6 Yoga Moves You Need for A Stronger Back

There’s a long list of reasons you should include yoga in your fitness regimen. Not only is it a stress-reliever, but it’s also a surefire way to build strength, tone up, and increase flexibility and balance. Up the intensity (read: flow faster), and it can even count as a cardio. This workout from Jeanette Jenkins, celeb trainer of the Hollywood Trainer Club, incorporates twists, planks, and a vinyasa flow that helps tone your back—and legs and arms. (BTW, yoga can also ease back pain. Try these moves.) Ready to flow? Roll out your mat and get om-ing.

blast the back fat workout

How it works: Grab a yoga mat or find a soft surface to practice on (like sand). Complete the indicated number of reps for each move. For a demo of each pose, watch the video of Jeanette above.

Chair Pose with Arm Rotation

A. Squat into chair pose with feet together, arms overhead.
B. Keeping knees bent, circle arms backward and hinge torso forward to touch fingertips to ground.
C. Stand, reaching arms above head.

Do 8 reps.

Chair Pose with Twist

A. Squat with feet together, arms in prayer position.
B. Draw navel into spine and twist to bring right elbow outside left knee.

Hold for about 3 breaths on each side.

Alternating Side Plank

A. Start in high plank position.
B. Lift left hand and roll onto the outside of the right foot to shift into right side plank.
C. Return to high plank, then lift right hand and roll onto the outside of the left foot to shift in left side plank.
D. Return to start.

Do 8 reps.

Cat-Cow Stretch

A. Start on all fours in tabletop position with a neutral spine.
B. Exhale and draw belly button to spine while rounding back and drawing chin toward chest.
C. Inhale and arch back, lifting tailbone and crown of the head towards the sky.

Do 8 reps.

Bird-Dog Crunch

A. Start on all fours, right leg reaching straight behind you, left arm straight ahead.
B. Crunch left elbow to right knee.

Do 8 to 10 reps, then hold with opposite arm and leg extended for 8 to 10 breaths on each side.

Vinyasa: Plank, Chaturanga, Upward Dog to Downward Dog

A. Start in high plank position.
B. Lower body halfway to the ground, elbows tight by sides, engaging core to keep the body in a straight line (chaturanga).
C. Shift weight forward, flip onto tops of feet and straighten arms, lifting chest up and the crown of the head toward the sky. Knees should hover off the floor (upward dog).
D. Shift hips up and back, forming an upside-down “V” shape (downward dog).
E. Shift weight forward over hands to return to start.

6 Bosu Ball Exercises That Belong In Your Weekly Routine

The bosu ball may look a little odd, but this half-platform, half-exercise-ball hybrid is a great tool to switch up your typical routine. It basically takes some of your favorite moves — planks, burpees and lunges, for starters — and makes them that much more challenging by adding in a balance component and waking up your muscle stabilizers. Plus, it gives you a better range of motion, so you can try more challenging exercises as you become stronger.

To get you started, Hannah Davis, C.S.C.S., developed this beginner-friendly bosu ball workout. Not only does it give you a full-body blast, but you’ll be out the door in under 15 minutes. Here we go!

beginner bosu ball workout

How it works: Grab some space and perform these exercises in order for the recommended rep range. Do 2 to 3 rounds of these bosu ball exercises.

Burpee

A. Stand with feet at hip-width distance holding bosu (platform) flat side to chest. Hinge forward at hips; bring bosu down to the floor.

B. Jump back into plank position with shoulders over wrists, and perform a push-up.

C. Jump both feet back in, stand, and press bosu up overhead for 1 rep. Do 10 reps.

Note: To make this exercise easier, you can step back instead of jumping, and/or drop to your knees for a modified push-up.

Side-to-Side Hop

A. With the round side of the bosu facing up, place right foot on the center of the bosu, keeping left foot on the ground to the left of the ball.

B. Jump, and replace the right foot with the left foot, landing with your right foot to the right of the bosu ball for 1 rep.

C. Quickly repeat, jumping side-to-side for 20 reps.

Plank Up-Downs

A. Start in forearm plank on bosu ball, round side up. One hand at a time, push yourself up to a high plank position.

B. Return back down to forearm plank for 1 rep.

C. Do 15 reps, alternating your lead hand each time.

Front Lunge

A. Stand with feet together about a foot in front of the bosu, round side up. Lunge back with right foot landing in center of bosu.

