Exercises and homemade products
7:30 PM EDT, September 5, 2014
When the heat is on, you might lose your motivation to hit the gym. But the typically warm days of Southern California's late summer offer a perfect excuse to take your workout into the pool, where it's nice and cool. You'll still work up a sweat, said John Platero, director of education for the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers, but you'll hardly notice.
4:00 PM EDT, August 15, 2014
Say adios to those love handles with the side crunch; a proven waist cincher. Orthopedist and fitness trainer Levi Harrison, who created the Art of Fitness Cardio Core Workout, demonstrates proper form as well as a couple of ways to advance the move.
3:30 PM EDT, August 1, 2014
Every workout arsenal needs a fast-and-easy low-impact cardio movement, perfect for those days when time is short but you still want to work up a sweat. This is also a move you can take on the road. Because there's no noisy jumping around, it's great to do in a hotel room or in a second-floor bedroom. And you don't need special equipment — or any equipment, for that matter, says fitness expert Tosca Reno, author of the book "The Start Here Diet."
4:00 PM EDT, July 18, 2014
This is the move you bust out when you're short on time and desperately in need of a hard-core burn: jumping lunges. Celebrity trainer Bob Harper said this is one of the best double-duty exercises he knows.
12:15 PM EDT, July 4, 2014
Are you tied to a computer most working days? If so, there's a good chance you struggle with tight hamstrings, hunched shoulders and a tight back. Sara Haley, a pre- and postnatal exercise specialist in Santa Monica and creator of the "Expecting More" DVD workout series for pregnant women, says she has just the stretch for you.
7:00 PM EDT, June 13, 2014
Lunges can be a little scary, especially if you're like many of us and have balance issues. So consider this your permission slip to "cheat" a little as you work your way up to doing the perfect lunge. Fitness expert Tosca Reno, author of the new book "The Start Here Diet," says using a stationary object for balance, such as a chair, is a great way to get yourself ready for doing full-on lunges.
7:35 PM EDT, June 6, 2014
If you had to take one fitness move to a desert island, the burpee would be it. "This movement is one of my favorites, and I also hate it," says celebrity trainer Bob Harper.
9:10 PM EDT, May 2, 2014
A stiff, sore upper back makes it hard to take a deep breath and relax. The good news is that you can ease that tightness with the help of two rubber therapy balls (or tennis balls). Fitness instructor Jill Miller developed this upper-back soothing massage called the rib rock for the Rx Series at Equinox gyms. Give it a try at home the next time you're feeling tight.
6:15 PM EDT, April 18, 2014
You can sculpt your triceps and strengthen your core with one simple exercise: dip kicks, says fitness expert Lacey Stone, who uses it on her Extreme Bootcamp app for iPhone and iPad.
7:00 PM EDT, April 4, 2014
If running or doing a marathon round of squats has left you with sore or clicking knees, that pesky ilotibial band is probably to blame. This broad swath of connective tissue that runs from the outside of the hip to the knee sees a lot of action, and a little massage here can give you much greater mobility.
9:25 PM EDT, March 28, 2014
Ready for a butt-and-thigh burner that you can do anywhere? Meet the air squat. It's like your regular squat, only 10 times harder. Bob Harper, best known for his work on NBC's "The Biggest Loser," says the air squat can't be beat for getting in a lower body workout that will also boost your heart rate.
6:30 PM EDT, March 14, 2014
The plank-to-frogger exercise is a full-body extravaganza, hitting many major muscle groups at once, says fitness expert Lacey Stone, who uses it on her Extreme Bootcamp app for iPhone and iPad.
6:10 PM EST, March 7, 2014
What do you think about when you're working out your glutes? If you're like most, you're just counting reps, waiting for the whole thing to be over. But fitness expert Tosca Reno, author of the new book "The Start Here Diet," says you could be cheating yourself out of gains if you don't focus your mind as well as your muscles.
6:00 PM EST, February 28, 2014
Forget crunches. The V-up takes your abdominal workout to the next level. Orthopedist and fitness trainer Dr. Levi Harrison, who produced a DVD, "The Art of Fitness Cardio Core Workout," shows how to work up to this advanced move in stages so you don't strain your lower back.
8:05 PM EST, February 21, 2014
We all know plank position is good for us. But. Um. What if you lack the core strength needed to suck in the gut and engage the back, glutes and quad muscles — all while balancing between your toes and elbows?
