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A 20-Minute Yoga Sequence For a Tighter Backside

A 20-Minute Yoga Sequence For a Tighter Backside

Downward-Dog

    1. Downward Dog

    • Begin on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders, and your knees should be underneath your hips.
    • Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into an upside-down “V” shape called Downward Facing Dog.
    • Spread your fingers wide, and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Hold for five breaths.

    Three-Legged-Down-Dog

      2. Three-Legged Downward Dog

      • From Downward Facing Dog, step both feet together so your big toes are touching.
      • Shift your weight onto your hands and your left foot equally, and raise your right leg into the air. Try to keep your shoulders parallel with the ground, and gaze at your left thigh or up toward your belly to help you stay balanced.
      • Stay here for five breaths, then lower your right leg down. Perform Three-Legged Downward Dog on the other side.

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      Warrior-1

        3. Warrior 1

        • From Three-Legged Dog, come back down to Downward Facing Dog.
        • Step your right foot forward between your hands. Turn your left heel in, press into your feet, and lift your torso up.
        • Lift your arms up, and press your palms together. Draw your shoulder blades down toward your hips, and gaze up at your hands.
        • Stay here for five breaths. Then come back to Downward Dog, and move through Warrior 1 with your left foot forward.

        Warrior-3

          4. Warrior 3

          • From Warrior 1 with your left knee forward, lower your torso and lift your right leg, bringing your body parallel with the ground.
          • Extend your hands out in front of you, pressing your palms together firmly. If it bothers your shoulders to press your hands together, separate your arms so they’re shoulder-width apart. If extending your arms creates pain or pressure in your lower back, rest your hands on your hips.
          • Engage your abs, holding this position for five deep breaths. Then lower your left leg, returning to Warrior 1. Release your hands to the mat, and come into Downward Dog.
          • Then move through Warrior 3 with the other leg, move through Warrior 1, and come back to Downward Dog.

          Fierce

            5. Fierce

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            • After Downward Facing Dog, jump or step toward the top of your mat. Slowly roll up, and stand with your feet together in Mountain Pose. Bend your knees and lower your hips as you raise your arms overhead.
            • Focus on sitting back onto your heels. Tuck your tailbone in, and engage your abs, keeping your spine straight. Relax the shoulders as you gaze up toward the ceiling. Stay like this for five breaths, and then stand up into Mountain Pose.

            8bf33b4746417958_Mountain-Pose.xxxlarge_2x

              6. Mountain Pose

              • Before you begin moving, create your intention. Bring your awareness inward to your breath and focus your energy on a person, an aspiration, a dream, a hope, a purpose, or something you wish to change in the world or in your life.
              • Try to let go of any thoughts about your day: what you forgot to do, who you need to call, or a disagreement you may have had, then connect with your body in the present moment. After all this is what yoga is all about.

              Goddess

                7. Goddness

                • From Mountain Pose, step open to the right, opening your legs about three feet apart. Turn your heels in.
                • Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Your knees should be directly over your ankles, so adjust your feet if you need to. Lift your arms up, bending your elbows so they are at 90-degree angles, and open your palms away from you.
                • Hold here for five deep breaths.

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                Wide-Squat

                  8. Wide Squat

                  • Step in your feet so they’re slightly wider than your hips. Bend your knees, and lower your hips toward the ground.
                  • Bring your palms together at your heart center, and firmly press your elbows against the inside of your knees. This will help to open your hips even farther. Shift weight onto your heels, and lengthen the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
                  • Hold the pose for five deep breaths.

                  Locust

                    9. Locust Pose

                    • From Wide Squat, place your hands at the top of your mat and step back into plank. Slowly lower to the ground, and lie flat on your belly with your legs together. Place your arms by your sides so your palms are facing up.
                    • As you inhale, lift your legs, head, and upper body off the floor. Your hands remain on the floor for support. As you breathe, extend the crown of your head away from your toes, lengthening as much as you can through your spine.
                    • Stay for five breaths, and then release back to the mat.

                    Intense-East

                      10. Intense East

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                      • From Locust Pose, roll over to lie flat on your back. Sit your bottom on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Place your palms behind your hips about six to eight inches away, with your fingers pointing toward your toes.
                      • As you inhale, press into your hands and feet firmly, lifting your hips into the air. Raise them as high as you can so your spine is in a long line. Slowly release your head back, looking behind you and opening through your throat.
                      • Stay here for five deep breaths, then lower your hips to the floor.

