Pilates at home workout DVDs are convenient and effective for those who don't have time or money to spend at a studio or club. There are many DVDs available to purchase for those just beginning, those who are advanced and even for those intermediates right in the middle. Those who are beginning and have no clue what pilates is about can choose from videos such as Pilates for Beginners with Maggie Rhoades, Beginning Pilates Mat Workout with Ana Caban, Pilates Complete for Inflexible People with Maggie Rhoades and On the Ball Pilates Workoout for Beginners with Lizbeth Garcia. These DVDs are not only affordable — ranging around $10 per DVD — but they include a variety of features, such as instructors commentary, challenging positions and different timing options depending on the DVD you choose.
A new, popular pilates DVD is Pop Pilates Total Body Workout DVD with Cassey Ho. This workout DVD is a fun, modern 60-minute workout that tests your endurance and will power. Ho is enthuiastic and energetic and pushes you to hold each pose through the burn. Pop Pilates Total Body Workout gives you the option of choosing to complete the entire workout during one sitting or to choose which exercises you want to complete — which is convenient for who have limited time, but want to squeeze in a quick workout. This DVD doesn't require any equipment except for a mat, unlike other DVDs that require a room full of equipment. Pop Pilates is a challenge that will work you from head to toe.
The Zumba Exhilarate Body Shaping System comes with seven DVDs of 350 minutes of fat burning dance routines. This set has a variety of music, including Latin, hip hop and swing. The seven DVDs are called Step by Step, Activate, Rush, Exhilarate, Ripped, Mix and Fitness Concert. Step by step is a simple guide that helps you break down the movements. Activate is an easy 45 minute class for beginners. Rush is a quick 20 minute workout that increases your heart rate to lose weight. Exhilarate is the original fitness party. Ripped focuses on toning your body with Zumba Toning and Zumba Sentao. Mix includes a variety of music from around the world and Fitness Concert is a live fitness party. The Zumba Exhilarate Body Shaping System also includes a program guide that has diet tips and one pair of one pound Zumba Toning Sticks Exhilarate. This set is easy for beginners to get the hang of – thanks to the verbal cues – and a challenge of a workout for those who exercise routinely. With all the dancing and moving around in these seven DVDs, you’ll shrink down and lose weight while still having fun.
You don’t always need to turn to gym equipment and machines to tone yourself from head to toe. There are many exercises that you can perform with only your body and open space required. Just as you would increase the amount of weight on a machine, you can increase the intensity of your workout by completing more sets and reps. Because all of your body’s movements are natural and not stiff or restricted by a machine, you lower the amount of pressure on your joints and risk of injuries. Body weight exercises can be done on your own or with the help of a personal trainer.
Outdoor fitness is a refreshing break from the four walls confining you in the gym. Exercising outside allows you to see different people and scenery that helps reduce stress and depression. Because of this, more fitness professionals are suggesting outdoor workouts according to Walter R. Thompson, PhD. The wind and different leveled surfaces help increase the amount of calories you burn by five percent. Outdoor exercises include running, hiking, soccer, kayaking, bicycling and bodyweight training exercises.
Yoga uses poses that concentrates on various body parts at a time and breathing techniques. Yoga targets not only your body, but your mind and spirit, as well. As your instructor helps you form certain poses, you’re told to focus on that specific body part you’re working on. The awareness of your breathing controls your spirit and helps you slow your heart rate and relax. Yoga is shown to help reduce depression, improve your posture, improve your sleep, tone your body and improve your confidence. There are many forms of yoga, including Hot Yoga, Aerobic Yoga, Power Yoga and Yogalates.
Circuit training consists of six to 10 short exercises performed one after another. Each exercise targets different muscle groups, therefore only minimum rest is necessary between each exercise. With minimum rest, your heart rate is able to stay up, which helps you burn calories. This doesn’t normally happen with resistance exercises that are meant for toning and building muscle. Mix both aerobic and anaerobic exercises into your routine and aim for three sets.
Dancing is fun and does a good job of increasing your heart rate and improving your cardiovascular health. Dancing targets your entire body and even tones muscles that some exercises don’t. Blasting your favorite music with non-stop movement relieves stress and makes you feel as though you aren’t even working out. Dance workouts include Zumba, which burns somewhere between 500 to 1000 calories an hour, Nia, which burns more than 400 calories and the Bar Method.
