Streches for shrinking any claves
Reach for your toes when you're sitting down. Simply sit down with your legs close together and slowly lean forward as you reach your hands toward your toes. Flex your toes and move closer to them, as far as is comfortable for you, until you feel a nice burn in your calves. Hold this pose for 15 seconds and repeat it three times.
Do the wide stance stretch. Just stand with one leg stretched out in front of you with the other leg behind you, separating your legs as far as they can comfortably go. Then, bend your front knee and keep your back foot flat on the ground, feeling the burn in your back calf. Keep your torso and back straight, looking straight ahead as you continue to elongate -- and therefore, shrink -- that back calf muscle.
Do the step stretch. To do this, just stand with one foot flat on the ground, with the other foot flexed straight out in front of you, with about half your foot planted over the top of a stair. Lean forward and feel the stretch in the calf of the planted foot. Hold this stretch, making sure to keep your planted foot flat on the ground and the leg on the stairs completely straight, as you feel the burn in the calf muscle.
Do the Downward Facing Dog pose in Yoga. This basic yoga pose is perfect for stretching out the calves and can be repeated many times during a yoga practice or just done on its own to shrink down your calves. To do the downward dog pose, lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders and your feet unflexed behind you. Use your hands to push yourself off the floor, shifting your weight to your heels while your hips move in the air. Your body should be making a reverse "V" shape, with your ears near your elbows and your heels as close to the floor as they can go.
Do Yoga. Though the downward facing dog pose is great for stretching out your calves, making yoga a part of your weekly exercise routine in general can help you stretch out your calves and tone them down. There are many yoga poses that target the calf muscle and stretch it out without adding tone or bulk to the calf. Here are some yoga poses that are especially helpful for stretching out those calves:
Do Pilates. Pilates is another great workout that is designed to not only build strength, but to improve your flexibility and focus. Pilates is a great workout that is traditionally done on an exercise mat, using a variety of apparatuses to help strengthen and stretch your body. Make Pilates a part of your weekly routine if you want to slim down, strengthen up, and reduce the size of those calves.
1. Standing Side Kick
Targets: Inner thighs, glutes, quadriceps, outer hips
2. Side Jump
Targets: Inner thighs, glutes, hamstrings, outer hips
3. Hip Raise
Targets: Hip flexors, outer hips, outer thighs, glutes
4. Traveling Squat-Kick
Targets: Thighs, glutes, quadriceps
5. Leg Raise
Targets: Outer thighs, glutes, hip flexors
For hip flexors and glutes
Starting out on all fours, cross your left leg under your body, so that you are almost resting on your left hip. Extend your right leg directly behind you [A]. Lower your upper body over your left leg, placing your forearms on the ground in front of you [B]. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Take deep breaths to help yourself sink deeper into the stretch.
Outer Hip Stretch
Half Happy Baby
Open Up Tight Hips
Tight hips seem to be a common problem for almost everybody — from runners to cyclists, from deskbound bloggers to dancers. Give this area a little extra love with this sequence of eight hip-opening stretches to increase your flexibility, reduce discomfort, and prevent injury. Try the series in the order listed here, or pick your favorites to incorporate into your workout routine.
This calming hip opener also stretches your lower back.
Extended Wide Squat
This relaxing stretch targets both hips at once while opening up your lower back.
The hip flexors, the muscles at the front of the hip, can become extremely tight just from sitting. This intense stretch targets that area as well as the outer hips.
Head to Knee
A popular stretch for runners, Head to Knee targets the hips and hamstrings while giving the back a nice stretch too.
A basic yoga pose, Pigeon is one of the most effective hip openers because you can focus on one hip at a time.
Beginner: One-Arm Reverse Flye
What you'll need: A pair of 5- to 8-pound dumbbells and a mat
Targets: Shoulders, mid-back
Beginner: Triceps Kickback
Intermediate: Hip Hinge with Reverse Flye
Targets: Shoulders, mid-back
Intermediate: Lunge and Curl
Targets: Biceps, glutes, legs
Advanced: Lateral Lift
Targets: Shoulders, glutes, outer thighs
Advanced: Squat with Weight Shif
Targets: Biceps, glutes, legs
Toned Arms in 10 Minutes
Fitness Focus: Shoulders, lower arms
Fitness Focus: Shoulders, biceps
Fitness Focus: Shoulders
Mistake-Proof Your Workout
Poor form can sabotage your arm-toning routine by allowing other muscle groups to do all the work. See if you're cheating yourself out of results during these common arm exercises:
The Move: Biceps curl
The Cheat: Bending forward or backward at the waist makes it easy for momentum to take over.
