ANDREA - a full time Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi instructor.

I fell in love with yoga over seven years ago, when I got a Nintendo DS and bought a game called Let's Yoga. From then, I began 'playing' yoga everyday, sometimes twice a day. At first, the practice was more physical for me, but after few months I started to really count on yoga to bring me a sense of calm during especially chaotic days. Soon after, I began recognizing the benefits of a regular asana and meditation practice and continued to incorporate yoga daily - not just during times of chaos. I found myself feeling more energized, more compassionate, happier, and with more awareness. Now, I teach full-time and couldn't be happier to do what I love. What began as a physical practice for strength and flexibility quickly became a lifestyle. I teach my students to take their yoga off the mat and apply the principles learned in the class to their lives outside of the studio. I do not only teach my philosophy, I live it.

sobota 31. januára 2015

Winter Photoshoot

Well, well well... :) 
Another adventure happened this week - a really short trip to my beautiful home country - Slovakia. 
I didn't even got time to visit my family, it was all about business 
(and, of course, having lots of fun!).





I landed to Poprad on Tuesday evening 
and my great talented photographer was already waiting for me. 
After helping me to get settled he took me to play table tennis, 
I could't believe how lucky I was!!





After that we played poker and I had to buy all yummy stuff I like 
(sweets, food, drinks, even alcohol... :P)


Boys went home and left me there alone - a biiig mistake, 
I had to force myself stay in the bed for hours, 
but I could't resist taking at least few 'selfies' :D :D 
In my world, selfie means - do it in 10s or die! :P





Next morning didn't look so promising 
for taking pictures... 








But the weather got so much better after an hour or so :) 
Lucky us (me)! 
We were driving all around the mountains all day and took lots and lots of pics, 
but one of them is just WOW!!! 
When you'll see it, you'll know which one I was talking about :P



 



We even stopped for halusky 
and went swimming and sauna in the evening :) 









And Lubos showed me how he takes 
such an amazing night pics. 
It was fascinating to watch him doing 
what he loves to do... 






...and after that we were eating and drinking again 
and talking, and talking, and talking... 







We woke up on time... 
Everything went according to the plan, the timing was perfect...
But the train was delayed 15 mins, so we went for a tea...
...and missed the train :/
So we could spend together a bit more time :P :D



 



I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Lubos - 

he was an awesome guide 
(without him I would be lost :P ), 
a really professional photographer 
(I had such a nice time doing all the crazy poses, falling over and jumping around) 
and a great friend 
(we've talked about stuff I've never told anyone). 

I really appreciate that he spend the whole two days with me, making sure I am fed, happy, he  organised everything, I was truly impressed! :) 

I cannot wait for out next photoshoot!

I had to come back to my real life... 

sobota 24. januára 2015

Acro Yoga, finally I can start!





I am happy to announce that after months and months I finally found my acro yoga partner! I can't wait to start learning all the crazy flying moves hahaha




piatok 23. januára 2015

Chin balance


My big achievement today - I've seen the pose yesterday in a YouTube video and I almost broke my neck trying it for the first time, but today I DID IT!!! My chin hurts, but I feel soooo pleased with myself 

I love Yoga!

Be prepared to get bendy! Chin balance requires a majorly open back, which means open hips and open shoulders too. Basically this pose is all about opening—a great thing to practice in the colder, less-light-filled months when we tend to close off.
Take it slow with this one. Chin balance is a major deep backbend, and there is no rush to get into any “final” pose. Be where you are—it is a great place to be!

streda 21. januára 2015

Live healthy, live longer - my little secret ;)

Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live longer. A recent study found that four bad behaviors—smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and veggies—can hustle you into an early grave, and, in effect, age you by as many as 12 years.

Fortunately, you can do something to correct these and other unhealthy behaviours. Adopt the good habits to keep your body looking and feeling young! This is something all of us can do, there´s no chance you can do something wrong if you correct your bad habits and start with good ones.

People ask me often how can I look so good (almost) all the time :P, what do I do to keep going constantly (yeah, I don´t even have one day off), how can I do everything I do (and even more)... Well, I guess it´s time to share my little secret with you.

