessed with toning their arms and show off their perfectly sculpted guns, others would prefer a much more shapely and stronger backside to charge through hills or pack serious kicks. Lunges, squats, single-leg touchdowns, donkey kicks and bridges are designed to work the glutes, sculpt thigh muscles and strengthen your hamstrings. Check out these exercises to show your lower half some TLC.

5 Power Lunges for Killer Glutes

3 Exercises for Seriously Toned Thighs

4 Lower-Body Exercises Towel Exercises

5 Moves for Your Butt, Hips and Thighs

How to Kettlebell Swing Like the Pros

How to Do a Pistol Squat

6 Squat Variations for Total-Body Strength

5 Exercises to Sculpt a Stronger Butt

6 Butt Exercises for Runners

[caption id="attachment_51896" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine: Full-Body Workouts Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

6 Total-Body Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

Sure, dumbbells, kettlebells and med balls can help you build muscle mass and achieve a leaner physique. But no piece of equipment can compare to your own bodyweight. Bodyweight training can help improve your stability and condition your muscles so that you shed more pounds faster.

The 15 Bodyweight Exercises You Should Be Doing

5 Two-for-One Bodyweight Moves From Brooke Burke

3 Fat-Blasting Bodyweight Workouts

8 Ways to Amp Up Your Bodyweight Workout

5 No-Equipment Back Exercises

8 Advanced TRX Exercises to Build Total-Body Strength

[caption id="attachment_51897" align="alignnone" width="620"]275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine: Barre Workouts Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

10 Low-Impact Workouts to Improve Your Mobility 

Don’t let these barefoot exercises fool you! Sure, you can get comfy by doing these workouts at home, but we guarantee you’ll be feeling the burn and maybe even wiping some sweat off your brow in no time. The bonus is that these yoga and barre-inspired exercises will help relieve stress and put mind over matter. Don’t forget to throw in some stretches to start or end your day!

30-Minute Inner Thigh Barre Workout

5 Butt-Sculpting Barre Exercises

2 Sun Salutation Flows for Mega Calorie Burn

7 Beginner Yoga Poses

5 Relaxing Yoga Poses to Do Before Bed

3 Yoga Poses to Energize Your Morning

9 Yoga Poses to Survive Work, Stress and Travel

10 Easy Yoga Poses to Help Relieve Stress

5 Standing Desk Stretches

15 Stretches You Should Do Every Damn Day

Want more daily workouts and be part of a community that inspires you to be fit? Sign up for Daily Burn 365! This story was originally published August 2016. Updated December 2017.

The post 275 Bodyweight Exercises to Shake Up Your Workout Routine appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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9 Easy Yoga Poses to Survive Work, Stress and Travel https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/easy-yoga-poses-happy-go-yoga/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/easy-yoga-poses-happy-go-yoga/#comments Fri, 22 Dec 2017 12:45:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=38941 9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

[caption id="attachment_64253" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work Stress and Travel Illustrations by Cody Shipman[/caption]

A former Emmy award-winning news anchor and reporter, Christine Chen used to spend hours behind the news desk, delivering headlines about the latest disasters and scandals. Over time, the lack of sleep, stress and her hectic schedule led to anxiety and back pain. During commercial breaks, she’d lie on the floor of the newsroom to muster up enough relief to smile through the next news segment.

“I see many patients who work in finance or jobs where you’re at your desk all day,” says Dr. Johnny Arnouk, orthopedic surgeon at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City. “Since most people don’t sit with good posture, their back starts to hurt. What seems like a mild strain at first often becomes a chronic problem years later.”

RELATED: 8 Signs You're Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal)

Chen, then in her early 30s, was willing to do anything to feel better. Eventually, thanks to a combination of medical treatments and yoga, she began experiencing relief. Most importantly, as she began to incorporate yoga into her everyday life, she felt happier and less stressed. Eventually, she left her job in TV news to become a certified yoga instructor.

While many of us could benefit from a stress-busting yoga practice, the truth is, it’s difficult to find time to go to class. Chen’s solution, detailed in her new book, Happy-Go-Yoga, is to take traditional yoga poses and adapt them to everyday situations. “When I was in a lot of pain and stressed out, all I wanted was to not feel so terrible,” says Chen, now 47. “Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference, doing little things on a consistent basis.” And encouraging movement throughout the day is good for you, too. “It makes you think of yourself and your health first once in a while,” says Dr. Arnouk.

Want to reap the benefits of yoga, even off the mat? These nine tension tamers and feel-good moves can be done anytime, anywhere.

RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game

Sunrise Stretches: Yoga Poses to Start Your Day

Take control of your day before it gets away from you. These three moves help set a good overall tone for your morning by opening your body and mind.

1. Rock Your Heart

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

Desperately in need of a good stretch when you wake up in the morning? This pose might help. “It’s a good, gentle way to balance the body,” says Chen, who lives in New York City. “When you wake up in the morning, you’re crumpled and slumped from sleeping. This opens your chest, gets your blood moving and brings suppleness to the spine.”

How to: Sit up in a comfortable chair and place your hands on your hips (a). Inhale and lift up the center of your chest. It should feel like the lift originates from your middle upper back between your shoulder blades. (b). Exhale and draw your belly button into your body and gently tuck your chin to your chest. Feel your upper back dome slightly. (c). Repeat at least five times or more.

2. Swimmingly

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

This move is based on yoga’s classic fish pose. Instead of lying on the floor, you’ll use the wall to find the shape. “I feel like I’m snorkeling in this pose,” says Chen. “Reach your arms behind you and lift your head and chest slightly like you’re looking for fish in front of you.” This pose stretches your chest and helps release tension in the neck.

How to: Stand with your back against the wall and your feet hip-width distance apart, shoulder blades resting on the wall (a). With your arms by your side, press your fingertips, palms and forearms firmly into the wall. (b). Begin to lift your chest up and away from the wall. Your shoulder blades should move slightly closer together on your back while your lower back remains on the wall. (c). Inhale and lift your chest a little more. Continue to breathe deeply.

RELATED: 6 Exercises That Will Seriously Improve Your Posture

3. Unbreakable You

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

Have a big presentation or important meeting ahead? This move is based on a traditional mudra, or hand gesture, meant to connect you with your inner strength. Your interlocked fingers represent the coming together of your skills; the act of pulling your fingers apart is a symbol of your power, Chen says.

How to: Stand or sit, back straight, and let your shoulders relax (a). Interlace your fingers and place your palms on your torso, just below your chest and above your belly button. Extend your thumbs up toward your chest. (b). Pretend to pull your fingers apart and reach your elbows out to the side. Your fingers should form a lock and prevent your hands from separating. Don’t let your shoulders creep up to your ears. (c). Slide your shoulder blades down toward your waist and reach through the crown of your head toward the ceiling.

Deskside De-Stressors: Yoga Poses for Work

Sitting and staring at your computer screen for hours isn’t doing your body any favors. “It’s important to get up every so often, stretch and keep yourself loose,” says Dr. Arnouk. These three moves address the main culprits of on-the-job pain — poor posture, tight hips and neck tension.

4. Spine Align

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

When you sit for a while, you may inevitably start to slouch. To counteract this, “All you need is a thin blanket or thick scarf to re-create the same feeling of a bolster to help you sit up nice and tall,” says Chen. “This aligns the spine, and relieves tightness in the neck, shoulders and back so you’re not working so hard to sit up.”

How to: Roll your blanket, scarf or towel into a thin, smooth roll. The roll should be about as long as the distance between your seat and the base of your neck (a). Vertically align the roll with your spine and place it between your back and the back of the chair. Make sure you’re sitting back in your chair to secure the base of the roll in place. (b). Lean back and feel your chest and shoulders gently open.

5. Counter Pose

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

Do your hips feel as tight as rubber bands when you stand up from your desk? This pose was one of Chen’s go-to’s at the news desk to counteract the built up tension in her hips. It’s based on yoga’s pigeon pose.

How to: Stand and face your desk, making sure that the space in front of you is clear (a). Lift your right leg and rest your outer shin, calf and knee on the desk. Your knee should be positioned slightly wider than your shoulder. (b). Place your hands on the desk to stabilize yourself. Flex your right foot, drawing your toes towards your shin. (c). Lean forward gently onto your left hand. Take your right hand to your right hip crease and let your fingers fan along the outer thigh. Press gently and rotate your thigh out and down toward the desk. Try to keep your hips even. (d). If you still feel okay, hinge forward at the hips while maintaining a flat back and walk your fingertips forward. The forward fold will further calm your mind. Switch sides.

RELATED: 5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Now

6. Let It Roll

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

When you’re stressed, it’s common to find your shoulders slowly creeping towards your ears, causing your neck and shoulders to become stiff over time. Next time you feel your anxiety levels rise, this move will help you roll away the tension and restore mobility in your neck in 10 seconds max.

How to: Sit in a chair, back straight (a). Inhale and shrug your shoulders, drawing them toward your ears. (b). Exhale and relax your shoulders. (c). Keeping your right shoulder down, inhale and gently drop your right ear toward your right shoulder. (d). Exhale and roll your chin toward your chest. (e). Inhale and continue to roll your head so that your left ear comes toward your left shoulder. (f). Exhale and roll your head back to center. (g). Inhale and roll your head to the right. Repeat several times.

Commute Calmers: Easy Yoga Poses for Travel

Can’t stand your commute? Crowded trains and planes, combined with delays and cranky passengers are a recipe for stress. The next time you travel from point A to point B, try these moves to find relief for your body and mind.

7. Eagle Perch

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the middle seat. Instead of elbowing your neighbors, make your own space with this pose. It releases tension in your shoulders and upper back and helps you turn your focus inwards.

How to: Sit up straight. Bend your elbows and lift them straight in front of you, to shoulder height (a). Take your right arm underneath your left arm and wrap it around your left arm. Connect your palms or the back of your hands together. Alternatively, press your arms together from elbow to palm. (b). Move your elbows forward slightly and let the tops of your shoulders drop away from ears. You should feel a stretch in your shoulders, upper arms and back. Switch sides.

RELATED: 7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class

8. Bird of Prey

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

This pose will help you improve your focus, while also teaching you to pay attention to your posture. You’ll open up your chest and sit taller. It’s also a good pose to complement Eagle Perch.

How to: Sit in a chair towards the front of your seat (a). Take one arm behind you, elbow bent and forearm resting against the middle of your back, parallel to the seat of your chair. Your palm should face the back of the seat. Roll your shoulder up and back toward the seat. (b). If you feel comfortable, take your other arm behind you in the same fashion. Grasp opposite elbows. (c). Gently lift your chest forward and up. Widen across the collarbones and breathe deeply.

9. Reach for the Moon

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

If your energy levels are shot at the end of the day, try this pose on your commute home. It’s based on the yoga pose Standing Half Moon and is designed to refresh you, working your core and spine while improving your flexibility. It’s best for train or subway commuters.

How to: Stand up straight (a). Inhale, reach your right arm up and over your head to grasp an overhead bar or handle. Let your left arm rest by your side. (b). As your reach for the bar, let the back of your right shoulder drop toward your waist. Keep your right arm straight but not locked. (c). Inhale and grow taller in your spine. Gaze up at your upper arm and don’t let your chest collapse. (d). Exhale and gently side bend to your left. Gaze towards your right shoulder. (e). Inhale and exhale at least 5 times. On an exhale, come out of the side bend.

Originally published April 2015. Updated December 2017. 

Read More
6 Mistakes You're Probably Making in Yoga Class
The Beginner's Guide to Every Type of Yoga
Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax

The post 9 Easy Yoga Poses to Survive Work, Stress and Travel appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

[caption id="attachment_64253" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work Stress and Travel Illustrations by Cody Shipman[/caption] A former Emmy award-winning news anchor and reporter, Christine Chen used to spend hours behind the news desk, delivering headlines about the latest disasters and scandals. Over time, the lack of sleep, stress and her hectic schedule led to anxiety and back pain. During commercial breaks, she’d lie on the floor of the newsroom to muster up enough relief to smile through the next news segment. “I see many patients who work in finance or jobs where you’re at your desk all day,” says Dr. Johnny Arnouk, orthopedic surgeon at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City. “Since most people don’t sit with good posture, their back starts to hurt. What seems like a mild strain at first often becomes a chronic problem years later.” RELATED: 8 Signs You're Way Too Stressed (And How to Deal) Chen, then in her early 30s, was willing to do anything to feel better. Eventually, thanks to a combination of medical treatments and yoga, she began experiencing relief. Most importantly, as she began to incorporate yoga into her everyday life, she felt happier and less stressed. Eventually, she left her job in TV news to become a certified yoga instructor. While many of us could benefit from a stress-busting yoga practice, the truth is, it’s difficult to find time to go to class. Chen’s solution, detailed in her new book, Happy-Go-Yoga, is to take traditional yoga poses and adapt them to everyday situations. “When I was in a lot of pain and stressed out, all I wanted was to not feel so terrible,” says Chen, now 47. “Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference, doing little things on a consistent basis.” And encouraging movement throughout the day is good for you, too. “It makes you think of yourself and your health first once in a while,” says Dr. Arnouk. Want to reap the benefits of yoga, even off the mat? These nine tension tamers and feel-good moves can be done anytime, anywhere. RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game

Sunrise Stretches: Yoga Poses to Start Your Day

Take control of your day before it gets away from you. These three moves help set a good overall tone for your morning by opening your body and mind.

1. Rock Your Heart

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel Desperately in need of a good stretch when you wake up in the morning? This pose might help. “It’s a good, gentle way to balance the body,” says Chen, who lives in New York City. “When you wake up in the morning, you’re crumpled and slumped from sleeping. This opens your chest, gets your blood moving and brings suppleness to the spine.” How to: Sit up in a comfortable chair and place your hands on your hips (a). Inhale and lift up the center of your chest. It should feel like the lift originates from your middle upper back between your shoulder blades. (b). Exhale and draw your belly button into your body and gently tuck your chin to your chest. Feel your upper back dome slightly. (c). Repeat at least five times or more.

2. Swimmingly

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel This move is based on yoga’s classic fish pose. Instead of lying on the floor, you’ll use the wall to find the shape. “I feel like I’m snorkeling in this pose,” says Chen. “Reach your arms behind you and lift your head and chest slightly like you’re looking for fish in front of you.” This pose stretches your chest and helps release tension in the neck. How to: Stand with your back against the wall and your feet hip-width distance apart, shoulder blades resting on the wall (a). With your arms by your side, press your fingertips, palms and forearms firmly into the wall. (b). Begin to lift your chest up and away from the wall. Your shoulder blades should move slightly closer together on your back while your lower back remains on the wall. (c). Inhale and lift your chest a little more. Continue to breathe deeply. RELATED: 6 Exercises That Will Seriously Improve Your Posture

3. Unbreakable You

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel Have a big presentation or important meeting ahead? This move is based on a traditional mudra, or hand gesture, meant to connect you with your inner strength. Your interlocked fingers represent the coming together of your skills; the act of pulling your fingers apart is a symbol of your power, Chen says. How to: Stand or sit, back straight, and let your shoulders relax (a). Interlace your fingers and place your palms on your torso, just below your chest and above your belly button. Extend your thumbs up toward your chest. (b). Pretend to pull your fingers apart and reach your elbows out to the side. Your fingers should form a lock and prevent your hands from separating. Don’t let your shoulders creep up to your ears. (c). Slide your shoulder blades down toward your waist and reach through the crown of your head toward the ceiling.

Deskside De-Stressors: Yoga Poses for Work

Sitting and staring at your computer screen for hours isn’t doing your body any favors. “It’s important to get up every so often, stretch and keep yourself loose,” says Dr. Arnouk. These three moves address the main culprits of on-the-job pain — poor posture, tight hips and neck tension.

4. Spine Align

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel When you sit for a while, you may inevitably start to slouch. To counteract this, “All you need is a thin blanket or thick scarf to re-create the same feeling of a bolster to help you sit up nice and tall,” says Chen. “This aligns the spine, and relieves tightness in the neck, shoulders and back so you’re not working so hard to sit up.” How to: Roll your blanket, scarf or towel into a thin, smooth roll. The roll should be about as long as the distance between your seat and the base of your neck (a). Vertically align the roll with your spine and place it between your back and the back of the chair. Make sure you’re sitting back in your chair to secure the base of the roll in place. (b). Lean back and feel your chest and shoulders gently open.

5. Counter Pose

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel Do your hips feel as tight as rubber bands when you stand up from your desk? This pose was one of Chen’s go-to’s at the news desk to counteract the built up tension in her hips. It’s based on yoga’s pigeon pose. How to: Stand and face your desk, making sure that the space in front of you is clear (a). Lift your right leg and rest your outer shin, calf and knee on the desk. Your knee should be positioned slightly wider than your shoulder. (b). Place your hands on the desk to stabilize yourself. Flex your right foot, drawing your toes towards your shin. (c). Lean forward gently onto your left hand. Take your right hand to your right hip crease and let your fingers fan along the outer thigh. Press gently and rotate your thigh out and down toward the desk. Try to keep your hips even. (d). If you still feel okay, hinge forward at the hips while maintaining a flat back and walk your fingertips forward. The forward fold will further calm your mind. Switch sides. RELATED: 5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Now

6. Let It Roll

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel When you’re stressed, it’s common to find your shoulders slowly creeping towards your ears, causing your neck and shoulders to become stiff over time. Next time you feel your anxiety levels rise, this move will help you roll away the tension and restore mobility in your neck in 10 seconds max. How to: Sit in a chair, back straight (a). Inhale and shrug your shoulders, drawing them toward your ears. (b). Exhale and relax your shoulders. (c). Keeping your right shoulder down, inhale and gently drop your right ear toward your right shoulder. (d). Exhale and roll your chin toward your chest. (e). Inhale and continue to roll your head so that your left ear comes toward your left shoulder. (f). Exhale and roll your head back to center. (g). Inhale and roll your head to the right. Repeat several times.

