muscles

5 Steps to Push-Ups on Your Toes

Kirsten Palmer by Kirsten Palmer | October 30th, 2013 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness | tags: abs, arm exercises, balance, chest presses, concentric, coordination, eccentric, Elevator Planks, exercise, Fitness, knees, modification, modified push-ups, muscle memory, muscles, plank, push-ups, pushups, reps, strength training, toes, toning

push-ups on your toes

Push-ups are a great all-over upper-body exercise. But they can be intimidating!

Doing push-ups on your knees is a perfectly appropriate modification for anyone who struggles with the move. These modified push-ups target the chest, shoulders, arms and core very well.

The Many Ways (and Days) to Meditate

Leslie Garrett by Leslie Garrett | December 4th, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Personal Growth | tags: boost immune system, deadlines, food, how to meditate, improved memory, joint ache, lotus pose, lotus position, lower heart rate, meditate, meditation, meditation chair, meditation cushion, medtation anywhere, memory and meditation, mind, muscles, perfectionism, querling children, red bull, stress, tight hip, tight hips, traffic, walk the dog, walking meditation, work

MeditateI, like so many, thought meditation was something only others could do. Others, for example, without quarreling children, looming deadlines or hips that mutinied at the thought of the Lotus Position. Those with minds that didn’t race like a toddler on Red Bull.

Although I wanted to be someone who meditated, I wasn’t someone who meditated.

Someday, I would tell myself, imagining that glorious future when my children, work schedule, muscles, joints and mind would finally and fully cooperate.

But while I was waiting, the research piled up. About how meditation improves memory. Boosts the immune system. Lowers our resting heart rate. Makes us calmer. Happier. Healthier.

I wanted some of that. Not later but now.

Shoulder this Mission: Your Range of Motion

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | October 31st, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: Anatomy, ball-and-socket joint, bones, clavicle, collar bone, deltoids, downward dog, humerus, joints, kinesiology, movement, muscles, pectoralis minor, Pranic Bath, range of motion, scapula, shoulder injury, shoulder pain, Steve Martin, trapezius, Yoga Tune Up®

Shoulder painHave you ever had a shoulder injury? If so (or even if not) it’s important to get clear about how your shoulder works so that you don’t re-injure yourself.

Quite often, learning how to locate your body’s tissues and taking the time to learn a bit about anatomy can make all the difference between keeping your body functional and damaging yourself in Downward Dog. A bum shoulder can make all sorts of everyday movements painful and difficult, so it’s vital to keep yours in working condition.

In this post, I’ll give you the tools to do just that!

Young Athletes: Are Kids Specializing in Sports Too Early?

Gwen Lawrence by Gwen Lawrence | October 17th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Yoga | tags: baseball, basketball, body balance, children, coaches, football, Gwen Lawrence, kids, left dominant sports, michael jordan, muscle development, muscles, parenting, parents, physical development, right dominant sports, soccer, sports, sports specialization, sports training, tennis

Kids in Sports

Could your children be making decisions that hurt their physical development? While I don’t claim to be a doctor, I do have very specific feelings about your young athletes specializing in one sport too early. Consider these points when your 12-year-old tells you he/she only wants to play soccer from here on out and eventually become a pro!

Make Your Posture Perfect: Breathe Down Your Spine

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | September 13th, 2012 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: breath, breathe, breathing, chest breather, diaphragm, Dr. Kelly Starrett, erectors, exercise, intercostal muscles, Jill Miller, lower back, lungs, massage, muscles, posture, respiratory system, rhomboids, ribs, slouch, slump, spine, tension, trapezius, vertebrae, Yoga, Yoga Tune Up

Are you proud of your posture? Or do you feel a bit slumpy? Did your mom tell you to sit up straight? Does she still cajole you?

I’m on your mom’s side! Most people do not pay enough attention to their daily posture and everyday movement habits, and it can have long-term health consequences if left unimproved. I see postural issues daily in my Yoga Tune Up® classrooms. And as a self-proclaimed “posture princess,” I want to motivate you to make better choices to improve your carriage.

The Most Important Part of a Yoga Pose

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | May 24th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: brain, breath, breathe, breathing techniques, clear the mind, inversion, legs up the wall pose, meditation, muscles, nervous system, pranayama, relax, relaxation, self-massage, stress, tension, thoughts, tissues, Unmani Mudra, Veeparita Korani Mudra, yoga poses, Yoga Tune Up, yoga-practice

Yoga PoseHave you ever wondered what to prioritize when you are doing a yoga pose? What is the most important thing to focus on when doing Triangle? Or Downward Dog? Or Savasana? Ask 15 different yoga teachers from different yoga lineages and you will likely get 15 different answers. Is alignment the most important? Is it the breath? Awareness? Eye gaze? What is it?