All the things I wrote at the beginning are all true, they work, but you need something more if you are as crazy as me and have such a busy lifestyle. Another little secret how to live healthy is something I do. I have to be ready to go to my classes 24/7, so I cannot be sick, tired or lazy :P One thing that keeps me going day by day is Aloe Juice. I just dring a shot every morning, and I am alive, full of energy and ready to do anything! Another thing that keeps my body and muscles ready for hard work in our classes is Heat Lotion - simple as that. I use much more Aloe products, but these two are my life savers! Without them it would not be possible to give 100 percent in every class I teach.

If you want to check these two products out, go to my Forever Living online shop and find Alloe Berry Nectar (one shot every morning) and Aloe Heat Lotion (if you exercise too much :P )

I hope you will benefit from my little secret, too, and if you have any questions regarding any of the other products, feel free to ask me :)


utorok 20. januára 2015

Harpenden, here I am!!!!




Today, I had a meeting with Amanda, a very friendly and inspirational Pilates and Yoga teacher and I am happy to announce that I will be covering classes in Pilates Workshop Studio. BUT, if there is few of you in Harpenden and you would like me to teach a class (or more) there, I can arrange to teach some classes in the studio, you just have to let me know if you are interested :) 



pondelok 19. januára 2015

More practice today :)

From Compass Pose...
...into Astavakra
Into the wheel... 

...and lifting a leg 
I'm closer and closer to my perfect scorpion :P


štvrtok 15. januára 2015

Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes

Over-worked, under-slept, and feeling the pressure like whoa? There are plenty of ways to find calm—without investing in a four-hand spa massage. Turns out all we need is a pair of healthy(ish) lungs, our breath, and 10 minutes or less. Here are six ways to relax using breathing techniques.

Breathing Basics—The Need-to-Know

Don’t wait ‘til fight or flight kicks in before minding the breath. Controlled breathing not only keeps the mind and body functioning at their best, it can also lower blood pressure, promote feelings of calm and relaxation, and—if we play our lungs right— help us de-stress  .

While the effects of breathing techniques on anxiety haven’t yet been studied at length (at least in a controlled clinical setting), many experts encourage using the breath as a means of increasing awareness, mindfulness, or, for the yogis among us, finding that elusive state of Zen. To get the bottom of the breath work, Greatist spoke to breathing expert Dr. Alison McConnell, yoga instructor Rebecca Pacheco, and psychologist Dr. Ellen Langer. But follow closely: Breathing easy isn’t quite as easy as it sounds!

Mind Over Matter—Your Action Plan



From the confines of a bed, a desk, or any place where negativity finds its way, consider these six techniques to help keep calm and carry on.

1. Sama Vritti or “Equal Breathing”

How it’s done: Balance can do a body good, beginning with the breath . To start, inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four (all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath). Got the basic pranayama down? More advanced yogis can aim for six to eight counts per breath with the same goal in mind: Calm the nervous system, increase focus, and reduce stress, Pacheco says.

When it works best: Anytime, anyplace—but this is one technique that’s especially effective before bed. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, this breath can help take your mind off the racing thoughts, or whatever might be distracting you.


2. Abdominal Breathing Technique

How it’s done: With one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm (not the chest) inflates with enough air to create a stretch in the lungs. The goal: Six to 10 deep, slow breaths per minute for 10 minutes each day to experience immediate reductions to heart rate and blood pressure. Keep at it for six to eight weeks, and those benefits might stick around even longer.

When it works best: Before an exam, or any stressful event. But keep in mind, those who operate in a stressed state all the time might be a little shocked how hard it is to control the breath.


3. Nadi Shodhana or “Alternate Nostril Breathing”

How it’s done: A yogi’s best friend, this breath is said to bring calm and balance, and unite the right and left sides of the brain. Starting in a comfortable meditative pose, hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril. Continue the pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off with the right thumb, and exhaling through the left nostril.

When it works best: Crunch time, or whenever it’s time to focus or energize. Just don’t try this one before bed, it makes people feel more awake. It’s almost like a cup of coffee.



4. Kapalabhati or “Skull Shining Breath”

How it’s done: Ready to brighten up your day from the inside out? This one begins with a long, slow inhale, followed by a quick, powerful exhale generated from the lower belly. Once comfortable with the contraction, up the pace to one inhale-exhale (all through the nose) every one to two seconds, for a total of 10 breaths.