4:15 PM EST, February 14, 2014
Lower-back pain is one of the most common adult complaints. Here's a way to roll away some of the tension in this area. Fitness instructor Jill Miller uses yoga therapy balls (or tennis balls) to massage away the tension in this low-back lengthener.
5:00 PM EST, February 7, 2014
The kettle bell overhead squat is a graceful way to build strength and flexibility at the same time. It's demonstrated here by David Schenk, co-founder of Cross Train LA in Hollywood.
5:30 PM EST, January 17, 2014
When someone or something has rocked your boat, here's a great way to calm the upset and feel more in control.
4:00 PM EST, January 3, 2014
Looking for a new lower-body challenge? Try adding the single-leg pulse to your repertoire. This move will sculpt your backside, get your heart rate up and challenge different muscles than a regular lunge, says fitness expert Lacey Stone, who uses it on her Extreme Bootcamp app for iPhone and iPad.
4:00 PM EST, December 20, 2013
If you're looking for a move that will get your butt "tight and right," this is it, says fitness expert Lacey Stone, who uses it on her Extreme Bootcamp app for iPhone and iPad.
4:45 PM EST, December 13, 2013
After you've spent a long day hunched over a computer, the muscles in your neck and shoulders can feel like steel cables. Here's a great self-massage move using yoga therapy balls (or tennis balls) to rub away the tension. Called the trapezius tamer, this massage technique is demonstrated here by fitness instructor Jill Miller, who uses it in the Rx Series classes she developed for Equinox gyms.
5:30 PM EST, November 29, 2013
You'll feel like Superman after this press-and-pull exercise that works most of the major muscle groups in your body. Demonstrated here by Long Beach fitness instructor John Garey who uses it in his "Core Total Body Tone With Tubing" DVD, it's a great get-it-all-done move to use on days when you're short on time.
3:15 PM EST, November 15, 2013
Take your leg stretches to the next level with these moves demonstrated by orthopedist and fitness trainer Levi Harrison, developer of the Art of Fitness Cardio Core Workout. These two moves provide a 360-degree stretch of the leg muscles after a long workout.
5:00 PM EST, November 8, 2013
Windmills are a great love-handle leveler, and when done with a kettle bell, they are especially powerful. Demonstrated here by David Schenk, co-founder of Cross Train LA in Hollywood, the move is a terrific alternative to traditional core exercises.
November 2, 2013
You're familiar with the push-up, but how about the push-away? It's an unexpectedly effective way to work your core and shoulders and get your heart rate up, says fitness expert Lacey Stone, who uses it in her Extreme Bootcamp app for iPhone and iPad.
October 26, 2013
If you have knee pain, we've got a remedy for you. Called the kneady ball, this therapy ball (or tennis ball) massage developed by Jill Miller for the Rx Series class at Equinox gyms eases stiffness and soreness, allowing you to move like your old self again.
6:00 PM EDT, September 20, 2013
The burpee exercise done with a medicine ball is a wonder in efficiency, working several muscle groups at once, while raising your heart rate to burn fat, says Dr. Levi Harrison, orthopedic surgeon and developer of the Art of Fitness Cardio Core Workout.
6:49 PM EDT, September 6, 2013
Put that exercise tubing to work with the lawn mower, a version of the classic bent-over row.
4:00 PM EDT, August 30, 2013
This fluid kettle bell combination will work your entire body. It requires that you master two old-school weightlifting movements, the clean and the jerk.
3:05 PM EDT, August 16, 2013
When your child is feeling scared or angry and appears headed for a meltdown, try this yoga pose to calm the child, so he or she is ready to shake it off and hug it out.
5:30 PM EDT, August 2, 2013
This standing abdominal exercise is a lot more fun than a crunch, and it manages to hit several other major muscle groups at the same time.
5:40 PM EDT, July 19, 2013
It's not only adults who need to release stress and tension. Kids need to stretch their muscles and regroup too, after they've been sitting and focusing for a long time. Cat Wisdom helps to head off a bad case of the crankies, so kids can finish their day in a relaxed fashion, says yoga educator Leah Kalish of Move With Me Action Adventures.
July 13, 2013
Inner thighs are a problem area for a lot of women. This move can help tone that harder-to-work area while giving your abs a workout at the same time. You'll definitely feel it the next day, says Pop Pilates founder Cassey Ho, who uses it in on her Blogilates YouTube channel.
