Flexibility exercise, or stretching, is a vital component of any exercise regimen. The primary purpose of flexibility training is to increase your range of motion, especially when it comes to muscles and joints. Although flexibility exercise will not improve your endurance or strength as cardio or anaerobic exercise would, flexibility training helps your body maintain its natural alignment. By doing so, flexibility exercise makes your body significantly less prone to injury during cardio or anaerobic exercise. Additionally, practicing flexibility training will increase your freedom of movement in a way that makes everyday activities easier. Tasks such as reaching up for an object on a shelf, getting up from a chair, or even sitting in confined spaces for long periods of time will greatly benefit from flexibility training.
Barre workouts require minimal equipment. You’ll need a free-standing or wall mounted bar and a mat. Sometimes a soft exercise ball may be used during leg workouts. If you are taking classes in a studio, the required equipment will most likely be provided for you. If you are working out at home, bars can be purchased for home use. You may prefer to be barefoot or purchase socks with grips on the bottom. As with all other workouts, having a water bottle and towel nearby is helpful.
To shake up your strength workout, replace the everyone-does-'em moves (crunches, etc.) with this fresh routine created by Dixon. Do this series two to three times per week, alternating with cardio days; you'll start to see results in as little as two to three weeks. Each move hits the same major muscle groups as the old standbys, but challenges them more, giving you a stronger, sleeker body in the same amount of time. So it's efficient—in the best way possible.
Exercise and physical activity fall into four basic categories—endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Most people tend to focus on one activity or type of exercise and think they’re doing enough. Each type is different, though. Doing them all will give you more benefits. Mixing it up also helps to reduce boredom and cut your risk of injury.
When you upgrade to the paid version, you can also track your weight and visualize your progress, which might help you stay motivated. It also shows a calendar of all of your workouts and lets you see them at a glance. I’ve had this app for three years now and they do a great job of updating it regularly to add new exercises and respond to user requests.
For Paced Audio Workouts: MotionTraxx (iPhone or iPad) - This music-based app is another great option for home exercisers, particularly if you're a walker or runner. Deekron the Fitness DJ has put together an incredible variety of music mixes, all set at different beats per minute, so you can find the perfect pace for any workout - Walking, running, lifting weights or other activities. There are also coached workouts (these cost extra) available at iTunes.
To start toning your abs by hitting up the lower abdominal muscles, Riggins suggests 30 seconds of leg raises. Here’s how: Turn on your back with legs straight and your feet and ankles together. Raise your legs up and down in a vertical position from your body, while keeping your belly button. Slowly bring legs back down, but if that is too difficult, tuck your knees. (And be careful not to strain your lower back!)
Natural movement-harmonizing exercises and stretches have likely been practiced since the beginning of mankind. Forms of non-strenuous rhythmical functional movements were used for three main purposes: To manage and prevent musculoskeletal disorders, to maintain a naturally healthy body and mind, and to enhance athletic performance. Around the turn of the 20th century, at least six independent Western modern mind–body (MMB) methods emerged simultaneously. This phenomenon occurred during the same era in which Einstein, Picasso, Freud, and Stravinsky also broke away from dominating and restrictive establishment controls, subsequently freeing their fields. The cultural changes and personal emancipation that MMB pioneers brought to the exercise world were no less dramatic, yet significantly less documented.
(3) Recovery Phase (<60% HRR). Postural control and spine mobility exercises in a quadrupedal position with the platform support, exercises of static balance over either 4 or 2 supports, eyes either open or closed, and with core muscle activation. The latter phase also included various poststretch exercises to restore the preexercise muscle length.