If you're looking for a gentler inversion alternative than Wheel Pose, Bridge (Sanskrit name: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) should be your go-to. While my favorite — and least favorite! — poses are constantly evolving, I have always been partial to this beautiful heart-opening pose. The reason? Although it's very active and energizing, there's also something relaxing and calming about Bridge. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of this fantastic pose and take your Bridge to the next level.
- Set up strong: When you're setting up the pose, lay a strong foundation. Lie supine (lying down with face upward) on the floor. Take a few deep breaths to get grounded and relaxed. Bend your knees, plant your feet flat on the floor, and make sure the knees are hips-distance apart.
- Align it right: As you push your pelvis up and forward, your knees should be directly over your heels. If you want to make sure you have the right distance between your shoulders and your feet, here's a great rule of thumb: when you reach for your heels, your fingertips should just graze the back of your feet. Keep your arms extended on either side of your body with palms facing down. If you want to take it up a notch, clasp your hands under your pelvis, and as you come into the full expression of the pose, roll your shoulders in toward one another.
Learn more tips on doing Bridge after the break!
A Bloomington, MN, man is in stable condition in spite of falling off a bridge while pretending to fall. That's right: a 23-year-old man, after some drinking (surprise, surprise!), asked his friend to pull over to the emergency lane of a bridge over the Minnesota River so he could urinate.
He climbed over the ledge, looked over at his friend, and — while pretending to fall — actually fell. Police had to use a chair to retrieve the man 30 feet below the bridge since he was stuck in a marsh. Great to see tax dollars being put to good use!
I love using my exercise ball for strength training and stretching. There are so many ways you can take an exercise to a new level by using an exercise ball. This move targets your back side and is similar to the Lying Hamstring Curl, and might be a bit easier to manage if you are new to working with an exercise ball.
- Lie flat on your back and place the ball under your heels, with your knees slightly bent.
- Press firmly into the ball and slowly raise your hips off the ground as high as you can, actively squeezing your glutes as you lift.
- With control, slowly release your bum back down to the floor.
- Repeat this move 15 to 20 times.
In a recent poll, I asked you all if your summer fitness goal is to have flat abs or a toned tush. Now, while the majority voted for flat abs I thought I'd share this exercise with you all that works both areas of concern. It's a full sit-up/bridge combo and it works your backs side and your torso splendidly.
On an exhale, push your pelvis up. Keep your back straight and in neutral spine — imagine your abs and back muscles sandwiching your spine.
- You will feel your hamstrings and glutes work.
- If you want to work your inner thighs a bit, place something between your knees (like a pillow) and hold it there for the duration of the series.
- Lower your pelvis down to the ground as you inhale. As your pelvis lowers, bring your arms up.
Exhale and roll all the way up to sitting with your hands behind your head. You put your hands behind so you can't jerk yourself up by swinging your arms up.
- Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.
- Focus on pulling your deep abs to your spine as your roll up. Work the abs not the hip flexors.
Inhale generously into your back as you roll down, keeping the navel pulled to the spine.
- Focus on hollowing out your abs even though you are moving quickly, move with control.
- Get ready to bring your hands to your sides as bridge up again.
That completes one set.
Aim to to do 20 reps, but remember quality is more important than quality and speed. Do not fling your self up and down, use your abs and focus on control.
Fit's tip: If I were my trainer, I would definitely stick a small pillow between my knees. Work to keep your legs truly parallel through out this exercise, it is much better form.
Working the booty is always a great thing to do, plus it is great prep for the upcoming swimsuit season. Watch the video first then you can print out this printer friendly version to take with you to the gym.
(10 reps each leg)
Do's and Don'ts
(10 small pulses each leg)
Do's and Don'ts
There's more, so read more
Springtime is upon us and so are mini skirts and hot pants. Swimsuit season is just around the corner, so it is time to start toning the booty area. For me, a toned backside is really great for all season, but soon we will be showing more of it so let's get down to business.
Here is a 4 minute exercise video for you to try.
I will have the printable gym version ready for you all tomorrow, since I have never seen someone working out with a laptop at the gym.
Here are a few tips:
- Use a soft mat when performing the first 3 exercises - be nice to your knees.
- In Charlie Chaplin really pull your abs away from the floor and your hand. This will help keep your low back muscles relaxed to ensure more work in your glutes - which is what we want, right?
- Bridge with your legs in parallel (heels in line with sits bones) and your heels close to your booty (this will make the hamstrings work less and the glutes more). You can use a small ball or a pillow between your knees to get the inner thighs more active too.
- Read this post You don't know SQUAT for more on the technique of Squats.
- For Plié Squats and Lunges remember to not tuck your pelvis under and you'll be golden.
REMEMBER: If a move hurts or feels weird, try the motion smaller. If the move still feels weird, stop and try it again in a couple of days.
Click here for: Take it to the Gym -Print out of the video.
Here is another IT IS THIGH TIME exercise video. To slim down muscular thighs you need to strengthen the hamstrings and glutes to balance out the overworking quads and IT band. What is great about this exercise is that you can do it anywhere. You just need a pillow (a ball or towel) to place between your knees.
Let me know how it goes by commenting below.
Keep a look out for more exercise videos. New ones are coming soon.
This Pilates move will work your backside, toning your hamstrings and glutes. Lie on your back with your arms resting by your sides and your knees bent and heels in line with your sits bones (yep, those bones that you feel on your bottom when you're sitting). Using your legs press your pelvis up into a bridge. But go only as far as you can so you still see your knees - so not as far up as the bridge pose in yoga (see photo of "wrong move" below).
Engage your core, feeling the abdominals and the back muscles sandwich the spine. Use these muscles to keep your pelvis as steady as possible while doing the following exercise. No rocking and rolling. I always say - it's not really Pilates if you are not working your deep abs.
Press your right heel into the floor to feel your right hamstrings and right booty working. Reach your left leg toward the ceiling and flex your foot (pull your toe toward your head). To continue this exercise read more