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The Forgotten Muscle Groups That Kettlebell Training Works

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In the last few years, the ‘gym bro’ has become an anachronism. Old ideas about strength training are falling by the wayside and more and more, we are experimenting with alternative techniques that ultimately present greater benefits in and out of the gym.

So what is a gym bro? What are these old approaches that have fallen out of favour?

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The Problem With Old Fashioned Training Ideas

Chief among the ideas that are moving aside is the focus on the ‘mirror muscles’. Your typical gym rat in the 00’s was obsessed with the idea of building bigger biceps, bigger pecs and toned abs and had little regard for smaller supportive muscles that helped to develop true ‘functional strength’ that translated to actual performance improvements and better health. If you train only some muscles at the expense of others, then you will develop an uneven physique that places uneven pressure on your body and ultimately leads to injury.

This is why multi-joint exercises and exercises that force you to move your body through a more dynamic range of motion are now preferred by physical therapists and personal trainers.

And the kettlebell is the perfect example of more adaptive training methodology…

Why Kettlebell Training is the Solution

When you train with a kettlebell, you are using a weight that is unevenly distributed. That is to say that the center of gravity can move as you move the weight, thereby altering the angle of the resistance and adding new elements like balance and resistance.

This forces you to brace your body and balance yourself in ways you wouldn’t have to with something like a bicep curl and that is what allows you to bring in the involvement of your smaller supporting muscles found throughout your body.

So what supporting muscles are you training in particular?

Here are some examples:

Obliques

The obliques are the muscles that run down either side of the abs and are used for bending from side to side and also twisting the torso (applying toque). They are very useful for a range of different movements and are great for aesthetics too – actually making the abs look considerably more impressive.

Serratus Muscles

These muscles are found on the sides of the pecs and are used for extending the arm forward when straight. Again, they can create a more ripped physique and actually provide considerable extra force when engaging in pushing movements.

Forearms

One of the most important muscle groups trained by the kettlebell swing and other movements is the forearms. These include your forearm flexors and extensors which allow you to grip and release things. By improving your grip, you gain a firmer hold on any weight or tool you’re training with and thereby greatly improve your performance.

Erector Spinae

These are two muscles trained by the deadlift as well as many other movements. Their job is to help you stand up straight and keep the spine erect. They can help to combat back problems as well as giving you considerably more lifting power!

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More Items That Work Like Kettlebells

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Looking to get into incredible shape and improve your functional strength? Then there are actually few things that will be more effective than a kettlebell workout. There are many reasons for this but the biggest factor is that a kettlebell workout involves training with multiple different angles and multiple different speeds.

The weight is constantly swinging around and constantly changing position and your body needs to constantly adapt to those changes in order to train. This works the smaller supporting muscles that other workouts just can’t hit and the result is more functional power and a better physique.

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But the kettlebell isn’t the only tool you can use to do this. If you’re looking to get a truly functional workout, then actually there are several things you can deploy to get the job done. Here are some great examples…

Indian Club Training

The Indian club is a tool that looks like a weapon, a set of skittles or perhaps juggling pins. Essentially, you hold them at one end and then swing and move them around in your hands.

The reason this works so well, is that, as with training with a kettlebell, you are holding a handle that is removed from the weight itself. This then means the angle of the resistance will change as you build up momentum and it means that you can train muscles that might otherwise be hard to reach.

Hammer Training

Another great way to train your body is to use a simple sledge hammer! Just take the hammer and hit something like a car tire. This will use all the torque motion in your body and also require a lot of cardio endurance as well as the basic strength.

Moving Bricks

Take a pile of bricks and then simply move them to a new pile. This involves twisting, picking up each brick and then turning to the side to drop it behind you. Again, you’re training your obliques through the twisting and torque motion but you’re also using your grip and biceps to lift the bricks.

Climbing

When it comes to using your body functionally and as you’re supposed to, there are few things better than rock climbing. Rock climbing allows you to train your grip as you hang onto the walls, your lats, your biceps, your legs and more. What’s more, is that the high stakes and psychological challenge ensure that you are highly engaged with what you are doing and that you are thus more likely to be mindful of your training and more likely to engage more of your body and mind in what you are doing.

Swimming

Swimming is another surprisingly powerful form of functional training that utilizes your entire body moving in synchronous motion. The great thing about swimming is that it allows you to build more strength, more size and more cardio endurance – but also that it allows you to improve your muscle control, muscle fiber recruitment and functional range of movement.

