Posts Tagged ‘Fitness’

How to Do a Kettlebell Swing

October 8, 2017

kettlebellswingtrio-x

“The kettlebell swing is the ultimate single exercise to improve strength, endurance, coordination, stability of the hips and core, and grip strength,” says Grant Anderson, co-owner and director of strength at Chicago Primal Gym. The move involves your whole body from start to finish, so it forces your cardiovascular and muscular systems to work together, which translates well to outdoor sports. And a set of swings is a total sufferfest, so you’re building some serious mental grit in the process.

“Many people are quad dominant,” says Noam Tamir, founder of TS Fitness in New York City. “Kettlebell swings fire up the hip-dominant muscles rather than the quads, which helps to bring balance to the body.” Translation: Your body will distribute weight and effort more equally, which is crucial if you want to prevent injury and maximize performance.

There are two types of basic kettlebell swings: the Russian version and the American version. You may have seen people doing the American swing in the gym or at a CrossFit box, where they swing the bell up and overhead, but this can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. “There isn’t much more gained from going overhead with the kettlebell, but there is a lot more risk,” says Tamir. Without proper mobility, this move can put pressure on the neck and possibly throw you out of alignment. The overhead position also makes it difficult not to go into hyperextension of the lower back, says Tamir, which could lead to injury. The Russian swing—where you stop swinging the bell upwards at eye-level and bring it back down—is your best bet: You’ll avoid injury and get the same physical payoffs.

Perfect the Basic Swing

If you’re brand new to the kettlebell, start with a 16-kilogram (35-pound) option; but if you have a little experience, use a 24-kilogram (53-pound) bell. That may sound heavy for your first swing, but going big can actually help you learn better technique and going too light can downgrade the impact of the exercise, says Anderson. “Doing swings with light bells is often counterproductive, because your upper body can easily take over the load,” he explains. This leaves your hips and hammies—the main targeted areas—out of the exercise.

Start by standing with your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly out and the kettlebell about a foot in front of you. Hinge your hips back so your chest and eyes are pointed toward the ground about five feet in front of you. Reach and grab the handle of the bell with an overhand grip, tilting the bell back toward you. Your shoulders are higher than your hips, and your hips higher than your knees. Sharply inhale through your nose as you hike the bell back between your legs, keeping it high above your knees. Sharply exhale through your mouth as you stand quickly, driving your feet into the ground and bracing your body in a “vertical plank,” squeezing your glutes and quads and bracing your abs. As you do, keep your arms straight and use the momentum of your hip thrust to bring the bell in front of your chest. Let the bell hang there around shoulder height for just a moment. Bring the bell back down toward hip height by hinging your hips back; repeat. Repeat in sets of five to ten reps.

Scale It Up

After you’ve learned the basic swing and progressed with heavier loads to the point where doing more than three or four swings feels very difficult, these variations will spice up your training so you continue to improve, says Tamir.

Single-Arm Swing

How It Helps: Focusing on a single arm forces you to practice grip strength and activates the smaller stabilizer muscles in your shoulder.

How to Do It: Set up the same way as you do for a double-arm swing, but grip the kettlebell with one hand. Line up the free hand parallel to the hand that’s gripping the kettlebell. When swinging the kettlebell backward between your legs, your free hand should mimic the movement pattern, parallel to the arm in use. Continue the hinge motion as you would if both your hands were on the bell.

Alternate KB Swings

How It Helps: This progression builds hand-eye coordination and teaches your muscles how to react quickly to changing demands.

How to Do It: Set up the same way as you do for the single-arm swing, but when the bell reaches shoulder height, transfer it to the other hand by placing the free hand over the working hand and quickly exchanging the kettlebell to the other hand during the floating phase. Continue the swing, switching hands at the top of each swing.

KB Clean

How It Helps: This exercise develops strength in the entire legs while working on muscle control during tighter, smaller movements.

How to Do It: Set up the same way as you do for the single-arm swing. As you hinge forward and bring the bell toward your chest, loosen your grip when the bell reaches your hips. Quickly tuck your elbow back toward your body so it touches your side and turn your palm inward so it’s facing your head. The bell should fall naturally over the top of your wrist. Return to the backswing by rotating your hand down toward the ground with the thumb facing your body and the pinkie facing away from you, keeping the kettlebell as close to your body as you can and swinging back through your legs.