July 6, 2013
This medicine ball move will take that plank to the next level, giving your shoulders and legs more of a challenge. Fitness instructor John Garey, who uses it at his namesake Long Beach studio and on his "Core Power & Stamina" DVD, demonstrates it here.
June 15, 2013
When you need your child to calm down and focus before school or for that big test, Monkey Wisdom can help. This exercise is a great warm-up for reading and writing, says Leah Kalish, founder of Move With Me Action Adventures, which specializes in yoga and movement education for kids.
June 8, 2013
If you want to tap into the heart rate revving, muscle-building power of kettle bell workouts, the single-arm kettle bell swing is the best place to start.
June 1, 2013
Hip twists are a great toning exercise to define your waist and strengthen your core. They're also a nice change of pace from those twisting crunches.
May 11, 2013
Here's a new way to use that medicine ball and challenge your muscles all the way from calves to shoulders.
May 4, 2013
Do you want rocking abs this spring? Try this popular CrossFit move to strengthen your entire core.
April 13, 2013
If you want your legs to look good from all angles, try this challenging lower-body sculptor.
April 6, 2013
If you're dealing with tired, sluggish kids who aren't able to listen or pay attention, try this quick mind-body trick.
March 30, 2013
If you're not a fan of traditional straight-leg push-ups, here's a new twist on them that still provides the same killer workout for arms, but also works the neglected lower back.
March 9, 2013
If you don't want your upper arms waving long after you've said goodbye, you'll need to work on your triceps.
March 2, 2013
Sometimes you just don't know how much tension you're holding until you take a good stretch. This quick upper-body loosener, demonstrated by fitness expert Jennifer Kries, from her "Hot Body Cool Mind" DVD series, is sweet relief in the middle or at the end of the workday.
February 23, 2013
The humming breath is a great way for children to calm and soothe themselves. It's sort of like a virtual hug, giving you that "everything is going to be OK" feeling, says Leah Kalish, founder of Move With Me Action Adventures, which trains teachers in movement education.
February 16, 2013
You don't need weights to get a challenging leg workout. The prone hamstring curl, demonstrated here by celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak and featured on his "Harley's Hollywood Workout" video game, can bring the burn without them.
February 9, 2013
Think of the scorpion reach as one of your favorite hip-opening yoga moves on steroids. It's challenging, but it leaves you feeling strong and limber and ready for anything.
January 26, 2013
If lower back pain, sciatica or stiffness is slowing you down, steal this move from yin yoga, a gentle style of practice known for its longer-held stretches.
January 19, 2013
You may think you're a man or woman of steel, but without a strong back, those rippling abs don't mean a thing.
January 12, 2013
Have you ever seen a yogi with a paunch? Yeah, I thought not. Yoga moves, like these yogi crunches — a variation of the popular boat pose — challenge the core muscles, giving practitioners flat abs and a supported back.
January 5, 2013
For a stronger body and greater mobility, steal this old-school exercise from wrestlers. Called the half Turkish get-up, it's a total body workout all in one move, says Amy Dixon, celebrity personal trainer and head of group fitness at Equinox Santa Monica, who uses it in her "Give Me 10: Core Cuts" DVD. All you need is one hand weight. Women should use a dumbbell or kettle bell that's 5 to 10 pounds; men can use up to a 15-pound weight.
December 29, 2012
Cardio doesn't have to be deadly dull and serious. In this fun animal-inspired exercise, you'll get your heart rate up, build muscle and you might even crack a smile.
December 15, 2012
This tried-and-true warm-up exercise for dancers is a total body strengthener and provides good cross-training for runners with tight hamstrings.
December 8, 2012
Most people pay more attention to the muscles on the front of the body than the ones on the back, leaving them hunched and their shoulders prone to injury.
December 1, 2012
You might not think of the crab as nature's most graceful creature, but if you mimic its stance when you stretch, you'll open up the tight muscles of your front body and give your backside a workout at the same time.
November 17, 2012
If time is short and you want to start burning calories quickly, try the up and over. This uncomplicated cardio drill helps you work on your balance and turn a strength workout into a sweaty cardio circuit. Amy Dixon, personal trainer and head of group fitness at Equinox Santa Monica, uses it on her "Breathless Body, Vol. 2: The Edge" DVD and demonstrates it here.