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How to Use Hand Balancing to Build Incredible Strength and Control

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What is missing from your current training program? Probably just about everything. When you work out normally, the problem is that you are repeating a simple range of motion to build up microtears and metabolites. This is what stimulates growth and if all you’re interested in is developing muscle size and aesthetics, then that is the perfect way for you to train.

But if you’re interested in improving your actual strength and power. If you’re interested in becoming faster and more agile. If you want to be healthier then there’s a lot missing.

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And what’s more, is that this type of training is incredibly boring. Is it any surprise that we struggle to stick at this kind of training when it’s so repetitive and so mundane?

The good news is that the fitness community is starting to wake up to this reality and demonstrate some solutions. One such solution is to use kettlebells. Another is to use hand balancing…

What is Hand Balancing?

Hand balancing is the forgotten art of… well… balancing on your hands. Simply put, this involves performing movements like hand stands, like planche and like v-sits. The beauty is in the way you transition between these movements and the various different variations you can eventually pull off to demonstrate not only muscle power but also muscle control, balance and precision.

Those who become truly adept at this kind of training will eventually learn to do things like clapping handstand press ups, planche on just two fingers and all kinds of other fantastic feats.

This can also be combined with bar work, as demonstrated by a lot of ‘street workouts’ found on YouTube (look up ‘Bar Starz’ or ‘Bartendaz’). This then incorporates more pulling movements like muscle ups, like one armed pull ups and like levers.

Why It’s Amazing and How to Get Started

So what is so good about this form of training? Well, for starters, this type of training encourages you to be much more present psychologically and to really stay focussed on what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. To perform well at this, you need to concentrate hard and this strengthens the ‘mind muscle connection’.

At the same time, like kettlebell training, this form of training forces you to use smaller supporting muscles in order to hold your body at different and less expected angles.

Finally, this kind of training is fun and highly rewarding. Not only do you get a huge amount of reward out of being able to pull off these movements but you also find there is inherent reward in being so engaged with the movements themselves.

So how do you get started?

Actually, it’s very easy. All you really need to get started with type of training is a set of push up stands that will make hand balancing easier for beginners. A pull up bar is also a great tool. As you become more confident and skilful, you can then progress to training with things like parallel bars (cheap and easy to comeby), gymnastic rings and more advanced tools.

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How a Senior Workout Will Improve Your Health and Well-Being

Regular exercise is a vital part of healthy living as a senior. It not only helps keep muscles in good condition, exercise also strengthens the body. Working out is also a fun way to meet new people, and a terrific method of weight loss.

Just like workouts designed for younger generations, senior workouts are beneficial to both the mind and the body.

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Senior workouts can be simple. There is no need for complex and difficult movements. There are some workout programs designed specifically for seniors, with slow-paced exercises that gently increase the heart rate and strengthen muscles gradually. Building and strengthening muscles makes the body stronger, and a strong body is the best protection against injuries from slips and falls.

There are a wide range of workout programs available for seniors. Most gyms and fitness centers offer senior exercise programs, as well as many senior centers. Home gym equipment can also be used, or one of the many exercise videos on the market. Some of the best exercises for seniors can be performed at home or at the park with no gym membership and little equipment.

Yoga and aerobics programs are excellent for seniors. These programs are offered at many gyms and fitness centers and are often designed just for seniors. There are also a number of videos available with senior yoga and aerobics workouts. Yoga is a great workout for stretching and extending the body, and is extremely relaxing as well. An aerobic workout, on the other hand, increases the heart rate and strengthens various muscles throughout the body.

Strength training workouts for seniors are equally beneficial and usually only require two to three days of working out each week. These workouts build and strengthen muscles, reducing the chance of injury from a fall, and improve balance. Some strength training programs focus on the entire body, while others target a specific set of muscles, like the arms or legs.

Walking is a terrific senior workout that can be done anytime and anywhere with no special equipment. Walking is a great way to spend time outdoors, it is also a wonderful workout for the heart. Brisk walking is the best way to strengthen muscles and raise the heart rate. To preserve energy, seniors may want to alternate between fast-paced, brisk walking and an easier stroll. Walking workouts can even be used by seniors who may have trouble walking by only going short distances, using a walker if needed, and by taking lots of breaks.