When it works best: When it’s time to wake up, warm or, or to start looking on the brighter side of things. It will warm up the body, shake off stale energy, and wake up the brain. If alternate nostril breathing is like coffee, consider this a shot of espresso.


5. Progressive Relaxation

How it’s done: To nix tension from head to toe, close the eyes and focus on tensing and relaxing each muscle group for two to three seconds each . Start with the feet and toes, then move up to the knees, thighs, rear, chest, arms, hands, neck, jaw, and eyes—all while maintaining deep, slow breaths. Having trouble staying on track? Anxiety and panic specialist Dr. Patricia Farrell suggests we breathe in through the nose, hold for a count of five while the muscles tense, then breathe out through the mouth on release.

When it works best: At home, at a desk, or even on the road. One word of caution: Dizziness is never the goal. If holding the breath ever feels uncomfortable, tone it down to just a few seconds at most.


6. Guided Visualization

How it’s done: Head straight for that “happy place,” no questions asked. With a coach, therapist, or helpful recording as your guide, breathe deeply while focusing on pleasant, positive images to replace any negative thoughts. Guided visualization helps to put you in the place you want to be, rather than letting your mind go to the internal dialogue that is stressful.

When it works best: Pretty much any place you can safely close your eyes and let go (e.g. not at the wheel of a car).

nedeľa 11. januára 2015

Find your antidote to stress

Love this time of year - right now people are making new year resolutions ,creating goals for 2015.
There's no doubt that for some individuals these things will end up delivering amazing life changing results.
But sadly the majority will only see small temporary changes.

One of the biggest secrets to avoid this is not to get too carried away at this time in the year.DON'T try to push your self too much.


Inside all of us are wonderful elements of peace, strength and love. Often as we grow up we loose touch with these fundamental parts of who we are. 
We get taught to become fearful, to be hateful, to be jealous, to be stressful, judgemental and impatient. Obviously all these negative behaviours cause not only others lots of harm but principally ourselves. 
 

When you learn to access your fundamental positive elements of peace, strength and love, life becomes a lot easier! You not only become kinder and more loving to yourself but you can spread these feelings to others. 
In the short-term, stress may appear to get things done but in the long term it leads to burn-out. As world is pretty hectic, now is a good time to find the antidote to stress – yoga and relaxation!


streda 7. januára 2015

Peacock

Peacock is an extremely challenging pose for advanced yogis. You need a lot of abdominal strength to properly execute it, and it may take a long time to master it, so be prepared to practice it regularly.

Begin in a forward fold with your hands on the floor but with the fingers pointed towards the back of your mat. Jump back into a downward dog position, keeping the hands as they were. Then begin to come down into a plank, bringing the elbows into the sides of the ribs.

Lean forward by bending your elbows and bringing your chin to the floor so that you can squeeze the elbows close together on the top of the abs. Make sure you’re firming up the abs at the same time. Once this position is established, you can then lean slowly into the arms further so that you can lift both legs up off the ground behind you. Keep the shoulders broad and focus on not arching the back at all by keeping the abdominals engaged throughout the movement. Then slowly bring your feet to the floor behind you and gently come out of the pose.

While it may be tempting to jump into difficult yoga poses because you see photos or videos of yoga instructors doing them with ease online, it’s important to remember that you need to be strong enough and you need to know how to execute these poses safely to avoid injuries.

utorok 6. januára 2015

A bit of non-yoga workout to get fit after Xmas



I guess we can all feel it. Most people got fat during Christmas, and if you are not one of them, lucky you, just skip this post :P If you come to my classes and want to add a bit of exercise into your weekly routine, here it is.... Let me know if you like it or not :P

Monday


Perform each set of two exercises back-to-back, with no rest between each exercise. Rest 30 to 60 seconds before repeating the set one more time. SET 1 Lift-off Lunge, Hundred on the BallSET 2 Scissors Jump, Pushup and Leg RaiseSET 3 Mermaid, Boat Curl and PressSET 4 Triangle Lat Raise, Dip and Knee Raise 





Lift-off Lunge


Tones: Butt, thighs, shoulders, triceps, and core

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold dumbbells up at your shoulders—elbows bent and pointing out to the sides, palms facing forward. Take a giant step forward with your right leg and lower your body until your knees are bent 90 degrees. Your knees should be in line with your ankles. (A) Press into your right foot, straighten your right leg, and come to a stand, simultaneously pulling your left knee forward in front of your hips (so you’re standing on one leg) and pressing the weights up toward the ceiling .(B) Return to start. Repeat with your left leg. 10 to 12 reps per leg

To make the move more challenging, place your front foot on a step.







