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Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine

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Do you want to prevent back pain? These exercises work to stretch and strengthen your back and supporting muscles. Get the edge you need to reduce your pain and return to your active lifestyle. #PainAwarenessMonth #FitTipFridayhttps://mayocl.in/2XayVBJ

Flexible and strong hamstrings are key to a healthy, happy yoga practice @Yoga_Journal

Flexible and strong, hamstrings are key to a healthy, happy yoga practice. Here’s what you need to know in order to lengthen and strengthen these muscles.

Flexible and strong, hamstrings are key to a healthy, happy yoga practice. Here’s what you need to know in order to lengthen and strengthen these muscles.

Get to Know Your Hamstrings: Why Both Strength & Length Are Essential

Flexible and strong hamstrings are key to a healthy, happy yoga practice @Yoga_Journal

Flexible and strong, hamstrings are key to a healthy, happy yoga practice. Here’s what you need to know in order to lengthen and strengthen these muscles.

Flexible and strong, hamstrings are key to a healthy, happy yoga practice. Here’s what you need to know in order to lengthen and strengthen these muscles.

Get to Know Your Hamstrings: Why Both Strength & Length Are Essential

How to fit in your work out at home.

cleveland work out at home

Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or casual gym goer, the thought of picking up a dumbbell covered in germs is enough to make anyone cringe. And with the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) becoming more prominent every day, gyms and fitness centers across the country are closing their doors to help protect members.

If staying active is an important part of your life (as it should be!) you might be wondering how you’re supposed to go about this whole at-home workout thing. Thankfully, it’s easier than you think.

“A lot of what you’ll find with at-home workouts is about maintaining your current level of fitness,” explains exercise physiologist Katie Lawton. “And with workouts, consistency is key.”

Here Lawton shares some practical advice about how to stay active at home.

  1. Find workouts through online videos and apps. The internet is choked full of free workout videos. From yoga, to Zumba, to circuit training that you can do in your backyard. Test out a few workouts to find a series, program or instructor that you like. (Bonus points if you can get other members of your household to join you!)
  2. Walk, run or bike outside. Everyone could use a little fresh air. Hit the pavement in your neighborhood and challenge yourself to walk, run or bike a certain number of minutes or miles. If you’re an experienced fitness buff and you’re really looking to ramp up your heart rate, opt for hills or try a running based HIIT workout.
  3. Focus on body weight movements. Now’s the time to incorporate body weight exercises into your workouts. These tried and true movements include things like pushups, squats, lunges, planks and burpees. They’re convenient, efficient and inexpensive (AKA free). Pick a few different movements and create a circuit workout by completing as many reps of that one movement as possible in one minute. Then rest for a minute and continue on to the next movement and do the same thing. Repeat this for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Order inexpensive fitness equipment online. Things like jump ropes, pull up bars that attach to door frames, suspension trainers and resistance bands are inexpensive items that can pack a punch when it comes to your workouts. Lawton recommends choosing a heavier resistance band and suggests tying the suspension trainer to a tree outside. You could also ask around if other family members or neighbors have old dumbbells or barbells that they no longer use.
  5. Utilize items around your house. Lawton encourages creativity when it comes to working out at home. Run up and down your basement stairs, use a chair for triceps dips or grab cans of soup or a gallon of water as a weight. Even jumping over a shoebox a few times can be a quick burst of cardio.
  6. Get your household involved. If you have kids, chances are they have more energy to burn off than you know what to do with and they’d be thrilled to be involved. Try to incorporate them into your plans to stay active – whether it’s encouraging them to do pushups with you or organizing a backyard obstacle course. Try to walk your dog every day, play tag with your kids or get your whole family involved in a backyard soccer game. Also never underestimate the power of a good dance party! It’s a great way to make memories with your family and burn off some stress and anxiety.

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Looking to firm up your abs and strengthen your core?

Whether you’re trying to build a six-pack or just trying to tone your body, ab workouts are a terrific way to get in shape and strengthen your core. Plus, ab exercises require no extra equipment and can be done from just about anywhere.

But there are many variations of ab workouts, so it can be hard to know which ones to try. To get a better idea of where to start, we talked to exercise physiologist Katie Lawton about six great ab workouts to add to your workout routine.

A few things to keep in mind

While these exercises all focus on your abdomen muscles, they also strengthen your entire core. Your abs are simply a component of the core muscle group, which includes the oblique muscles along your side, your gluteal muscles, certain muscles along your spine, your diaphragm, muscles of your pelvic floor and hip flexors. 

Your core provides stability for your entire body and impacts your movements. Core strength even affects your posture and back pain. The bottom line: A healthy, strong core is important for your overall health. 

Before getting down to the floor and getting your workouts in, though, Lawton has a few tips to remember. 

  1. Engage the core: “A lot of people start doing these exercises and don’t realize they’re not engaging their core as much as they should be. Sometimes they’re using their hips more than their abdomen, so they’re not getting that full workout,” she says.
  2. Tuck your pelvis: She also says you should be sure to tuck your pelvis in a little as you perform these exercises to help engage those core muscles. “Make sure that pelvis is tucked and you’re not arching your back.” 
  3. Smooth, controlled movements: Making controlled movements is also key to getting the most out of your workout. “If you’re moving faster, it’s going to feel a lot easier,” Lawton says. “If you’re doing slower, controlled movements, it feels a lot harder but that’s much better for strengthening those muscles.”
  4. Know when you’re fatigued: Finally, she says, “Know when you’re getting fatigued, especially if you’re new to these exercises. When your abdomen gets tired, that’s when you’re going to start using other muscles, like your hip flexors, more and your core muscles less.” 

Getting those abs in shape

Keeping these tips in mind, you can get started on all of these exercises. Be sure to wear comfortable workout clothing, but make sure your gear isn’t so loose it interferes with your movement. 

And since these workouts all involve being on the floor, make sure you’ve got a yoga or workout mat that provides some padding and can keep you comfortable while you go through your reps. 

Crunches

Crunches are probably the most well-known of the major ab workouts, a variation on the classic sit-up. They’re also very simple to do, though you need to take care you don’t exacerbate any back and neck injuries. 

“They’re a great workout that targets your abs and strengthens your core,” says Lawton. “But if you have any disc issues, complications or neck problems, you might want to skip crunches because of the stress that can be put on those parts of the body.”

@ClevelandClinic