B. Lower into lunge, bringing right knee close to ground. Lift back up for 1 rep. Do 10 reps per leg.

Note: To make this exercise more difficult, hold a dumbbell in each hand.

Plank Taps

A. Start in a high plank with both feet balancing on the center of the bosu, flat side up.

B. Engaging your core, lift your right foot up and tap it to the side of the bosu.

C. Return to start for 1 rep. Do 20 reps, alternating sides.

Single-Leg Bridge

A. Start on your back with right foot on the bosu, round side up. Your left leg should be extended straight up in the air.

B. Push through right heel to lift glutes into air. Lower back to start for 1 rep.

C. Do 10 reps on right side; repeat on opposte side.

Add a Healthy Kick to This Year’s Cinco de Mayo Margarita

In case you didn’t know, you can’t really celebrate Cinco de Mayo without indulging in a cold, refreshing margarita. Typically they’re tequila-based, but this recipe from GEM&BOLT uses mezcal to serve up a smoky twist on the classic. Made from 100-percent agave, GEM&BOLT’s mezcal is distilled with a super herb called damiana, which is used in lieu of triple sec (also found in a regular margarita). And since we’re all about getting health benefits on a buzz, we say don’t shy away from a pinch of turmeric. Adding the spice gives this drink an anti-inflammatory boost, as well as a spicy-sweet flavor. (Once you fall in love with this drink, you’ll want to add turmeric to anything and everything. Try these healthy recipes that contain the flavorful spice.)

Turmeric Margarita

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. GEM&BOLT Mezcal
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • .05 oz. orange juice
  • .05 oz. turmeric root juice
  • .05 oz. raw agave

Mermaid Lemonade Is About to Be Your Fave Summer Drink

For reasons that remain unclear, mythical creatures are all the rage right now. Maybe it all started with the rainbow makeup looks of the unicorn craze. Or perhaps it was the resurgence of Lisa Frank products that set us into a frenzy. Whatever it was, the trend has now spilled over to food and drinks, fueling the Instagram success of Starbuck’s Unicorn Frappuccino, along with its off-menu mermaid, narwhal, and dragon spin-offs.

But the coffee chain isn’t the only one whipping up delicious drinks. People are now making magical-looking sips right at home — and it’s about time you do, too. Introducing: Mermaid Lemonade. It’s a recipe from The Glowing Fridge, and the colorful concoction tastes just as delicious as it looks. Plus, it’s got a health booster hiding inside. That Caribbean-blue shade comes from spirulina powder, an algae filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. (It can even help tame allergies thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.) There’s also coconut vinegar, which has similar health benefits to apple cider vinegar. (PS: See what happened to one woman who tried an apple cider vinegar cleanse.)

So if you’re ready to infuse a little magic into your life, try this lemonade recipe. Just don’t be surprised if it becomes your go-to summer sip.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup, optional (or agave nectar)
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon spirulina powder
  • Handful of ice cubes

This Is the Yoga Flow to Practice When You Want a Stronger Core

Full levels of blissed-out zen isn’t the only thing you’re bound to experience after a hard AF yoga flow. You’ll also wake up your obliques, glutes, and hamstrings for a full-scale yoga burn that leaves you with that flexed-so-good feeling as soon as you step off the mat. Plus, you’ll fire up your abs for a stronger core — and there are plenty of reasons to do that, none of which include the usual “I want to look good in a bikini” response. (Though there’s nothing wrong with that, so long as you know how badass you look regardless.)

Moves like planks and warrior poses are major core strengtheners commonly found throughout yoga practices, and they boost your balance, breathing abilities, and strength. Plus, they help you strongly get through everyday movements, like walking up and down stairs or lifting boxes and suitcases overhead.  (Related: Vinyasa Yoga for a Stronger Core).

All of that provides more than enough reasons to try this yoga class, led by Grokker’s Julie Montagu. You can also check out Grokker’s site for Julie’s complete 21-day program to learn how feeding your body with nutrient-dense food — and strengthening it through stretching, breathing, lifting, and opening—can change your life.