Commute Calmers: Easy Yoga Poses for Travel

Can’t stand your commute? Crowded trains and planes, combined with delays and cranky passengers are a recipe for stress. The next time you travel from point A to point B, try these moves to find relief for your body and mind.

7. Eagle Perch

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the middle seat. Instead of elbowing your neighbors, make your own space with this pose. It releases tension in your shoulders and upper back and helps you turn your focus inwards. How to: Sit up straight. Bend your elbows and lift them straight in front of you, to shoulder height (a). Take your right arm underneath your left arm and wrap it around your left arm. Connect your palms or the back of your hands together. Alternatively, press your arms together from elbow to palm. (b). Move your elbows forward slightly and let the tops of your shoulders drop away from ears. You should feel a stretch in your shoulders, upper arms and back. Switch sides. RELATED: 7 Beginner Yoga Poses to Get You Through Your First Class

8. Bird of Prey

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel

This pose will help you improve your focus, while also teaching you to pay attention to your posture. You’ll open up your chest and sit taller. It’s also a good pose to complement Eagle Perch. How to: Sit in a chair towards the front of your seat (a). Take one arm behind you, elbow bent and forearm resting against the middle of your back, parallel to the seat of your chair. Your palm should face the back of the seat. Roll your shoulder up and back toward the seat. (b). If you feel comfortable, take your other arm behind you in the same fashion. Grasp opposite elbows. (c). Gently lift your chest forward and up. Widen across the collarbones and breathe deeply.

9. Reach for the Moon

9 Easy Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Work, Stress and Travel If your energy levels are shot at the end of the day, try this pose on your commute home. It’s based on the yoga pose Standing Half Moon and is designed to refresh you, working your core and spine while improving your flexibility. It’s best for train or subway commuters. How to: Stand up straight (a). Inhale, reach your right arm up and over your head to grasp an overhead bar or handle. Let your left arm rest by your side. (b). As your reach for the bar, let the back of your right shoulder drop toward your waist. Keep your right arm straight but not locked. (c). Inhale and grow taller in your spine. Gaze up at your upper arm and don’t let your chest collapse. (d). Exhale and gently side bend to your left. Gaze towards your right shoulder. (e). Inhale and exhale at least 5 times. On an exhale, come out of the side bend. Originally published April 2015. Updated December 2017.  Read More 6 Mistakes You're Probably Making in Yoga Class The Beginner's Guide to Every Type of Yoga Stressed Out? 45 Resources to Help You Relax

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7 Strength Exercises You Can Do with Yoga Blocks https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-blocks-strength-exercises/ Tue, 19 Dec 2017 12:15:03 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64082 7 Strength Exercises You Can Do with Yoga Blocks

[caption id="attachment_64085" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Strength Exercises You Can Do with Yoga Blocks Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Don’t get it twisted: Yoga blocks aren’t just for beginners — and they’re not just for yoga, either. While it may seem like these foam and cork cubes have been pigeonholed to assisting vinyasa flows, they can actually take your strength workout to a new level, too. Just take a cue from Caitlin Lavelle, founder of Lavelle Yoga Fit and trainer at Uplift Studios in New York City, who uses yoga blocks during most workouts with her clients. “They foam versions provide an unsteady surface to force people to work on balance,” she says. “They can also help with better body alignment, range of motion and develop proprioception,” aka understanding where your limps are in space. (A key for proper form.)

These tools also add resistance to common moves. “Even for the most seasoned fitness veterans, they can make an exercise feel brand new,” Lavelle says. For instance, squeeze the block between your thighs during a plank or glute bridge and you’ll instantly feel new muscles fire. To learn other ways to incorporate yoga blocks into your workout for heightened strength and stability, check out some of Lavelle’s favorites. Ready to rise to the challenge?

RELATED: The 15-Minute Medicine Ball HIIT Workout

7 Strength Exercises to Try with a Yoga Block

[caption id="attachment_64086" align="alignnone" width="620"]Strength Exercises with Yoga Blocks: Dead Bug GIFs: Mallory Creveling / Uplift Studios[/caption]

1. Dead Bug

Squeeze the yoga block between your elbow and knee for this core-centric exercise and it’ll make your midsection work extra hard during the entire move.

How to: Lie on your back. Place a yoga block the long way between your left elbow and left knee, both joints bent 90 degrees. Extend your right arm and left leg straight up toward the ceiling (a). Slowly and with control, lower both your right arm and right leg toward the ground. Keep your spine in a neutral position and head on the mat (b). Bring your right arm and leg back overhead and repeat for 8-10 reps (c). Then switch sides.

RELATED: 50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core

Strength Exercises with Yoga Blocks: Bird Dog

2. Bird Dog

Here’s where you’ll feel that balance kick into gear, thanks to the elevation. Remember to keep your abs braced to execute the move with solid form.

How to: Start on your hands and knees, with both your left knee and right hand on yoga blocks. Point your left toe behind you (the secret to targeting your core stability) (a). Extend your left arm and right leg straight out, so they’re in line with your shoulders and hips. Keep your shoulders and hips squared to the floor as you move, and your neck in a neutral position (b). Now, pull your left elbow and right knee in toward each other (c). Extend again and keep repeating for 8-10 reps (d). Switch sides.

Strength Exercises with Yoga Blocks: Tricep Push-Up

3. Tricep Push-Up

Want to master the perfect triceps push-up? Grab your blocks — they’ll help get your body in the proper position.

How to: Start in a high plank position, with a yoga block placed right at the top of each middle finger (a). Slowly lower down on a two-count to the yoga blocks (to focus on the eccentric phase), until your shoulders touch them. Make sure to squeeze your elbows in toward your sides (b). Then, press yourself back up to the plank (c). Repeat for 8-10 reps.

RELATED: This is How To Do a Perfect Push-Up (Even on Your Knees)

Strength Exercises with Yoga Blocks: Single-Leg Glute Bridge

4. Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Talk about finding the right footing. You’ll have to keep your hip and foot flexed and your leg straight to stop the block from falling as you move. This will also turn up the burn on your opposite glute and hamstring.

How to: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet placed close enough to your butt that you can almost touch them. Extend your arms down by your sides and your left leg up toward the ceiling, foot flexed. Place the block on top of your left foot (a). On an exhale, lift your hips up toward the ceiling, engaging your glutes and abs and keeping the block steady (b). Slowly lower your hips back down and repeat for 8-10 reps (c). Switch sides.

Strength Exercises with Yoga Blocks: Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

5. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

This exercise already tests how strong you can stand on one foot — and the yoga block only makes it more difficult. Engage your core and glutes to stay upright.

How to: Stand with your left foot on a yoga block (a). Keeping you back flat, shoulders down away from your ears and a slight bend in your standing right leg, lean forward, bringing your chest toward the ground and your left leg straight up behind you. Think about keeping your foot flexed and hips squared toward the ground. Hands can remain straight down by your sides, on your hips or up by your ears (b). Squeeze your glutes to come back up to stand and repeat for 8-10 reps (c). Switch sides.

RELATED: Are You Doing the Deadlift All Wrong?

Strength Exercises with Yoga Blocks: Plank IYTW

6. Plank IYTW

Crank up your core stability: The block adds an extra element of unsteadiness. The block in your moving hand will help with body awareness so you hit each letter with precision.

How to: Start in a high plank position with you left hand on a block at its lowest height and your right hand holding another block (a). Lift your right arm straight up in line with your shoulder for form an I, bicep by your ear (b). Tap the block back down to the floor, and then lift it out to a Y shape (c). Next, tap the block back down to the floor, and then lift it straight out to the side in line with your shoulder to form a T (d). Tap your block back down to the floor again, and then lift your arm up to shoulder height and pull your elbow back to form a W (e). Once again, tap the block back down to the floor and repeat for 8-10 reps, maintaining a strong plank the entire time (f). Switch sides.

Strength Exercises with Yoga Blocks: Flying Plank

7. Flying Plank

Tack this on to the end of your workout to give your core one final test of strength. You’ll have to engage everything from your abs to your glutes to your thighs to stay in one straight line.

How to: Start in a high plank position, with a yoga block placed right at the top of each middle finger (a). Slowly lower down to the yoga blocks, until your shoulders are resting on them (b). Practice the flying plank by picking up your right hand and straightening it back behind you (c). Then lift and straighten the right arm (d). When you feel stable, pick up both hands and straighten your arms back by your hips (e). Hold this position for 30 seconds or as long as you can.

Read More
Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners
50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core
7 Easy Pilates Moves for a Quick Core Workout

The post 7 Strength Exercises You Can Do with Yoga Blocks appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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7 Strength Exercises You Can Do with Yoga Blocks

[caption id="attachment_64085" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Strength Exercises You Can Do with Yoga Blocks Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Don’t get it twisted: Yoga blocks aren’t just for beginners — and they’re not just for yoga, either. While it may seem like these foam and cork cubes have been pigeonholed to assisting vinyasa flows, they can actually take your strength workout to a new level, too. Just take a cue from Caitlin Lavelle, founder of Lavelle Yoga Fit and trainer at Uplift Studios in New York City, who uses yoga blocks during most workouts with her clients. “They foam versions provide an unsteady surface to force people to work on balance,” she says. “They can also help with better body alignment, range of motion and develop proprioception,” aka understanding where your limps are in space. (A key for proper form.) These tools also add resistance to common moves. “Even for the most seasoned fitness veterans, they can make an exercise feel brand new,” Lavelle says. For instance, squeeze the block between your thighs during a plank or glute bridge and you’ll instantly feel new muscles fire. To learn other ways to incorporate yoga blocks into your workout for heightened strength and stability, check out some of Lavelle’s favorites. Ready to rise to the challenge? RELATED: The 15-Minute Medicine Ball HIIT Workout

7 Strength Exercises to Try with a Yoga Block

[caption id="attachment_64086" align="alignnone" width="620"]Strength Exercises with Yoga Blocks: Dead Bug GIFs: Mallory Creveling / Uplift Studios[/caption]

1. Dead Bug

Squeeze the yoga block between your elbow and knee for this core-centric exercise and it’ll make your midsection work extra hard during the entire move. How to: Lie on your back. Place a yoga block the long way between your left elbow and left knee, both joints bent 90 degrees. Extend your right arm and left leg straight up toward the ceiling (a). Slowly and with control, lower both your right arm and right leg toward the ground. Keep your spine in a neutral position and head on the mat (b). Bring your right arm and leg back overhead and repeat for 8-10 reps (c). Then switch sides. RELATED: 50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core Strength Exercises with Yoga Blocks: Bird Dog

2. Bird Dog

Here’s where you’ll feel that balance kick into gear, thanks to the elevation. Remember to keep your abs braced to execute the move with solid form. How to: Start on your hands and knees, with both your left knee and right hand on yoga blocks. Point your left toe behind you (the secret to targeting your core stability) (a). Extend your left arm and right leg straight out, so they’re in line with your shoulders and hips. Keep your shoulders and hips squared to the floor as you move, and your neck in a neutral position (b). Now, pull your left elbow and right knee in toward each other (c). Extend again and keep repeating for 8-10 reps (d). Switch sides. Strength Exercises with Yoga Blocks: Tricep Push-Up

3. Tricep Push-Up

Want to master the perfect triceps push-up? Grab your blocks — they’ll help get your body in the proper position. How to: Start in a high plank position, with a yoga block placed right at the top of each middle finger (a). Slowly lower down on a two-count to the yoga blocks (to focus on the eccentric phase), until your shoulders touch them. Make sure to squeeze your elbows in toward your sides (b). Then, press yourself back up to the plank (c). Repeat for 8-10 reps. RELATED: This is How To Do a Perfect Push-Up (Even on Your Knees) Strength Exercises with Yoga Blocks: Single-Leg Glute Bridge

4. Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Talk about finding the right footing. You’ll have to keep your hip and foot flexed and your leg straight to stop the block from falling as you move. This will also turn up the burn on your opposite glute and hamstring. How to: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet placed close enough to your butt that you can almost touch them. Extend your arms down by your sides and your left leg up toward the ceiling, foot flexed. Place the block on top of your left foot (a). On an exhale, lift your hips up toward the ceiling, engaging your glutes and abs and keeping the block steady (b). Slowly lower your hips back down and repeat for 8-10 reps (c). Switch sides. Strength Exercises with Yoga Blocks: Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

5. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

This exercise already tests how strong you can stand on one foot — and the yoga block only makes it more difficult. Engage your core and glutes to stay upright. How to: Stand with your left foot on a yoga block (a). Keeping you back flat, shoulders down away from your ears and a slight bend in your standing right leg, lean forward, bringing your chest toward the ground and your left leg straight up behind you. Think about keeping your foot flexed and hips squared toward the ground. Hands can remain straight down by your sides, on your hips or up by your ears (b). Squeeze your glutes to come back up to stand and repeat for 8-10 reps (c). Switch sides. RELATED: Are You Doing the Deadlift All Wrong? Strength Exercises with Yoga Blocks: Plank IYTW

6. Plank IYTW

Crank up your core stability: The block adds an extra element of unsteadiness. The block in your moving hand will help with body awareness so you hit each letter with precision. How to: Start in a high plank position with you left hand on a block at its lowest height and your right hand holding another block (a). Lift your right arm straight up in line with your shoulder for form an I, bicep by your ear (b). Tap the block back down to the floor, and then lift it out to a Y shape (c). Next, tap the block back down to the floor, and then lift it straight out to the side in line with your shoulder to form a T (d). Tap your block back down to the floor again, and then lift your arm up to shoulder height and pull your elbow back to form a W (e). Once again, tap the block back down to the floor and repeat for 8-10 reps, maintaining a strong plank the entire time (f). Switch sides. Strength Exercises with Yoga Blocks: Flying Plank

7. Flying Plank

Tack this on to the end of your workout to give your core one final test of strength. You’ll have to engage everything from your abs to your glutes to your thighs to stay in one straight line. How to: Start in a high plank position, with a yoga block placed right at the top of each middle finger (a). Slowly lower down to the yoga blocks, until your shoulders are resting on them (b). Practice the flying plank by picking up your right hand and straightening it back behind you (c). Then lift and straighten the right arm (d). When you feel stable, pick up both hands and straighten your arms back by your hips (e). Hold this position for 30 seconds or as long as you can. Read More Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners 50 Ab Exercises to Score a Stronger Core 7 Easy Pilates Moves for a Quick Core Workout

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10 Countries Every Fit Travel Lover Needs to Visit https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-fit-travel-countries/ Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:15:19 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=63886 10 Countries Every Fit Travel Lover Needs to Visit

[caption id="attachment_63892" align="alignnone" width="620"]10 Countries Every Fit Travel Lover Needs to Visit Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

A few years ago, a vacation might have been synonymous with sitting by the beach and sipping a refreshing cocktail. And while that’s always a welcomed break, these days more people are gearing up for getaways filled with equally epic and active adventures. So to inspire a little wanderlust and a lot more movement for your next trip, we rounded up the top countries perfect for fit travel. Learn about the workout culture of these amazing places, then start packing. You won’t want to miss these sporty, bucket list-worthy spots.

RELATED: How Climbing Mountains Helped These 7 Women Heal

10 Countries Fit Travel Fans Will Love

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1. Greece

What to do: Hike

History speaks for Greece’s athletic-inspiring atmosphere: The Olympics started here, plus it’s the birthplace of the marathon. It’s easy to stick to the tourist-heavy islands of Santorini and Mykonos — both of which have great fit offerings, like hiking along amazing coastlines or doing water sports such as sea kayaking, windsurfing or straight up swimming. But you also don't want to ignore the smaller Greek islands. Tinos and Naxos, for example, offer unique hiking trails with super scenic views. The trail to Xombourgo in Tinos offers granite mountaintop overlooks. And Summitting Mount Zas (aka Mount Zeus) in Naxos is a must-do thanks to its high peaks that let you see the Greek seas for miles and miles.

Where to stay: Sign up for REI Adventures Greek Island Hopper package and your guide will handle travel from city to city, hotel stays in each town, and meals while you explore Athens, Santorini, Tinos and Naxos by land and sea.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BWv-cYklmRI

2. Croatia

What to do: Scuba dive

Water and wine lovers, Croatia is the country for you. A winery in Drače, a town nestled about an hour north of Dubrovnik, has become the world’s first underwater winery. Edivo Vina stores their vino in the Adriatic Sea, and visitors can to dive with staffers to grab a bottle to then down with dinner. Bonus: On your venture to the depths of the sea, you’ll swim by an old sunken boat at the bottom of the Mali Ston Bay. Cool deep-sea dives, breathing-taking underwater sights and some seriously delicious sips? Sounds like the perfect way to de-stress.

Where to stay: This Airbnb with Instagram-worthy views of the Croatian coast and a budget-friendly price tag. Or opt for this one, which is basically right on the sea.