Not all senior workout programs involve exercise mats and stretching. There are many fun and enjoyable ways to stay active. Swimming, golfing, and even dancing are all ways for seniors to stay fit. There are many ways to make senior workouts exciting. Planning group fitness activities is a great way for seniors to interact socially as well as exercise.

Before beginning any type of senior workout program, always consult with a doctor first. Safety should be the primary concern, so follow the doctor’s orders and adhere to any necessary precautions he may recommend.

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How to Use a Chair Like a Kettlebell

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What does the recent popularity of the kettlebell teach us about training? For many, this may seem like nothing more than an interesting new tool for us to work out with. In reality though, the kettlebell simply sheds a light on a different approach to working out. By using tools other than dumbbells, you are not in fact cheapening your workouts – you’re actually making them that much richer and more powerful.

The less ‘conventional’ the type of tool you train with, the more you are able to keep your body guessing and the more you are able to keep developing new muscle control, new awareness and new power. The kettlebell’s effectively lies not in the fact that it is a kettlebell but in the fact that it is an unusual shape and size and this forces us to adapt.

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So what else might you be able to use to train? Take a look around your home and you should find that practically anything can become a powerful training tool!

How to Turn Your Chair Into a Powerful Training Tool

Take a standard dining table chair for example. This has a shape and size that makes it quite unwieldy and very unbalanced – perfect for the type of training we’re interested in.

A simple way to use this, would be to grab the back of the chair at the top with two hands. Now, hold the chair over your head and proceed to press it. This is a simple shoulder press movement, with the added challenge of the awkward angle and weight that forces you to adapt.

Better yet, you can use this to perform something akin to a tricep extension mixed with a front raise and bicep curl. In this same starting position – legs pointing toward the ceiling and hands gripped onto the top of the backrest, allow the chair to drop down behind your back so that your arms are bent over your shoulders. Now extend using your triceps, so that the chair is back to the starting position. Then lower your elbows and extend your arms, so that they are pointing out straight in front of you.

To bring the chair back, curl it using your biceps and then pull your elbows up so that they are pointing to the ceiling and the chair is behind your back.

This is a highly complex movement that will train the shoulders, the triceps, the lats, the biceps and more, all while requiring forearm strength, balance and control in order to keep the weight steady.

And of course that’s just one potential move. How about swinging the chair around your head in a ‘halo’ motion?
And the chair is just one example. The point we’re making here is that any item in your home can be used for training. And actually, the more unconventional and awkward it looks, the better it’s going to be for your training goals!

Get creative and think outside the box. Your gains will thank you!

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Physical Yoga Practice for Active Seniors

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An active lifestyle is one of the keys to a long life. In our elder years, it is important to keep moving in order to enjoy the wonderful essence of life. Yoga is a fantastic activity for seniors, as it is low impact, promotes overall wellness, and can be modified to suit the mobility of any practitioner.

If you have been practicing Yoga for many years, you will see your youth extended, and your ability to practice is mildly affected as you age. Even if you are well into your senior years, and have never stepped foot on Yoga mat, it is never too late to start a healthy habit (though it is important to follow your body’s own pace).

active

Yoga is especially beneficial for seniors because it caters to many of their special health needs. In some cases, Yoga is useful because it helps ease the pains caused by arthritis and limited mobility. It improves balance and stability, reducing the chance of falls.

When practiced regularly, Yoga also is known to lower blood pressure. Yoga classes, geared toward seniors, can also help them establish a sense of community with one another and adopt a better outlook on life.

If a senior is a beginner to Yoga, it is best to start off slow, and go at his or her own pace. There is no need to try to push the body to do something that it has not been trained to do before. Applying force in Yoga can cause problems, regardless of a student’s age. It is always wise to move through the poses slowly and gently. Adjust the intensity, and time, held in a pose, to meet the body’s unique demands. Some of the best poses for seniors to try are relaxing, restorative, and gentle stretching postures. The corpse pose (Savasana) is great because it promotes relaxation and healthy blood flow.

Table, Cat, and Cow poses connect one’s breathing to body movements and can be very beneficial to seniors, as well. Pose of a Child is another relaxing posture, which is good for everyone. If mobility is a big issue, Chair Yoga might be the right style to choose. With Yoga practice, at a studio or senior center, students will bring their practice home.

