Tag Archives: work out

How to use a foam roller and why?

You may have seen them at your gym or in stores: foam rollers. They look like large cylinders with ribs or smooth but hard, like a small tree trunk. 

Putting your weight on a foam roller and rolling certain muscles can reduce muscle tension, correct muscle imbalances, increase your range of motion and prevent injury.

Roll the sides of your body from hips to your knees for your IT band. Face down, place the foam roller underneath your thighs and hips to release muscle tension in your hip flexors. Flip over to your side to get your lats in the side and back and turn over to get your hamstrings in your lower body.

My favorite is to roll my neck and upper back and scapula. I think it is a great device to use before sleep. It will relax your muscles, wind you down and decrease tension.

  
Have you used a foam roller?

xxSerena

Five exercises using dumbbells for your next workout 

Here are five exercises you can do for your next workout. You will need dumbbells. Things to remember are good posture: roll your shoulders into the back of your body, open your chest, keep your arms and legs strong, keep your abdominal muscles strong to support your back.

  
Deciding how many reps and sets to do is your choice. Start off by doing one set, with 10 to 12 repetitions.

For this squat keep your legs strong, a little more than hip width apart, and sit back into your buttocks as if you were sitting on a stool behind you:

  
This move is great because you are using loaded movement, so maximum calorie burn. There is dynamic stretching, so you are increasing your flexibility here. Remember to pick up you heel and foot as you rotate your hips to keep the movement natural and comfortable. Drive through the shoulder blades with strong arms and keep your body long and lifted. Good posture and stand up tall:

 
 Adding a twist to your basic lunge will help to lean out your abdominal muscles, slimming love handles:

 
Training your back is extremely important. A strong back supports good posture and strong abdominal muscles:

  
Happy workout fitfam! 

xxSerena 

Three helpful yoga stretches for back pain

Back pain can be debilitating. And if your muscle sprains, or seizes up, it can hurt to sit or stand or just breathe!

And it can happen to anyone: cab drivers, chefs, teachers, athletes, doctors, artists or even physiotherapists. 

Here are three yoga poses I urge you to try even with serious back pain. One might not work, but the other two may.

  

One important point about muscle sprains in your back is that there is nothing worse than bedrest. Keep your body moving, even though they will be gentle movements.

xxSerena 

The eight minute yoga workout for better backs

Yesterday I twisted my back and wow do I ever now have compassion for people with back pain. Tiger balm, stretching, extra strength Advil … Nothing was really a match for it.

Back pain is horrible. I think I had a muscle spasm, but whatever it was it affected my whole entire body.

Preventative measures are good, safe, careful back workouts practicing good alignment. That’s why it is important to go to class! Working out at home is great, but when you do yoga in a studio with a licensed certified yoga instructor to watch your alignment & keep you safer.

  
Here are some other treatments for back pain:

  
That was from a natural remedies hardcover book. There was also some other good advice, and information:

  
xxSerena

What you do you eat pre-workout and what should you eat after your work out?

There is so much conflicting information out there on what is the best thing to eat before you work out and what is the best thing to eat post workout.

I think it’s a good idea to try out what works for you because every body is different. Our workouts are different. Our goals are different. Our tastes are different.

Some believe it’s best to work out fasted. For some, that just doesn’t work.

Here is some information to help you out: 

  
It’s best to experiment and try new things to see what works best for your body.

What works for you? What do you eat before you work out? What about after you work out?

xxSerena 

Tone your belly with this 10 minute ab work out

Balance your workouts when you can with flexibility training, strength conditioning and some cardio.

Here is a 10 minute workout for your abs if you need a new one!

  
xxSerena

Six flat-tummy exercises you can do at home

I think the tummy is always the last thing to lean out. So you may be working out faithfully, eating clean, going to yoga, drinking water and reducing stress, don’t lose momentum! You are doing all of the right things. 

Don’t give up. Go slow. Go consistent. And incorporate these exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles.

  
Happy working out!

xxSerena

Three great arm-toning workouts

I found three great arm toning workouts that I do regularly. I’ve got three workouts, one is yoga-based, the other is using weights and the other is using your own body resistance.

All three are great examples of muscle conditioning. If you want to feel more of a challenge, do these exercises slower. If you like to increase the intensity and challenge, do more repetitions. 

Strong mean arms are both beautiful to look at and very functional. Often our legs and lower body is easier to build muscle than our upper body.

So don’t forget about your arms when you work out.

I do these yoga poses regularly to keep my arms toned and in shape:

  
For those of you who want to work with weights, here are some great arm routines using dumbbells:

   
 

And finally, using your own body resistance is highly effective. Not only does this give your body awareness but using your own bodyweight is a safe and inexpensive way to work out at home, at a hotel or even in the gym.

  
I like working in intervals. That means working hard for a minute and then resting for 30 seconds. Or, working hard for 30 seconds and resting for 10 seconds. Intervals are highly effective and build muscle.

Remember, consistency is key. Do these routines regularly and you will see results.

What do you think? Have I missed important arm exercises? Let me know what you think!

xxSerena

Slim down your waist and lose those love handles – bikini body training

The secret to a slim waist is consistency. There are other things – don’t eat at night, drink lots of water, do you stress by taking a yoga class once a week and some light cardio.

Strength training is very important too. Muscle conditioning will ensure that your body continues to burn calories even when at rest. As your muscles grow, they need energy and so will use the surrounding fat as fuel.  This is, of course, if you don’t have an excess of carbohydrate, sugar, in your blood. So don’t over-eat.

As you lose fat to muscle underneath will slowly start to show.

Here are some great exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles, including your obliques and back.


Let me know if it works!

xxSerena

Sun salutation poses to relieve stress

I find a certain sequence of sun salutation both comforting and strengthening for the body. I use this particular one and hope that you find strength and peace in it also:


Yoga keeps the body stronger, young and supple. Its more in-depth lessons teach one how to let go, understand what is truly important and find happiness.

From a physiological perspective, it decreases stress, improves flexibility, builds muscle strength, prevents cartilage and joint breakdown, protects your spine, increases your bone health, boosts your lymphs, drops your blood pressure, increases your heart rate, regulates your adrenal glands and … Makes you happier.


But that’s not all yoga does. Yoga helps you focus, lowers your blood sugar, releases tension in your limbs, helps you sleep deeper, boosts your immune system functionality, keeps allergies and viruses at bay, encourages self-care, supports your connective tissue, gives you enter strength and eases your pain.

Namaste. May the light, strength and happiness in me reflect and  acknowledge the light, strength and happiness in each of you. Have a wonderful day!

xxSerena