November 3, 2012
After a long hard day hunched over the computer, a good shoulder-opening stretch can help melt away muscle tension and create more space for your lungs to breathe deeply, thereby creating a more relaxed you.
October 27, 2012
Sitting in front of a computer all day can take a toll on the back. This flowing sequence, demonstrated by fitness expert Jennifer Kries, who uses it on her "Hot Body Cool Mind" DVD series, helps to restore the mobility and ease to your spine using some of the same stretches your pets use. Do it in the middle of the afternoon when you need to release stiffness and get energized.
October 20, 2012
You want your legs to look great from all angles? Why aren't you doing a lunge that works your thighs all the way around?
October 13, 2012
A stability ball is a powerful ally in your quest for flatter abdominals and a cinched waist. Not only can it make that plank or crunch more challenging, it also ups the ante on standing abdominal work such as the Russian twist, demonstrated here by celebrity trainer and group fitness instructor Amy Dixon, who uses the move on her "Give Me 10 Core Cuts" DVD.
October 6, 2012
Are you having trouble starting your engine in the morning? This move, called the tabletop lever and derived from the Five Tibetans, a series of exercises used by monks or lamas for more than 2,500 years, helps to energize and strengthen your entire body in about the same time it takes to pour a cup of coffee.
September 29, 2012
Yogis know that breathing is more than a necessity, it's a luxury, especially in times of stress. Just five minutes of deep breathing can calm your mind and diminish the stress-related cortisol hormone coursing through your body.
September 22, 2012
Whittle your waist with this move, which uses the arms and legs as levers to up the abdominal burn and strengthen your back. Amy Dixon, personal trainer and head of group fitness at Equinox Santa Monica, uses the wood chop with leg swing in her "Give Me 10: Core Cuts" DVD. It's a nice change of pace from the traditional bicycle crunch.
September 15, 2012
Too many athletes ignore yoga, thinking it's solely about flexibility and relaxation. This move, the warrior three squat, proves it's also a powerful tool for building strength. It's also a good move for travelers to remember, so they can stay fit on the road using just their body weight.
September 8, 2012
This move, with the genteel name of the curtsy side lift, is no lightweight. It works the major muscle groups of the lower body with a blend of dance and fitness. It comes from Pasadena-based Tracey Mallett, the founder of Booty Barre, a technique that combines elements of dance, yoga and Pilates to strengthen and stretch the body. Ballet-inspired barre workouts became popular because the exercises increase flexibility and tone the muscles without adding bulk.
September 1, 2012
Take your weight routine to the next level with this high-intensity cardio drill. The Russian dance is a favorite of personal trainer and group fitness instructor Amy Dixon, who uses it on her latest high-intensity interval training video, "Breathless Body Volume 2: The Edge." Sandwich this drill between weight-bearing exercises to create a circuit that packs in a cardio and strength workout at the same time.
August 25, 2012
Many exercises require balance, and Michael "Frosti" Zernow, a Parkour athlete and instructor, focuses on that skill in this rail balancing move. Parkour is made up of many skills, each of which contributes to the ability to "fly" through the air.
12:59 PM EDT, August 17, 2012
Looking for a total body exercise that stretches and strengthens? Try the down dog push-up. Demonstrated by Tamal Dodge, co-founder of Santa Monica's Yoga Collective and the yogi behind Element's Hatha & Flow Yoga for Beginners DVD, this move tones your upper and lower body, while loosening up your hips and hamstrings.
August 11, 2012
The exercise is called a triceps kick, but it will give a workout to several other parts of the body too. It's demonstrated by Pasadena-based fitness expert, video host and teacher Tracey Mallett (www.traceymallett.com). She is the founder of Booty Barre, a technique that combines elements of dance, yoga and Pilates to strengthen and stretch the body. As you do the exercise, make sure that the spine, neck and head are aligned and that the movements are slow and deliberate.
August 4, 2012
If you want to tone and tighten your midsection — all the way around, from front to back — this exercise is for you. Demonstrated by personal trainer and fitness instructor Amy Dixon, who uses it on her "Give Me 10: Core Cuts" DVD, the kneeling lat pull lean-back accomplishes a lot at once. So, dust off that stability ball, get your mat and head down to the floor.
