Advertising
Advertising

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.

      Advertising

      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

            Advertising

            • 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.

                Advertising

                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

                      Advertising

                      • 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

                            More by this author

                            Felix H.

                            Curating inspiring quotes and infographics to help improve people's lives

                            Get To Know Your Personality Type 100+ Motivational Quotes On Dream, Goal And Future 100 Inspirational Quotes That Summarize The Wisdom About Life 100 Inspirational and Motivational Quotes of All Time! (117) 100 Inspirational and Motivational Quotes of All Time! (116)

                            Trending in Exercise

                            1 8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs 2 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly) 3 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 4 Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 5 Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox

                            Read Next

                            Advertising
                            Advertising
                            Advertising

                            Published on August 29, 2019

                            How to Get Through a Weight Loss Plateau (Step-By-Step Guide)

                            How to Get Through a Weight Loss Plateau (Step-By-Step Guide)

                            Having a weight loss plateau is perfectly normal. Just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating though, and it feels like all your hard work has ground to a halt.

                            Instead of seeing a weight loss plateau as a roadblock, you need to see them as speed bumps that may get in the way from time to time but, can still be navigated.

                            This article will look at what causes these plateaus and how you can get through them the next time they may strike.

                            What Is a Weight Loss Plateau?

                            The basics of this plateau are that weight loss or fat loss has stalled after a period of progression. But what is the real reason this has happened and why does it occur when it does? Weight loss, or fat loss, has seemed to stall and the first thing to do is to recognize if this is a plateau.

                            If you weigh yourself daily, you know that there are fluctuations that occur each day. If you are weighing yourself every day, you want to at least be consistent with it. Your true weight will be first thing in the morning after you’ve gone to the bathroom. You want to weigh yourself at the same time and also make sure your scale is calibrated properly. Even a floor that is not perfectly even can give you an inaccurate reading.

                            It’s important to do this first thing as your weight can fluctuate just over one day, with people often seeing variations of 3-5 pounds. Since there are these daily changes, you want to take a different approach and look at your weekly averages week after week. This will give you a better snapshot at your progress and if you’ve actually reached a plateau or not.

                            True weight loss happens over weeks and months and that’s why tracking is important. You should see a gradual decrease over this longer time period. Healthy and sustained weight loss will be around 1-2 pounds per week. It’s a linear path that will have small up and down spikes over the time period but should still move progressively downward.

                            Advertising

                            When you see that the weight isn’t gradually dropping the way it had been over the past weeks and months, that can be your sign you’ve hit a true weight loss plateau.

                            The Issues with the Scale

                            A scale gives you some data but doesn’t always show the whole picture. You will not get an idea of true body composition as a regular scale will not show a balance between lean muscle and body fat. You may have lost 5 pounds of body fat, but gained 5 pounds of muscle and the number on the scale would stay the same. That body compositional change, however, would show some great physical results.

                            The body fat loss would help you appear leaner and the lean muscle gain would also enhance your overall appearance. You could look significantly different while the number on the scale hasn’t changed.

                            The scale is also not going to reveal issues surrounding water retention or bloating along with the hormonal fluctuations that can cause these issues. You can still check the scale, but a better indicator of weight loss will be with a tape measure.

                            When you’ve lost body fat, you will notice your clothes fitting differently and tracking your body part measurements can be a great way to monitor results. If you are going the tape measure route, measure these main areas:

                            • Hips
                            • Right thigh – at the midrange point
                            • Waist – just below your ribcage and above your belly button
                            • Chest – measure under the armpits
                            • Right bicep – unflexed
                            • Right calf
                            • Neck

                            You can take measurements on your right and left appendages, but this is a good base of measurement to track progress.

                            Why Is Your Weight Not Going Down?

                            This may be because you are doing too much and not getting enough calories at the same time. If you are overdoing it in the gym, it can be like taking a few steps backward. Your workouts shouldn’t be over 75 minutes (30-40 may be all you need) and you want some rest days throughout the week. If you’re working out every day and exhausting yourself, your body will go into that self-preservation mode, raising stress hormones and, again, making weight loss difficult.

                            Advertising

                            If you are involved in an adequate exercise program (3-4 days per week) and going for a reasonable amount of time, you may need to add in a little more physical activity if you’ve reached a weight loss plateau. This doesn’t have to be overly intense but some extra cardio may help. This can be another 5-10 minutes on to what you are normally doing, or one or two 20-minute walks added on to your weekly amount.

                            You also want to make sure you’re eating enough and getting into a bit of a calorie deficit[1] if weight loss has stalled. You need not count every calorie but it’s a good idea to take a few days to track your nutrition intake so you at least have a good idea where you’re at.

                            Many people do not understand how many calories they are taking in each day. Calorie counting is far from a perfect science but to get a rough ballpark figure, the average woman needs around 2000 calories a day to maintain. An average man will need around 2500 calories.[2] There are many factors that can alter this requirement but this is a good starting point.