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Triceps kickbacks (or extensions) can be done in numerous angles, but one of the best positions for this move is from a quadruped (all fours) posture. Why? It encourages good form by allowing you to keep your back flat and supported during the arm extension so you get a lot more benefit (from challenge to support) from a single move. To do it, start kneeling with a dumbbell (or end of an anchored resistance band) in one hand. Bend elbow up by side of the ribcage, keeping arm close to the body. Without moving the upper arm, straighten the elbow, reaching weight toward your hip. Return to bent position to complete one rep. Avoid swinging the weight and try to keep elbow in the same position (close to the side of the body) during the entire exercise. Try up to 3 sets of 15 reps on both sides.
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Consistent cardio workout will help you burn fat, but sometimes not in the areas that you want. Although back fat is stubborn, it is possible to get rid of. When working out your back, be sure to go slow in order to feel the workout and to not pull or strain any muscles.
Power Plank Row
Get in plank position on your hands and toes. Grab a kettle bell or a 5 to 8-pound weight with your right hand. Bend your elbow just like the last exercise until it reaches your torso. Bring the weight back down and repeat, holding yourself up the entire exercise. Do 10 to 15 reps for each arm.
Hold a 5 to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand (whatever weight you can handle – as long as it’s the same weight in each hand). Bend your upper body until it’s perpendicular to your lower half and parallel to the floor. Keep your feet together and bend your knees slightly. Start with the weights hanging down and bend your elbows until they reach your torso. As you lift, don’t raise your shoulders to your ears. Do three sets of 10 reps.
Dumbbell Shoulder Shrug
Hold a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift both shoulders up at the same time. Keep elbows straight and abs tight the entire workout. Hold for five seconds, and repeat 10 times.
Cat and Camel
Get on your hands and knees and start by arching your back upwards, creating an upside down U. Hold for five seconds. Bring your back down past where you started to allow your back to drop, creating a U shape. Hold for five seconds. Repeat 10 to 15 times for at least two sets.
The cobra is very similar to the superman. Lie down on your stomach, but instead of having your arms outstretched in front of you, place them straight down alongside your body. Lift your chest and legs off the floor, keeping your feet together. Raise your arms up and back. Hold for five seconds. Repeat eight to ten times.
Lie down on your stomach on a bench and have someone hold your feet. Slide yourself forward until your hips hang off and hold your upper body up. Your upper body should be raised higher than your lower half as if you’re on a hyperextension bench. Cross your arms in front of your chest and lower your upper half down until your hamstrings get a good stretch and you’re close to the floor. Keep your back straight the entire time. Bring your upper body back up to its starting position. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
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After a long day at work all you want to do is sit on the couch and watch some television. Feeling guilty for skipping the gym? Don’t. Working out on your couch is different and fun and you won’t feel any guilt. You can work on every muscle, including your biceps, triceps, and abs, on the comfort of your couch while still allowing you to watch the newest episode of your favorite sitcom.
Lie down on the couch on your right side. Bend your right arm and lean on your elbow and forearm. Keep your body straight with your left leg resting on top of your right throughout the whole exercise. Push your body up in the air using your forearm and keep your left hand on your hip. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Avoid staring at the clock and concentrate on your show. This will help keep your mind off of wanting to release and lie back down. When you get used to the burn and don’t feel like 30 seconds is enough, increase the amount of time you hold yourself up. Always make sure you switch sides and plank to the left.
Get your weights and sit back down on the edge of your couch. Hold a weight in each hand and keep your arms straight down, hanging off the couch. Don’t rest the weights in your lap before lifting because then you are not going to feel the full effect. Keep your back straight and lift both weights up to your biceps and bring them back down. Try to do three sets of at least 10 reps. Take your time. The slower you lift the more results you will see.
Lie on the floor facing your couch. Bend your knees to allow your feet to touch the floor, sliding your feet under the bottom of couch. This will allow you to avoid lifting your feet up off the ground and allow you to feel your ab muscles working. Cross your hands over your chest, touching your left shoulder with your right hand and your right shoulder with your left hand. You can also put your hands behind your head, locking your fingers. Lift up off the floor keeping your back straight and using your core to lift. If going on the floor is too much work, you can do this directly on the couch, as well. Do as many sit-ups as a straight minute allows you to. Repeat one to two times more.
Lie down on your back. Keep your legs together and your hands straight down to their sides. Lift both legs up at the same time using your core and keeping your knees straight. Keep lifting until your legs are straight up in the air, perpendicular to your upper body. Bring your legs back down, still making sure your knees are not bent. As mentioned before, the slower you go the more results you will see.
