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On the Strong and Balanced Side

When your core is strong, daily activities become easier and you’ll get more from your exercise routines as well. Remember to incorporate this straightforward yet challenging move for a more balanced practice.
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Begin on your hands and knees. Turn to the side and position your right hand directly below your right shoulder and your right knee below your right hip. Straighten your left leg with your left foot flat on the floor, toes and knee facing forward. Reach up with your left arm so it is above your shoulders. Engage your abdominals and move your tailbone in toward your body to avoid over-arching your lower back. Look up to the ceiling and pause.

Keeping your hips and shoulders stacked, push through your left heel and lift it to hip level. Concentrate on maintaining your balance with minimal movement in your torso. Hold this position for three to six breaths. Then lower your leg, come to all fours and repeat on the other side.

Source:Los Angeles Times

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Exercise

A Half-Step Handstand

If you’ve always wanted to do a handstand but can’t get in the correct position and hold your balance, try practicing half a handstand at the wall. Over time, it will help you develop the necessary strength in your shoulders and core so you can do a full handstand.

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Lean forward and place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, fingers facing forward.
Stand about 3 feet away from a flat wall, then turn to face away from the wall. Lean forward and place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, fingers facing forward. Slowly shift your weight over your hands and walk your right leg up on the wall.

Next, raise your left foot and walk it up the wall until you have both feet flat on the wall at hip level. Adjust the height of your feet and the position of your arms so your body forms a 90-degree angle. (It may take a few tries to get this right.) Once you’re in the right angle, think of pushing the floor away with your hands. This keeps your shoulders moving away from your ears. Pull in and brace with your abdmonial muclses to avoid sagging into your lower back. Hold this position for up to one minute. To come out of the pose, walk your feet down the wall, bend your knees and stand up.


Source
: The Losangles Times

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Block-Supported Yoga Pose

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Foam blocks are great tools for practicing yoga poses. Use them to develop more flexibility in your hamstrings while eliminating pressure on your lower back.

Foam blocks are great tools for practicing yoga poses. Use them to develop more flexibility in your hamstrings while eliminating pressure on your lower back. Include this stretch at the end of your workouts when your hamstrings are warmed up.

Place two yoga blocks in front of you and stand upright with your feet in a split stance. Position your right leg forward between the blocks and your left leg approximately 31/2 feet back. For added stability, turn your back foot out slightly. Inhale with your hands on your hips, lift your chest and relax your shoulders down away from your ears.

On an exhale, bend forward at the hips, maintaining a long spine. Rest your hands on top of the yoga blocks. Inhale, lengthen the crown of your head away from your hips. Pull your abdominals in to support your spine. Pause for 10 to 20 seconds, feeling the stretch in the backs of your legs. Return to your upright start position, switch legs and repeat with your left leg forward.

Source : The Losangles Times

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A Double-Duty Exercise

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The combo move here will tighten and tone the fronts of your arms and the backs of your legs.

Save time and increase the intensity of your workouts by performing an upper body exercise and a lower body exercise at the same time. The combo move here will tighten and tone the fronts of your arms and the backs of your legs.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand over your right leg with your left leg pointed behind you. Lift your chest and pull your abs in toward your spine.

Look straight ahead, and maintain your balance over your right leg as you contract your biceps (the muscles in the front of your arms), bringing the dumbbells just below shoulder level. At the same time, contract your left hamstrings (the muscles in the backs of your thighs), bringing your heel toward your buttocks. Pause at the peak of the contraction, then lower. Do 12 times. Switch legs and repeat.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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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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