RELATED: 7 Active Travel Getaways You’ll Want to Book ASAP

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

3. France

What to do: Walk everywhere

Everyone wonders how the French stay so fit, given the abundance of bread, cheese and wine. The answer: They walk more than the average American does. U.S. folk tend to average about 5,815 daily steps, whereas the French walk an average of 6,330. So if you’re visiting the City of Light, make like a Parisian and walk your way to the must-see attractions. (An alternative mode of transport: Rent bikes and ride from point to point, around the Palace of Versailles, including Marie Antoinette’s Estate.) When you’re craving a heavier dose of sweat, sign up for an hour-long Urban Bootcamp at Midtown Studio. Coaches lead the class in both English and French, so NBD if the only French you speak is ‘bonjour.’

Where to stay: Hôtel Plaza Athénée, which offers a pillow and mattress menu meant to help you relax more, courtesy of the soothing materials in the fabrics. No plans for New Years yet? Book a stay here until January 9 and you also get access to a private ice rink.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQgoeVJgw3q

4. Australia

What to do: All the water sports 

The Land Down Under offers so many fit activities, it’s nearly impossible to highlight them all (not to mention fit them all in your itinerary). But if we had to choose the can’t-miss adventures, we’d suggest signing up for snorkeling in Lord Howe Island (a World Heritage site that’s insanely gorgeous) and kiteboarding in Noosa, one of the top spots to catch wind-lead waves. And the biggest bucket-list item: Swimming with humpback whales on the Queensland Coast. It doesn’t get more memorable than that.

Where to stay: Kewarra Beach Resort & Spa, which offers sand-side accommodations situated between the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest of North Queensland.

RELATED: How to Conquer Your Fear of Open Water Swimming

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

5. New Zealand

What to do: Surf and bungee

New Zealand practically begs for fitness addicts to visit, with their more than 9,000 miles of coastline ready for exploration. It’s a world-class surfing destination, so your top priority should be riding waves. Raglan is great for both pro and newbie surfers, thanks to its consistent conditions and multiple surf spots to choose from, based on your experience level. More of an adrenaline junkie? You can always bungee jump off Kawaru Bridge, the birthplace of commercial bungee jumping and the only place in Queenstown where you can bungee in tandem. (Just be sure to dip your toes into the jaw-droppingly beautiful turquoise waters at the bottom when you’re done.)

Where to stay: This Rustic Treehouse Overlooking the Ocean, which will make you feel like you have the whole coastline to yourself.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbrojtaF0mI

6. Brazil

What to do: Dance

While Brazil has a strong sports tradition (hello, futbol!), it’s also known for dance. The most well-known options: Samba and capoeira. The latter is a martial arts practice infused with elements of dance and acrobatics. Many times, you can find street performers demonstrating how it’s done in Salvador, the cultural epicenter for capoeira. Take a class from Mestre Curio’s Escola de Capoeira Angola, then catch a performance from the Balé Folclórico da Bahia pros.

If you’re looking to try a newer dance form, look for a Zouk class in São Paulo. Full warning: It’s a sensual partner dance that requires almost full-body contact, so make sure you bring someone you’re comfortable moving with. The dance style has a very improvisational feel, and by the end you’ll have engaged every muscle for a full-body workout.

Where to stay: La Villa Bahia in Salvador, complete with a roof-top terrace, pool and delicious cuisine (and coffee!). Stay at Pullman Sao Paulo Ibirapuera Hotel in São Paulo for access to the main urban park next door, a full fitness facility and in-room workout programs, designed by ambassador and instructor Sarah Hoey.

RELATED: LaBlast: The Most Fun Dance Workout You’ll Ever Do

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bbeyknoga-h/

7. Switzerland

What to do: Hike and ski

Mountains, mountains, mountains — that’s what you’ll find no matter where you look, and it’s the main reason the Swiss are in such good shape. No matter when you visit, take advantage of the majestic peaks that provide more than 40,000 miles of marked hiking trails. (The Aletsch Arena comes highly recommended thanks to the views of the Great Aletsch Glacier.) And the skiing — well, everyone knows how baller that is. One of the most iconic spots is St. Moritz, often called the ski resort “on top of the world.” It's been open since 1864, has hosted the Winter Olympics twice (1928 and 1948), and was featured in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. With 56 lifts, 88 runs (more than 200 miles) and day passes for about $80, you’ll have plenty of entertainment.

Where to stay: Stay connected with nature (and even wifi) at the Eggishorn Campsite, located right below the Aletsch area.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BWp06G0FeKT/

8. Peru

What to do: Hike

Of course, backpacking Machu Picchu is a no-brainer for adventure enthusiasts. But rather than rough it in tents while hiking along the Inca Trail, consider a lodge-to-lodge adventure. The Mountain Lodges of Peru offers the Salkantay stay, a seven-day journey across 15 different eco-systems on the trail. Along the way you’ll explore villages and mingle with the locals, and traverse mountain passes (some over 15,000 feet). At the end of each day, a cozy lodge, gourmet meal and soothing outdoor jacuzzi makes you way more comfortable — and helps you recover before the next day’s adventures.

Where to stay: Mountain Lodges of Peru Salkantay Trek, where you’ll be thankful for a comfy setting after long hikes.

RELATED: The 10 Most Incredible Hiking Trails in the World

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9. Ireland

What to do: Horseback ride

Ireland has strong ties to the equestrian world, so why not ride horseback for a workout? (If you think it’s not a workout, hop on a horse and see how sore your legs are the next day.) It’s also one of the best ways to explore the countryside. You can gallop along beaches, trot through trails, and maybe even try your hand at obstacles while you ride cross-country. Sign up for a day of lessons at the Birr Equestrian Centre — about a two-hour drive from Dublin — complete with clinics and cross-country treks for newbies and advanced riders.

Where to stay: Barberstown Castle, because when in Ireland, castles are the only way to go.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZgKblCAY8E

10. Aruba

What to do: Water sports and ATVs

With a rugged mountain landscape on one side of the island, white sand beaches on the other, and constant trade winds throughout, Aruba — dubbed One Happy Island — is the perfect fit travel Caribbean destination. If life on the water is more your speed, those reliable winds make windsurfing and kitesurfing easy to pick up (you can take a lesson at Vela Aruba). More of a land adventurer? Rent an ATV through De Palm Tours and catch a thrill riding through Arikok National Park. A must-see spot: the Natural Pool, a shell-shaped basin surrounded by jagged lava rocks and the Caribbean sea. It's the ideal place to hop off your joy ride and plunge into the turquoise water for a refreshing dip.

Where to stay: Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, which offers daily workout classes — from tennis clinics and salsa classes to aqua Zumba and glow-in-the-dark basketball. Or sign up for the Wellness Retreat Package and score a healthy cooking class, private beach yoga session and credit to the Balinese-inspired spa.

Read More
14 Trail Running Adventures to Try Before You Die
7 Top Outdoor Destinations for Rock Climbing Newbies
From Surfing to Tennis: The Best Adult Summer Camps

The post 10 Countries Every Fit Travel Lover Needs to Visit appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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10 Countries Every Fit Travel Lover Needs to Visit

[caption id="attachment_63892" align="alignnone" width="620"]10 Countries Every Fit Travel Lover Needs to Visit Photo: Twenty20[/caption] A few years ago, a vacation might have been synonymous with sitting by the beach and sipping a refreshing cocktail. And while that’s always a welcomed break, these days more people are gearing up for getaways filled with equally epic and active adventures. So to inspire a little wanderlust and a lot more movement for your next trip, we rounded up the top countries perfect for fit travel. Learn about the workout culture of these amazing places, then start packing. You won’t want to miss these sporty, bucket list-worthy spots. RELATED: How Climbing Mountains Helped These 7 Women Heal

10 Countries Fit Travel Fans Will Love

https://www.instagram.com/p/BWdffNTgUV1/

1. Greece

What to do: Hike History speaks for Greece’s athletic-inspiring atmosphere: The Olympics started here, plus it’s the birthplace of the marathon. It’s easy to stick to the tourist-heavy islands of Santorini and Mykonos — both of which have great fit offerings, like hiking along amazing coastlines or doing water sports such as sea kayaking, windsurfing or straight up swimming. But you also don't want to ignore the smaller Greek islands. Tinos and Naxos, for example, offer unique hiking trails with super scenic views. The trail to Xombourgo in Tinos offers granite mountaintop overlooks. And Summitting Mount Zas (aka Mount Zeus) in Naxos is a must-do thanks to its high peaks that let you see the Greek seas for miles and miles. Where to stay: Sign up for REI Adventures Greek Island Hopper package and your guide will handle travel from city to city, hotel stays in each town, and meals while you explore Athens, Santorini, Tinos and Naxos by land and sea. https://www.instagram.com/p/BWv-cYklmRI

2. Croatia

What to do: Scuba dive Water and wine lovers, Croatia is the country for you. A winery in Drače, a town nestled about an hour north of Dubrovnik, has become the world’s first underwater winery. Edivo Vina stores their vino in the Adriatic Sea, and visitors can to dive with staffers to grab a bottle to then down with dinner. Bonus: On your venture to the depths of the sea, you’ll swim by an old sunken boat at the bottom of the Mali Ston Bay. Cool deep-sea dives, breathing-taking underwater sights and some seriously delicious sips? Sounds like the perfect way to de-stress. Where to stay: This Airbnb with Instagram-worthy views of the Croatian coast and a budget-friendly price tag. Or opt for this one, which is basically right on the sea. RELATED: 7 Active Travel Getaways You’ll Want to Book ASAP https://www.instagram.com/p/BcKwXWtHzlK

3. France

What to do: Walk everywhere Everyone wonders how the French stay so fit, given the abundance of bread, cheese and wine. The answer: They walk more than the average American does. U.S. folk tend to average about 5,815 daily steps, whereas the French walk an average of 6,330. So if you’re visiting the City of Light, make like a Parisian and walk your way to the must-see attractions. (An alternative mode of transport: Rent bikes and ride from point to point, around the Palace of Versailles, including Marie Antoinette’s Estate.) When you’re craving a heavier dose of sweat, sign up for an hour-long Urban Bootcamp at Midtown Studio. Coaches lead the class in both English and French, so NBD if the only French you speak is ‘bonjour.’ Where to stay: Hôtel Plaza Athénée, which offers a pillow and mattress menu meant to help you relax more, courtesy of the soothing materials in the fabrics. No plans for New Years yet? Book a stay here until January 9 and you also get access to a private ice rink. https://www.instagram.com/p/BQgoeVJgw3q

4. Australia

What to do: All the water sports  The Land Down Under offers so many fit activities, it’s nearly impossible to highlight them all (not to mention fit them all in your itinerary). But if we had to choose the can’t-miss adventures, we’d suggest signing up for snorkeling in Lord Howe Island (a World Heritage site that’s insanely gorgeous) and kiteboarding in Noosa, one of the top spots to catch wind-lead waves. And the biggest bucket-list item: Swimming with humpback whales on the Queensland Coast. It doesn’t get more memorable than that. Where to stay: Kewarra Beach Resort & Spa, which offers sand-side accommodations situated between the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest of North Queensland. RELATED: How to Conquer Your Fear of Open Water Swimming https://www.instagram.com/p/BPqhCIqgaaL

5. New Zealand

What to do: Surf and bungee New Zealand practically begs for fitness addicts to visit, with their more than 9,000 miles of coastline ready for exploration. It’s a world-class surfing destination, so your top priority should be riding waves. Raglan is great for both pro and newbie surfers, thanks to its consistent conditions and multiple surf spots to choose from, based on your experience level. More of an adrenaline junkie? You can always bungee jump off Kawaru Bridge, the birthplace of commercial bungee jumping and the only place in Queenstown where you can bungee in tandem. (Just be sure to dip your toes into the jaw-droppingly beautiful turquoise waters at the bottom when you’re done.) Where to stay: This Rustic Treehouse Overlooking the Ocean, which will make you feel like you have the whole coastline to yourself. https://www.instagram.com/p/BbrojtaF0mI

6. Brazil

What to do: Dance While Brazil has a strong sports tradition (hello, futbol!), it’s also known for dance. The most well-known options: Samba and capoeira. The latter is a martial arts practice infused with elements of dance and acrobatics. Many times, you can find street performers demonstrating how it’s done in Salvador, the cultural epicenter for capoeira. Take a class from Mestre Curio’s Escola de Capoeira Angola, then catch a performance from the Balé Folclórico da Bahia pros. If you’re looking to try a newer dance form, look for a Zouk class in São Paulo. Full warning: It’s a sensual partner dance that requires almost full-body contact, so make sure you bring someone you’re comfortable moving with. The dance style has a very improvisational feel, and by the end you’ll have engaged every muscle for a full-body workout. Where to stay: La Villa Bahia in Salvador, complete with a roof-top terrace, pool and delicious cuisine (and coffee!). Stay at Pullman Sao Paulo Ibirapuera Hotel in São Paulo for access to the main urban park next door, a full fitness facility and in-room workout programs, designed by ambassador and instructor Sarah Hoey. RELATED: LaBlast: The Most Fun Dance Workout You’ll Ever Do https://www.instagram.com/p/Bbeyknoga-h/

7. Switzerland

What to do: Hike and ski Mountains, mountains, mountains — that’s what you’ll find no matter where you look, and it’s the main reason the Swiss are in such good shape. No matter when you visit, take advantage of the majestic peaks that provide more than 40,000 miles of marked hiking trails. (The Aletsch Arena comes highly recommended thanks to the views of the Great Aletsch Glacier.) And the skiing — well, everyone knows how baller that is. One of the most iconic spots is St. Moritz, often called the ski resort “on top of the world.” It's been open since 1864, has hosted the Winter Olympics twice (1928 and 1948), and was featured in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. With 56 lifts, 88 runs (more than 200 miles) and day passes for about $80, you’ll have plenty of entertainment. Where to stay: Stay connected with nature (and even wifi) at the Eggishorn Campsite, located right below the Aletsch area. https://www.instagram.com/p/BWp06G0FeKT/

8. Peru

What to do: Hike Of course, backpacking Machu Picchu is a no-brainer for adventure enthusiasts. But rather than rough it in tents while hiking along the Inca Trail, consider a lodge-to-lodge adventure. The Mountain Lodges of Peru offers the Salkantay stay, a seven-day journey across 15 different eco-systems on the trail. Along the way you’ll explore villages and mingle with the locals, and traverse mountain passes (some over 15,000 feet). At the end of each day, a cozy lodge, gourmet meal and soothing outdoor jacuzzi makes you way more comfortable — and helps you recover before the next day’s adventures. Where to stay: Mountain Lodges of Peru Salkantay Trek, where you’ll be thankful for a comfy setting after long hikes. RELATED: The 10 Most Incredible Hiking Trails in the World https://www.instagram.com/p/BSRbb4hhdje

9. Ireland

What to do: Horseback ride Ireland has strong ties to the equestrian world, so why not ride horseback for a workout? (If you think it’s not a workout, hop on a horse and see how sore your legs are the next day.) It’s also one of the best ways to explore the countryside. You can gallop along beaches, trot through trails, and maybe even try your hand at obstacles while you ride cross-country. Sign up for a day of lessons at the Birr Equestrian Centre — about a two-hour drive from Dublin — complete with clinics and cross-country treks for newbies and advanced riders. Where to stay: Barberstown Castle, because when in Ireland, castles are the only way to go. https://www.instagram.com/p/BZgKblCAY8E

10. Aruba

What to do: Water sports and ATVs With a rugged mountain landscape on one side of the island, white sand beaches on the other, and constant trade winds throughout, Aruba — dubbed One Happy Island — is the perfect fit travel Caribbean destination. If life on the water is more your speed, those reliable winds make windsurfing and kitesurfing easy to pick up (you can take a lesson at Vela Aruba). More of a land adventurer? Rent an ATV through De Palm Tours and catch a thrill riding through Arikok National Park. A must-see spot: the Natural Pool, a shell-shaped basin surrounded by jagged lava rocks and the Caribbean sea. It's the ideal place to hop off your joy ride and plunge into the turquoise water for a refreshing dip. Where to stay: Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, which offers daily workout classes — from tennis clinics and salsa classes to aqua Zumba and glow-in-the-dark basketball. Or sign up for the Wellness Retreat Package and score a healthy cooking class, private beach yoga session and credit to the Balinese-inspired spa. Read More 14 Trail Running Adventures to Try Before You Die 7 Top Outdoor Destinations for Rock Climbing Newbies From Surfing to Tennis: The Best Adult Summer Camps

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How Much Exercise It Takes to Burn Off Thanksgiving Dinner https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/thanksgiving-dinner-exercise-infographic/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/thanksgiving-dinner-exercise-infographic/#comments Tue, 21 Nov 2017 05:02:48 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=21522 Thanksgiving Dinner Exercise

It happens each year: The dishes you've been craving all season long are finally passed around the table, and before you know it your plate is piled up to your head with turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes — all smothered with a heaping portion of gravy. It's a masterpiece, yes. But it's also a single meal that can total anywhere from 2,500 to 4,500 calories (nearly twice the calories recommended daily). While there's no need to skip your favorite feast in the name of fitness, we recommend taking a peek at this infographic, which puts those cals into perspective. It's not all bad news, though. That Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot will earn you a delicious slice of Mom's apple pie. But you just might think twice about the gravy: A quarter-cup will cost you 50 burpees! Find out how much you have to work for each Turkey Day dish here.

