A yoga teacher’s suggestion to invert has the power to illicit a range of emotions from students: bewilderment, fear, anxiety, aversion, rejection, excitement, butterflies — you fill in the blank.
Purposely turning ourselves upside-down is contrary to our physical nature, and yet the benefits of upending ourselves are many. Just as yoga gently encourages us to move away from any unconscious habitual patterns, the invitation to invert is simply another way to shake things up, step out of a rut.
Everybody is susceptible to tight hamstrings, from professional athletes to soccer moms. People who spend long hours sitting at a desk or who have rigorous training schedules can especially benefit from a “hammie” stretch or two (or three or four).
If your hips are tight, it makes sense that you increase the likelihood of injuring your knees. Running, jumping, pivoting and acrobatic endzone catches or goal shots put a lot of pressure on the hips.
Let’s stop and think for a moment: If you get hit on the football field, for example, the energy of the body hitting you has to be absorbed somewhere in your body. And if your hips lack suppleness and don’t give in to this energy at all, then the energy will go to the point of least resistance — the very vulnerable knee joint.
A flexible hip will not always avoid a devastating knee injury, but it will help a lot! So let’s talk about keeping the hips open and a safe for long life for your knees.
This year, after 15 years of yoga practice and transforming my body, I found myself hitting a plateau. Though my practice regularly involves power moves like jumping forward into Crow Pose and holding Warrior Pose for a long time, my muscle tone seemed to be stuck on autopilot: never decreasing, but never really going to that next level, either.
Here are some quick moves to target and lift your buttocks in no time. This series uses resistance bands, which are phenomenal for creating the perfect amount of resistance that will bring about the results you want, fast! Start with one foot through one handle, and using the same hand as foot, hold the other handle. Lie face down on your tummy on the mat.
By The FIRM Master Instructor Louise Smith
If you’re short on time like I sometimes am, it’s great to have a leg routine that will leave your legs burning and your workout done in a flash. I call this go-to routine my Tri-Set Lower Body Blast. It targets all the muscles of the hip and thigh — the glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps — with unilateral, bilateral, single joint and multi-joint exercises. Here’s a quick how-to video we shot at the studio to show you the moves. You’ll need just one heavy set of dumbbells or a sculpting bar.