Overhead Triceps Extension
Get your weights out again. This time go for a bigger one than you used before because you will be supporting one weight with both arms. Sit down on your couch with your back straight. Hold the weight up in the air with both arms. Make sure that the weight isn’t directly above your head, but more behind. Slowly bring the weight down behind your head until your elbows are fully bent. Bring the weight back up the same way you brought it down. Do two to three sets of 10 reps.
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Want to tone your abs, but tired of doing typical sit-ups? There are many more exercises that can be done to sculpt your abs to the definition you want. Various exercises target various areas of your abdominals and will allow you to see results from your upper abs, lower abs and side abs.
Lie down on your stomach. Bend your elbows and rest on your forearms. When you’re ready, push off the ground using your forearms and forefeet. Keep your feet two to three inches apart during the whole plank and your back straight. Do not raise your hips. Hold yourself up for a full minute.
Roll over on your right side. Keep your legs aligned on top of one another and bend your right arm, resting on your forearm. Push off the floor using your forearm and place your left hand on your hip. If you’re a beginner, hold this position for 30 seconds. As you progress, you can extend the time to 45 seconds, then even a minute. Roll over and plank on your left side, too. Just like the name, side planks work on your side abdominals.
Lie down on your back and lock your fingers behind your head. Lift your legs up with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Your shins should be horizontal in the air and perpendicular to your thighs. Start by twisting your abdominals to the left and try to touch your right elbow to your left knee. This requires you to move your left knee slightly in. Next twist your abdominals to the right and try to touch your left elbow to your right knee, moving your right knee in. Keep alternating quickly. Do as many as you can for a minute and try not to stop. Rest for 30 seconds to a minute before doing another minute set.
Lie down on your stomach with your legs together and your arms outstretched above your head. Lift your arms and legs off the floor as if you’re superman flying. Keep your head leveled and face down to avoid straining your neck. Start off by holding this position for 30 seconds and increase the time as you progress.
Vertical Leg Crunch
Lie down on your back with your fingers locked behind your head. Lift your legs straight up in the air. Using your core and not your neck muscles, lift your head and shoulders off the floor. Do three sets of 20. Remember you can always increase the amount you do when you don’t feel as though you’re getting as much of a workout as you did when you started.
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When most of us workout, we tend to focus on cardio exercises that burn fat quickly or ab workouts for a flatter, fit stomach, but turn around. Your butt is another part of your body that has muscles and can be toned. With a few easy exercises you can change from flabby to fit.
Lunges with Weights
For this exercise all you need is a pair of weights. Hold a minimum of five pounds in each hand or whatever you can handle. Keep your hands to your sides throughout the whole exercise. Lunge forward with your right leg. Bring your leg back and alternate legs, now doing the same with your left. Keep alternating. Do this for a minute.
Get on the ground on all fours keeping your back straight. Starting with your right leg, lift it straight up with your knee bent at a 90 degree angle until your thigh is aligned with your back. Bring your leg back down. Work each leg for a minute straight.
Get on the ground on all four keeping your back straight once again. This time starting with your right leg, lift it up to your side with your knee bent at a 90 degree angle until your thigh is aligned with your hip. Do each side for a full minute.
Squats with weights
Get out your weights once again. Hold them in your hands with your arms down to your sides. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees keeping your feet on the ground at all times. If you feel a strain on your knees then you are not standing with your legs as far apart as they should be. Each rep of squats should be done for a full minute.
Get out a yoga mat and lie on your back with your arms straight down to your sides. Bend your knees with your feet touching the floor. Lift your hips up in the air using your glutes. Don't use your back to lift as you may strain it and that is not using the muscles in your butt. Include two sets of hip lifts in your workout routine with about 20 to 30 in each set. Take your time in order to feel your butt muscles working and to avoid straining your lower back.
Lie down flat on your stomach with your head face down resting in your hands. Lift up both legs two to three inches with your toes pointed. Move legs up and down as if swimming, alternating at a slow pace to really feel the muscles in your glutes working. Do this for a minute straight. If your hips hurt during this exercise, get a sweatshirt and place it flat on the ground below your hips for cushioning.
Keep your arms down and hold your weights in front of you in each hand. The ends of the weights should be touching each other. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart with your knees very slightly bent. Keeping your back straight, move your upper body forward until your weights just pass your knees. Don't let the weights drag your upper body down, but use your muscles to avoid that and maintain your straight posture. This should be done a minute per rep.