RELATED: 9 Creative Turkey Recipes to Reinvent Thanksgiving Dinner

What It Takes to Burn Off Thanksgiving Dinner

How Much Exercise It Takes to Work Off Thanksgiving Dinner

RELATED: Burn Before Bird: The Thanksgiving T.U.R.K.E.Y. Workout

The Thanksgiving Dish-to-Exercise Breakdown

Apple Pie (1 slice), 411 calories = 5K Turkey Trot (35 min)

Pumpkin Pie (1 slice), 316 calories = Yoga (60 min)

Buttered Roll, 210 calories = Flag Football (20 min)

Sweet Potato Casserole (1/2 cup), 200 calories = Spinning (18 min)

Turkey Breast (6 oz), 195 calories = Ice Skating (50 min)

Egg Nog (1/2 cup), 190 calories = CrossFit (13 min)

Stuffing (1/2 cup), 180 calories = Stair Running (10 min)

Corn Bread (2 oz), 160 calories = Swimming (15 laps)

Red Wine (6 oz), 150 calories = Walking (35 min)

Mashed Potatoes (1/2 cup), 120 calories = Weight Training (35 min)

Green Bean Casserole (1/2 cup), 70 calories = Dancing (14 min)

Gravy (1/4 cup), 45 calories = 50 Burpees

Cranberry Sauce (1/4 cup), 37 calories = 60 Push-Ups

RELATED: Vegan No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Some Turkey Day Perspective

Calorie counts got you down before Thanksgiving has even rolled around? Remember that this is a time to celebrate and give thanks, so don't forget to keep things in perspective. (A little stuffing never hurt anybody!) Just keep your goals within sight, and your workout journal close by. Whether you're down for an hour of dancing, a friendly push-up contest, or some flag football with the fam, there's always a fun way to stay active and in control of your health and wellness.

Originally published on November 2013. Updated on November 2017. 

Read More
5 Grocery Store Healthy Traps to Avoid This Thanksgiving
3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now
15 Sweet Potato Recipes You'll Crave Beyond Thanksgiving

The post How Much Exercise It Takes to Burn Off Thanksgiving Dinner appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Thanksgiving Dinner Exercise

It happens each year: The dishes you've been craving all season long are finally passed around the table, and before you know it your plate is piled up to your head with turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes — all smothered with a heaping portion of gravy. It's a masterpiece, yes. But it's also a single meal that can total anywhere from 2,500 to 4,500 calories (nearly twice the calories recommended daily). While there's no need to skip your favorite feast in the name of fitness, we recommend taking a peek at this infographic, which puts those cals into perspective. It's not all bad news, though. That Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot will earn you a delicious slice of Mom's apple pie. But you just might think twice about the gravy: A quarter-cup will cost you 50 burpees! Find out how much you have to work for each Turkey Day dish here. RELATED: 9 Creative Turkey Recipes to Reinvent Thanksgiving Dinner

What It Takes to Burn Off Thanksgiving Dinner

How Much Exercise It Takes to Work Off Thanksgiving Dinner RELATED: Burn Before Bird: The Thanksgiving T.U.R.K.E.Y. Workout

The Thanksgiving Dish-to-Exercise Breakdown

Apple Pie (1 slice), 411 calories = 5K Turkey Trot (35 min) Pumpkin Pie (1 slice), 316 calories = Yoga (60 min) Buttered Roll, 210 calories = Flag Football (20 min) Sweet Potato Casserole (1/2 cup), 200 calories = Spinning (18 min) Turkey Breast (6 oz), 195 calories = Ice Skating (50 min) Egg Nog (1/2 cup), 190 calories = CrossFit (13 min) Stuffing (1/2 cup), 180 calories = Stair Running (10 min) Corn Bread (2 oz), 160 calories = Swimming (15 laps) Red Wine (6 oz), 150 calories = Walking (35 min) Mashed Potatoes (1/2 cup), 120 calories = Weight Training (35 min) Green Bean Casserole (1/2 cup), 70 calories = Dancing (14 min) Gravy (1/4 cup), 45 calories = 50 Burpees Cranberry Sauce (1/4 cup), 37 calories = 60 Push-Ups RELATED: Vegan No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Some Turkey Day Perspective

Calorie counts got you down before Thanksgiving has even rolled around? Remember that this is a time to celebrate and give thanks, so don't forget to keep things in perspective. (A little stuffing never hurt anybody!) Just keep your goals within sight, and your workout journal close by. Whether you're down for an hour of dancing, a friendly push-up contest, or some flag football with the fam, there's always a fun way to stay active and in control of your health and wellness. Originally published on November 2013. Updated on November 2017.  Read More 5 Grocery Store Healthy Traps to Avoid This Thanksgiving 3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now 15 Sweet Potato Recipes You'll Crave Beyond Thanksgiving

The post How Much Exercise It Takes to Burn Off Thanksgiving Dinner appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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The 6 Best Women’s Retreats to Reboot Your Health https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-womens-retreats-girls-trips-yoga/ Fri, 10 Nov 2017 12:15:57 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=63284

The 6 Best Women's Retreats to Reboot Your Health

If 2017 has taught us anything, it’s that a little self-care can go a long way. Activities like hiking, yoga and meditation can help you relax, de-stress and practice more mindfulness in your life. And if you can combine these fun activities with a vacation to a dreamy location, why not put those well-deserved PTO days to use?

With a growing number of women taking on the outdoors, women’s wellness retreats are becoming more popular than ever. And thanks to non-profit organizations like the Outdoor Women’s Alliance, GirlTrek and Altitude Seven, trekking the globe in the name of fitness, adventure, serenity — not to mention charity — is easier than ever, too. From a blissful yoga retreat in Bali to rock climbing in the Utah desert, here are some of the top women's retreats to book for the New Year.

RELATED: 5 Surprising Benefits of Going Solo on a Wellness Retreat

6 Women's Retreats for the Ultimate Girls’ Trip

[caption id="attachment_63287" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Women’s Retreats: REI Outessa Photo: Courtesy of Elena Pressprich[/caption]

1. REI Outessa

Location: Waterville Valley, NH; Mt. Hood, OR; Kirkwood, CA
Dates: Summer 2018
Cost: $799; Participants must pay for their housing and travel to the event.
Drawing more than 1,000 women from across the country each year, REI Outessa’s retreat series empowers women to challenge their physical and mental limits in nature. Whether you’ve always dreamed of rock climbing, mountain biking, standup paddle boarding or hiking, Outessa’s three-day event lets you customize your itinerary. You can also sign up for inspiring talks from female athletes, writers and entrepreneurs, plus classes on wilderness survival and backpacking. No matter which location you choose — from the mountains of Kirkwood, California to Mount Hood in Oregon  — you’ll forest bathe in breathtaking views. Leave sweaty, dirty and happy — you can thank us later for your new friends for life.

[caption id="attachment_63288" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Women’s Retreats: Big Sky Yoga Retreats Photo: Courtesy of Larry Stanley Photography[/caption]

2. Big Sky Yoga Retreats

Location: California, Montana, Costa Rica, Italy and Argentina
Dates: March-October 2018
Cost: $1795-$2275 (four days); International retreats range from $2850-$4995.
Add Cowgirl yoga to your list of ways to namaste. Big Sky’s Cowgirl retreats combine yoga with horses — set amongst Mother Nature’s most gorgeous backdrops. Find zen in Montana’s vast green pastures, melt away your fears in Patagonia’s turquoise lakes and snow-capped mountains, and unwind with a glass of wine under the Tuscan sun. Big Sky’s women's retreats include lodging, daily yoga classes, gourmet meals and drinks, horseback riding and holistic massages. By the end of the retreat, you’ll unleash your inner Warrior I, II and III.

RELATED: 7 Fitness Retreats You Can Actually Afford

[caption id="attachment_63289" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Women’s Retreats: Kripalu Center Empowered Woman Retreat Photo: Courtesy of Kripalu Center[/caption]

3. Kripalu Center's Empowered Woman, Enlightened Life Retreat

Location: Stockbridge, MA
Dates: February 16-18, 2018
Cost: $240 (without housing)
You’ll want to clear your calendar and some headspace for this retreat, which is all about moving and manifesting. The natural beauty of the Berkshires will beckon you to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health for some R&R and self-growth. The Empowered Woman, Enlightened Life retreat offers workshops on how to re-assess your goals, create strategies for reaching them, and go after what you really want. In addition to the reinvention workshops, you’ll get to try a variety of yoga classes and healing arts sessions, like Ayurvedic facials and meditative massages.

[caption id="attachment_63290" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Women’s Retreats: Escape Haven's Bali Fitness Retreat Photo: Courtesy of Escape Haven[/caption]

4. Escape Haven Bali Fitness Retreat

Location: Bali, Indonesia
Dates: January-December 2018
Cost: $2,000-3,000
Grab your fit girlfriends and book the ultimate bachelorette vacation! Escape Haven’s luxurious fitness getaway includes bootcamp-style HIIT, kickboxing, TRX training, barre, yoga and Muay Thai classes. For six days, you’ll sign up for unlimited group fitness classes, in addition to nutrition, cooking and self-care workshops. Craving some relaxation? Sign up for a spa treatment, like a massage, or meditation. Once you’re famished from your day’s activities, feast on delicious and healthy meals, borrowing flavors from Southeast Asian cuisine. You’ll leave fitter and more relaxed — plus with a swag bag of fitness gifts and treats.

RELATED: From Surfing to Tennis: The Best Adult Summer Camps

[caption id="attachment_63291" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Women’s Retreats: Women's Quest Photo: Courtesy of Carlos Palacios[/caption]

5. Women’s Quest Adventures for the Mind, Body and Spirit

Location: Costa Rica, Argentina, Iceland, Hawaii, Colorado and Washington
Dates: February-August 2018
Cost: $350-4,500
Founded by Colleen Cannon, a professional triathlete and world champion, Women’s Quest’s retreats offer women a safe place to explore their fitness bucket list minus the intimidation of competition. From surfing and cycling to horseback riding and yoga, you’ll get in touch with your inner athlete, while exploring nature. When else in your life do you get tour Iceland’s volcanoes and hot springs on horseback? If you prefer the beach life, you’ll zipline through the Costa Rican rainforests and ride your first wave at Playa Hermosa beach. And if you make the trek to Patagonia, a boat waits for you at Grey Glacier, where you’ll see icebergs in every shade of blue.

[caption id="attachment_63292" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Women’s Retreats: YogaScape Moab Campout Photo: Courtesy of YogaScape[/caption]

6. YOGASCAPES The Moab Women’s Campout

Location: Moab, Utah
Dates:
May 28-31, 2018
Cost: $995
Get ready for the most epic desert adventure! Whether you’re a yogi or adventurer, Moab’s hot and dry weather will put your body and mind to the test. During the day, you’ll rock climb, go rafting and do immersive yoga flows amidst the stunning red rocks, then glamp under the stars at night. (Fun fact: Utah boasts some of the best star gazing in the world thanks to its remoteness, altitude and clear skies.) On your hike through the Arches National Park, you’ll take in majestic views of unique mountain structures you’ll never see anywhere else. The camp offers luxurious tents that bring the comfort of home to the serene desert. And don’t worry, there are nice bathrooms, too.

Read More
Escape the City: 7 Reasons You Need a Weekend in the Woods
The 11 Best Running Camps in the U.S.
7 Top Outdoor Destinations for Rock Climbing Newbies

The post The 6 Best Women’s Retreats to Reboot Your Health appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

The 6 Best Women's Retreats to Reboot Your Health
If 2017 has taught us anything, it’s that a little self-care can go a long way. Activities like hiking, yoga and meditation can help you relax, de-stress and practice more mindfulness in your life. And if you can combine these fun activities with a vacation to a dreamy location, why not put those well-deserved PTO days to use? With a growing number of women taking on the outdoors, women’s wellness retreats are becoming more popular than ever. And thanks to non-profit organizations like the Outdoor Women’s Alliance, GirlTrek and Altitude Seven, trekking the globe in the name of fitness, adventure, serenity — not to mention charity — is easier than ever, too. From a blissful yoga retreat in Bali to rock climbing in the Utah desert, here are some of the top women's retreats to book for the New Year. RELATED: 5 Surprising Benefits of Going Solo on a Wellness Retreat

6 Women's Retreats for the Ultimate Girls’ Trip

[caption id="attachment_63287" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Women’s Retreats: REI Outessa Photo: Courtesy of Elena Pressprich[/caption]

1. REI Outessa

Location: Waterville Valley, NH; Mt. Hood, OR; Kirkwood, CA Dates: Summer 2018 Cost: $799; Participants must pay for their housing and travel to the event. Drawing more than 1,000 women from across the country each year, REI Outessa’s retreat series empowers women to challenge their physical and mental limits in nature. Whether you’ve always dreamed of rock climbing, mountain biking, standup paddle boarding or hiking, Outessa’s three-day event lets you customize your itinerary. You can also sign up for inspiring talks from female athletes, writers and entrepreneurs, plus classes on wilderness survival and backpacking. No matter which location you choose — from the mountains of Kirkwood, California to Mount Hood in Oregon  — you’ll forest bathe in breathtaking views. Leave sweaty, dirty and happy — you can thank us later for your new friends for life. [caption id="attachment_63288" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Women’s Retreats: Big Sky Yoga Retreats Photo: Courtesy of Larry Stanley Photography[/caption]

2. Big Sky Yoga Retreats

Location: California, Montana, Costa Rica, Italy and Argentina Dates: March-October 2018 Cost: $1795-$2275 (four days); International retreats range from $2850-$4995. Add Cowgirl yoga to your list of ways to namaste. Big Sky’s Cowgirl retreats combine yoga with horses — set amongst Mother Nature’s most gorgeous backdrops. Find zen in Montana’s vast green pastures, melt away your fears in Patagonia’s turquoise lakes and snow-capped mountains, and unwind with a glass of wine under the Tuscan sun. Big Sky’s women's retreats include lodging, daily yoga classes, gourmet meals and drinks, horseback riding and holistic massages. By the end of the retreat, you’ll unleash your inner Warrior I, II and III. RELATED: 7 Fitness Retreats You Can Actually Afford [caption id="attachment_63289" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Women’s Retreats: Kripalu Center Empowered Woman Retreat Photo: Courtesy of Kripalu Center[/caption]

3. Kripalu Center's Empowered Woman, Enlightened Life Retreat

Location: Stockbridge, MA Dates: February 16-18, 2018 Cost: $240 (without housing) You’ll want to clear your calendar and some headspace for this retreat, which is all about moving and manifesting. The natural beauty of the Berkshires will beckon you to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health for some R&R and self-growth. The Empowered Woman, Enlightened Life retreat offers workshops on how to re-assess your goals, create strategies for reaching them, and go after what you really want. In addition to the reinvention workshops, you’ll get to try a variety of yoga classes and healing arts sessions, like Ayurvedic facials and meditative massages. [caption id="attachment_63290" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Women’s Retreats: Escape Haven's Bali Fitness Retreat Photo: Courtesy of Escape Haven[/caption]

4. Escape Haven Bali Fitness Retreat

Location: Bali, Indonesia Dates: January-December 2018 Cost: $2,000-3,000 Grab your fit girlfriends and book the ultimate bachelorette vacation! Escape Haven’s luxurious fitness getaway includes bootcamp-style HIIT, kickboxing, TRX training, barre, yoga and Muay Thai classes. For six days, you’ll sign up for unlimited group fitness classes, in addition to nutrition, cooking and self-care workshops. Craving some relaxation? Sign up for a spa treatment, like a massage, or meditation. Once you’re famished from your day’s activities, feast on delicious and healthy meals, borrowing flavors from Southeast Asian cuisine. You’ll leave fitter and more relaxed — plus with a swag bag of fitness gifts and treats. RELATED: From Surfing to Tennis: The Best Adult Summer Camps [caption id="attachment_63291" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Women’s Retreats: Women's Quest Photo: Courtesy of Carlos Palacios[/caption]

5. Women’s Quest Adventures for the Mind, Body and Spirit

Location: Costa Rica, Argentina, Iceland, Hawaii, Colorado and Washington Dates: February-August 2018 Cost: $350-4,500 Founded by Colleen Cannon, a professional triathlete and world champion, Women’s Quest’s retreats offer women a safe place to explore their fitness bucket list minus the intimidation of competition. From surfing and cycling to horseback riding and yoga, you’ll get in touch with your inner athlete, while exploring nature. When else in your life do you get tour Iceland’s volcanoes and hot springs on horseback? If you prefer the beach life, you’ll zipline through the Costa Rican rainforests and ride your first wave at Playa Hermosa beach. And if you make the trek to Patagonia, a boat waits for you at Grey Glacier, where you’ll see icebergs in every shade of blue. [caption id="attachment_63292" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Women’s Retreats: YogaScape Moab Campout Photo: Courtesy of YogaScape[/caption]

6. YOGASCAPES The Moab Women’s Campout

Location: Moab, Utah Dates: May 28-31, 2018 Cost: $995 Get ready for the most epic desert adventure! Whether you’re a yogi or adventurer, Moab’s hot and dry weather will put your body and mind to the test. During the day, you’ll rock climb, go rafting and do immersive yoga flows amidst the stunning red rocks, then glamp under the stars at night. (Fun fact: Utah boasts some of the best star gazing in the world thanks to its remoteness, altitude and clear skies.) On your hike through the Arches National Park, you’ll take in majestic views of unique mountain structures you’ll never see anywhere else. The camp offers luxurious tents that bring the comfort of home to the serene desert. And don’t worry, there are nice bathrooms, too. Read More Escape the City: 7 Reasons You Need a Weekend in the Woods The 11 Best Running Camps in the U.S. 7 Top Outdoor Destinations for Rock Climbing Newbies

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2-Minute Yoga Flow to Stretch and De-Stress https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/two-minute-yoga-flow-de-stress-stretch/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/two-minute-yoga-flow-de-stress-stretch/#respond Tue, 24 Oct 2017 11:15:08 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=62851 2-Minute Yoga Flow to Stretch and Release

[caption id="attachment_62855" align="alignnone" width="620"]2-Minute Yoga Flow to Stretch and De-Stress Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

When you’re feeling stressed, your body tenses up as a reflex reaction. Imagine a tug of war between muscle and mind. As your body succumbs to the stress, it creates tightness in your neck and shoulders. And if you’re guilty of sitting all day? Expect a stiff back and shortened hip flexors.

