Tag Archives: Workout

Dressing Up For the Gym

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So you’ve finally decided to begin working out. What’s your first step? Are you going to begin shopping for a gym membership? Comparing prices? Seeing which locations are along your daily route? Looking into signing up for classes? No, you’re focusing on something far more important: your wardrobe! Every woman knows that she’s got to look the part in order to play it, and besides, with all the athleisure on the market, there are tons of fashionable options, and who knows, you may even find a few pieces that you can get away with at the office! Well, if you’re looking for some inspiration, you might as well start at the top, so let’s have a look and see what some of the top celebrities are wearing to workout.

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J Lo
We’re not sure if you can get J.Lo’s abs, but you can certainly get her duds. The triple threat was spotted in a fluorescent green sports bra with matching trimmed leggings in the Bahamas with new beau Alex Rodriguez. With a couple that hot, who needs exercise?

Khloe Kardashian
Now the fit Kardashian, Khloe was seen on the streets of Los Angles post workout in all black with white accents. The reality star donned a cropped Nike hoodie with matching leggings, layered with a figure hugging top, and accessorized with a leather backpack, urban chic hoop earrings, and aviator sunglasses.

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Kylie Jenner
Sister Kylie didn’t leave much to the imagination in her workout choice. The fledgling beauty mogul made a stop at a California mall wearing a sheer all gray two piece by Alo Yoga and judging from the looks of it, not much else.

Julianne Hough
When it comes to taking inspiration on dressing for a workout, you couldn’t go to wrong by taking it from Julianne Hough, The dancer was seen showing off her midsection in a black crop top with white leggings, walking through the park with brother Derek. Ever the consummate professional, Julianne was the picture of eighties athleticism, topping her monochromatic look with a printed jacket, black sneakers and tote bag, round sunglasses, and topknot do.

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Miley Cyrus
Miley kept thing casual for her Hollywood hike. The normally over the top Miley was seen relaxing with her dog, looking comfortable – sexy in a ribbed gray sweater with a matching baseball cap covering her free flowing natural waves. Black leggings and light gray sneakers completed the look.

Pippa Middleton
All eyes on Pippa as she comes directly from the wedding chapel and into the gym. The royal by relation, Pippa was all smiled in London in a gray hoodie, printed running shorts, and sneakers.

Lily Collins
Proving that you don’t need heels to be paparazzi-ready, Lily Collins showed off her abs in a GRANA black racer front crop top, paired with mesh-paneled leggings, cool black sunnies, white and gray sneakers, and a gray cardigan over it (almost.) It seems that Lily is another fan of the “drape,” jacket and, from the looks of it, she pulls it off with aplomb.

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Selena Gomez
When you have a body like Selena, you don’t really have to worry about strategic clothing placement. The songstress kept it simple in a short sleeved light blue tee and black Alo Yoga leggings for her workout, and let her body speak for itself.

What are you wearing to the gym this year? Who is your celeb inspiration? Let us know!

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Stretches That Get You Ready For the Slopes

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Lindsey Vonn lives a life of danger, romance, glamor and suspense. Whether she is winning the World Cup, modeling for the cover of “Sports Illustrated,” participating on “Dancing With the Stars”, or knocking back some Red Bull for a publicity spot, her life has very few dull moments. That’s because Lindsey Vonn stays in shape, wears her protective gear, drinks plenty of water, and always does her stretches before hitting the slopes. Skiing uses a range of movements that tend to be sudden which puts stress on muscles and ligaments. Stretching before skiing can greatly reduce the risk of soreness and injury. Here’s a few good ones for you.

Transverse Oblique Twist
This one is great for increasing motion range in the hips and back and transverse obliques. Lie on a mat and lift your right leg straight up from the hip. Lay your leg over to the left side without letting the right shoulder rise off the ground. Hold for 20 seconds.

Straight Leg Hang
Here’s a great stretch for the hamstrings and lower back. Stand with your feet together, tilting your hips forward. Round your back, reaching for the floor. Hold for 20 seconds.

3 Way Hamstring/ Back Reaches
This stretch targets the hamstrings, obliques, lower and neck. 1st position: Pull your right foot in as close to your body as possible and bring your left leg straight out to the left side. Reach your left hand across to your left foot. Lower your head to your chest. 2nd position: With your left leg stretched straight out from your hip and your right leg relaxed to the right, use both hands to reach down your leg. Tuck in your chin and your round back as much as you can. 3rd position: Stretch your left leg straight out, bring it across the front of your hip and bend your right leg over the top of your left. Reach your right hand to your left foot, bring your head to your chest and round your back. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on opposite side.

Chest stretch

Chest Stretch
This is a great stretch for the muscles in your forearm. biceps, palms, and chest Put your left hand on the wall with your finger pointing behind you. Walk backward slowly until your forearm is stretched out. Take small steps turning away from your left arm until you feel it in the bicep and chest. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on other side.