Article sourced here: https://www.outsideonline.com/2243661/how-do-kettlebell-swing

Advertisements

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Exercise Categories & Modifications

December 15, 2015

exercising-woman-in-wheelchair-350
This week we’re talking categories of activities, being creative and modifying what you need to to ensure you are actively ageing.

There are three main categories of physical activity:

  • fitness activities (endurance and/or interval activities) (undertaken to increase heart rate therefore strengthening your heart and improving your lung capacity) eg brisk walking / jogging, bicycle riding, swimming, aerobic classes etc.
  •  strength training activities (undertaken to build/maintain muscle density and build/maintain strength – also beneficial for increasing/maintaining metabolic rate which is the rate you burn up energy) resistance exercise, therabands, body weight exercises, lifting weights, pilates, etc
  •  balance, mobility and flexibility (stretching) activities (undertaken to improve/maintain flexibility, balance and mobility) tai chi, yoga, stretching classes,  joint and muscle flexibility and range of movement stretching

More benefits will be achieved if you do a mixture of the three categories during your week.  Even though some people may benefit more from one area than another have a variety of activities to cover all basis and keep your interest up with the variety these categories offer.

There are so many ways to be physically active these days that really there is no excuse to get up and about, and move.  Even those people who are wheelchair bound have many options to choose from.  Its  never too late to start moving it… anyone at any age can reap the physical, social and mental benefits of regular, moderate physical activity.

Get creative and have fun because exercise benefits much more than just the body — you can also improve your mental and emotional health by maintaining an active life. And if you have fun while you’re being active, chances are you’ll want to continue participating in that activity.

While you’re getting creative you can always modify more traditional exercises so you are getting great benefits eg:    Traditional push-ups are a great way to work muscles in the arms, shoulders, and chest, however, they can be difficult to complete correctly. You can modify this exercise and still get benefits by doing wall push-ups. Face a blank wall while standing about arm’s length away, lean forward, and press your palms flat against the wall. Bend your arms and slowly bring your upper body toward the wall, hold for a moment, and push yourself back until your arms are straight again. Do a set of 10 reps, rest, and repeat another set.

It is always advised that you check with your local GP prior to commencing any new physical activity or if you have stopped physical activity because of a new health issue and wish to resume it.

I also suggest that you get guidance from a qualified and registered Exercise Professional.  Come and have a FREE session with us at Coffs Coast Health Club.  Call Glen or Jacqui on 66586222 to organise.

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – 10 Ways to Stay Healthy this Summer

September 29, 2015

Ok I’ve been asked again to write my top 10 ways to stay healthy this summer.  We’re having a great summer season so use my tips to make sure yours is the healthiest ever.

  1. Activity guidelines for Australians recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days.  So as well as doing some structured exercise get outside and go for a swim, surf, bush walk, bike ride or even a kayak.
  2. Remember the Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap Campaign.  Slip on a shirt, slop on the sunscreen, slap on a hat and wrap on some sunnies.
  3. Stay as cool as a cucumber.  Eating cucumber after you workout will help bring your body temperature back to normal.
  4. After your workout try room temperature water rather than drinking a cold drink which will interfere with your body’s natural cooling mechanism (sweat).
  5. Match your workout to the temperature and the time of day you’re going to be active.  For instance don’t go for your power walk in the middle of a hot day get up earlier and hit the pavement then. Try swimming later in the day so you’re left refreshed and relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep.
  6. Can’t sleep on these warm nights?  Prepare yourself and your boudoir for the night. Use a fan, remove some of your bedding, sprinkle some lavender on your pillow to promote relaxation, enjoy a cool shower just before you hop into bed and enjoy the cool fan on your body as you drift off.
  7. When you wake in the morning enjoy a large glass of room temperature water mixed with some lemon juice and then throughout your day make sure hydration is at the top of your list.  If you feel hungry check you’re not thirsty. A lot of people mistake thirst for hunger and during summer you don’t need those extra calories but you do need that extra hydration.
  8. Remember winter immunity starts in summer so enjoy raw salads or steamed veges to get the best nutrients. Include foods that are H2O rich like cucumber,  carrots, steamed zucchini and melons to fill you up and keep your kjs down.
  9. Don’t like daylight saving?  Try to get atleast 15minutes of direct sunlight each day because before you know it the days will be shorter and our Vitamin D levels will be diminishing.
  10. Last but not least – smile.  If you can’t smile fake it.  Laughing and smiling release feel good healthy hormones which will definitely serve you well every day of summer and into those autumn days to come.