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Running has many benefits that will improve your overall health, emotionally, mentally, and especially physically. Although running isn’t everyone’s chosen choice of workout, its positive effects are definitely worth the run. You will feel better in ways that you didn’t know was possible just by pushing yourself on the treadmill or the track.
1. Running improves your self-confidence. You will feel accomplished and good about yourself after your run. As you keep your exercise up, you’ll not only continue to feel good about yourself because you aren’t sitting down and doing nothing, but your self-confidence will improve because you’ll see results.
2. Running creates natural chemicals called endorphins, also known as “runner’s high.” Endorphins increase your happiness and euphoria and also help to relieve depression.
3. Running is a great way to alleviate the stress in your life. It takes your mind off of all of your problems and allows you to focus on your run and goal of weight loss. The more you run and stay motivated, the more your stress can stay away.
4. Running is a form of cardio workout that allows you to burn fat fast. Running for 30 minutes a day, 4 days a week will help you shed those pounds and stay fit. Just remember to maintain a healthy, nutritious diet and your body will respond the way you want it to.
5. Running helps you get a better night sleep. Don’t work out right before bed because that will increase your heart rate and will not allow you to feel relaxed like you should when you go to sleep. Instead, work out midday, and you will be able to relieve your stress (which will help you sleep better because nothing will be on your mind), and it will allow you to have used your energy and feel sleepy and in need of a recharge.
6. Running helps build your tolerance each time you workout. The more you run, the more you will be able to run for longer periods of time and be able to breathe easier during your future workouts. The higher your tolerance, the more weight you can lose in a shorter period of time.
7. Running helps improve your cardiovascular health by strengthening your heart and reducing your risk of having a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
8. Running allows you to avoid getting sick easily by helping your immune system fight off diseases, such as colds, pneumonia, and other respiratory-tract infections.
9. Running increases the strength of your bones by increasing bone density, which helps decrease your risk of developing osteoporosis (fragile bones which lead to fractures).
10. Running helps decrease your risk of certain types of cancer, such as colon, breast, lung, and prostate.
Live longer, be happier, and start running.
Cardio for Beginners
Lose weight and feel great with this simple and fun cardio program!
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Going through a flow of poses can be either a spiritual sweat session or a special kind of torture. The key to filfillment: finding the style that complements your fitness goals and your mood.
Yoga is kind of like sex. (And not just because of the interesting positions.)
For a practice rooted in simplicity, it has become a tad bit complicated and intimidating (like Bikram and Kivamukti) to general (like flow and restorative). With the increasing number of choices in the yoga world, new students could definitely be overwhelmed.
But also like sex, the endless options mean you never have to settle for a lacklusters session or the same variety every week. After all, sometimes you want it fast, other times slow, sometimes you want a lot of talking, sometimes you want silence. Here, we help you find the right practive for your mood so you walk away satisfied.
Yoga Fast Flows
In the yoga world, classes abound for women (and men) looking to move quickly, slim down and maybe fast-forward through most of the chants and meditations. Classes in this group which tend to have names like Dynamic flow and Power Yoga are heavy on speedy sequences, keep the music modern (think Adele and Prince remixes, not Enya), and take more creative liberties with their poses and sequences.
Some of the boom on this end of the spectrum can be considered good for those who want to add yoga into their routine but crave an equivalent to the sweet drenched endorphin rush that they get from their cardio kickboxing class.
If you love the heart pumping muscle-building benefits but want something more traditional, Bikram may be more your style. It always flows through the same 26 postures every class but in a streaming hot studio (upwards of 105 degrees!). It should be noted that “hot yoga” is not synonymous with Bikram. Other heated varieties are typically a bit cooler and take more freedom witth poses. (Some people say they are cheap imitation of Bikram, while others say they’re a passable alternative. You decide.
If you can’t stand the heat, look for vinyasa-based classes, which move through sequences of various speeds but focus more on your body position. So instead of just calling out poses, your teacher will actively adjust you and stress different cues (like “inner thighs back and wide” or “active hands and feet”).
The reason some teacher are so hand-on. It can ofter be hard to understand which way to bend or twist by just listening to verbal cues. This way, teachers are able to place you in exactly the right positon so you know how it’s supposed to feel. (If you prefer not to be physically adjusted, you can always tell them before the class starts.)
Yoga (101 Essential Tips)Breaks down key information on yoga into 101 easy-to-grasp tips and gives quick answers to all your questions.
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