Scissors Jump


Tones: Butt and thighs; raises heart rate to burn extra calories

Stand with your right leg forward and your left leg extended behind you, toes on the floor. Bend your right knee and dip your left knee toward the floor, so you’re in a lunge position. Place your arms straight out in front of you or out to the sides.(A) Swiftly jump up and switch legs in midair, in a motion like a scissor. (B) When your back knee grazes (or nearly grazes) the ground, jump again. Keep jumping continuously, without resting, for a full set. To prevent injury, try to land as softly as possible. 10 to 20 jumps









Pushup and Leg Raise


Tones: Shoulders, triceps, chest, and core

Lie facedown on a fitness ball, with both hands on the floor. Walk your hands out, allowing the ball to roll beneath your body until it is under your shins. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders, so it looks like you’re ready to do a pushup. Keeping your torso straight and your abs contracted, bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the floor. Stop when your upper arms are parallel to the floor. (A) Return to start, and immediately contract your glutes as you lift your right leg off the ball. (B) Lower your right leg to the ball, then lift the left leg. That’s one rep. 8 to 12 reps

Make the move harder by placing the ball under the tops of your feet. Make it easier by keeping the ball under your knees.





Hundred on the Ball

Tones: Core

Lie on your back with your arms by your sides. Bend your knees to 90 degrees and place your calves on a fitness ball. Lift your head and shoulders off the floor, making sure to keep your head, neck, and shoulders relaxed. (Put your head down at any time if you feel stress in the upper body.) (A) Take 5 short, consecutive inhales, followed by 5 short, consecutive exhales. Do this 10 times for 1 rep. At the same time, lift arms off mat and pulse them up and down palms facing down, in unison with the breath. (B) 10 reps, 100 breaths per rep






Mermaid

Tones: Core (especially obliques) and shoulders

Assume a side plank position, with your right elbow on the floor directly beneath your shoulder. Stagger your feet so your left foot is in front of your right foot. (A) Raise your left arm directly overhead—bicep next to your ear, arm extended, and with your palm facing the floor—so your arm is in line with your body. Arch your left arm towards the floor as you raise your hips up in the air. (B) Return to start. Repeat for a full set; then switch sides. 8 to 10 reps






Boat Curl and Press

Tones: Core, biceps, and shoulders

Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your arms extended at your sides and your palms facing forward. Sit on a bench and lean back slightly, pulling your knees to chest height, so you’re balancing on your tailbone. Curl the weights to your shoulders; (A) then immediately rotate your wrists so your palms face forward and press the weights straight overhead. (B) Return to start. Each dumbbell extension is one rep. Balance on the bench during the entire set if you can. 8 to 10 reps








Triangle Lat Raise

Tones: Butt, thighs, back, and shoulders

Hold a dumbbell in your left hand and lunge forward with your right leg. Taking a cue from the triangle pose in yoga, turn your left foot out—so it's perpendicular to your leg—and rest your right forearm on your right thigh, palm up. Extend your left arm straight down, with your palm facing your right leg. (A) Keeping your left arm extended, squeeze your shoulder blades together and raise your left arm straight out to the side until it reaches shoulder height. (B) Return to start. Complete a full set, then switch sides.10 to 12 reps per side






Dip and Knee Raise


Tones: Triceps, shoulders, and upper back

Sit on the edge of a bench with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent 90 degrees. Grasp the seat on either side of your butt; make sure your fingers are facing forward. Walk your feet out slightly and inch yourself off the seat. (A) Bend your arms, keeping your elbows pointed straight back as you dip your butt toward the ground. Simultaneously contract your abs and pull your right knee toward your chest. (B) Return to start. Concentrate on using your arms to raise your body, rather than pushing up with your legs. Complete a set, alternating legs. 10 to 12 reps

Make the move more challenging by performing it with your legs extended

Wednesday


For each exercise shown, do 1 set of the prescribed repetitions, rest 30 seconds, then do another set of that same exercise. 