                      Bridge

                        11. Bridge

                        • From Intense East, lie flat on your back with your arms along the sides of your body with your palms facing down. Bend your knees, placing your heels as close as you can to your bum.
                        • With your palms and feet pressing firmly into the ground, lift your hips up. Keep your palms on the mat, or clasp your hands together below your pelvis, extending through your arms. Or you can also bend your elbows and rest your hands on your lower back. If your feet are close enough, you can also hold your ankles.
                        • Stay here for five deep breaths, lifting your hips up as high as you can.

                        Savasana

                          12. Savasana

                          • After you’ve completed Bridge Pose, lie on your back and close your eyes. In order to relax and open your body fully, extend your arms a few inches away from the body, with the palms facing up. Put about 15 to 20 inches between your heels, allowing your feet to fall open with the toes pointing out. Actively shrug your shoulder blades down toward your hips. Lengthen through the spine as much as possible, relaxing your lower back toward the floor.
                          • After you’ve found a comfortable position, stay here for as long as you want, around 10 minutes or more, if your schedule allows for it. If you’re short on time, remain in Savasana at least until your heart rate slows down and your breath returns to its natural soothing rhythm.
                           
                          yoga a6
                            Reference: popsugar.com

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                            Felix H.

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                            Last Updated on November 11, 2018

                            How to Gain Muscle Fast (The Healthy And Natural Way)

                            How to Gain Muscle Fast (The Healthy And Natural Way)

                            There’s a common misconception that building muscle occurs entirely in the gym from exercise and lifting weights. In this article, we are going to debunk this notion that weight lifting and gym exercise yields 100%, or even 90% for that matter, of muscle building results.

                            So how to gain muscle fast in a healthy way?

                            Yes working-out is a critical aspect of developing muscle, however it should not be the focal point. Building muscle occurs primarily outside of the gym by way of diet/eating habits, and sleep regimen.

                            How Is Muscle Developed?

                            Muscle is developed from damaging the tissue during exercise, and facilitating the most optimal circumstances for repair and growth of those same tissues. This means you will not only need to exercise, but you should focus on carbohydrates around your exercises, and adequate rest and recovery between workouts.

                            If your focus is building muscle and not losing weight, focusing on a high-carb diet with carb loading around the workout days will yield great results. Yes, you absolutely can lose fat and build muscle following a low-carb diet, but you’ll make faster progress if you follow a high-carb diet instead. Now don’t take that as a green-light to stuff your face with pasta, bread, and all sorts of other carb-heavy foods.

                            Let’s examine Glycogen – a multibranched polysaccharide of glucose that serves as a form of energy storage in humans. Muscle glycogen is a form of carbohydrate that’s stored in your muscles and liver. Glycogen is the primary source of fuel during exercise, and low glycogen levels decreases your ability to gain strength and muscle. The best way to maintain high levels of muscle glycogen is to eat a high-carb diet, with around 1 to 3 grams of carbs per pound of body weight.

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                            The time of ingestion of a carbohydrate supplement on muscle glycogen storage post exercise was examined in a study with twelve male cyclists that exercised continuously for 70 min on a cycle ergometer at 68% VO2max, interrupted by six 2-min intervals at 88% VO2max, on two separate occasions. The results suggest that delaying the ingestion of a carbohydrate supplement post-exercise will result in a reduced rate of muscle glycogen storage.

                            How to Gain Muscle Fast?

                            If you want to gain muscle as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible, then you want high muscle glycogen levels. Here’s a few effective approaches to building muscle:

                            Muscle Growth and Glycogen Levels

                            The primary driver of gaining muscle and its growth is progressive tension overload, which involves exposing your muscles to increasingly greater levels of tension over time. The most effective way to achieve this is to get as strong as possible on heavy compound lifts (squat, bench press, deadlift, over head press, bent over barbell rows..etc).

                            When you keep glycogen levels high, you’re going to gain strength faster, which means gaining muscle faster, too. Having higher levels of muscle glycogen will more than likely help you build muscle faster.

                            Maintaining high muscle glycogen levels also improves post-workout genetic signaling relating to muscle growth and repair.

                            Muscle Recovery and Glycogen Levels

                            Not only do higher muscle glycogen levels yield quicker strength gains, it will also improve recovery between workouts.