Straight Leg Hang
Try this exercise for the hamstrings and lower back. Stand with your feet together tilt your hips forward, round your back and reach for the floor. Hold for 20 seconds.

Deep Glute Pull
Target your glute muscles with this one. Just lie on your back and bend your knees, Pull one leg up and rest the side of the foot on the thigh of the other legs. Pull both in toward your chest until you feel the stretch in your glutes. Hold for 20 seconds.

All stretched out? Great now your ready to tackle those slopes feeling like a million bucks. Let us know about your ski stretches and how they work for you this season! We love to get your inputs!

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Core Strengthening Exercises That Work

Woman exercising
The most commonly accepted definition of core stability is: “Comprised of the lumbopelvic hip complex and is the capacity to maintain equilibrium of the vertebral column with its physiologic limits by reducing displacement from perturbations and maintaining structural integrity.” And you thought it had something to do with the middle of a fruit.

Physiotherapists Henry and Florence Kendall first acknowledged core stability when they introduced the idea of the “neutral pelvis” in the 1940’s and 50’s. The idea was that the muscles surrounding the pelvis were responsible for the alignment of the “neutral spine” and that the pelvic tilt was the movement which deviated from the neutral position. In short, core stability involves using abdominal pressure to stabilize the spine which, in turn, can improve muscle and gross motor action.

It looks like old Henry and Flo might have been on to something, because, here we are about 70 years later and it looks like core stability is working for some pretty impressive ( and impressively built) people.

1. Side Plank Variation
Celebrity Pilates trainer claims you can catch Miley Cyrus side planking during her exercise routines. Here’s how:

  1. Lie on the floor. Lean sideways, putting your weight on your right hip, and use your right arm to support your body. Bend your legs slightly and position your left foot a little in front of your right foot.
  2. Using your core, elevate your body upward into a side plank.
  3. Reach your left arm over your head.
  4. Pull your abs in high, lower your hips without letting them touch the floor, lower your left arm and press back into the side plank.
  5. Repeat 6-8 times and then switch sides.

Woman completing a plank push up
2. Plank Push Ups
Celebrity trainer Teddy Bass used this one to help Christina Applegate get her post baby body back in shape.

  1. Get into plank position. Put your weight on your toes and forearms. Your body should form a straight line.
  2. Push off your forearms, lift your right hand and position it under the right shoulder on the mat.
  3. Pick up your left hand and place it beneath your left shoulder. You should find yourself in push-up position.
  4. Drop to your right forearm, then drop to your left forearm. You should now find yourself back in plank position. Continue in a push-up pattern going up on the right, up on the left, down on the right, down on the left for five repetitions total.
  5. Rest and begin again, starting with the left arm.

3.V-Sit Twist
Pro Derek Degrazio had Britney (Spears) working out with this one. BTW, you’ll need a 6-10 pound medicine ball for this one, if you don’t have one, a dumbbell or gallon of water will do.

  1. Sit bending your knees. Your feet should be flat and your arms should be by your sides.
  2. Keeping knees bent, lift your feet until your shins are almost parallel to the floor. Lean back at a 45 degree angle so your thighs and torso form a V shape.
  3. Bring the 6-10 lb medicine ball, or object of choice, to your chest, keeping your elbows out.
  4. Move your upper body to the right. Your left elbow will be above your right hip. Then move to the left in the same manner.
  5. Do three sets of thirty.

4.Three Legged Dog
Fitness and yoga instructor Mandy Ingber has client Jennifer Anniston swearing by this one.

  1. Begin as if you were going to do push ups. Raise your right heel to the height of your shoulder and no higher.
  2. Bring your right knee to your head, Round your spine, inhale, and bring your leg back to starting position.
  3. Exhale, bringing your right knee alongside your right tricep. Extend leg and inhale.
  4. Exhale, cross in your right knee to for left elbow. Inhale as you stretch out your leg. Do this three times and then repeat switching legs.

If you are still upright, we would love to hear about your core experiences. How did you measure up to the celebs? Please comment and let us know all about it!

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Building Your Revenge Body

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Have you ever seen, “The Girl Most Likely To….”  This 1973 movie tells the story of the unattractive, often bullied Miriam Knight.  After having failed at almost every endeavor she attempts to achieve popularity in college, she finally lands a lead in a school play, only to be humiliated at the curtain call when her jealous roommate places roses at her feet, knowing Miriam is allergic.  The result is an embarrassing sneezing fit.