Lift-off Lunge


Tones: Butt, thighs, shoulders, triceps, and core

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold dumbbells up at your shoulders—elbows bent and pointing out to the sides, palms facing forward. Take a giant step forward with your right leg and lower your body until your knees are bent 90 degrees. Your knees should be in line with your ankles. (A) Press into your right foot, straighten your right leg, and come to a stand, simultaneously pulling your left knee forward in front of your hips (so you’re standing on one leg) and pressing the weights up toward the ceiling .(B) Return to start. Repeat with your left leg. 10 to 12 reps per leg

To make the move more challenging, place your front foot on a step.




Mermaid

Tones: Core (especially obliques) and shoulders

Assume a side plank position, with your right elbow on the floor directly beneath your shoulder. Stagger your feet so your left foot is in front of your right foot. (A) Raise your left arm directly overhead—bicep next to your ear, arm extended, and with your palm facing the floor—so your arm is in line with your body. Arch your left arm towards the floor as you raise your hips up in the air. (B) Return to start. Repeat for a full set; then switch sides. 8 to 10 reps







Pushup and Leg Raise

Tones: Shoulders, triceps, chest, and core

Lie facedown on a fitness ball, with both hands on the floor. Walk your hands out, allowing the ball to roll beneath your body until it is under your shins. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders, so it looks like you’re ready to do a pushup. Keeping your torso straight and your abs contracted, bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the floor. Stop when your upper arms are parallel to the floor. (A) Return to start, and immediately contract your glutes as you lift your right leg off the ball. (B) Lower your right leg to the ball, then lift the left leg. That’s one rep. 8 to 12 reps

Make the move harder by placing the ball under the tops of your feet. Make it easier by keeping the ball under your knees.





Hundred on the Ball

Tones: Core

Lie on your back with your arms by your sides. Bend your knees to 90 degrees and place your calves on a fitness ball. Lift your head and shoulders off the floor, making sure to keep your head, neck, and shoulders relaxed. (Put your head down at any time if you feel stress in the upper body.) (A) Take 5 short, consecutive inhales, followed by 5 short, consecutive exhales. Do this 10 times for 1 rep. At the same time, lift arms off mat and pulse them up and down palms facing down, in unison with the breath. (B) 10 reps, 100 breaths per rep







Tai Chi Lunge


Tones: Butt, thighs, and core

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms extended straight out in front of you, with your palms facing down. Take a giant step to the right, bending your right knee until it’s bent 45 to 90 degrees (make sure to keep your knee from extending over your toes). (A) Pause in this side-lunge position and rotate your torso and outstretched arms to the left, rotating at the waist. (B) Rotate back to the center and return to the starting position. Repeat the move to the opposite side. Continue alternating for a full set. 10 to 12 reps per side

To make the move more challenging, hold a medicine ball.






Glute Bridge with Triceps Extension

Tones: Butt, core, and triceps

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie on your back, with your knees bent. Bend your elbows so the weights are positioned at either side of your head, palms facing your ears and elbows pointed up toward the ceiling. (A) Simultaneously contract your glutes and raise your hips—so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees—while you extend your arms, so the weights are lined up with your chest. (B) Return to start. 10 to 12 reps








Lateral Step-Ups


Tones: Butt and thighs, plus raises heart rate to burn extra calories

Stand to the right of a 12 to 18 inch step or bench. Plant your left foot on the step and place your hands on your hips.(A) Press into your left foot, extend right leg, and spring up and over the step, (B) planting the right foot on the step and extending the left leg out into a side lunge. Immediately reverse the move, springing up and over to the right. Think of this move as your feet exchanging places on the step. Continue alternating for a full set. 10 to 12 reps per side

To make the move more challenging, hold a medicine ball.







Side Plank with Moving Knee


Tones: Core (especially obliques) and butt

Lie facedown on the floor so your upper body is propped on your forearms with your elbows directly beneath your shoulders. (A) Lift your body off the floor so your body is suspended in a straight line supported by your forearms and toes. Roll to the left, rotating your left arm, so your upper body is propped up on your leftt forearm, elbow directly beneath shoulder and forearm running perpendicular to your body. Stack your feet and place your left hand on your hip, elbow pointed up. (B) Raise your right leg and bring your rightt knee to your rightt elbow.(C) Return to start. Switch sides. 8 to 10 reps


Friday


Perform the moves circuit style: Do the prescribed number of repetitions for each exercise, with no rest between exercises. After you’ve done all of the exercises once, rest two minutes. Perform the entire circuit 3 times, resting two minutes between each circuit. 




