Rest 2 minutes
The Sun Salutation, also known as Surya Namaskar, is a flowing series of 12 poses which help improve strength and flexibility of the muscles and spinal column. This pose also warms up the body, stretching and toning the muscles in the entire body.
But that’s not all. Mounting medical evidence supports yoga’s mind-body healing powers. Yoga could very well be the ultimate de-stress technique. It increases your brains GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) levels, it’s nature’s anti-anxiety agent – improving mood and decreases anxiety. It also improves the digestive, respiratory, and circulatory system. It lowers blood pressure and heart rate, decreases stress hormones, and increases relaxation hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. All of which helps in maintaining good health by ensuring a disease-free body. Here’s a breakdown of the benefits…
Breakdown of the Poses
The standing poses ground you to the earth, build body awareness and help you find your center. Forward bend and halfway lift elongate your spine, stretch your hamstrings and cleanse your digestive system. Plank and four-limb staff poses engage the muscles in your arms, shoulders, chest and abdomen. Upward-facing dog stretches your upper body as it opens your chest and frees your breathing. Downward-facing dog works muscles in your entire body and calms your nervous system.
It is recommended, like most asanas, to be performed on an empty stomach. Therefore, it is generally practiced in the morning before breakfast. I do the Sun Salutation every morning when I wake up. It gets my body ready for the day ahead.
Here It Is…
Begin by standing in Mountain pose, feet about hip width apart, hands either by your sides or in prayer position. Take several deep breaths.
2. Hands up
On your next inhale, in one sweeping movement, raise your arms up overhead and gently arch back as far as feels comfortable and safe.
3. Head to knees
As you exhale, bend forward, bending the knees if necessary, and bring your hands to rest beside your feet.
Inhale and step the right leg back
Retaining the breath, step the left leg back into plank position.
Exhale and lower yourself as if coming down from a pushup. Only your hands, knees and toes should touch the floor.
7. Upward Dog
Inhale and stretch forward and up, bending at the waist. Use your arms to lift your torso, but only bend back as far as feels comfortable and safe. Lift your legs up so that only the tops of your feet and your hands touch the floor. It’s okay to keep your arms bent at the elbow.
8. Downward dog
Exhale, lift from the hips and push back and up.
Inhale and step the right foot forward.
10. Head to knees
Exhale, bring the left foot forward and step into head-to-knee position.
11. Hands up
Inhale and rise slowly while keeping arms extended.
Exhale, and in a slow, sweeping motion, lower your arms to the sides. End by bringing your hands up into prayer position. Repeat the sequence, stepping with the left leg.
Do the Sun Salutation 3 to 10 times every morning. It only takes a few minutes.
If practiced regularly, can work wonders for every part of the body – from head to toe!
Two suspension trainers… the best way!
- Feet set at high elevation, can use a bench, a box (used for box jumps), or two suspension trainers. High enough so your butt does not touch the floor when your hips are bent.
- Grab handles and place heels in suspension trainer, on bench, or box.
- Arms are straight and hips bent as much as possible. Upper body is in a pull-up position. Palms facing away from you.
- Hips bent, legs straight.
- Brace core.
- Begin to do a pull-up, immediately start to straighten body by activating the glutes.
- Continue pulling up as body straightens.
- As you pull up rotate your hands evenly, so at the end of the pull palms face each other.
- End position is when body is straight.
- Pause, then lower yourself back to starting position.
- Movement is performed in one fluid motion, do not straighten body, then row.
- Maintain core activation throughout movement.
- Initiate the movement with your shoulder blades, not your arms.
- Squeeze shoulder blades together throughout the pull.
- Perform each rep so that your hands touches your chest, if using a bar, chest touches the bar.
- Height of handles should be about 12″ to 18″ above feet. You may need to play with the height to see what works for you.
PREP 10 mins
COOK 30 mins
READY IN 40 mins
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 (1 inch thick) pork chops
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Cook chops in butter, turning once to brown evenly.
- Pour in wine, and season with salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until chops are tender. Transfer pork chops to serving plates, and spoon sauce over the meat.
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 17g
Saturated Fat 9g
Trans Fat 0g
Total Carbohydrate 1g
Dietary Fiber 0g
“BIG FIVE 55″
Descending from 10 to 1 reps and is for time. So round 1 is 10 reps,
round 2 is 9, round 3 is 8 and so forth down to 1 rep in round 10.
Total of 55 reps per movement.
1. Front Squat (95/65)
3. Decline Pushups (feet aprox 1′ higher than your hands)
4. Power Cleans (135/95)
5. Knees to elbows
When most people see someone back squatting with 300 pounds compared to a single-leg squat, they assume the back squat is a more effective exercise because you can move a heavier load. But when that same person tries to do a single leg bodyweight squat, he can’t. By choosing the unilateral option, as in a squat with one leg, you create a greater stimulus to the working muscles that you don’t use when performing a two leg squat, the gluteus medius, the adductors, and the quadratus lumborum. Which results in you burning more calories during your training.
Single-leg exercises also cause less spinal compression, because less loading is utilized with unilateral movements; thus, making them safer on your spine. Also, when your legs are split, a more upright torso can be maintained, therefore decreasing stress in the lower back.
There is a flipside to this, although the spine may be exposed to a reduced stress, the knees and hip flexors can suffer far more. So be mindful, don’t push the lbs too soon. A good rule of thumb is this: if a particular exercise decreases stress in an area of the body that is involved in that movement pattern, then another joint involved may receive an even greater amount of stress.
The Best Unilateral Lower Body Exercises:
- Single-leg RDL
- Reverse lunge
- Split squat
- Single-leg back squat
- Single-leg front squat
- Bulgarian split squat
- Slider or suspension trainer leg curls
- Step up
- Rear foot elevated deadlift
- Single-leg deadlift
- Lower Back
- Begin with a loaded barbell on the floor. The bar should be close to or touching the shins, and a shoulder width or a wide grip should be taken on the bar.
- Feet should be directly below the hips, with the feet turned out as needed. Lower the hips, with the chest up and the head looking forward.
- Shoulders should be just in front of the bar.
- Back flat and chest up.
- Brace core.
- In one explosive movement, begin the pull by driving through the heels, extending your hips and knees.
- As the bar approaches the mid-thigh, shrug the shoulders and allow the elbows to flex to the side.
- Continue raising the bar to the overhead position, receiving the bar locked out overhead.
- Lower the weight back to the starting position.
- The bar should be close to the body.
- Your back should stay flat, and your arms should remain straight.
- As you pull the weight upward, you should feel as if you’re jumping.