This is time to try some gentle postures, flows, meditation, and breathing exercises (pranayama). Each of us has different expectations from Yoga practice, and seniors are no different. Senior Yoga students tend to have a deep appreciation for being pain free, keeping the mind active, energizing the body, and experiencing complete wellbeing.

With a little help from Yoga, and a positive state of mind, each of us can get the best quality life out of our golden years. Remember, it is never too late to create a healthy lifestyle, stimulate the mind, and tone a healthier body. Yoga practice for active seniors is “the icing on the cake.”

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How to Train Like an Old-Time Strongman

When setting out to get into a shape, a good starting point is to find role models. Who are your fitness heroes? Whose physique would you like to emulate? Whose training philosophy most closely resembles your own?

Get this right and you can find yourself with a blueprint to follow and ample amounts of inspiration and motivation. Get it wrong and you’re asking for disappointment and frustration.

fitness

An example of a ‘wrong’ fitness role model might often be found on YouTube. While there are some great personalities on YouTube in the fitness community, there are also some destructive forces that you must contend with. In particular are those who spout unhelpful training advice and use steroid-driven physiques in order to sell us on its merits.

They tell us we can look like them by training like them. What they leave out is the chemical assistance that helped them get there, or the crippling back pain that is the cost of developing all those ‘mirror muscles’ and approximately zero ‘functional strength’.

Why Old-Time Strongmen Are Great Fitness Heroes

So who might we choose to look up to instead? A good alternative might be one of the legendary ‘old time strongmen’. These are individuals who trained long before we had protein shakes – let alone steroids and yet they achieved physiques that are well beyond many of our modern YouTube stars!

What’s more, they could actually use that strength and would be able to do incredible things like bending iron bars and lifting huge amounts of weight. These strongmen trained using completely different tools and methods and the results more than speak for themselves.

So if you want muscle that’s not just for show and that has an amazing historical heritage, that is a much better way to train.

How to Train Like an Old Time Strongman

So with all that said, how do you go about training in such a manner? What tools and techniques did they use that you could replicate?

The first trick is to use functional tools that train your body from multiple angles and that require you to use supportive muscles and balance in conjunction with brute strength. These force us to use our bodies as intended: as a single unit, working in unison. This is how we are able to generate the most strength and actually use it in ways that are useful.

Some tools that you can use to train this way include kettlebells, Indian clubs, ropes and barbells with especially thick bars. Training with one handed movements is also a particularly useful exercise, as well using more unconventional lifts, like the Turkish get-up and ‘anyhow lift’.

Another tip is to make sure that you are training your grip. This is the secret weapon of any old-time strongman and anyone interested in building truly functional strength needs to give it serious consideration in order to ensure no energy is wasted and that all of it is directed at moving the wei
ghts.

Finally, combine this with a protein rich diet and if you want to go truly old-time: lots of raw eggs!

(Although maybe a little cooking to avoid a biotin deficiency… not everything was better back in the day!)

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Beginning Yoga Classes for Seniors

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Over millions of seniors, age 60 and older, are practicing yoga today across the globe, according to a study conducted by yoga journal. This is not a surprise indeed as this exercising system has several benefits attached to it for people of all age groups.

Yoga is reckoned as the non-competitive and gentle method of meditation and exercise that is suitable for all age groups, even seniors can enjoy the benefits offered by this exercising system.

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Features

The beginning yoga session for seniors is similar to the general beginning yoga for all. However, there are some differences in the classes offered to the seniors. The classes for seniors have modifications to postures that help the seniors to practice the postures easily and work within their physical abilities. The classes designed for seniors usually have less intense poses that focus on building strength in seniors. The classes for seniors comprise more time for warming up and additional time for mediation and breathing techniques are the prime focus on the classes for seniors.

Benefits

There are many benefits associated with this exercising system for seniors. This form of art can be practiced by anyone and at any level. The postures are modified for the seniors according to their health condition and physical ability. There are some postures that can improve flexibility in seniors and these special postures can be very helpful for seniors experiencing stiffness. There are many seniors who are suffering from depression and they find this exercising system quite helpful to alleviate the stress level and depression.

This exercising system is also very helpful for seniors who are suffering from the health conditions associated with aging including cholesterol levels, energy levels, blood pressure, bone weakness, blood sugar levels, and back pain. With regular practice of this exercising system seniors can also prevent diabetes, weight problems, strokes and heart diseases.