Curtsy Lunge with Front Raise


Tones: Butt, thighs, and shoulders

Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, holding a dumbbell in your left hand and resting your right hand on your hip. Take a giant step back and to the right with your left leg, so if you were standing on a clock facing 12, your left toes would end up at the 5 o’clock position. (A) Bend your knees and lower your hips toward the floor until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. At the same time, raise your left arm (the one with the dumbbell in it) straight out in front of you to shoulder height. (B) Return to start. Complete a full set; then switch sides. 10 to 12 reps per side







Swivel Squat


Tones: Butt, thighs, and core

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and extend your arms straight out in front of you. Bend your knees and sit back until your legs are bent 45 to 90 degrees; make sure to keep your knees from extending over your toes. (A) Press back to a standing position as you rotate your torso and outstretched arms to the right. (B) Rotate back to the center and immediately perform another squat, this time rotating to the left as you stand. Both sides makes one rep. The sequence is this: Squat, stand—while simultaneously twisting to the side—then twist back to the center. 10 to 12 reps

To make the move more challenging, hold a medicine ball.






Tip and Row

Tones: Butt and back

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides holding weights. Lift your right leg straight up behind you as you bend from the hips to lower your upper body forward. Your torso and right leg should be parallel to the floor and your arms hanging straight down, palms facing each other. (A) Bend your elbows and pull the weights straight up to either side of your chest. (B) Lower the weights and return to a standing position. Repeat, this time lifting the left leg behind you as you tip forward. Alternate for a full set. 8 to 10 reps per side







Alternating Side Lunge

Tones: Thighs, butt, and core

Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, holding dumbbells down at your sides.(A) Take a giant step to the right, dropping your butt back (keeping your knee from extending over your toes) and pretending to place the weights on either side of your foot. (B) Press back to start. Then immediately repeat the move to the left. 10 to 12 reps per side








Lift-off Lunge


Tones: Butt, thighs, shoulders, triceps, and core

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold dumbbells up at your shoulders—elbows bent and pointing out to the sides, palms facing forward. Take a giant step forward with your right leg and lower your body until your knees are bent 90 degrees. Your knees should be in line with your ankles. (A) Press into your right foot, straighten your right leg, and come to a stand, simultaneously pulling your left knee forward in front of your hips (so you’re standing on one leg) and pressing the weights up toward the ceiling. (B) Return to start. Repeat with your left leg. 10 to 12 reps per leg

To make the move more challenging, place your front foot on a step.







Crossover Crunch


Tones: Core

Lie on your back with arms and legs outstretched so your body forms an X. (A) Contract your abs and raise your head, arms, and legs a few inches off the floor. Keeping them extended, simultaneously bring your left arm and right leg together over your abdomen. (B) Lower your limbs back to start. Repeat to the opposite side. That’s one rep. Alternate for a full set. 10 to 12 reps

To make the move more challenging, keep your head, arms, and legs raised throughout the exercise. To make it a little easier, bring only your arm and leg off the floor each time.







Stacked Pushup


Tones: Chest, shoulders, triceps, and core

Assume a pushup position (resting either your knees or your toes on the floor), with your hands on the floor directly beneath your shoulders, left hand placed on a thick book, yoga block, or aerobic step with no risers. (A) Bend your arms and lower your chest until your arms are bent 90 degrees. (B) Straighten your arms and press up. Do 4 to 6 reps, then switch sides, bringing your right hand up onto the book or step and your left hand down to the floor on the left side of the book. Repeat, this time crossing up and over to the right. Alternate throughout the set. 8 to 12 reps






Squat and Overhead Press

Tones: Butt, thighs, shoulders, triceps, and core

Hold a dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent in front of your torso, weights in front of your shoulders, palms facing in. Stand with your feet in a wide straddle stance, toes turned out. (A) Bend your knees and squat back, keeping your knees from extending over your toes. (B) Press back to the start position, turning your right palm forward and pressing the weight directly overhead. (C) Immediately lower into another squat, pulling your right arm back to the starting position. Stand again, this time pressing the left weight overhead. Alternate for a full set. 12 to 14 reps