Want a FREE Workout?
Give Glen or Jacqui a call at Coffs Coast Health Club on 6658 6222 or organise.

Mothers Seen as Holding Key to Family Fitness

May 10, 2015

Out-of-shape American schoolchildren may have a new and, at first glance, somewhat unlikely group of fitness coaches: their mothers.

But, said a group of fitness experts and athletes gathered at UC Irvine last week for the first California Women’s Leadership Conference on Fitness and Health, the leading role of women in teaching good health habits to their families shouldn’t be underestimated.

“Women are a great influence on the health and the fitness attitudes of the family and they will be the ones who help get those attitudes on track,” said Harriet Harris, chairman of the conference. “You can’t start forming those attitudes too early. It begins in the cradle.”

The two-day conference was a statewide follow-up to the National Women’s Leadership Conference on Fitness, held in 1984 in Washington and sponsored by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. California is the ninth state to hold such a follow-up meeting.

Nearly 400 conference attendees, most of them women dressed in exercise clothes, listened Thursday to talks by health professionals that focused in part on the role of women as fitness educators and role models for their families.

Better Examples Needed

At the conference’s opening ceremonies at the Irvine Hilton Wednesday night, the audience heard a recitation of statistics compiled from a survey by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports that showed, said speakers, the need for better examples of fitness in the home.

The nationwide survey, conducted last year with 18,857 public school children ages 6 to 17, found a continuing “low level of performance” in such key areas as running, jumping, flexibility and strength.

Among the survey’s findings:

– Forty percent of boys ages 6 to 12 and 70% of all the girls could not do more than one pullup.

– Half of the girls ages 6 to 17 and 30% of the boys ages 6 to 12 could not run a mile in less than 10 minutes.

– Forty-five percent of boys ages 6 to 14 and 55% of all the girls could not hold their chin over a raised bar for more than 10 seconds.

George Allen, former head coach of the Washington Redskins and Los Angeles Rams and currently chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, said he found the statistics “appalling.”

“When I hear that a 17-year-old can’t run a mile in less than 13 minutes, I think that’s a disgrace,” Allen said at the opening of the second day of the conference. “If I were grading the United States on fitness and comparing us with other nations, in my opinion we would be in last place in youth fitness. I think the fitness boom is a misconception because it isn’t there among the youth. It’s among adults and has nothing to do with kids.”

With Children More

Women, Allen said, should use their numbers and political influence in demanding a return of required physical education in schools. And, he added, in the home “women are better at communicating fitness to kids than men. They’re with kids more. They buy and prepare the food they eat. And they can set an example by being in shape themselves and by not smoking or drinking. They set an example by leading an active life.”

The conference itself was hardly inactive.

Those attending were encouraged in advance to wear exercise clothes in anticipation of a 20-minute “exercise break” led by Jacki Sorensen, the originator of aerobic dancing.

“The responsibility for the fitness of children doesn’t lie with the schools,” Sorensen said later. “It lies with the parents. Fitness for them should be as common as brushing your teeth, but so many adults are doing nothing.”

mothers
While fitness may have become fashionable with many adults, between 40% and 50% of adults still do not exercise regularly, Sorensen said. And, as a result, neither do their children.

Life-Style Point of View

“You can’t fool kids,” she said. “And you can’t just do it by example. You have to involve your kids in it. I think it’s really wrong to teach a young child to exercise because they already do it through play. They have natural exuberance. When they get older, though, you have to approach fitness through a life-style point of view and not an actual exercise program.”

Often, Sorensen said, regimented exercise programs are so difficult that many beginners give up at the start.

“We have to come up with programs that are easier,” she said. “Right now, in the health clubs, what you have are the semi-elite of fitness. The classes at the clubs are a bit too difficult around the country. It (exercise) needs to be introduced gently, gradually. You shouldn’t start with the optimum. It doesn’t even have to be aerobic. Maybe just walking and talking. What better time to talk to your kids? Ask them what they want to do. If they want to go on a picnic, park a mile away and walk to the place you’re going to have the picnic.”

Article sourced here: http://articles.latimes.com/1986-04-01/news/vw-1746_1_family-s-fitness

Spring Clean Your Life

September 14, 2014

index
Spring is here, and I enjoy using this time of year to prepare for the renewal this season provides.