Fix It: Do the move with your back against a wall.
The Move: Standing shoulder press
The Cheat: Many people bend their knees too much, then stand up to give themselves added power when pressing the weights overhead.
Fix It: Do the move seated instead.
The Move: Triceps push-down
The Cheat: If you draw your elbows behind you as you press the bar down, it shifts the effort off the triceps and onto the shoulders and lower chest muscles.
Fix It: Pin your elbows to your sides to prevent them from swaying back.
Wide Stance Squats
Stand up tall with a wide stance — one step out from shoulder-width — and hold a dumbbell, kettlebell or water jug in between your legs. Draw your shoulders back, maintain a flat back, and slowly squat down until your quads are parallel with the floor.
Use your core and a strong lower back to resist hunching forward. Powerfully contract your butt, press through your hamstrings and heels, and return back up to start. Your heels drive the pressure — NOT your toes. Complete 3 sets, 12 reps.
Suitcase Deadlift and Lateral Step-Up
Stand to the right of a step with a heavy dumbbell in your right hand and squat until the weight is at your shin. As you stand, step to the left to plant your left foot on the step, quickly followed by your right foot so that you're standing on the step. Return to start. That's one rep. Do five, then switch sides and repeat. Rest for 60 to 90 seconds, then repeat for a total of two sets.
Single leg squats
Works: All muscles below the waist, including core, quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteals.
Standing with your legs shoulder-width apart, extend your left leg straight out in front of you, making sure your muscles are tensed and foot’s flexed.
Extend your arms forward to counterbalance your body weight as you squat down with your right leg, pushing your body weight back as though you’re going to sit down into a chair and exhale as you lower down.
Keep your core engaged throughout to support your back. Inhale and return to the start position, repeating 10 times.
Swap legs and do 10 more reps. Rest for 30 seconds, then perform a second set.
A killer move that will torch calories as it works your core. Kneel on all fours, toes tucked under, keeping your back neutral. Draw your belly in toward your spine as you contract your abs and lift both knees about 2 inches off the ground.
Keeping abs engaged, bring right knee to nose (shown). Then kick right leg straight out behind you, squeezing your butt (shown); keep lower abs contracted and hips facing the ground to protect your back.
Repeat 8 times; switch legs and repeat.
Single Leg Deadlift
STEP 1: Grab two dumb bells, one barbell or a kettleball and start off standing with all your weight on your right leg.
STEP 2: Hold the weights down and in front of your legs and lift your left leg back at a 90-degree angle.
STEP 3: Then slowly hinge at your waist bringing the weights down towards your feet and your left foot back and towards the sky.
STEP 4: Keep your shoulders back and your back flat.
STEP 5: Slowly move back up to the starting position keeping your left leg off the ground until you have done all 20 reps. Then switch legs.
Diagonal reach with medicine ball
Functionality: When you reach for your boots on the top shelf of your closet, pay attention to how your body moves — one arm reaches up while the opposite leg slightly lifts to the side. This exercise works all the muscles — arms, shoulders, legs — involved in lifting something diagonally overhead as well as lowering it.
Exercise: Stand tall, holding a medicine ball at your chest with both hands. Lift the medicine ball diagonally overhead to the right, straightening your arms, while extending your left leg to the side, making a diagonal line from the medicine ball to your toes. Lower to start position. Repeat 10 to 15 times for each leg. Increase the weight of the medicine ball and strap 2- to 5-pound weights on your ankles as you get stronger.
BOSU four-point balance
This challenging move forces your mind to stay completely focused and your muscles to stay constantly engaged. Ntansah's tip for finding balance: Squeeze your glutes during each leg extension and pull your navel toward your spine.
To do it: Position your hands and knees on a BOSU (a). Slowly extend your left arm out in front of you and raise your right leg behind you, forming a straight line from your fingers to your toes (b). Hold for 10 to 15 seconds, then bring your arm and leg back to the BOSU. That's one rep. Rest for five seconds, then repeat with the other arm and leg. Alternate for 10 reps.