Upset, Miriam speeds away, only to become involved in a terrible automobile accident leaving her with the need for reconstructive surgery on her face.  Long story short, she comes out gorgeous and spends the rest of the movie killing everyone who was ever nasty to her.  Sounds pretty good,no?  Everyone loves a good revenge story; we love to believe that the underdog will somehow come out on top and make everyone around him/her green with envy.  The most recent real life example that comes to mind is that of Khloe Kardashian, ruthlessly teased by every late night host and comedian until, after a startling body transformation, emerged, disputably, more beautiful than any of her sisters.  So how did she do it?  What does it take to build the revenge body?

Mindset
Before we get into out workout, let’s get one thing straight.  The concept of getting in shape as an act of revenge is a bit shallow.  While it is everyone’s dream to run into an ex and being able to say, “You should have put a ring on it,”  may seem like a pleasing fantasy, working out is a commitment and you have to be prepared to take a little physical pain.  In addition, making other people jealous does not always have the best consequences.  You may find your best friend suddenly less friendly.  Now, having got that out of the way, how can do it?

Start Strong
According to a study from the College of New Jersey, people who push themselves in the first half of a workout and slowed down in the second half burned 23 % more fat than those who did the opposite.Rather than starting with a slow jog, consider doing 20 jumping jacks.  This charges up your upper and lower body muscles and get your heart rate up in less than a minute.

Concentrate on Cardio
When it comes to exercise routines, think fast!  Women who do 20-minute sprints of cycling lost 3 times as much fat in 15 weeks as those who cycled for twice as long at an even pace, according to research.  Consider high-intensity interval training (HIIT), alternating between intense exercise and recovery breaks.  Get in, get out!  And you’ll have loads more time on your hands.

Alternate Your Workouts
Don’t tack minutes on your routine if you stop seeing results, switch your routine!  Trainer  and WH fitness contributor, Rachel Cosgrove says, “It takes four to six weeks for your body to adapt to a workout.  Once you become efficient at it, you lose less energy and burn fewer fat calories. You don’t need to alter your whole routine, adding a few new moves should do the trick.

Work on an Unstable Surface
When doing upper body strength training, such as bicep curls and overhead presses, you might try using an unstable surface.  it will force you to use your core to stabilize  yourself and maintain balance which will tone your midsection.  Working on a balance board, or even a couch cushion will work.

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Can This Workout Improve Health

As you age, life gets busy. Between family, social activities and day-to-day chaos, your workout routine may be taking a back seat. It is important to maintain regular exercise habits to control blood pressure, weight gain, and bone / muscle strength. For many women, they opt to move away from high impact exercises like aerobics or running. Instead, they try lower impact exercises such as yoga.

Woman doing yoga

If you’ve ever watched a yoga demonstration, then you’ll notice that it is all about being centered and strong. The question that many have is “Do I need to get healthy before I start yoga or can I use it to improve my health?” The answer is yes to both.

Yoga works to build your strength and flexibility. If you have never practiced before, you will be learning new skills that are out of your comfort zone. You should consult with your physician prior to starting this or any other health routine (just to be on the safe side). Once you have the all clear, you can choose a style or level of yoga that is appropriate for your abilities, personality, and fitness goals.

There are many different styles of yoga. Most involve deep breathing and holding poses. They may also focus on building flexibility, resolving neck pain, or helping you deepen your spirituality. For beginners, a style of yoga called Hatha is a great place to start. It introduces you to basic poses and asanas or physical exercises. People with more advanced skills may consider participating in Ashtanga yoga classes. The practice includes advanced sun salutations and difficult poses that remind us of modern gymnastic exercises (read… advanced and physically demanding). Whichever style of yoga you choose, do your research and start with beginning practices to avoid injury.

Benefits of Yoga
There are many benefits to the practice of yoga. It can help you reduce stress and also help you improve your overall health.

  • Reduced Blood Pressure: Though there is no definitive proof as to why, yoga is associated with reducing blood pressure. Studies have shown that people who practiced yoga regularly reduce their overall blood pressure. This may be a result of lowering overall body weight or reducing stress through deep breathing.
  • Lowers Cortisol Levels: When cortisol rises to unhealthy levels, your body can suffer negatively including increased body fat, bone loss and depression. Research shows that cortisol levels are reduced after yoga classes. It is possible that the body enters deep relaxation while doing breathing exercises and holding postures.
  • Reduces Pain: For people with chronic pain, yoga can help to significantly reduce it. Relaxation techniques and the promotion of positive thinking may help. Studies have shown that yoga is an effective component of pain management for people with arthritis, back pain and headaches.
  • Builds Flexibility: The stretching that occurs during yoga helps improve flexibility. Yoga stretches both muscle and joints. Beginning poses that may help flexibility include mountain pose, child’s pose, and downward dog. It is important to recognize your limitations and use modifications as you increase your flexibility.

Though the jury is still out on how it works, there is plenty of research to back its effectiveness. From reducing overall body mass to reducing pain, yoga can help you improve your overall health.

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