One of the things you can do right now for yourself is prepare for the upcoming opportunities of the new season. Spring often inspires us to increase our fitness levels, participate in more activities outdoors and embrace a healthier way of eating — more greens perhaps as local food becomes increasingly available. Use this time to prepare yourself for those opportunities by getting organized.

Clutter, which has likely been accumulating all winter long, keeps us from moving forward, it blocks energy, it stops our creativity and it weighs us down. The more we have in your home, car, office, hand bag, computer hard drive, the more energy we need to attend to those things. Organizing, decluttering and preparing will put you in a physical, emotional and spiritual space that supports you in the new changes you have the opportunity to make this spring.

Here are a few steps to follow if you want to change you physical and spiritual landscape and prepare for spring:

1. Eliminate and purge.

You can apply this principle to all of your living spaces, or you can choose to apply it one room at a time. Evaluate what you have and what you need, keeping in mind the 80/20 principle that suggests we use about 20% of what we have and essentially do not really need the other 80%. Decide what you longer need or what no longer brings you pleasure, and donate it.

2. Make function easier.

Once you’ve gone through the elimination process, create a system to keep things neat and organized. Pick the system that you’re most likely to stay with and is most effective for your situation. Here are a few options to consider: baskets, file folders, storage containers, or dividers. When organizing your things, keep the items you use most often easiest to access. For example, organize and sort your clothing by season — take out your spring and summer clothes and find a storage solution for your winter clothes. Sort items by their function and keep like things together. For example, create “stations” in your home. In my very small kitchen I have a smoothie station where I keep my Vitamix and several Mason jars containing the ingredients I use daily to nourish my body.

3. Create a donation bag.

Keep a bag or box to which you can add items you longer want. Instead of allowing drawers and closets to fill up throughout the year with things you don’t need or want, create a place in your home where you can collect these items and then donate them in the spring as part of your regular spring cleaning. Check online for nonprofit organizations that will pick up your donated items, including small appliances, from your home for free.

4. Eliminate clutter hot spots.

Flat surfaces, drawers, the back seat of your car and sometimes handbags can become repositories for all sorts of unwanted or unused items. Mail and paperwork are classic examples of the clutter that can accumulate easily when left unattended. Devise a system that works for you in addressing your mail and paperwork as it’s generated. Take a few minutes each week to place important documents in these files and recycle any unneeded paper, or, when possible, go digital, and file your documents electronically. By implementing a system for use and function after you’ve purged, you’ll likely feel much lighter, energized, renewed and inspired after your hard work, providing you with the motivation and energy to continue moving forward with your goals and embracing the newness of spring.

5. Upgrade your home’s energy.

Rearrange your furniture. Get a new houseplant. Play upbeat music. Open your window, even just for a few moments. Diffuse tangerine and peppermint essential oils. Invite new energy and life into your home to become a happier and healthier human being this spring.

By using early spring to organize your living and work spaces, you can position yourself to achieve the health, wellness and personal goals you’ve been working toward!

This article was sourced from: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12988/5-strategies-to-spring-clean-your-entire-life.html

Barefoot Running, is it all it’s been promoted as?

June 16, 2013
Is Barefoot-Style Running Best? New Studies Cast Doubt
By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS

Minimalist shoes and barefoot running may not be ideal for running.

Barefoot-running enthusiasts long have believed that running without shoes or in minimalist footwear makes running easier, speedier and less injurious. But a surprisingly large number of new studies examining just how the body actually responds when we run in our birthday shoes or skimpy footwear suggest that for many people, those expectations are not being met.

Consider, for instance, the findings of the most definitive of the new studies, published last month in The Journal of Applied Physiology. It looked into whether landing near the front of the foot when you run is more physiologically efficient than striking the ground first with the heel.

This is a central issue in any discussion of barefoot-style running, because one of the supposed hallmarks of running shoeless or in minimalist footwear is that doing so promotes a forefoot landing. Without the heel cushioning provided by standard running shoes, barefoot proponents say, runners will gravitate naturally toward landing lightly near the balls of the feet.

And they should, most proponents add, because landing near the front of the foot will require less oxygen and effort and allow you to push harder at any given speed and ultimately run faster or longer.

But that idea, while appealing, has not been well scrutinized. So researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst recruited 37 experienced runners, 19 of whom were habitual heel-strikers and 18 of whom landed first near the front of the foot. (Heel striking is far more common than forefoot striking among modern runners, by most estimates, with at least 70 percent of us nowadays leading with our heels.)