But instead of taking a few minutes to relax with a meditation, stretch into zen with this two-minute yoga flow. “Taking short movement breaks improves all body and mind functions,” says Kristin Condon, yoga instructor and producer on Daily Burn 365. Even better: “Get creative! Make shapes and get silly,” Condon says. “It helps to change your perspective and gets your body moving in new ways.”

RELATED: 3 Easy Yoga Poses to Help Wake You Up

Stretch Into Zen with This 2-Minute Yoga Flow

Condon’s meditative flow includes three poses that’ll help you bring awareness to tense areas in your body and learn how to use your breath to release them. The result? You’ll feel more relaxed, rejuvenated — and ready to tackle the tasks ahead of you.

Condon recommends starting this flow in the crescent lunge (high lunge) to stretch your legs, align your spine and build balance. “This is a wonderful counter pose after long hours of sitting at a desk, where you’re probably hunched over a computer,” Condon says. Take three to five breaths for each pose and remember to keep breathing as you transition.

[caption id="attachment_62860" align="alignnone" width="620"]2-Minute Yoga Flow to Stretch and De-Stress Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

1. Crescent Lunge

This heart-opening pose will help you lift tightness out of your chest, while stretching your back and legs and testing your balance.

How to: Standing with your feet hip-width apart, step your right foot forward, aligning your right knee directly over your heel. Keep your left foot behind with your heel lifted, but your toes firmly on the ground. Stand with your torso upright, and clasp your hands together behind you at your low back. Deepen the stretch by extending your back, bringing your shoulders down and lifting your chest to the sky. Look upwards and take a few breaths.

SIGN ME UP: Try Daily Burn's Yoga Made Simple for Free

2. Warrior III

Want to command in the boardroom? This pose gives you the backbone to by working your entire posterior, which has a tendency to weaken when sitting for hours on end. “Be an office warrior while you let go of work-induced stress and anxiety with this pose that grounds, focuses and energizes,” Condon says.

How to: From the high lunge position, balance your weight on your right leg and lift your left leg up so it becomes parallel to the ground. Flex your left foot and imagine pressing the wall behind you. Keep your hips square as you bring your torso forward and extend your arms out in front of you. You can bring your hands together and point your index fingers forward or have them in mudra (prayer). Hold this pose for about 30 seconds before releasing back to a crescent lunge and bringing your left foot forward to meet your right foot.

RELATED: 5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do

3. Side Bend

The key to getting the most out of this pose is to draw energy up from the ground through your inseam, torso and out of your pointer fingers, Condon says. “Lateral bends help with breathing by stretching the intercostal muscles. Better breath means more oxygen in your blood and in your brain, which relieves stress,” she notes.

How to: Place your feet and hands together in mountain pose (tadasana) and interlace your fingers. Point your index fingers up to the sky. While your feet stay firmly on the ground, take a gentle bend to your left side, inhaling and exhaling for five breaths before switching sides.

Want more yoga workouts you can do anywhere? Sign up for Daily Burn's Yoga Made Simple to start your free trial!

Read More
15 Stretches You Should Do Every Damn Day
50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game
8 Yoga Poses to Help Ease Lower Back Pain

The post 2-Minute Yoga Flow to Stretch and De-Stress appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
2-Minute Yoga Flow to Stretch and Release

[caption id="attachment_62855" align="alignnone" width="620"]2-Minute Yoga Flow to Stretch and De-Stress Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption] When you’re feeling stressed, your body tenses up as a reflex reaction. Imagine a tug of war between muscle and mind. As your body succumbs to the stress, it creates tightness in your neck and shoulders. And if you’re guilty of sitting all day? Expect a stiff back and shortened hip flexors. But instead of taking a few minutes to relax with a meditation, stretch into zen with this two-minute yoga flow. “Taking short movement breaks improves all body and mind functions,” says Kristin Condon, yoga instructor and producer on Daily Burn 365. Even better: “Get creative! Make shapes and get silly,” Condon says. “It helps to change your perspective and gets your body moving in new ways.” RELATED: 3 Easy Yoga Poses to Help Wake You Up

Stretch Into Zen with This 2-Minute Yoga Flow

Condon’s meditative flow includes three poses that’ll help you bring awareness to tense areas in your body and learn how to use your breath to release them. The result? You’ll feel more relaxed, rejuvenated — and ready to tackle the tasks ahead of you. Condon recommends starting this flow in the crescent lunge (high lunge) to stretch your legs, align your spine and build balance. “This is a wonderful counter pose after long hours of sitting at a desk, where you’re probably hunched over a computer,” Condon says. Take three to five breaths for each pose and remember to keep breathing as you transition. [caption id="attachment_62860" align="alignnone" width="620"]2-Minute Yoga Flow to Stretch and De-Stress Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

1. Crescent Lunge

This heart-opening pose will help you lift tightness out of your chest, while stretching your back and legs and testing your balance. How to: Standing with your feet hip-width apart, step your right foot forward, aligning your right knee directly over your heel. Keep your left foot behind with your heel lifted, but your toes firmly on the ground. Stand with your torso upright, and clasp your hands together behind you at your low back. Deepen the stretch by extending your back, bringing your shoulders down and lifting your chest to the sky. Look upwards and take a few breaths. SIGN ME UP: Try Daily Burn's Yoga Made Simple for Free

2. Warrior III

Want to command in the boardroom? This pose gives you the backbone to by working your entire posterior, which has a tendency to weaken when sitting for hours on end. “Be an office warrior while you let go of work-induced stress and anxiety with this pose that grounds, focuses and energizes,” Condon says. How to: From the high lunge position, balance your weight on your right leg and lift your left leg up so it becomes parallel to the ground. Flex your left foot and imagine pressing the wall behind you. Keep your hips square as you bring your torso forward and extend your arms out in front of you. You can bring your hands together and point your index fingers forward or have them in mudra (prayer). Hold this pose for about 30 seconds before releasing back to a crescent lunge and bringing your left foot forward to meet your right foot. RELATED: 5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do

3. Side Bend

The key to getting the most out of this pose is to draw energy up from the ground through your inseam, torso and out of your pointer fingers, Condon says. “Lateral bends help with breathing by stretching the intercostal muscles. Better breath means more oxygen in your blood and in your brain, which relieves stress,” she notes. How to: Place your feet and hands together in mountain pose (tadasana) and interlace your fingers. Point your index fingers up to the sky. While your feet stay firmly on the ground, take a gentle bend to your left side, inhaling and exhaling for five breaths before switching sides. Want more yoga workouts you can do anywhere? Sign up for Daily Burn's Yoga Made Simple to start your free trial! Read More 15 Stretches You Should Do Every Damn Day 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game 8 Yoga Poses to Help Ease Lower Back Pain

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6 Mistakes You’re Probably Making in Yoga Class https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-class-mistakes/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-class-mistakes/#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 11:15:49 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=62566 6 Mistakes You're Probably Making in Yoga Class

[caption id="attachment_62570" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Mistakes You’re Probably Making in Yoga Class Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Turns out, there’s more to yoga than flattering pants and downward-facing dog. Beyond learning the poses, there are a host of other factors that can make or break your practice, from the proper gear to your mindset while you flow. To help you enjoy your yoga class even more, we tapped two experts to identify the common mistakes you might be making, plus tips on how to fix them. A fresh new path to calm awaits.

RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game

6 Common Yoga Class Mistakes and How to Fix ‘Em

1. You show up late.

Your friends may forgive you for being a few minutes late for social plans, but showing up after yoga class starts is another story. If you’re brand-new to a studio, budget an extra 10 to 15 minutes to fill out any necessary paperwork and meet the instructor, says Sage Rountree, yoga instructor, endurance sports coach and author of Everyday Yoga. “We want to have enough time to give you a warm welcome, and if you’re sliding in two minutes before class, it’s sets a negative tone,” she says.

Even if you’ve been practicing yoga for years, showing up a few minutes early gives you time to transition from daily life to yoga practice. Plus, then you have the opportunity to let the instructor know if you’re feeling any pain or discomfort. It’s better for instructors to know of injuries beforehand, Rountree says, so they can offer modifications whenever necessary throughout the practice.

2. You bring the wrong mat. 

It’s not uncommon for new students to bring foam or plastic mats to class, which may be great for activities like foam rolling or Pilates. But for yoga, they can make flowing from pose to pose a little more difficult. According to Heather Peterson, chief yoga officer at CorePower Yoga, these types of mats cause students to slip all over the place, making it hard to balance or hold poses, especially once the sweating starts. “Learning yoga is tough enough to begin with,” she says, “so the type of mat you use can be a huge advantage.”

Peterson’s go-to mats include Lululemon’s The Mat for hot classes, and Manduka ones for non-heated practice. “They’re heavy but totally worth it for the benefit of slip resistance,” Peterson says. For added insurance, keep a yoga towel, like those from Yogitoes, nearby to place on top of your mat.

RELATED: How to Gear Up for Your Yoga Practice

3. You try too hard.

"Get happily lost in the middle [of the room]."

There’s a time and place for pushing your effort to 110 percent, but yoga class isn’t it. “People try to step into the class midstream,” Rountree says. “They try to follow along with every single iteration, everything the teacher mentions, and generally, that leads to overdoing it.”

Just like you wouldn’t go out and run 20 miles on your first day of training, you don’t need to try to master every pose during your first class. It’s OK to do the gentler variations of each posture, and take as many breaks as you need. “Smart rest breaks will help your body recover faster, which is the true measure of fitness,” Peterson says. “Rest whenever you need to in child’s pose or savasana and then join back in when you’re able.”

Keep in mind, if you try to force a pose that’s beyond your current range of motion and flexibility, you may wind up hurt. “Then you’ll miss out on the opportunity to actually connect with yoga,” Rountree says.

Finally, if you’re tempted to compare yourself to the other students in the room, just know that some may have been practicing yoga for years. Or, they could even teach yoga themselves. So go with your own flow and don’t worry about what others are doing.

4. You hide in the back of the room.

When you’re new to a class or studio, it’s tempting to set up camp in the back of the room where no one can see you. But sometimes, the back of the room becomes the front. And more importantly, it’s tough to see the teacher from the back and therefore, harder to follow along, Rountree says.

Instead of hiding, roll out your mat in the center of the room, if possible. This way, no matter what direction the class faces, you’ll always have a visual. “Get happily lost in the middle and you’ll get good examples all around you,” Rountree says.

RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There

5. You wear the wrong clothes. 

According to Peterson, many students show up for class wearing layers or loose clothes that inhibit their movements. This makes it difficult to see the position of their bodies in the mirror (or for instructors to notice). “Remember that your clothes are your gear,” she says, “and you want to be able to see your joints to make optimal alignment upgrades.” That might mean dropping your hips a bit in a plank or bending your knee more in warrior II.

For heated classes, Peterson recommends looking for a technical fabric that will wick sweat, while also allowing your skin to breathe. “Sometimes that means a sports bra instead of a tank top,” Rountree says, adding that the studio culture can vary from place to place. “It’s worth poking around on their website or calling and asking the front desk what people usually wear,” she suggests. Feeling self-conscious? Take a cue from these inspirational yogis: Every body is a yoga body.

6. You hold your breath.

When your instructor calls attention to breathing, listen up. Take notice if you’re inhaling and exhaling normally or if you’re actually holding your breath. If you’re not taking in air regularly, you could be hindering your practice, says Rountree. Your flow should have plenty of ease to it, and when you hold your breath, you actually increase your fight-or-flight response, which can cause you to feel more anxious by the end of class, Rountree adds.

If you find yourself holding your breath — or even open-mouth breathing — dial back the intensity until you can take air in and out through your nostrils, Peterson says. “This increases the amount of breath you get into the bottom lobes of your lungs and increases the oxygen in your system to help with recovery,” she explains. Now, close your eyes and take a big inhale and exhale. It’s time for a calm, cool yoga session.

Read More
15 Stretches You Should Do Every Damn Day
8 Yoga Poses to Help Ease Lower Back Pain
Are You Doing These Yoga Poses All Wrong?

The post 6 Mistakes You’re Probably Making in Yoga Class appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
6 Mistakes You're Probably Making in Yoga Class

[caption id="attachment_62570" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Mistakes You’re Probably Making in Yoga Class Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Turns out, there’s more to yoga than flattering pants and downward-facing dog. Beyond learning the poses, there are a host of other factors that can make or break your practice, from the proper gear to your mindset while you flow. To help you enjoy your yoga class even more, we tapped two experts to identify the common mistakes you might be making, plus tips on how to fix them. A fresh new path to calm awaits. RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game

6 Common Yoga Class Mistakes and How to Fix ‘Em

1. You show up late.

Your friends may forgive you for being a few minutes late for social plans, but showing up after yoga class starts is another story. If you’re brand-new to a studio, budget an extra 10 to 15 minutes to fill out any necessary paperwork and meet the instructor, says Sage Rountree, yoga instructor, endurance sports coach and author of Everyday Yoga. “We want to have enough time to give you a warm welcome, and if you’re sliding in two minutes before class, it’s sets a negative tone,” she says. Even if you’ve been practicing yoga for years, showing up a few minutes early gives you time to transition from daily life to yoga practice. Plus, then you have the opportunity to let the instructor know if you’re feeling any pain or discomfort. It’s better for instructors to know of injuries beforehand, Rountree says, so they can offer modifications whenever necessary throughout the practice.

2. You bring the wrong mat. 

It’s not uncommon for new students to bring foam or plastic mats to class, which may be great for activities like foam rolling or Pilates. But for yoga, they can make flowing from pose to pose a little more difficult. According to Heather Peterson, chief yoga officer at CorePower Yoga, these types of mats cause students to slip all over the place, making it hard to balance or hold poses, especially once the sweating starts. “Learning yoga is tough enough to begin with,” she says, “so the type of mat you use can be a huge advantage.” Peterson’s go-to mats include Lululemon’s The Mat for hot classes, and Manduka ones for non-heated practice. “They’re heavy but totally worth it for the benefit of slip resistance,” Peterson says. For added insurance, keep a yoga towel, like those from Yogitoes, nearby to place on top of your mat. RELATED: How to Gear Up for Your Yoga Practice

3. You try too hard.

"Get happily lost in the middle [of the room]."
There’s a time and place for pushing your effort to 110 percent, but yoga class isn’t it. “People try to step into the class midstream,” Rountree says. “They try to follow along with every single iteration, everything the teacher mentions, and generally, that leads to overdoing it.” Just like you wouldn’t go out and run 20 miles on your first day of training, you don’t need to try to master every pose during your first class. It’s OK to do the gentler variations of each posture, and take as many breaks as you need. “Smart rest breaks will help your body recover faster, which is the true measure of fitness,” Peterson says. “Rest whenever you need to in child’s pose or savasana and then join back in when you’re able.” Keep in mind, if you try to force a pose that’s beyond your current range of motion and flexibility, you may wind up hurt. “Then you’ll miss out on the opportunity to actually connect with yoga,” Rountree says. Finally, if you’re tempted to compare yourself to the other students in the room, just know that some may have been practicing yoga for years. Or, they could even teach yoga themselves. So go with your own flow and don’t worry about what others are doing.

4. You hide in the back of the room.

When you’re new to a class or studio, it’s tempting to set up camp in the back of the room where no one can see you. But sometimes, the back of the room becomes the front. And more importantly, it’s tough to see the teacher from the back and therefore, harder to follow along, Rountree says. Instead of hiding, roll out your mat in the center of the room, if possible. This way, no matter what direction the class faces, you’ll always have a visual. “Get happily lost in the middle and you’ll get good examples all around you,” Rountree says. RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There

5. You wear the wrong clothes. 

According to Peterson, many students show up for class wearing layers or loose clothes that inhibit their movements. This makes it difficult to see the position of their bodies in the mirror (or for instructors to notice). “Remember that your clothes are your gear,” she says, “and you want to be able to see your joints to make optimal alignment upgrades.” That might mean dropping your hips a bit in a plank or bending your knee more in warrior II. For heated classes, Peterson recommends looking for a technical fabric that will wick sweat, while also allowing your skin to breathe. “Sometimes that means a sports bra instead of a tank top,” Rountree says, adding that the studio culture can vary from place to place. “It’s worth poking around on their website or calling and asking the front desk what people usually wear,” she suggests. Feeling self-conscious? Take a cue from these inspirational yogis: Every body is a yoga body.

