Lazy Man's Workout?
Friday, December 26, 2008
From Elle magazine
TAKE IT LYING DOWN
For each exercise, aim for two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps each. On the final rep, hold position for 10 seconds. Depending on how many of each you do, you’ll need about an hour to complete the routine.
• Grab your knees and roll like a ball back and forth along your spine.
• Straighten your arms in front of you and lift legs and trunk to form a V, then lower.
• Holding legs at a 45-degree angle to the floor, do sit-ups rotating toward opposite knee.
• Extend arms straight, palms on floor. Raise legs perpendicular to floor. Lower without touching the ground. Repeat, but only drop legs halfway.
• Lift legs to a 90-degree angle, lower to one side, center, and rotate to opposite side.
• Raise arms and legs to meet directly above body. Lower without touching the floor.
• Bend knees at a 90-degree angle to floor. Lift chest straight up in three small steps to reach legs. Pulse chest up to either side.
• Flip onto stomach, and extend arms straight ahead into Superman pose. Raise all limbs as high as you can, then lower to floor.
• On all fours, raise one leg into an L, and extend arm on opposite side perpendicular to body. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch.
• Still on hands and knees, prop on forearms, raise bent knee and circle, changing directions after 20 reps. Switch sides.
• Extend into a push-up and lift one leg straight up, cross it down over the opposite leg, raise it again, and return to start, alternating legs.
• Lift one leg, then squeeze shoulder blades and release. Switch legs.
• Roll body to one side, balancing on hand. Stack feet and raise top leg, holding for 10 seconds, then rotate sides.
• Sit up, put one foot on the ground, and extend other leg. Trace an L in the air, then circle leg, changing directions after 20 reps. Switch.
• With legs and chest at 45-degree angles to the floor, write Social Security number with legs.
• Put hands and one foot on floor, and lift your bottom. Flex and extend elbows to raise and lower trunk, working triceps.
• Move up into a runner’s stretch, with one foot on the floor, knee bent 90 degrees, and opposite leg extended. Hold for 10 seconds, then place both hands inside of front foot, lift heel, and push slightly onto hind foot. Switch.
• End by lying across the floor, closing eyes, and meditating for five minutes.
Other excerpts from the article:
An independent clinical trial of 40 women commissioned by Nude skin care found that after three months of twice-daily application of its Smoothing Body Refiner lotion, all participants had shed weight—an average of 6.1 pounds—without dieting. (The control group lost nothing.) It sounds insane, I know. The company founders claim that fig and organic mountain ash help the body flush fat cells. I don’t know about that, seeing as countless doctors have told me that lipo is the only way to remove fatty tissue, but I slather on the Nude lotion like a woman possessed. Before, I’d never moisturized below my neck on a regular basis. (See? Lazy.) I don’t lose six pounds, but then again, I test it for only 30 days. However, my figure gets slimmer (but could it be my new floor plan?).
I also make a change at the office. In France, Contrex water bottles litter their desks the way coffee cups litter ours. That’s because the H2O, loaded with calcium, is rumored to accelerate weight loss. It’s not crazy talk: A study published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that the mineral speeds fat-burning in mice. I already swig three liters of water daily; swapping in Contrex is easy, though it does leave a weird broccoli-like aftertaste.
Then there are the FitFlops, brainchild of Bliss founder Marcia Kilgore, who designed the shoes with the help of biomechanics experts at London’s South Bank University Centre for Human Performance. FitFlops are reputed to deliver “a workout while you walk.” This is due to the differing density in their soles, which supposedly destabilize and strengthen leg muscles, the same principle as MBTs, those vaguely orthopedic sneakers. Unfortunately, FitFlops don’t come in my size (11), so I enlist a coworker to give them a spin. We agree on one commonality between these sandals and MBTs: Both are quite ugly. (There’s hope: Manhattan’s ultracool Kirna Zabête boutique is carrying an exclusive, and more attractive, Gladiator version.) But she reports FitFlops are comfortable and that she can tell they’re working her feet, as well as her tush.