July 28, 2012
Trainer Jackie Warner says she loves the exercise called sprawls because it is based on mixed martial arts practices. It focuses on the upper body and is very challenging, says Warner, whose latest book is "10 Pounds in 10 Days."
July 21, 2012
Parkour is a form of fitness that's made up of many skills, all of which combine to enable the practitioner to seem to fly through the air the way Michael "Frosti" Zernow can. Here he demonstrates the wall climb or top-out move.
July 14, 2012
Pasadena-based fitness expert, video host and teacher Tracey Mallett (www.traceymallett.com) has a two-part exercise that works lower-body muscles and then the muscles of the upper back. It's good for posture, which often gets compromised on long days sitting at a desk.
July 7, 2012
Yoga is a great way for athletes of any stripe to build lean muscle and improve their balance. No knowledge of Sanskrit is necessary.
June 30, 2012
Michael "Frosti" Zernow might like life's obstacles more than most of us.
June 23, 2012
Women come to Jackie Warner all the time and ask, "How do I get toned arms?" Warner, the author of the book "10 Pounds in 10 Days" and a fitness expert, has an answer: the bench tricep dip.
June 16, 2012
Everyone covets defined abs, and the frog pelvic tilt will help you get there.
June 9, 2012
This exercise is called a drop-knee, and it is based on mixed martial arts, or MMA, movements. It comes from trainer Jackie Warner, author of the recent book "10 Pounds in 10 Days." It's a very challenging move because it requires that you let your back drop. Warner says to always concentrate on form and breathe through the movements.
June 2, 2012
Feeling strong? How about trying some animal push-ups? This is an exercise in which the sand helps absorb the impact of your movements, but it's also one that requires strength and determination. Animal push-ups take the traditional and go further, demonstrated by celebrity personal trainer Mike Donavanik (www.mikedfitness.com). This is a plyometric exercise: one that develops power using quick, explosive movements.
May 26, 2012
Take a look at the most popular endurance sport drinks and you'll notice a surprising similarity in ingredients.
May 19, 2012
Good form makes for a better workout, and that's one of the keys to ballet-inspired barre workouts. These exercises also increase flexibility and tone the muscles without adding bulk. Pasadena-based fitness expert, video host and teacher Tracey Mallett (www.traceymallett.com) is the founder of Booty Barre, a technique that combines elements of dance, yoga and Pilates to strengthen and stretch the body. No prior experience in any of those disciplines is necessary. Make sure the spine, neck and head are aligned and the movements are slow and deliberate.
May 12, 2012
Taking a stroll? Here's a move that makes a walk in the park, well, less of a walk in a park. Jackie Warner (www.jackiewarner.com), star of Bravo's fitness reality show "Work Out" and author of the new book "10 Pounds in 10 Days," demonstrates step-ups that you can do on a bench.
May 5, 2012
Don't forget to bring water to your workout, and not just to quench your thirst. Two water bottles are handy for this simple drill, demonstrated below by celebrity personal trainer Mike Donavanik (www.mikedfitness.com).
April 28, 2012
You don't need to get up en pointe to take a ballet approach to getting fit. Ballet-inspired barre workouts are super-popular now — they increase flexibility and tone muscles without adding bulk.
April 21, 2012
Jumping and landing properly is a basic parkour skill, "the first thing I would teach anybody," Michael Zernow says. You'll work your core as well as your legs, calves and feet.
April 14, 2012
You don't need a gym or pricey fitness machines to get a great workout. Jackie Warner, star of Bravo's fitness reality show "Work Out," demonstrates a close-to-wide squat. You need a flat surface and a way to demark a circle.
April 7, 2012
Still got a skateboard buried somewhere in a corner of the garage? Celebrity personal trainer Mike Donavanik suggests you drag it out and repurpose it for this simple and effective fitness move, the skateboard pike.
March 24, 2012
You don't need to don a tutu to try a ballet-inspired barre workout. These drills are super-popular now and for good reason: They increase flexibility and tone muscles without adding bulk.
March 17, 2012
Most of us traverse the environment by walking. Not Michael "Frosti" Zernow — he prefers to vault, flip and catapult his way from A to B.
March 10, 2012
Sick of the sweaty, fluorescent-lit, loud-music gym scene? Don't want to cough up dough for memberships you'll never be able to cancel short of divine intervention? Try getting fit at the park. Or the beach.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times