Yoga stretches are a great way to stay healthy and active. Check out this difficult fitness routine that delivers a leaner body and stronger muscles.
A routine for active people
Perfect for people who:
- Are seeking to tone their abs, back and legs
- Are active on weekends
- Used to play sports but now lack the time
- Are seeking to lose weight
- Have experience working out
Try a single leg stretch
- Lie on your back with your legs straight. Bring your left knee into your chest. Grasp your left ankle with your left hand and put your right hand on your knee.
- Keeping your abdominals tight, curl your head and shoulders up off the floor, pull your left knee into your chest, and lift and stretch your right leg straight out, with your heel a few inches off the floor. Pause, then return to start. Alternate 10 times for one set.
Complete a plank torso twist the right way
- Assume a pushup position with your arms extended, your hands directly below your shoulders, and your legs extended and supported on the balls of your feet. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Keeping your upper body stable, bend your left knee toward your right shoulder, twisting your hips slightly to the right. Pause, then return to start. Repeat with your right leg. Alternate 10 times for one set.
How to boat like a pro
- Sit on the floor with your back straight, your knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor.
- Keeping your back straight, contract your abdominal muscles, lean back, and extend your legs so your body forms a right angle. Extend your arms straight out on either side of your knees. Hold for three to five seconds, then return to start.
A standing side crunch has never been easier!
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Slightly point your right toes out to the side. Place your left hand on your hip and extend your right arm straight overhead.
- Raise your right knee out to the side, raising it to waist height as you bring your right elbow down to meet your knee. Complete a full set with one side before switching to the other.
Quick instructions for a perfect cat stretch
- Kneel on all fours with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. Pull your abdominal muscles in, drop your head, and press your back up, rounding it up toward the ceiling. Hold.
- Then raise your head and drop your belly toward the floor, arching your back in the opposite direction. Hold.
A challenging cobra stretch
- Lie facedown with your feet together, your toes pointed, and your hands on the floor, palms down, just in front of your shoulders.
- Lift your chin and gently extend your arms, raising your upper body off the floor as far as comfortably possible. (If you feel any strain in your back, keep your elbows bent and your forearms on the floor.)
Give the towel stretch a try
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a towel overhead with both hands so your arms form a narrow V shape.
- Gently bend your upper body to the right, twisting ever so slightly in that direction so your left arm and shoulder move toward the floor, until you feel a stretch down your left side. Hold, then switch sides.
Get a real workout with a spinal twist
- Kneel on all fours with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips.
- Extend your right arm underneath and across your body (your left arm will bend slightly) until your right shoulder is near or on the floor. Hold, then switch sides.
These advanced exercises are difficult and therefore recommended for an athletic person looking for a new challenge. If you’re ready, try these techniques today!