The researchers began by outfitting all of the volunteers with the same neutral running flats and then having each run on a treadmill as he or she normally would, using his or her preferred foot strike. The volunteers ran at three different speeds, equivalent to an easy, middling and fast pace. Throughout, the researchers measured oxygen uptake, heart rates and, through mathematical calculations, the extent to which carbohydrates were providing energy.

Then, in a separate experiment, they asked each runner to switch styles — the heel-strikers were to land near the balls of their feet and the forefoot strikers with their heels — while the researchers gathered the same data as before.

In the end, this data showed that heel-striking was the more physiologically economical running form, by a considerable margin. Heel strikers used less oxygen to run at the same pace as forefoot strikers, and many of the forefoot strikers used less oxygen — meaning they were more economical — when they switched form to land first with their heels.

Most of the runners also burned fewer carbohydrates as a percentage of their energy expenditure when they struck first with their heels. Their bodies turned to fats and other fuel sources, “sparing” the more limited stores of carbohydrates, says Allison Gruber, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who led the study. Because depleting carbohydrates results in “hitting the wall,” or abruptly sagging with fatigue, “these results tell us that people will hit the wall faster if they are running with a forefoot pattern versus a rear-foot pattern,” Dr. Gruber says.

These findings undermine some of the entrenched beliefs about minimalist shoes or barefoot running, but they jibe closely with the conclusions of multiple studies presented last week at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Indianapolis. Five separate studies there found no significant benefits, in terms of economy, from switching to minimalist, barefoot-style footwear.

The news on injury prevention and barefoot-style running is likewise sobering. Although many barefoot-style runners believe that wearing lightweight shoes or none at all toughens foot muscles, lessening the likelihood of foot-related running injuries, researchers at Brigham Young University did not find evidence of that desirable change. If foot muscles become tauter and firmer, the scientists say, people’s arches should consequently grow higher. But in a study also presented at the sports medicine meeting, they found no changes in arch height among a group of runners who donned minimalist shoes for 10 weeks.

Other researchers who presented at the meeting had simply asked a group of 566 runners if they had tried barefoot-style shoes and, if so, whether they liked them. Almost a third of the runners said they had experimented with the minimalist shoes, but 32 percent of those said that they had suffered injuries that they attributed to the new footwear, and many had switched back to their previous shoes.

None of this new science, of course, proves that barefoot-style running is inadvisable or disadvantageous for all runners; it proves only that the question of whether barefoot is best is not easily answered. “There are lots of individual instances where people report that change” from one type of running shoes or running form to another “was good for them,” says Rodger Kram, a professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, who’s long studied running form. “There are also lots of cases of people switching or trying to switch who got hurt.”

The primary lesson of the accumulating new science about barefoot-style running, he says, is that “the biomechanics of running are not simple, and generic proclamations” — like claims that all runners will benefit from barefoot-style shoes and running form — “are surely incorrect.”

Dr. Gruber agrees. “I always recommend that runners run the way that is most natural and comfortable for them,” she says. “Each runner runs a certain way for a reason, likely because of the way they were physically built. Unless there is some indication that you should change things, such as repeated injury, do not mess with that plan.”

Article first appeared June 5, 2013 on: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/05/is-barefoot-style-running-best-new-studies-cast-doubt/

It’s Okay to Fail

May 19, 2013

Michael Beckwith, the author of Spiritual Liberation says, “A bad day for the ego is a good day for the soul.” Failure doesn’t determine our successes, and is really healthy in our growth. We all know this, but how do you evolve from your mistakes?    

1. Passion is What Matters
What’s important in succeeding in anything, is pursuing (or practicing) what we are passionate about and failing along the way. When we fear failure, the stakes are too high, and what we are doing isn’t our true calling. If we are passionate about growing ourselves, an idea, or a relationship, we dig in and get dirty in order to succeed. Think about hula hooping. Do you look for instructions before moving your hips? Nope. You just start swirling your hips. You stay so engrossed in the activity that failure is just a fun part of the process, because you get to keep playing until you succeed.

2. Playing/Curiosity/Exploration/Creativity
Seth Godin said something to the tune of: “When you fail, you get to keep playing. And the longer you get to play, sooner or later you will succeed! And you don’t care because you are having fun.”

Look at activities like your asana or meditation practice, drawing, journaling, or hula hooping, where mistakes happen frequently, and it’s cool. How can you apply those thought processes to what you get paid to do?  