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                            On the contrary, low muscle glycogen levels are associated with overtraining, and even increasingly popular low-carb diets, which deplete muscle glycogen. Low glycogen levels also increase cortisol and reduce testosterone levels in athletes, which is a key component needed for building muscle.

                            Those on a low-carb diets also have reduced insulin levels. Insulin, in addition to helping store nutrients, also has powerful anti-catabolic properties. Basically insulin decreases the rate at which muscle proteins are broken down, which in turn creates a more anabolic environment conducive to muscle growth and development.

                            Intermittent Fasting (“IF”) and Testosterone

                            Fasting is not just a beneficial way to manage your weight, caloric intake, and start shredding as I have indicated in previous articles. Some research shows that fasting can be a source of strength enhancement and increases in testosterone stimulation.

                            As humans age metabolism slows and testosterone production decreases, this simply means that the body will no longer be able to work as efficiently as it did in earlier years. This is one of the primary reasons why you should take more care to your diet.

                            Research has shown that intermittent fasting can enhance the ability to secrete growth hormone in the body.[1] This is one of the primary reasons why IF is one of the preferred dietary habits of bodybuilders and strength athletes such as myself, whom will utilize an approach that emphasizes fasting phases (2 of 7 days of the week for example).

                            Research has also shown that IF can increase the bodies ability to signal luteinizing hormone.[2] In non-obese men, an intermittent fasting testosterone study showed that IF increased LH (luteinizing hormone – a testosterone precursor hormone) up to 67% and overall testosterone 180%.

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                            Luteinizing hormone is one that works in both men and women to enhance our ability to be sexually active and productive. In women, luteinizing hormone can trigger ovulation, and in men, works to stimulate testosterone.

                            Intermittent fasting also increases levels of a hormone called adiponectin. This increase in adiponectin during the fast helps improve insulin sensitivity. Adiponectin is so effective, in fact, that it’s been shown to reverse insulin resistance in mice.

                            Gaining Muscle and Macro Nutrients – Protein!

                            Something that absolutely cannot go overlooked is the protein consumption. Personally, I believe protein should be primarily consumed in food, however if looking to gain muscle, it can often be quite difficult to hit daily macro nutrient requirements.

                            If one is to build muscle consistently a general rule of thumb is to aim for 1-1.5grams of protein per pound of body weight on a daily basis. So as a 200lb man I would be needing to consume 200grams – 250grams of protein per day. I would aim for the higher consumption on days when very active and training.

                            As I’m sure you’re aware, it can often be quite difficult to consume that much protein, especially in food! It’s in these cases where supplementing protein isn’t a bad idea and I have discussed in great detail the different types of protein in previous articles.

                            Generally speaking, I lean towards Whey Protein Isolate, or non-dairy options such as Hemp Protein, or Pea Protein. As of late I have been waking up every morning and consuming one scoop of Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein Bovines from grass-fed beef. Collagen peptides are highly bioavailable and act as building blocks; renewing bodily tissues such as skin, bones and joints.[3]

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                            Collagen peptides may act as a messenger to the cells and trigger the synthesis and reorganization of new collagen fibers, thereby supporting tissue structure. Consuming protein such as Collagen in the morning is beneficial as the stomachs acids are needed to optimally break-down and absorb protein.

                            Though this has been a topic of great debate, I also firmly believe adequate carbohydrates are required to build muscle, especially if you are exercising/training often. With all the low-carb movements floating around the internet, there’s lots of misinformation. Muscle-building requires energy which is typically through an increased intake of carbohydrates.

                            Yes to gain mass, you have to ensure you’re consuming enough protein to rebuild muscle tissue damaged from training; but also consider carbohydrates because gaining size requires filling your muscles with glycogen as we discussed earlier in this article.

                            Conclusion

                            If you’re serious about gaining muscle fast the healthy way, it requires commitment and consistency. You will need to exercise and I highly suggest you download MyFitnessPal to track progress, set goals, and maintain diet.

                            It’s also motivational because you can find like-minded people in the fitness community, or encourage your friends to download the app as well and follow each other. I personally did this when I was losing weight and gaining muscle, and it was a blast to see my own progress and that of people I care about.

                            As always I’m not just here to write about the steps you need to take, I’m also here to help! You can message me anytime or email me with any questions you may have. I’m more than happy to assist with your muscle building and weight loss goals!

                            Featured photo credit: Arthur Edelman via how to gain muscle fast

                            Reference

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