I have wrestled with this question myself and have attempted to deconstruct hundreds of poses to figure out what is most important … but after 29 years of practice (yep, I’ve been practicing since I was a kid!) there is one element that I come back to again and again — and it might surprise you!

Top 10 Sports-Related Injuries and Yoga Poses to Avoid Them

Gwen Lawrence by Gwen Lawrence | April 12th, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: abdominals, abs, Achilles tendon, ACL, ankles, athletes, avoid injury, balance, feet, flexibility, flexible, foot, hamstrings, hips, injuries, joints, knees, low back, lower back, MCL, meniscus, muscles, neck, New York Giants, pain, plantar fasciitis, problems, shoulders, sports, sprains, strains, strength, tight, wrists, yoga poses

Yoga for Sports Injuries

The most common reason for sports-related injuries — whether you’re a recreational athlete or a pro, from ages 10-80 — is overuse and abuse. In my experience, most injuries arise when athletes disconnect from their bodies. Their eyes are on perfection, or the competition.

It follows that the best prevention is to become acutely aware of your body — its shape, its symmetry, how it feels, the range in the joints. Many sports can create asymmetries in the body because they are one-side dominant (think of swinging a baseball bat or golf club or tennis racket). It’s your job to recognize these imbalances before they become injuries. To help you, I’ve identified the top 10 most common sports-related injuries and given you a few yoga poses for athletes to to help correct the imbalances and asymmetries that cause them.

Experiencing “Yoga Block”? How to Get Out of That Pose Rut

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | June 29th, 2011 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: asana, barbara benagh, boredom, change, creativity, cross-training, exercise, Fitness, gabriella giubilaro, imagination, Jill Miller, Kathryn Budig, muscles, plateau, repetitive, repitition, rodney yee, routine, sequence, Triangle Pose, willy wonka, workout, Yoga, yoga block, yoga DVDs, yoga poses, yoga rut, Yoga Tune Up, Yoga Tune Up®, yoga videos, yoga-practice

Yoga block

Is your yoga practice getting a little stale? Maybe you’ve been going to the same class at the same time each week for the past year. Or perhaps you use a video — the same video — every day. If you’re finding yourself a tad uninspired to get on your mat, you might be suffering from yoga block. And I don’t mean a yoga block “prop,” although if you’re really in a rut then your practice may need a little propping up!

4 Signs it’s Time to Change Up Your Exercise Routine

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | June 13th, 2011 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness | tags: bored, boredom, burn-calories, cardio, challenge, change, exercise routine, fat-burning zone, Fitness, goals, heart rate monitor, injuries, injury, intensity, lose-weight, muscles, over training, recovery, rest, results, slump, strength training, target heart rate, the firm, variety, walking, weight loss plateau, weights, work out, workout, workout rut

Workout RutWe all know that the key ingredients to weight loss and maintenance are exercise, healthy nutrition and proper rest. But what happens when you feel like you’re no longer getting results with your exercise routine? Does this mean that exercise doesn’t work anymore? Not a chance! It could just mean that you need to break out of your current workout rut — variety is the spice of life, after all!

Here are four signals that your routine might need a tune-up:

1. Your workout bores you.

You used to enjoy walking outside, so why do you dread your walk workout each day? It’s easy to get bored if you stick with the same routine for too long. Sometimes it helps to add variety to your walks. For example, try listening to music when you walk, adding speed or hill intervals, or bringing a family member or friend along with you. I’m sure your family pooch would welcome a stroll around the neighborhood! If all of that isn’t enough, then maybe it’s time to try a new activity. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try biking or are interested in taking a dance class? Change can help keep your workouts fun and interesting, giving you something to look forward to.

The Fab 5 Moves: Must-Have Exercises for Everybody

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | December 17th, 2009 | 7 Comments
topic: Fitness, Weight Loss | tags: abs, biceps, core, exercise, exercises, fit, Fitness, glutes, lower body, moves, muscles, routine, sculpting, the firm, thighs, upper body, weight-loss, workout, workouts

nancyBy The FIRM Master Instructor Nancy Butts

No matter your fitness or weight loss goals, there are staple exercises that should be a part of every workout routine. These are my top five personal must-have moves. It was really hard to narrow it down, but after careful consideration, I believe these exercises will help you achieve the svelte and fit FIRM body you desire. We’ll count down to my No. 1 all-time favorite move. Are you as excited as I am?