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Exercise

Bend and Stretch those Hamstrings

Use a chair as a helpful tool in stretching the backs of your upper thighs, or hamstrings. The elevation of the chair allows you to maintain a straight back so you can focus the stretch in the legs.

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Stand in front of a sturdy chair with toes facing forward. Shift your weight to your left leg and place your right foot on the seat of the chair, keeping your right knee straight and your toes facing up toward the ceiling. Maintain a straight back as you bend forward at the hips, resting your fingertips on the chair seat on each side of your foot. Pause for three to six breaths, feeling the stretch in the back of your right thigh. Repeat on the other side.

As your legs become more flexible, practice a more advanced version of the stretch — placing your right foot on the top of the chair backrest and resting your hands on the top of the chair on each side of the foot. As before, pause for three to six breaths, feeling the stretch in the back of your right thigh. Repeat on the other side.

Source : Los Angeles Times

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Categories
Exercise

Using a Chair Can Help Abdominal Crunches

Have you ever thought of using a folding chair when performing abdominal crunches? Try it. You’ll find that it’s a comfortable way to focus on contracting your abs without feeling pressure on your back.

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STEP-1. Place an open-back chair or bench on a flat, padded surface and lie down in front of it. Place your lower legs on the seat of the chair with your feet hanging off the back end of the seat. Scoot in so your hips are close to the chair. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointed out to the sides. Inhale, allowing your abdomen and rib cage to rise slightly.

STEP-2. On an exhale, push your back firmly against the floor as you contract your abdominal muscles to raise your chest, shoulders and head off the floor. Pause for two seconds with the front of your ribs and navel pressed toward the floor. Remember to rest your head in your hands so your neck and shoulders can stay relaxed. Lower and repeat 15 to 20 reps. Rest 20 seconds and repeat another set.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Exercise

A Simple Stretch Loosens Back, Legs

Here is a very easy, yet amazing stretch that you can do anytime your back and legs feel tight. You’ll need a sturdy chair or, if you’re outside, you can use a park bench or even a small wall.
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STEP-1.Stand in front of a chair or bench with your shoulders, hips and toes facing the chair. Inhale, shift your weight to your left leg and place your right foot flat on the seat of the chair. Make sure that your right heel is below your right knee. On an exhale, twist your rib cage, chest and shoulders to the right as far as possible. Check that your hips, knees and toes are still facing the chair. Reach your right hand out at shoulder level, palm facing out, thumb turned up. Place your left hand on your left outer thigh and gently press against it to increase the stretch in your spine. Gaze over your right shoulder while holding this position for three complete breaths. Return to the center and repeat on the other side.

STEP-2. Stand in front of a chair or short wall that comes to about hip level. Inhale, shift your weight to your left leg and place your right heel on the backrest of the chair or on top of the wall. On an exhale, twist your ribcage, chest and shoulders to the right as far as possible. Check that your hips, knees and toes are still facing the wall or chair. Reach your right hand out at shoulder level, palm facing out, thumb turned up. Place your left hand on your left outer leg and gently press against it to increase the stretch in your spine. Gaze over your right shoulder while holding this position for three complete breaths. Return to the center and repeat on the other side.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Exercise

Lifts for a Core Balance

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Develop your lower body as well as core strength with these challenging rear-leg balancing poses. You’ll immediately feel the work in your legs, buttocks, back and abdominals. Begin with your hands resting on the seat of the chair for added stability. Once you find your balance and feel comfortable with this pose, try the more advanced move by extending your arms out in front of you, resting them on the top of the chair.
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1. Stand facing a sturdy chair or a bench. Inhale, bend forward at the hips and place your hands on the seat of the chair or bench, making sure that your wrists are directly below your shoulders. Shift your weight over your right leg and slowly raise your left leg up to hip height. Be sure to keep both knees straight and both hips and shoulders squarely facing the floor. (The knee and toes of your raised leg should be pointed toward the floor.) Pause while holding your leg at this level for three complete breaths. Lower the leg and repeat on the other side.

2. Stand facing a sturdy chair or a short wall. Inhale, bend foward at the hips and lightly rest your hands on the top of the chair back or on the short wall. Shift your weight to your right leg and slowly raise your left leg up to hip height. Be sure to keep both knees straight and both hips and shoulders squarely facing the floor. (The knees and toes of your raised leg should be pointed toward the floor.) Pause while holding your leg at this level for three complete breaths. Lower the leg and repeat on the other side.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Categories
Yoga

Chair Poses

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Chair Poses Improve Yoga Techniques:-

If you’re new to yoga, here’s a way to modify the classic chair pose. Practice half-chair for a while before progressing to the more challenging full chair position. This gives you a chance to learn proper technique without developing bad habits.

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Step 1 Stand with your feet together and with your hands by your sides. As you inhale, sweep your arms up and bend your knees. Sit back on your heels with your hips moving behind your heels. Grasp your forearms above your head. Drop your shoulders down and away from your ears and look forward. Make sure you keep your heels on the floor with your knees together and your abdominals pulled in. Take three to six slow full breaths. Come out of the pose by straightening your legs and lowering your arms.

Step 2 As you feel more competent and become comfortable doing the half chair, continue to squat deeper toward the floor. Straighten your arms overhead, pointing your fingertips toward the ceiling. Remember to relax your shoulders down. Sit as low as you can with your knees together and your heels on the floor. Hold for three to six full breaths.

Sources:Los Angles Times

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