3. Take Initiative
Stop waiting for others to tell you what to do or create, at home or on the job. At some point in school, we are told to write a five-page paper, double-spaced. We assume that we can do this after school, and continue to thrive. Careers and Callings don’t work like that. There is no A+ for doing things exactly the way we’re told to. Is there a better way to do it? Then ask and do it! 

4. The Nervous System
Dina Bandu from The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, talks about mistakes, saying that we are physiologically made to move towards homeostasis, but must fight that. Homeostasis is boring. We must fight that in order to grow and expand. Bandu says, that when we add energy to a system, turbulence/damage increase, until the system integrates the energy. This brings us back to homeostasis, with the added strength from the adaptation. It’s the same with building muscle – it must be…

Be Social and Share

 

Article first appeared: http://www.myyogaonline.com/healthy-living/personal-development/4-ways-to-fail-better?utm_source=MYO+Weekend+May+18+NL&utm_campaign=ALL&utm_medium=email

It’s official… Australia is the fifth-fattest nation on earth

November 17, 2012
Australians eat almost three times as much meat as the world average.Australians eat almost three times as much meat as the world average.

It’s no wonder that Australia is the fifth-fattest nation on earth.

A report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that many Australians are consuming too much food that is high in fat and sugar and not enough vegetables or wholegrain cereals.

The report, Australia’s Food and Nutrition 2012, says that Australians exceed the world average consumption of alcohol, sweeteners, milk and animal fats.

How we consume food compared to the rest of the world.How we consume food compared to the rest of the world. Photo: Keisuke Osawa

But Australian consumption of vegetables and cereal is below the world average.

The AIHW report said that 90 per cent of people aged 16 years and over failed to eat the recommended five serves of vegetables each day.

Most adults didn’t eat enough fruit and adolescent girls failed to eat enough dairy foods or alternatives.

People in remote areas had difficulty accessing a variety of affordable healthy foods.

The report said that restaurant and takeaway meals was the highest weekly item of food expenditure for Australian households in all income groups.

In 2009-10, high-income households spent $389 on food and beverages each week, equal to 18 per cent of household expenditure.

Low income households spent $113, or 20 per cent of expenditure on food.

AIHW spokeswoman Lisa McGlynn said: “The cost of healthy foods is increasing which means that it is cheaper for some people to eat takeaway food than healthier foods.”

“It can cost less to feed a family on food from some of the fast-food outlets than it can to feed a family on some of the foods that would be considered to be appropriate and what experts recommend a family eat.’’

On average, “treats’’ or extra foods such as chips, biscuits, pastries, soft drinks and alcohol contributed 36 per cent of the energy intake for adults and 40 per cent for children.

One quarter of adults and one in 12 children aged between five and 12 years in Australia are obese.

“That’s about three million people aged over five which puts Australia fifth in the OECD countries for the proportion of the population who are obese,’’ Ms McGlynn said.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/its-official-we-eat-too-much-20120717-227bh.html#ixzz20sQ33VdX

Body Balance “yoga” poses and their benefits

October 23, 2011
Outdoor Body Balance on Sawtell Headland
If you experienced yesterday’s Body Balance on the Sawtell Headland then you truly did experience balance at its optimum with the ocean as our backdrop.  Perhaps this was your first class or  you’re a regular,
but eveyone has to admit that this yoga, pilates & tai chi combination is a winner!
We have collected some of the core yoga poses and given you a description of what they are and how they benefit you.
At Coffs Coast Health Club we offer Body Balance four times a week & our instructors are “passionate” about Balance classes.
MONDAY 6:30 PM
TUESDAY 9:30 AM
THURSDAY 6:30 PM
SATURDAY 8:30 AM

Tadasana or Mountain pose:

This is the basic standing pose. It teaches you the art of standing correctly and increases your awareness of your body.

Stand with your feet together. Tighten the knees, keep the navel drawn into the spine with a neutral pelvis, and chest lifted but with shoulders relaxed and pressed down away from the ears.

Benefits: It corrects bad posture and improves the alignment of your body.

 

Forward stretch

Start from Tadasana and inhale while stretching the hands up and exhale reaching down with your hands. Try to press down with your palms.

Benefits: Tones the liver, spleen, kidneys and the abdominal region. Stretches the hamstrings and the spine.

 

Adhomukha Svanasana or downward-facing dog stretch

Lie down on the floor on your stomach and face downward. Place the palms next to the chest. Exhaling, raise your trunk from the floor. Straighten the arms, move the head inward towards the feet and extend the back, trying to press the heels firmly into the ground keeping the knees straight making an inverted ‘V’ with the body.

