Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Pilates, Yoga, and Tai Chi Energy-Boosting Workout, Set 1

"Anyone with a busy or hectic schedule know that it can be very hard to find time to workout let alone get to the gym but a great little workout I found on the Fitness magazine website is the Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi Energy-Boosting workout. I like it because I can fit into my schedule and it's a pretty effective workout. It's my no excuses workout." Style & Focus PR

By Alyssa Shaffer; Photos by Chris Fanning
Fitness Magazine

Sometimes the quietest exercises can be the most invigorating. That's the case with this energy-boosting routine, which brings together elements of yoga, Pilates, and tai chi.

"Yoga is about stability, Pilates focuses on mobility and stability, and tai chi is all about mobility," says Lawrence Biscontini, group fitness manager for the Golden Door Spa at Wyndham El Conquistador in Puerto Rico, who designed our program. "Moving from one discipline to the next circulates the energy throughout your body, so you're refreshed by the end." You'll also feel pretty darn strong -- these moves are a killer way to sculpt your arms, abs, legs, and butt, using just your body weight for resistance.

Do each circuit three times through, breathing deeply and evenly throughout the workout.

1. Camel
Strengthens: Shoulders; Stretches Front of Body

* Kneel on floor with feet behind you, legs slightly apart.

* Stretch your hips and thighs forward while reaching back, placing your hands on your lower back (easier) or heels (more challenging).

* Gaze up toward ceiling while pushing your hips forward and arching spine; hold for 7 to 10 breaths.

2. Thigh Stretch
Strengthens: Glutes, Core; Stretches Quads

* Release from Camel and return to start.

* Inhale, then exhale while leaning back from hips, this time without bending spine, so your body forms a straight line from ears to knees.

* Place hands on hips (easier) or extend arms in front at shoulder height (more challenging).

* Come back to start, then repeat. Do 7 to 10 reps.

3. Rising Lunge
Strengthens: Legs, Glutes, Hips; Stretches Back

* From thigh stretch, bring left foot in front of you, left knee bent 90 degrees.

* Lift right knee off the floor, straightening leg behind you.

* Sweep arms out as you rise; then lower arms as you sink back down.

* Do 4 reps; switch sides and repeat.

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