                            If you’re not losing weight, you’ll want to reduce that amount by around 300 calories each day and see how this is going after a week or so. If there has been no change, you might need to drop another 200 calories. You don’t want this to go lower as not enough calories can have a negative effect on your metabolism and will lead to stalled weight loss.

                            Is 1000 Calories a Day Too Little?

                            In a word? Yes. Your body needs more than that just to carry out its basic functions of living – and that’s not including you getting up and moving around. Even if you were just to lie on the couch all day, your body will need at least 1200 to 1400 calories just to exist. If you are not giving your body sufficient calories, it goes into panic mode. Your metabolism will drop as your body needs to hold on to every precious calorie to sustain itself. When this happens you can kiss weight loss goodbye. The other problem is eventually you will snap because you are so hungry and will eat everything in sight.

                            When you flood calories into a body with a slowed metabolism, you can guess what they end up being stored as.

                            Keeping yourself fed with high-quality, and nutritious foods will allow your body to run optimally and provide you with energy to be active, burn body fat, and bust through those weight loss plateaus.

                            Advertising

                            What to Do When You Hit a Weight Loss Plateau

                            This is where it’s important to take a step back and have a look at what’s been going on in your life. Tracking your info can be helpful because it gives you some data to observe. You don’t have to be obsessive about it but recording your workouts, sleep, stress levels and understanding your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) and basic metabolic rate (BMR) will help give you an indicator where the problems may arise.

                            If you’ve noticed you’ve been overly stressed with work and life lately, this may be the culprit. When your body experiences stress, it elevates stress hormones such as cortisol. When cortisol is constantly elevated, it can slow weight loss to a crawl. Stress hormones are released in the body as a way to preserve itself. The body will be more likely to hold on to body fat as it believes some sort of trauma is happening and it needs all the backup fuel it can get. At this point, your body is not interested in burning body fat, or building muscle – it’s interested in preserving things.

                            Higher stress may also lead to a lack of sleep which causes the same issues, and when you add these two together, they compound their negative effects. If you’re seeing this to be the case, it means you will have to slow things down a bit. Make getting extra sleep a priority and you may have to back off the workouts for a bit. Even better, taking some time off from the gym can be a great way to let your whole body, central nervous system, and immune system recover.

                            This could be a good time to focus on relaxing, meditation, or yoga. You also want to make sure you’re keeping your diet as clean as possible as eating things like refined sugar and carbs when stressed can easily lead to weight gain.

                            Listen to your body and give it a breather when needed. Doing this will allow it to come back stronger than before.

                            How to Get Past a Weight Loss Plateau

                            When you hit a plateau, it’s a sign that your body is becoming complacent. There is no longer enough stimulation to warrant a response from your body. If you remember back to high school biology, you’ll recall homeostasis. This is a state of balance and it’s the preferred state your body wants to be in. Your body is all about self-preservation and keeping things stable. This is an evolutionary response to conserve energy for those times when it may be more needed.

                            Your body will learn to do things as efficiently as possible and therefore, you will progress with weight loss, and muscle and strength gains for a while – but then it hits a wall. Your body has figured out how to efficiently manage what you’re throwing at it, and this means it’s time to switch things up.

                            Advertising

                            For workouts, you want to always keep your body guessing. The best workout is the one you haven’t done yet. Your body needs an ever-changing stimulus in order to get more results. The good news is this doesn’t have to be a drastic overhaul. If you’re exercising, you just want to make changes to your routine, exercise order, duration, or repetitions. At the very least, you want to do at least what you did last workout – plus a little more. If you ran for 30 minutes, go for 32 next time. If you did 10 repetitions of an exercise, go for 11 or 12.

                            You can change the order of the exercises you do, perform some cardio before strength training, add in some high-intensity intervals, or shorten your rest periods between sets. The main thing is to give a bit of a shock to your body in order for it to change.

                            Final Thoughts

                            Weight loss plateaus will happen, it’s just all about being prepared for when they strike. Getting an understanding of why they happen is important to progress past them. What’s also important is realizing how your body works, and what it needs in order for it to respond favourably to exercise and diet.

                            A weight-loss plateau can be overcome with changes in activity, addressing lifestyle issues, and keeping the diet as clean as possible. Recognizing when stress has overwhelmed you, sleep is being neglected, and you need a break will go a long way in helping combat weight loss plateaus.

                            You also need to be aware of consuming enough calories per day and the issues that come from not nourishing your body properly. Healthy weight loss is all about combining exercise, diet, rest, recovery, and an overall holistic approach for it to happen.

                            More About Healthy Weight Loss

                            Featured photo credit: Gesina Kunkel via unsplash.com

                            Reference

                            Read Next