Benefits: Calms the brain, reduces stiffness in the shoulder region and tones the legs.

 

Upward-facing dog stretch
Lie on the floor with face downward and toes pointed. Inhale raising the head and trunk and stretch the arms completely. Push the head and trunk as far back as possible, without resting the knees on the floor.

Benefits: Rejuvenates the spine, relieves stiffness of the back and significantly
increases your stamina.

 

Triangle pose
Stand in Tadasana pose. Keep your feet around three feet apart and turning the right foot to 90 degrees, turn the left foot slightly to the right, raising the arms sideways. Bend to your right, bringing the right palm towards the right ankle keeping both legs absolutely straight. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Improves flexibility of the spine and relieves backache. Massages and tones the pelvic region, relieves gastritis, indigestion and acidity.

 

Extended side stretchStand in Tadasana pose. Keep your feet around four feet apart. Stretch the hands sideways, bend the right knee at a 90-degree angle, not pushing the knee beyond the ankle. And while exhaling, place the right palm on the ground outside the right foot and stretch the left arm in a diagonal line over the left ear. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Tones and strengthens the legs, improves lung capacity and relieves arthritic pain.

 

First warrior pose
Stand in Tadasana pose. Keep your feet around four feet apart. Bend the right knee above the right ankle and not beyond it. Keep the left leg stretched. Extend your hands up in a namaskar, stretching the spine up. The face, chest and right knee should face the same way as the right foot. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Tones abdominal muscles, legs and hips, strengthens back muscles and relieves backache.

Second warrior pose
From Tadasana pose, keep the feet around 4 to 4 1/2 feet wide. Bend the right knee above the right ankle, keep the left leg straight. Stretch the hands straight in two opposite directions. Turn your face to the right and gaze at the right palm. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Tones the muscles of the legs. Stretches the shoulders and shoulder blades and significantly tones the abdominal organs.

 

Utkatasana or the fierce pose
Stand in Tadasana pose, stretch your palms straight over your head. Join the palms, exhaling bend your knees and lower your trunk till your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor.

Benefits: Tones the legs, abdominal organs as well as the back.

 

Staff pose or Dandasana
Sit on the ground with your legs straight ahead of you. Keep them straight without hyper-extending the backs of your knees. Keep the chest lifted, shoulders relaxed. Place your palms next to your hips.

Benefits: Tones the abdominal organs, the spinal, leg and chest muscles. Good for those suffering from asthma.

 

Intense back stretch
From the Dandasana pose, stretch the hands forward and grab your toes, stretch the spine forward reaching towards the legs with your head. Try to stretch the spine from the buttocks.

Benefits: Soothes the adrenal glands, activates a sluggish liver, stimulates the ovaries and uterus. Tones the abdominal organs and helps detox the body.

 

Head-on-knee pose
From Dandasana, bend the right knee, placing the right foot near the perineum. Stretch the hands up, reach forward and hold the toes of the left foot. Try extending the spine from the buttocks to the back of the neck – lengthening the spine.

Benefits: Stabilises blood pressure, helps correct curvature of spine. Tones abdominal organs, stretches the spine, hamstrings and hips.

 

Bound angle pose
From Dandasana, bend the knees and bring the feet together towards the pelvis. Use your hands to grab your feet and try pushing both your knees down by pressing your thighs firmly down on the floor.

Benefits: Relieves stiffness of the hips, prevents hernia, keeps the ovaries healthy, corrects irregular menstruation and helps to treat urinary tract disorders.

 

Marichyasana 3
From the Dandasana pose, bend the right knee and press the foot on the floor in line with the right hip. Extend the left arm and wrap it around the right knee, keeping the right hip pressed down, twist and try grabbing the right hand from behind.

Benefits: Tones and massages the abdominal organs, helps detox the body, increases energy levels, relieves backache, stimulates the functioning of the liver, kidneys and pancreas.

 

Resting or corpse pose
Lie down on the floor like a corpse – completely relaxed and on your back. Keep your legs apart and hands away from your body with the palms facing upwards. Shut your eyes and concentrate on relaxing each and every muscle in your body.  Every Balance classes end in relaxation & mediation.

Benefits: Helps reduce stress, insomnia. Soothes the nervous system, gives the entire body and mind rest. Makes one feel peaceful, calm and blissful.