6. You hold your breath.

When your instructor calls attention to breathing, listen up. Take notice if you’re inhaling and exhaling normally or if you’re actually holding your breath. If you’re not taking in air regularly, you could be hindering your practice, says Rountree. Your flow should have plenty of ease to it, and when you hold your breath, you actually increase your fight-or-flight response, which can cause you to feel more anxious by the end of class, Rountree adds. If you find yourself holding your breath — or even open-mouth breathing — dial back the intensity until you can take air in and out through your nostrils, Peterson says. “This increases the amount of breath you get into the bottom lobes of your lungs and increases the oxygen in your system to help with recovery,” she explains. Now, close your eyes and take a big inhale and exhale. It’s time for a calm, cool yoga session. Read More 15 Stretches You Should Do Every Damn Day 8 Yoga Poses to Help Ease Lower Back Pain Are You Doing These Yoga Poses All Wrong?

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5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Now https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/standing-desk-stretches-relieve-stress/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/standing-desk-stretches-relieve-stress/#respond Wed, 04 Oct 2017 15:15:05 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=50131 5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress

[caption id="attachment_62312" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Now Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

You already know how sitting around all day is one of the worst things you can do for your health, which is why that coworker of yours is so insistent on his $400 standing desk. But recent reports show that if you’re not using that standing desk properly, it can actually do more harm than good (think: leg pain, back soreness, or worse). But what makes standing desks healthier than sitting isn’t necessarily the act of standing itself; it’s the movement associated with standing.

“If you’re standing in the same position all day, the effects can be just as bad as sitting because you’re not mobilizing your joints and it can put a strain on your circulatory system,” explains Daily Burn 365 trainer Becca Pace.

RELATED: 5 Lower Back Stretches to Relieve Stress Now

But the movements you do while standing don’t need to be complicated (we’re not talking push-ups, burpees, or the electric slide here). Doing some super simple barre and yoga poses can help relieve the most tightly wound hips, chests, shoulders and backs.

If you’re embarrassed about making a scene at the office, don’t be! Your co-workers will be impressed by your yogi moves, plus you’ll keep your joints and muscles happy. Hey, if you can’t stand to be at your desk, these poses will help you feel less chained to it.

RELATED: 15 Stretches You Should Do Every Damn Day

Check out the video above (and detailed below) of Becca Pace's yoga-inspired desk stretches. Do them throughout the day to help you maintain good posture and relieve joint and back stiffness. We promise you'll instantly feel a little better!

5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Now

[caption id="attachment_50133" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

1. Standing Pigeon Pose

At first glance, you might have second thoughts about putting your leg up on your desk. If the height of your desk is too tall, and you’re not able to swing your leg up on it, you can use your chair instead. “Pigeon pose is one of the best hip-opening exercises. I personally like it because I have pain in my piriformis muscle, which is a muscle in your butt area. It’s really tricky to release tension in this area of your body,” Pace says.

How to: Stand tall in front of your desk with your feet hip-distance apart (a). Bend your right knee and bring it close to your chest, standing tall with your left foot flat on the ground and your leg straight (b). Lay your bent right knee on the desk and keep your hands on your hips. To deepen the stretch, you can fold your upper body forward and lock your hands at the sides of your desk.

RELATED: This Is the Secret to Standing Up Straighter

[caption id="attachment_50145" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

2. Dynamic Hamstring Stretch

If you have really tight hamstrings, it can manifest in unexpected places, like pain in the lower back, glutes, back of your thighs and lower butt. This classic yoga and barre move allows you to work through those kinks all with the help of your desk. Pace says you can hinge forward and reach for your toes if you’re flexible to get a double hamstring stretch.

How to: Lift your left leg up on your desk and straighten it, forming a 90-degree angle to the floor. Keep your hands at your hips (a). Try slightly bending your knee on your standing leg to further deepen the stretch (b). Hold this pose for a few breaths before switching legs.

RELATED: The 5 Hip Stretches You Need to Relieve Tension Now

[caption id="attachment_50136" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

3. Dynamic Quad Stretch

Standing or sitting in one position can put pressure on your thighs and cause tightness. A dynamic quad stretch can help open up your hip flexors. But this pose can be a little tricky if you don’t have great balance or coordination. “Use a wall or chair for balance purposes. If you want to make this a more active stretch, fire up and engage the muscles to activate them,” Pace advises.

How to: Stand tall and face away from your desk (a). Lift your left leg off the ground and keep it bent. Place the top of your foot on top of your desk (b). Keep your hands at your hips. You can slightly bend your standing leg to deepen the stretch (c). Hold this pose for a few breaths before moving onto the other leg.

RELATED: Foam Rolling vs. Stretching: Which Is Better for You?

[caption id="attachment_50137" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

4. Heart-Opening Bridge

The bridge is one of the most restorative yoga poses. It’s a dynamic way of opening your chest and shoulders and strengthening your mid back. “It also opens up your elbows, hip flexors and quadriceps,” Pace adds. The stretch can be great for your wrists, too, which can feel tense after typing for hours on end.

How to: Stand tall and face away from your desk (a). Point your toes towards the wall in front of you. Place your hands behind you on your desk with your fingers facing the opposite direction of your feet (b). Lift your chest up towards the ceiling, roll your shoulders back and gently press hips forward. It's best to press through the hips rather than arch the lower back. 

RELATED: 5 Yoga-Inspired Shoulder Openers

[caption id="attachment_50134" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

5. Thread the Needle

When you sit or stand up for most of the day, you tend to round out your spine and hunch over your desk. “The threading the needle pose is really great for stretching your shoulders and opening your chest. This standing spinal twist is also good for improving your range of motion and posture,” Pace says.

How to: Start in a standing child’s pose with your hands flat on the desk in front of you, and your head and eyes facing down (a). Your feet should be feet hip-width apart, and your hips should align with a straight back (b). Take your right arm and thread it underneath your left arm so your hand points to the left wall. Hold this pose for a few breaths and then switch sides.

Originally published June 2016. Updated October 2017. 

Read More
Barre Harmony: The Total-Body Barre Workout You Can Do at Home
The Beginner's Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There
What This Barre Instructor Eats in a Day

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5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress

[caption id="attachment_62312" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Now Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption] You already know how sitting around all day is one of the worst things you can do for your health, which is why that coworker of yours is so insistent on his $400 standing desk. But recent reports show that if you’re not using that standing desk properly, it can actually do more harm than good (think: leg pain, back soreness, or worse). But what makes standing desks healthier than sitting isn’t necessarily the act of standing itself; it’s the movement associated with standing. “If you’re standing in the same position all day, the effects can be just as bad as sitting because you’re not mobilizing your joints and it can put a strain on your circulatory system,” explains Daily Burn 365 trainer Becca Pace. RELATED: 5 Lower Back Stretches to Relieve Stress Now But the movements you do while standing don’t need to be complicated (we’re not talking push-ups, burpees, or the electric slide here). Doing some super simple barre and yoga poses can help relieve the most tightly wound hips, chests, shoulders and backs. If you’re embarrassed about making a scene at the office, don’t be! Your co-workers will be impressed by your yogi moves, plus you’ll keep your joints and muscles happy. Hey, if you can’t stand to be at your desk, these poses will help you feel less chained to it. RELATED: 15 Stretches You Should Do Every Damn Day Check out the video above (and detailed below) of Becca Pace's yoga-inspired desk stretches. Do them throughout the day to help you maintain good posture and relieve joint and back stiffness. We promise you'll instantly feel a little better!

5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Now

[caption id="attachment_50133" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

1. Standing Pigeon Pose

At first glance, you might have second thoughts about putting your leg up on your desk. If the height of your desk is too tall, and you’re not able to swing your leg up on it, you can use your chair instead. “Pigeon pose is one of the best hip-opening exercises. I personally like it because I have pain in my piriformis muscle, which is a muscle in your butt area. It’s really tricky to release tension in this area of your body,” Pace says. How to: Stand tall in front of your desk with your feet hip-distance apart (a). Bend your right knee and bring it close to your chest, standing tall with your left foot flat on the ground and your leg straight (b). Lay your bent right knee on the desk and keep your hands on your hips. To deepen the stretch, you can fold your upper body forward and lock your hands at the sides of your desk. RELATED: This Is the Secret to Standing Up Straighter [caption id="attachment_50145" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

2. Dynamic Hamstring Stretch

If you have really tight hamstrings, it can manifest in unexpected places, like pain in the lower back, glutes, back of your thighs and lower butt. This classic yoga and barre move allows you to work through those kinks all with the help of your desk. Pace says you can hinge forward and reach for your toes if you’re flexible to get a double hamstring stretch. How to: Lift your left leg up on your desk and straighten it, forming a 90-degree angle to the floor. Keep your hands at your hips (a). Try slightly bending your knee on your standing leg to further deepen the stretch (b). Hold this pose for a few breaths before switching legs. RELATED: The 5 Hip Stretches You Need to Relieve Tension Now [caption id="attachment_50136" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

3. Dynamic Quad Stretch

Standing or sitting in one position can put pressure on your thighs and cause tightness. A dynamic quad stretch can help open up your hip flexors. But this pose can be a little tricky if you don’t have great balance or coordination. “Use a wall or chair for balance purposes. If you want to make this a more active stretch, fire up and engage the muscles to activate them,” Pace advises. How to: Stand tall and face away from your desk (a). Lift your left leg off the ground and keep it bent. Place the top of your foot on top of your desk (b). Keep your hands at your hips. You can slightly bend your standing leg to deepen the stretch (c). Hold this pose for a few breaths before moving onto the other leg. RELATED: Foam Rolling vs. Stretching: Which Is Better for You? [caption id="attachment_50137" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

4. Heart-Opening Bridge

The bridge is one of the most restorative yoga poses. It’s a dynamic way of opening your chest and shoulders and strengthening your mid back. “It also opens up your elbows, hip flexors and quadriceps,” Pace adds. The stretch can be great for your wrists, too, which can feel tense after typing for hours on end. How to: Stand tall and face away from your desk (a). Point your toes towards the wall in front of you. Place your hands behind you on your desk with your fingers facing the opposite direction of your feet (b). Lift your chest up towards the ceiling, roll your shoulders back and gently press hips forward. It's best to press through the hips rather than arch the lower back.  RELATED: 5 Yoga-Inspired Shoulder Openers [caption id="attachment_50134" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Standing Desk Stretches to Relieve Stress Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

5. Thread the Needle

When you sit or stand up for most of the day, you tend to round out your spine and hunch over your desk. “The threading the needle pose is really great for stretching your shoulders and opening your chest. This standing spinal twist is also good for improving your range of motion and posture,” Pace says. How to: Start in a standing child’s pose with your hands flat on the desk in front of you, and your head and eyes facing down (a). Your feet should be feet hip-width apart, and your hips should align with a straight back (b). Take your right arm and thread it underneath your left arm so your hand points to the left wall. Hold this pose for a few breaths and then switch sides. Originally published June 2016. Updated October 2017.  Read More Barre Harmony: The Total-Body Barre Workout You Can Do at Home The Beginner's Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There What This Barre Instructor Eats in a Day

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3 Easy Yoga Poses to Help Wake You Up https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-flow-wake-up/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-flow-wake-up/#respond Wed, 27 Sep 2017 11:15:31 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=62058

[caption id="attachment_62062" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 3-Pose Yoga Flow to Wake You Up Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

Some mornings, getting out of bed can feel like a serious chore. But instead of hitting snooze on repeat — which often leads to a stressful start — step into a more peaceful headspace with this simple yoga flow.

“Yoga is a great way to ease you mindfully into your day,” says Kristin Condon, yoga instructor and producer on Daily Burn 365. Deep rhythmic breathing blended with energizing postures helps get your blood flowing to promote wakefulness, she adds.

The flow doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Condon shares a three-pose sequence that’ll enhance your energy levels before you even leave your bedroom. Better yet, if you find yourself dozing off at your desk, you can take this yoga flow outside for a way to wake up midday — and get a mood boost. Consider it your new caffeine-free pick-me-up.

RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game

Wake Up with This Energizing Yoga Flow

Condon suggests starting this sequence with a few rounds of cat-cow pose on your hands and knees. Then lift your hips to hit a downward-facing dog. Remember to breathe slowly in and out through the nose. “Think of dropping your breath down into your pelvis,” Condon says. You should take about three to five breathes per posture, moving on an inhale or exhale. Go with the flow on one side, then repeat on the other. “It can take as little as five minutes, but it will change your day,” Condon says. We’ll say namaste to that.

[caption id="attachment_62063" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 3-Pose Yoga Flow to Wake You Up Photos: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

1. 3-Legged Dog

Activate your entire core as you get your blood flowing with this pose, says Condon. You’ll also stretch out your lower half and your shoulders.

How to: From the downward-facing dog pose, press the floor away with your hands and engage your arms and legs. Lift your right leg to the sky to create one long line down the back of your body, from your lifted heel to the crown of your head. Keep your hips in line and squared toward the ground. Take a few breathes here.

RELATED: 5 Downward Dog Variations to Strengthen and Stretch

2. Crescent Low Lunge 

“This pose opens the entire chest cavity, which makes for easier deep breathing, plus better posture all day long,” says Condon. “It also opens the hips and pelvis, and can ease tension that builds there from sitting and walking — even before the day begins.” Plus, while most of us spend the day looking down, this forces you to look up. It’s a great way to lift up your spirits, too, Condon adds.

How to: Starting from the 3-legged dog, step your right leg forward between your hands, pressing your foot into the floor with your knee in line with your second toe. Place your back left knee on the ground. Bring your arms up toward the sky, palms facing each other. Look up toward the sky as you lift up and out of your low back, abs engaged. Think about lengthening out of the pose, rather than pressing into it, Condon suggests.

RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There

3. Low Lunge Twist

You’ll generate heat throughout the body on this pose, Condon explains, as you lengthen through your trunk and stretch out your hips. On each exhale, try to twist a little further.

How to: Flowing from your low lunge, lift your back left knee off the ground and lift out of the backbend so your shoulders are over your hips, back straight. Get steady on your feet, then twist from your waist to your right side. Place your left hand inside your right foot, and lift your right arm to the sky. Avoid twisting only at your neck and shoulders.

If you’re looking for more workouts you can do anywhere, sign up for Daily Burn 365. Your first 30 days are free!

Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by Daily Burn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by Daily Burn. 

Read More
30-Minute Barre Workout to Tone Up Your Thighs
4 Ways to Start the Dance Party with Louis van Amstel
5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do

The post 3 Easy Yoga Poses to Help Wake You Up appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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[caption id="attachment_62062" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 3-Pose Yoga Flow to Wake You Up Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption] Some mornings, getting out of bed can feel like a serious chore. But instead of hitting snooze on repeat — which often leads to a stressful start — step into a more peaceful headspace with this simple yoga flow. “Yoga is a great way to ease you mindfully into your day,” says Kristin Condon, yoga instructor and producer on Daily Burn 365. Deep rhythmic breathing blended with energizing postures helps get your blood flowing to promote wakefulness, she adds. The flow doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Condon shares a three-pose sequence that’ll enhance your energy levels before you even leave your bedroom. Better yet, if you find yourself dozing off at your desk, you can take this yoga flow outside for a way to wake up midday — and get a mood boost. Consider it your new caffeine-free pick-me-up. RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game

Wake Up with This Energizing Yoga Flow

Condon suggests starting this sequence with a few rounds of cat-cow pose on your hands and knees. Then lift your hips to hit a downward-facing dog. Remember to breathe slowly in and out through the nose. “Think of dropping your breath down into your pelvis,” Condon says. You should take about three to five breathes per posture, moving on an inhale or exhale. Go with the flow on one side, then repeat on the other. “It can take as little as five minutes, but it will change your day,” Condon says. We’ll say namaste to that. [caption id="attachment_62063" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 3-Pose Yoga Flow to Wake You Up Photos: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn[/caption]

1. 3-Legged Dog

Activate your entire core as you get your blood flowing with this pose, says Condon. You’ll also stretch out your lower half and your shoulders. How to: From the downward-facing dog pose, press the floor away with your hands and engage your arms and legs. Lift your right leg to the sky to create one long line down the back of your body, from your lifted heel to the crown of your head. Keep your hips in line and squared toward the ground. Take a few breathes here. RELATED: 5 Downward Dog Variations to Strengthen and Stretch

2. Crescent Low Lunge 

“This pose opens the entire chest cavity, which makes for easier deep breathing, plus better posture all day long,” says Condon. “It also opens the hips and pelvis, and can ease tension that builds there from sitting and walking — even before the day begins.” Plus, while most of us spend the day looking down, this forces you to look up. It’s a great way to lift up your spirits, too, Condon adds. How to: Starting from the 3-legged dog, step your right leg forward between your hands, pressing your foot into the floor with your knee in line with your second toe. Place your back left knee on the ground. Bring your arms up toward the sky, palms facing each other. Look up toward the sky as you lift up and out of your low back, abs engaged. Think about lengthening out of the pose, rather than pressing into it, Condon suggests. RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There

3. Low Lunge Twist

You’ll generate heat throughout the body on this pose, Condon explains, as you lengthen through your trunk and stretch out your hips. On each exhale, try to twist a little further. How to: Flowing from your low lunge, lift your back left knee off the ground and lift out of the backbend so your shoulders are over your hips, back straight. Get steady on your feet, then twist from your waist to your right side. Place your left hand inside your right foot, and lift your right arm to the sky. Avoid twisting only at your neck and shoulders. If you’re looking for more workouts you can do anywhere, sign up for Daily Burn 365. Your first 30 days are free! Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by Daily Burn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by Daily Burn.  Read More 30-Minute Barre Workout to Tone Up Your Thighs 4 Ways to Start the Dance Party with Louis van Amstel 5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do

The post 3 Easy Yoga Poses to Help Wake You Up appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-for-beginners-kundalini-yin-bikram/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yoga-for-beginners-kundalini-yin-bikram/#comments Sat, 16 Sep 2017 12:15:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=42234 Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There

[caption id="attachment_42250" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

You’ve decided to finally start doing yoga — but after Googling classes in your area, your head is spinning. Should you try Ashtanga or Iyengar? And what’s the difference between hot yoga and Vinyasa? The array of options can be enough to scare newbies off the mat for good.