BOSU dynamic plank
Dynamic is the perfect way to describe this upper-body blast that works your triceps, chest, shoulders, and core.
To do it: Start in a pushup position, with your hands on a BOSU trainer and your feet hip-width apart (a). Lower your left forearm onto the BOSU(b), then your right, keeping your body in a straight line (c). Push back to the starting position, starting with your left hand. That's one rep; do 10 to 15. Rest for 15 seconds, then repeat, leading with your right arm. Keep alternating for two or three sets.
Rest your upper back on a stability ball and hold one end of a dumbbell directly over your chest, arms straight, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor (a). Keeping your arms straight and core tight, slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head until your upper arms are parallel to the floor (b). Pause, then slowly raise the dumbbell back to the starting position. That's one rep.
opposing squat stretch
Open your legs past shoulderwidth and turn your toes slightly outward. Hold your waist tight and firm your bottom as you bend straight down inside your legs to place your hands on top of your knees.
Lift your pelvis and lengthen your spine. Inhale, press your right hand against your right knee, then exhale and turn your shoulders to look diagonally up and to your left. Breathe in and out 3 times. Stand up, then repeat the stretch to the other side.
lengthening side stretch
Stand with your arms above your head, and your feet about hip-width apart. Anchor your left foot downward as you grasp your left wrist with your right hand. Elongate and pull your wrist upward.
Inhale as you lift up, to the right, as though you were leaning over a fence. Stay, exhale, lengthen.
Then inhale, stay, then exhale and anchor the left foot again as you stretch back up to vertical, lengthening the waistline. Take the arms down. Repeat to the other side.
lengthening side stretch
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Pull your navel into your spine, drop your tailbone, and
bend your knees slightly. Raise your right arm and pull your right middle finger to the ceiling.
Look down to the left and lean and pull the left middle finger toward the floor as you reach up with the right middle finger. Elongate the whole right side of the body. Lift the pelvis. Take 2 breaths and then return to center. Repeat on the other side. Return to center again.
elongating cat and camel
Start on all fours with your back flat in the tabletop position. Lengthen out from your tailbone as though you have a long tail. Then reach out through your head and tilt your chin and tailbone down at the same time. Round your back to look at your navel, like a scared cat.
Exhale and lengthen back to the tabletop, then look forward and arch your back like a camel by reaching up and out through your head. Feel as if your tailbone could reach the top of your head. Repeat the exercise 1 more time. Return to the tabletop position and relax.
The knees and thighs are pressed against the chest and belly in this asana. The gas trapped in the large intestine gets released in this asana. It is being used to foretell the strength and power of the wind from within.
It helps in passing the gas,which is blocked in your intestine. It creates space for fresh air in the body to create maximum utilization of the bodily resources. This improves the digestion system and helps have good motion.
Lie on right side, supported on elbow, legs long and slightly in front of body. Raise left leg to hip height, exhale to kick left leg forward and pulse, inhale, lengthen leg to back x 10 reps.
Add side support: Strengthen arm and shoulder position and extend both legs long in line with body, press body up to a side plank, hold for a slow count to 10.
Repeat on other side.
Perform 10 reps.
inner thigh leg lift
The inner thigh leg lift is another great, effective exercise that can be easily done at home with great results. To do this exercise, lay on your right side with your elbow on the ground and your head resting in your right hand. Extend both legs out on the ground, with your right leg firmly on the ground and your left leg stacked on top of it. Lift your left leg off the right, bend your knee, and place your left foot on the ground in front of your right leg. Take a few deep breath, and during exhalation, use the muscles in your inner thighs to lift your right leg off the ground towards the sky. Do 10 repetitions of this exercise and rest. Repeat the rep, and then perform the same exercise using your left leg.
Llie on you back pressed against the floor with you arms fully extended at your sides, with palms face down. Lift your legs up so that your heels are about 6 inches off the ground with a slight bend at the knee. Now lift your left leg slightly higher while your right leg is lowered until the heel is about 2-3 inches from the ground. Alternate legs.
Stand with legs wide and toes pointed outward slightly. Bend your knees until your knees are over your ankles. Straighten your leg. 15 reps.
pilates inner thigh leg lift