But here’s why you shouldn’t be scared: Like cross training, incorporating a variety of types of yoga into your regular practice can help keep you balanced, says Nikki Vilella, senior teacher at Kula Yoga Project and co-owner of Kula Williamsburg. “Try a few different studios, teachers and styles. Then, stick with the one that resonates with you for a good amount of time and be dedicated to the practice,” says Vilella. “The first day you don’t like a class shouldn’t be a reason to bolt and try something new.”

RELATED: The 11 Best Yoga Apps to Get Fit on the Cheap

Yoga isn’t necessarily a ‘one-size-fits-all’ practice, either. Different types of yoga might be best for different people. “A 20-year-old and a 70-year-old probably don’t need the same things,” Vilella says. “Someone who is hyper-mobile and flexible doesn’t need the same thing as someone who’s muscular and stiff.”

So with all the choices out there, where do you start? Don’t lose your ujjayi breath (that’s yogi speak for calming inhales and exhales). We’ve got your definitive list of classes that specialize in yoga for beginners — plus tips for identifying the style you might like best.

Yoga for Beginners: The 9 Types You Need to Know 

[caption id="attachment_42252" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. Hatha Yoga

It’s all about the basics in these slower moving classes that require you to hold each pose for a few breaths. In many studios, hatha classes are considered a gentler form of yoga. However, the Sanskrit term “hatha” actually refers to any yoga that teaches physical postures. “It’s a practice of the body, a physical practice that balances these two energies. So, in reality, it is all hatha yoga,” Vilella says.

Best for: Beginners. Because of its slower pace, hatha is a great class if you’re just starting your yoga practice.

RELATED: Hatha Yoga: The Best Workout for Your Brain?

[caption id="attachment_54656" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Woom Center Immersive Yoga Photo: Asi Zeevi / The Woom Center Immersive Yoga [/caption]

2. Vinyasa Yoga

Get your flow on in this dynamic practice that links movement and breath together in a dance-like way. In most classes, you won’t linger long in each pose and the pace can be quick, so be prepared for your heart rate to rise. Teachers will often pump music, matching the beats to the sequences of the poses.

Best for: HIIT lovers. Intense exercisers might enjoy Vinyasa because of its faster pace. Runners and endurance athletes are also drawn to Vinyasa class because of the continuous movement.

[caption id="attachment_57926" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo courtesy of Emily Adams / Bend & Bloom Yoga[/caption]

3. Iyengar Yoga

Here you’ll get nit-picky about precision and detail, as well as your body’s alignment in each pose. Props, from yoga blocks and blankets to straps or a ropes wall, will become your new best friend, helping you to work within a range of motion that is safe and effective. Unlike in Vinyasa, each posture is held for a period of time. If you’re new to Iyengar, even if you’ve practiced other types of yoga, it’s good to start with a level one class to familiarize yourself with the technique.

Best for: Detail-oriented yogis. If you like to geek out about anatomy, movement and form, you’ll love Iyengar — teachers share a wealth of information during class. Iyengar can also be practiced at any age and is great for those with injuries (though you should consult with a doctor first), Vilella notes.

RELATED: 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga

[caption id="attachment_42253" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Ashtanga Yoga

If you’re looking for a challenging yet orderly approach to yoga, try Ashtanga. Consisting of six series of specifically sequenced yoga poses, you’ll flow and breathe through each pose to build internal heat. The catch is that you’ll perform the same poses in the exact same order in each class. Some studios will have a teacher calling out the poses, while Mysore style classes (a subset of Ashtanga) require you to perform the series on your own. (But don’t worry — there will always be a teacher in the room to offer assistance if you need it.)

Best for: Type-A folks. If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll like Ashtanga’s routine and strict guidelines.

START YOUR FREE TRIAL: Try Daily Burn's Yoga Made Simple

[caption id="attachment_37363" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: Guide to Every Type of Yoga Photo: Pond5[/caption]

5. Bikram Yoga

"All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence so you’ll know exactly what to do."

Prepare to sweat: Bikram consists of a specific series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises practiced in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence so you’ll know exactly what to do once you unroll your mat. Remember, the vigorous practice combined with the heat can make the class feel strenuous. If you’re new to Bikram, take it easy: Rest when you need to and be sure to hydrate beforehand.

Best for: People who gravitate toward a set routine. Those who are newer to yoga might like Bikram because of its predictable sequence.

RELATED: How to Get the Benefits of Hot Yoga — Without Passing Out

[caption id="attachment_52505" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: Guide to Every Type of Yoga Photo: Pond5[/caption]

6. Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is similar to Bikram in that it’s practiced in a heated room. But teachers aren’t constrained by the 26-pose Bikram sequence. While the heat will make you feel like you can move deeper into some poses compared to a non-heated class, it can be easy to overstretch, so don’t push beyond your capacity.

Best for: Hardcore sweat lovers. If you love a tough workout that will leave you drenched, sign up for a beginner-friendly heated class.

[caption id="attachment_42256" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

7. Kundalini Yoga

Celebrity devotees including actor Russell Brand and author Gabrielle Bernstein have given Kundalini a cult-like following. Yet, this physically and mentally challenging practice looks very different from your typical yoga class. You’ll perform kriyas — repetitive physical exercises coupled with intense breath work — while also chanting, singing and meditating. The goal? To break through your internal barriers, releasing the untapped energy residing within you and bringing you a higher level of self-awareness.

Best for: People looking for a spiritual practice. Those who are seeking something more than a workout may enjoy Kundalini due to its emphasis on the internal aspects of yoga, including breath work, meditation and spiritual energy.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Carve Out Time to Meditate

[caption id="attachment_61598" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

8. Yin Yoga

If you want to calm and balance your body and mind, this is where you’ll find your zen. The opposite of a faster moving practice like Ashtanga, Yin yoga poses are held for several minutes at a time. This meditative practice is designed to target your deeper connective tissues and fascia, restoring length and elasticity. You’ll use props so your body can release into the posture instead of actively flexing or engaging the muscles. Like meditation, it may make you feel antsy at first, but stick with it for a few classes and its restorative powers might have you hooked.

Best for: People who need to stretch and unwind. Keep in mind, Yin yoga is not recommended for people who are super flexible (you might overdo it in some poses) or anyone who has a connective tissue disorder, Vilella says.

RELATED: 5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do

 

[caption id="attachment_61818" align="alignnone" width="620"] Restorative Yoga Photo: Courtesy of Alexis Novak[/caption]

9. Restorative Yoga

While it may feel like you’re not doing much in a restorative yoga class…that’s the point. The mellow, slow-moving practice with longer holds gives your body a chance tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to experience deeper relaxation. You’ll also use a variety of props including blankets, bolsters and yoga blocks to fully support your body in each pose.

Best for: Everyone. In particular, Vilella says it’s a good yoga practice for anyone who has a hard time slowing down, who has experienced insomnia or who struggles with anxiety. It’s also great for athletes on recovery days.

Ready to try yoga? Head to DailyBurn.com/YogaMadeSimple for a free 30-day trial. 

Originally published August 2015. Updated September 2017. 

Read More
50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game
8 Yoga Poses to Help Ease Lower Back Pain
Are You Doing These Yoga Poses All Wrong?

The post The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There

[caption id="attachment_42250" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption] You’ve decided to finally start doing yoga — but after Googling classes in your area, your head is spinning. Should you try Ashtanga or Iyengar? And what’s the difference between hot yoga and Vinyasa? The array of options can be enough to scare newbies off the mat for good. But here’s why you shouldn’t be scared: Like cross training, incorporating a variety of types of yoga into your regular practice can help keep you balanced, says Nikki Vilella, senior teacher at Kula Yoga Project and co-owner of Kula Williamsburg. “Try a few different studios, teachers and styles. Then, stick with the one that resonates with you for a good amount of time and be dedicated to the practice,” says Vilella. “The first day you don’t like a class shouldn’t be a reason to bolt and try something new.” RELATED: The 11 Best Yoga Apps to Get Fit on the Cheap Yoga isn’t necessarily a ‘one-size-fits-all’ practice, either. Different types of yoga might be best for different people. “A 20-year-old and a 70-year-old probably don’t need the same things,” Vilella says. “Someone who is hyper-mobile and flexible doesn’t need the same thing as someone who’s muscular and stiff.” So with all the choices out there, where do you start? Don’t lose your ujjayi breath (that’s yogi speak for calming inhales and exhales). We’ve got your definitive list of classes that specialize in yoga for beginners — plus tips for identifying the style you might like best.

Yoga for Beginners: The 9 Types You Need to Know 

[caption id="attachment_42252" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. Hatha Yoga

It’s all about the basics in these slower moving classes that require you to hold each pose for a few breaths. In many studios, hatha classes are considered a gentler form of yoga. However, the Sanskrit term “hatha” actually refers to any yoga that teaches physical postures. “It’s a practice of the body, a physical practice that balances these two energies. So, in reality, it is all hatha yoga,” Vilella says. Best for: Beginners. Because of its slower pace, hatha is a great class if you’re just starting your yoga practice. RELATED: Hatha Yoga: The Best Workout for Your Brain? [caption id="attachment_54656" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Woom Center Immersive Yoga Photo: Asi Zeevi / The Woom Center Immersive Yoga [/caption]

2. Vinyasa Yoga

Get your flow on in this dynamic practice that links movement and breath together in a dance-like way. In most classes, you won’t linger long in each pose and the pace can be quick, so be prepared for your heart rate to rise. Teachers will often pump music, matching the beats to the sequences of the poses. Best for: HIIT lovers. Intense exercisers might enjoy Vinyasa because of its faster pace. Runners and endurance athletes are also drawn to Vinyasa class because of the continuous movement. [caption id="attachment_57926" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo courtesy of Emily Adams / Bend & Bloom Yoga[/caption]

3. Iyengar Yoga

Here you’ll get nit-picky about precision and detail, as well as your body’s alignment in each pose. Props, from yoga blocks and blankets to straps or a ropes wall, will become your new best friend, helping you to work within a range of motion that is safe and effective. Unlike in Vinyasa, each posture is held for a period of time. If you’re new to Iyengar, even if you’ve practiced other types of yoga, it’s good to start with a level one class to familiarize yourself with the technique. Best for: Detail-oriented yogis. If you like to geek out about anatomy, movement and form, you’ll love Iyengar — teachers share a wealth of information during class. Iyengar can also be practiced at any age and is great for those with injuries (though you should consult with a doctor first), Vilella notes. RELATED: 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga [caption id="attachment_42253" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Ashtanga Yoga

If you’re looking for a challenging yet orderly approach to yoga, try Ashtanga. Consisting of six series of specifically sequenced yoga poses, you’ll flow and breathe through each pose to build internal heat. The catch is that you’ll perform the same poses in the exact same order in each class. Some studios will have a teacher calling out the poses, while Mysore style classes (a subset of Ashtanga) require you to perform the series on your own. (But don’t worry — there will always be a teacher in the room to offer assistance if you need it.) Best for: Type-A folks. If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll like Ashtanga’s routine and strict guidelines. START YOUR FREE TRIAL: Try Daily Burn's Yoga Made Simple [caption id="attachment_37363" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: Guide to Every Type of Yoga Photo: Pond5[/caption]

5. Bikram Yoga

"All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence so you’ll know exactly what to do."
Prepare to sweat: Bikram consists of a specific series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises practiced in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence so you’ll know exactly what to do once you unroll your mat. Remember, the vigorous practice combined with the heat can make the class feel strenuous. If you’re new to Bikram, take it easy: Rest when you need to and be sure to hydrate beforehand. Best for: People who gravitate toward a set routine. Those who are newer to yoga might like Bikram because of its predictable sequence. RELATED: How to Get the Benefits of Hot Yoga — Without Passing Out [caption id="attachment_52505" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: Guide to Every Type of Yoga Photo: Pond5[/caption]

6. Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is similar to Bikram in that it’s practiced in a heated room. But teachers aren’t constrained by the 26-pose Bikram sequence. While the heat will make you feel like you can move deeper into some poses compared to a non-heated class, it can be easy to overstretch, so don’t push beyond your capacity. Best for: Hardcore sweat lovers. If you love a tough workout that will leave you drenched, sign up for a beginner-friendly heated class. [caption id="attachment_42256" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Pond5[/caption]

7. Kundalini Yoga

Celebrity devotees including actor Russell Brand and author Gabrielle Bernstein have given Kundalini a cult-like following. Yet, this physically and mentally challenging practice looks very different from your typical yoga class. You’ll perform kriyas — repetitive physical exercises coupled with intense breath work — while also chanting, singing and meditating. The goal? To break through your internal barriers, releasing the untapped energy residing within you and bringing you a higher level of self-awareness. Best for: People looking for a spiritual practice. Those who are seeking something more than a workout may enjoy Kundalini due to its emphasis on the internal aspects of yoga, including breath work, meditation and spiritual energy. RELATED: 7 Ways to Carve Out Time to Meditate [caption id="attachment_61598" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yoga for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Every Type of Yoga Out There Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

8. Yin Yoga

If you want to calm and balance your body and mind, this is where you’ll find your zen. The opposite of a faster moving practice like Ashtanga, Yin yoga poses are held for several minutes at a time. This meditative practice is designed to target your deeper connective tissues and fascia, restoring length and elasticity. You’ll use props so your body can release into the posture instead of actively flexing or engaging the muscles. Like meditation, it may make you feel antsy at first, but stick with it for a few classes and its restorative powers might have you hooked. Best for: People who need to stretch and unwind. Keep in mind, Yin yoga is not recommended for people who are super flexible (you might overdo it in some poses) or anyone who has a connective tissue disorder, Vilella says. RELATED: 5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do   [caption id="attachment_61818" align="alignnone" width="620"] Restorative Yoga Photo: Courtesy of Alexis Novak[/caption]

9. Restorative Yoga

While it may feel like you’re not doing much in a restorative yoga class…that’s the point. The mellow, slow-moving practice with longer holds gives your body a chance tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to experience deeper relaxation. You’ll also use a variety of props including blankets, bolsters and yoga blocks to fully support your body in each pose. Best for: Everyone. In particular, Vilella says it’s a good yoga practice for anyone who has a hard time slowing down, who has experienced insomnia or who struggles with anxiety. It’s also great for athletes on recovery days. Ready to try yoga? Head to DailyBurn.com/YogaMadeSimple for a free 30-day trial.  Originally published August 2015. Updated September 2017.  Read More 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game 8 Yoga Poses to Help Ease Lower Back Pain Are You Doing These Yoga Poses All Wrong?

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5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yin-yoga-for-runners/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/yin-yoga-for-runners/#respond Mon, 11 Sep 2017 11:15:08 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=61594 5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do

[caption id="attachment_61598" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Life is full of opposing pairs: sweet and savory, fast and slow, hard and soft. One half of the pair can’t — and shouldn’t — exist without the other. This concept is known as yin and yang, or, the idea that two opposing forces actually create a balance.

If you’re a runner, your weekly mileage falls into the ‘yang’ category, says Eric Jeffers, Life Power Yoga master trainer at Life Time Green Valley in Henderson, NV. Running, like all forms of exercise, is stressful for your body. While it builds up strength, speed and endurance, it can also leave you feeling sore and depleted if you don’t balance it out with adequate recovery — aka ‘yin.’ So instead of doing a few half-hearted stretches post-run, try something that can really help you strike a balance between stress and relaxation.

The answer: yin yoga.

RELATED: The Strength Training Workout Every Runner Needs

Hit Your Stride: Yin Yoga for Runners

Unlike more dynamic, fast-paced yoga styles like vinyasa and ashtanga, yin yoga feels more like a meditation session than a workout. Instead of flowing from one pose to the next with little to no pause in between, yin yogis hold poses (called asanas) that require very little exertion for longer periods of time, usually between three and five minutes. “This technique targets tendons, ligaments and fascia of the lower body,” says Jeffers. “It helps relieve tension and soreness, maintains range of motion and improves circulation.”

As a bonus, students perform almost all of the poses seated or lying down — the perfect antidote to miles spent in an upright position. Consider it the perfect complement to any running routine.

RELATED: 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition

5 Yin Yoga Poses to Do Post-Run

To relieve tension and keep soreness at bay, Jeffers recommends incorporating these five simple yin yoga poses into your post-run regimen.

As you get started with each pose, don’t look for too much intensity. Instead, “allow time to do the work,” Jeffers says. Yin yoga is about gently falling into the stretch, “not making it happen fast.” Avoid bouncing or pulling, and if you feel a sharp pain, back off a little.

[caption id="attachment_61599" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yin Yoga for Runners: Half Butterfly Pose Photo courtesy of Andy Lott[/caption]

1. Half Butterfly

How to: Extend one leg forward and drawing the other in toward your body. Allow the bent leg to naturally fall open at the hip. Fold slowly over your extended leg, allowing your head to hang and your neck and upper back to relax. If this becomes too intense, gently hold your head upright. Hold for 3 to 4 minutes, and then repeat on the other side.

[caption id="attachment_61600" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yin Yoga for Runners: Dragon Pose Photo courtesy of Andy Lott[/caption]

2. Dragon

How to: Step one foot near the front of your mat and bend your knee to extend your other leg back behind you. Place your back knee down on the mat. Place both hands inside your front foot. As your body begins to soften into the pose, you may eventually come down onto your forearms (as shown). Hold for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, and then repeat on the other side.

RELATED: 3 Running Drills from Olympic Sprinter Tori Bowie

[caption id="attachment_61601" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yin Yoga for Runners: Half Saddle Pose Photo courtesy of Andy Lott[/caption]

3. Half Saddle

How to: Sitting with both legs in front of you, swing one leg back and gently place your shin and the top of your foot on the floor next to your hip. Begin to lean back onto your hands or elbows. Your knees can remain together or slightly separate if needed. If your body allows, you may carefully lay all the way down onto your back. Hold for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, and then repeat on the other side.

[caption id="attachment_61602" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yin Yoga for Runners: Reclined Hand-to-Big Toe Pose Photo courtesy of Andy Lott[/caption]

4. Reclined Hand-to-Big Toe Pose Variations

How to: Lying on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor, use a towel or yoga strap to gently draw one leg towards you as you straighten your knee. The leg that remains on the floor may remain bent, but if you can, you may fully straighten both knees (as shown). Hold for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, and then repeat on the other side.

RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game

[caption id="attachment_61603" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yin Yoga for Runners: Supine Spinal Twist Pose Photo courtesy of Andy Lott[/caption]

5. Supine Spinal Twist

How to: Lying on your back with both legs extended, draw one knee into your chest. Allow that leg to gently fall across your body to the opposite side. Extend your arm out in the opposite direction the leg is falling with your palm up. Do your best to keep your shoulder on the ground. Hold for 3 to 4 minutes, and then repeat on the other side.

Read More
How 10 Runners Beat Their Marathon Personal Best
7 Expert Tips for Pacing Yourself on the Run
5 Restorative Yoga Poses To Ease Your Muscles (And Mind)

The post 5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do

[caption id="attachment_61598" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Yin Yoga Poses Every Runner Should Do Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Life is full of opposing pairs: sweet and savory, fast and slow, hard and soft. One half of the pair can’t — and shouldn’t — exist without the other. This concept is known as yin and yang, or, the idea that two opposing forces actually create a balance. If you’re a runner, your weekly mileage falls into the ‘yang’ category, says Eric Jeffers, Life Power Yoga master trainer at Life Time Green Valley in Henderson, NV. Running, like all forms of exercise, is stressful for your body. While it builds up strength, speed and endurance, it can also leave you feeling sore and depleted if you don’t balance it out with adequate recovery — aka ‘yin.’ So instead of doing a few half-hearted stretches post-run, try something that can really help you strike a balance between stress and relaxation. The answer: yin yoga. RELATED: The Strength Training Workout Every Runner Needs

Hit Your Stride: Yin Yoga for Runners

Unlike more dynamic, fast-paced yoga styles like vinyasa and ashtanga, yin yoga feels more like a meditation session than a workout. Instead of flowing from one pose to the next with little to no pause in between, yin yogis hold poses (called asanas) that require very little exertion for longer periods of time, usually between three and five minutes. “This technique targets tendons, ligaments and fascia of the lower body,” says Jeffers. “It helps relieve tension and soreness, maintains range of motion and improves circulation.” As a bonus, students perform almost all of the poses seated or lying down — the perfect antidote to miles spent in an upright position. Consider it the perfect complement to any running routine. RELATED: 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition

5 Yin Yoga Poses to Do Post-Run

To relieve tension and keep soreness at bay, Jeffers recommends incorporating these five simple yin yoga poses into your post-run regimen. As you get started with each pose, don’t look for too much intensity. Instead, “allow time to do the work,” Jeffers says. Yin yoga is about gently falling into the stretch, “not making it happen fast.” Avoid bouncing or pulling, and if you feel a sharp pain, back off a little. [caption id="attachment_61599" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yin Yoga for Runners: Half Butterfly Pose Photo courtesy of Andy Lott[/caption]

1. Half Butterfly

How to: Extend one leg forward and drawing the other in toward your body. Allow the bent leg to naturally fall open at the hip. Fold slowly over your extended leg, allowing your head to hang and your neck and upper back to relax. If this becomes too intense, gently hold your head upright. Hold for 3 to 4 minutes, and then repeat on the other side. [caption id="attachment_61600" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yin Yoga for Runners: Dragon Pose Photo courtesy of Andy Lott[/caption]

2. Dragon

How to: Step one foot near the front of your mat and bend your knee to extend your other leg back behind you. Place your back knee down on the mat. Place both hands inside your front foot. As your body begins to soften into the pose, you may eventually come down onto your forearms (as shown). Hold for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, and then repeat on the other side. RELATED: 3 Running Drills from Olympic Sprinter Tori Bowie [caption id="attachment_61601" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yin Yoga for Runners: Half Saddle Pose Photo courtesy of Andy Lott[/caption]

3. Half Saddle

How to: Sitting with both legs in front of you, swing one leg back and gently place your shin and the top of your foot on the floor next to your hip. Begin to lean back onto your hands or elbows. Your knees can remain together or slightly separate if needed. If your body allows, you may carefully lay all the way down onto your back. Hold for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, and then repeat on the other side. [caption id="attachment_61602" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yin Yoga for Runners: Reclined Hand-to-Big Toe Pose Photo courtesy of Andy Lott[/caption]

4. Reclined Hand-to-Big Toe Pose Variations

How to: Lying on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor, use a towel or yoga strap to gently draw one leg towards you as you straighten your knee. The leg that remains on the floor may remain bent, but if you can, you may fully straighten both knees (as shown). Hold for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, and then repeat on the other side. RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game [caption id="attachment_61603" align="alignnone" width="620"]Yin Yoga for Runners: Supine Spinal Twist Pose Photo courtesy of Andy Lott[/caption]

5. Supine Spinal Twist

How to: Lying on your back with both legs extended, draw one knee into your chest. Allow that leg to gently fall across your body to the opposite side. Extend your arm out in the opposite direction the leg is falling with your palm up. Do your best to keep your shoulder on the ground. Hold for 3 to 4 minutes, and then repeat on the other side. Read More How 10 Runners Beat Their Marathon Personal Best 7 Expert Tips for Pacing Yourself on the Run 5 Restorative Yoga Poses To Ease Your Muscles (And Mind)

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5 Downward Dog Variations to Strengthen and Stretch https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/downward-dog-poses-variations/ https://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/downward-dog-poses-variations/#respond Wed, 06 Sep 2017 11:15:41 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=61557

[caption id="attachment_61564" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Downward Dog Variations to Strengthen and Stretch Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Downward facing dog (adho mukha svana in Sanskrit) is one of the most recognizable yoga poses, but it’s far from basic. Melissa Hernandez, a CorePower Yoga instructor in New York City, says, “Downward dog is full-body work. It not only strengthens your arms, shoulders and low-back, but your core and glutes, too.” Beyond your typical Vinyasa or Ashtanga class, the classic yoga pose is used in many CrossFit and running classes to strengthen and stretch your arms and hamstrings, and ignite the core.

RELATED: The 7 Body Benefits of Downward Dog

In addition to building total-body strength, downward facing dog also helps improve circulation, ease tightness and stiffness in the lumbar spine and might affect your outlook, too. “Inversions, like downward dog, where you heart is over your head, has been shown to help elevate your mood,” Hernandez says. Hernandez notes that if you can’t do crow pose or a handstand, downward facing dog gives you similar benefits. “It brings oxygenated blood to the brain and stimulates the central nervous system because your heart is above your head,” she adds.

Ready to shake up how you get down on all fours? Here are some new downward dog variations to help you get started.

RELATED: How to Do the Perfect Downward Dog [VIDEO]

 5 Downward Dog Poses to Strengthen and Stretch

[caption id="attachment_61558" align="alignnone" width="620"]Downward Dog Variations: Walk Out Downward Dog GIFs: Tiffany Ayuda / Life by Daily Burn[/caption]

1. Downward Facing Dog Walk-Out

Walking out your hands from a forward fold position will help deepen the stretch in your inner arms and open up your shoulders. “Take your time when you start to bring your hands back towards your toes, so you can feel the stretch in the back line of your legs,” Hernandez says.

How to: Stand in mountain pose (tadasana) with your feet together, facing forward. Slightly bend your knees and fold your torso over your legs into a forward fold position (a). Place your hands on the ground in front of you and walk your right hand forward and then your left hand until you’re in downward facing dog position with your hips lifted high towards the ceiling (b). Press your hands firmly on the mat and your shoulders against your back. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings and calves as your spine elongates (c). Walk your hands back out to a forward fold position.

RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game

Downward Dog Variations: Downward Dog to Plank

2. Three-Legged Downward Facing Dog to Plank

Want to fire up your core? “This variation on all fours will activate all 360 degrees of your core, as well as strengthen your glutes and hamstrings,” Hernandez says.

How to: From downward dog position, lift your right leg off the ground, forming a 90-degree angle to the ground. Keep your hips square as you lift your leg up, and your right foot flexed (a). While keeping your right leg lifted, shift your weight forward until your shoulders are directly stacked above your wrists in a plank position (b). Take three breaths. Return to downward dog position and place your right foot back to the ground before alternating sides (c).

Downward Dog Variations: Downward Dog Knee to Nose

3. Three-Legged Downward Facing Dog Knee to Nose

You’ll challenge your balance and improve your stability with this pose as you bring your knee in for a crunch. Your lower abs will get some lovin’, too, with the kick in the beginning of this movement.

How to: Get into downward dog position with your shoulders behind your ears, hands firmly pressed on the ground and heels planted (a). Keeping your hips square, lift your right leg off the ground with your foot pointed, forming a 90-degree angle to the floor (b). As you start to shift your weight into plank position, round your back and tuck your chin to bring your knee towards your nose (c). Take three to five breaths before returning your right foot back down to downward dog position. Repeat the same movement on the left side (d).

RELATED: How to Do a Handstand: Yoga for Beginners Tutorial

Downward Dog Variations: Downward Dog Scorpion Leg

4. Downward Facing Dog Scorpion Kick

The key to nailing this challenging pose is to move with control, and engage your transverse abdominal muscles as you slightly twist your hips. This downward dog variation helps open up your quads and hip flexors, as well as lengthen the spine, Hernandez says. “Focus on your breathing with this pose. Inhale as you extend your leg high and exhale as you bend your knee,” she says.

How to: From downward facing dog position, lift your right leg with your right foot pointed to hip height (a). Keeping your hips and shoulders square, bend your right knee and rotate it, stacking your right hip on top of your left (b). Hold this position for three to five breaths before bringing your right foot back down to the ground (c). Repeat on the left side.

RELATED: How to Master the Bird of Paradise Pose

Downward Dog Variations: Downward Dog Transverse Twist

5. Downward Dog with Transverse Twist

This downward dog is a special twist (pun intended) on your core, engaging your obliques and lower-ab muscles. “It opens up your shoulders and improves your arm flexibility. You’ll really feel a stretch on your sides,” Hernandez says.

How to: Get into downward facing dog position. Start to shift some of your weight on your right side as you lift your left hand off the ground (a). Draw your left hand over to your right side and reach for your right outer calf, thigh or underneath your heel (depending on your level of flexibility) (b). Deepen the rotation by holding this pose for three to five breaths and relaxing your neck (c). Return your left hand to the ground in downward facing dog position before switching sides (d).

Read More
15 Stretches You Should Do Every Damn Day
5 Dance-Inspired Yoga Moves to Turn Up the Burn
5 Yoga-Inspired Shoulder Openers

The post 5 Downward Dog Variations to Strengthen and Stretch appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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[caption id="attachment_61564" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Downward Dog Variations to Strengthen and Stretch Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Downward facing dog (adho mukha svana in Sanskrit) is one of the most recognizable yoga poses, but it’s far from basic. Melissa Hernandez, a CorePower Yoga instructor in New York City, says, “Downward dog is full-body work. It not only strengthens your arms, shoulders and low-back, but your core and glutes, too.” Beyond your typical Vinyasa or Ashtanga class, the classic yoga pose is used in many CrossFit and running classes to strengthen and stretch your arms and hamstrings, and ignite the core. RELATED: The 7 Body Benefits of Downward Dog In addition to building total-body strength, downward facing dog also helps improve circulation, ease tightness and stiffness in the lumbar spine and might affect your outlook, too. “Inversions, like downward dog, where you heart is over your head, has been shown to help elevate your mood,” Hernandez says. Hernandez notes that if you can’t do crow pose or a handstand, downward facing dog gives you similar benefits. “It brings oxygenated blood to the brain and stimulates the central nervous system because your heart is above your head,” she adds. Ready to shake up how you get down on all fours? Here are some new downward dog variations to help you get started. RELATED: How to Do the Perfect Downward Dog [VIDEO]

 5 Downward Dog Poses to Strengthen and Stretch

[caption id="attachment_61558" align="alignnone" width="620"]Downward Dog Variations: Walk Out Downward Dog GIFs: Tiffany Ayuda / Life by Daily Burn[/caption]

1. Downward Facing Dog Walk-Out

Walking out your hands from a forward fold position will help deepen the stretch in your inner arms and open up your shoulders. “Take your time when you start to bring your hands back towards your toes, so you can feel the stretch in the back line of your legs,” Hernandez says. How to: Stand in mountain pose (tadasana) with your feet together, facing forward. Slightly bend your knees and fold your torso over your legs into a forward fold position (a). Place your hands on the ground in front of you and walk your right hand forward and then your left hand until you’re in downward facing dog position with your hips lifted high towards the ceiling (b). Press your hands firmly on the mat and your shoulders against your back. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings and calves as your spine elongates (c). Walk your hands back out to a forward fold position. RELATED: 50 Resources to Step Up Your Yoga Game Downward Dog Variations: Downward Dog to Plank

2. Three-Legged Downward Facing Dog to Plank

Want to fire up your core? “This variation on all fours will activate all 360 degrees of your core, as well as strengthen your glutes and hamstrings,” Hernandez says. How to: From downward dog position, lift your right leg off the ground, forming a 90-degree angle to the ground. Keep your hips square as you lift your leg up, and your right foot flexed (a). While keeping your right leg lifted, shift your weight forward until your shoulders are directly stacked above your wrists in a plank position (b). Take three breaths. Return to downward dog position and place your right foot back to the ground before alternating sides (c). Downward Dog Variations: Downward Dog Knee to Nose

3. Three-Legged Downward Facing Dog Knee to Nose

You’ll challenge your balance and improve your stability with this pose as you bring your knee in for a crunch. Your lower abs will get some lovin’, too, with the kick in the beginning of this movement. How to: Get into downward dog position with your shoulders behind your ears, hands firmly pressed on the ground and heels planted (a). Keeping your hips square, lift your right leg off the ground with your foot pointed, forming a 90-degree angle to the floor (b). As you start to shift your weight into plank position, round your back and tuck your chin to bring your knee towards your nose (c). Take three to five breaths before returning your right foot back down to downward dog position. Repeat the same movement on the left side (d). RELATED: How to Do a Handstand: Yoga for Beginners Tutorial Downward Dog Variations: Downward Dog Scorpion Leg

4. Downward Facing Dog Scorpion Kick

The key to nailing this challenging pose is to move with control, and engage your transverse abdominal muscles as you slightly twist your hips. This downward dog variation helps open up your quads and hip flexors, as well as lengthen the spine, Hernandez says. “Focus on your breathing with this pose. Inhale as you extend your leg high and exhale as you bend your knee,” she says. How to: From downward facing dog position, lift your right leg with your right foot pointed to hip height (a). Keeping your hips and shoulders square, bend your right knee and rotate it, stacking your right hip on top of your left (b). Hold this position for three to five breaths before bringing your right foot back down to the ground (c). Repeat on the left side. RELATED: How to Master the Bird of Paradise Pose Downward Dog Variations: Downward Dog Transverse Twist

5. Downward Dog with Transverse Twist

This downward dog is a special twist (pun intended) on your core, engaging your obliques and lower-ab muscles. “It opens up your shoulders and improves your arm flexibility. You’ll really feel a stretch on your sides,” Hernandez says. How to: Get into downward facing dog position. Start to shift some of your weight on your right side as you lift your left hand off the ground (a). Draw your left hand over to your right side and reach for your right outer calf, thigh or underneath your heel (depending on your level of flexibility) (b). Deepen the rotation by holding this pose for three to five breaths and relaxing your neck (c). Return your left hand to the ground in downward facing dog position before switching sides (d). Read More 15 Stretches You Should Do Every Damn Day 5 Dance-Inspired Yoga Moves to Turn Up the Burn 5 Yoga-Inspired Shoulder Openers

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