Types

According to Yoga Journal, there are some specific postures designed for senior practitioners and these postures focus on improving flexibility, strength and balance. Some of senior yoga classes also comprise backward and forward bends and twists. Corpse postures, Cross-legged Postures and Mountain Postures are the basic postures that are suggested to senior practitioners.

Warning

Although this exercising system is gentle in nature, but there are some postures that can be too intense for senior practitioners. So, it is always suggested to consult your doctor before starting any yoga program. The selection of postures must be done according to the body and physical condition. Some of the yoga studios make use of props to assist the senior practitioner in performing diverse postures. The studios make use of chair for seniors, instead of practicing on floor. So, you must enroll in yoga studio that specializes in offering yoga classes for seniors.

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Gentle Stretching for Increased Flexibility (Senior Yoga)

Many senior citizens find that their mobility, flexibility and body strength has certain limitations. This can be due to injuries, the aging process, arthritis and other health conditions. There is also in some people a fear of falling and concern of the recovery involved in breaking a hip.

On the other side of things, many elderly people have more free time and wish to increase their blood circulation, range of motion and stay in shape. Women are advised by their physicians to exercise to help with bone density. Exercise is also advised for heart health and to maintain blood pressure levels.

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Fortunately, there are forms of yoga that help one stay active yet take into account some of the limitations that many people have. Senior yoga classes can include restorative yoga, gentle yoga and chair sessions. Breathing, relaxation, gentle stretching and body strengthening are part of the classes, but done much less vigorously than ashtanga or other types of classes. Of course, in any yoga class, one can modify the movements and do them in accord with one’s own circumstance.

It is important to not spend the days only in sedentary living but to continue some type of physical activity routine unless your doctor advises against it. Not only is this important physically, but mentally it is very encouraging and lifting to the spirit to be able to do some physical movements that might have seemed impossible. Senior yoga classes also are a social setting where friendships can be built and new interactions broadened.

Some people feel cautious of trying yoga because some of the postures or asanas can appear to be contorted or required developed balancing skills. Yoga for seniors classes are taught with modifications so that people with any degree of flexibility can join in. The teacher will discuss with students how to adapt poses for various conditions and situations so that you are comfortable and still challenge yourself.

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Building an Unconventional ‘Functional’ Home Gym

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In the last few years, the face of fitness has changed a great deal. We’ve seen a move away from very static, single-joint movements like the bicep curl and a move towards more adventurous and engaging forms of training. These include things like kettlebell training, TRX (suspension training), Indian club training, weighted stretching, squatting, deadlifting and more.

These types of exercises effectively allow us to use our body in the way it was intended: by using all of our muscles together rather than in an isolated fashion. The result is that we produce more growth hormone and testosterone (triggering greater muscle growth) and that we build a more stable and functional body.

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The problem is that this type of training often doesn’t extend to the home gym. It’s not easy to fit a squat rack in your front room… so what can you do?

Here are some items that will allow you to build an awesome, functional and unique home gym that might be a little different from the other gym bros…

Kettlebell

The first thing you need to make your home workouts more functional is a kettlebell. This will immediately challenge you more by providing a more dynamic workout and by moving the center of gravity in unpredictable ways.

What’s more, is that kettlebell training allows you to perform movements like squats, deadlifts and more that you couldn’t train on your own otherwise.

Parallel Bars

Here is a simple tool that everyone can use in order to train and that not enough people have in their home. Parallel bars usually cost about $40 and allow you to perform dips, hand stands, planche, inverted push ups, neutral grip pull ups and much more.
They’re fun, easy to store and build incredibly dynamic strength.

Gymnastic Rings

Gymnastic rings can be used for many of the same exercises as parallel bars. The big difference is that you have to balance them and hold them steady while you train. They cost a lot less than TRX and have the added bonus of letting you perform dips too, so they are far superior in that sense.

Indian Club

Indian Clubs are the lesser-known little brothers of kettlebells. These let you train with similarly unconventional shapes and another uneven center of gravity, this time using a tool that looks a fair bit like a bowling pin! Grab onto the end and swing, push, lunge and generally sword fight an invisible opponent. That’s a fun way to build strength!

Balance Board

If you want to make any movement more challenging, more functional and more interesting then simply perform it while standing on a balance board. This will force you to balance while also moving the weight, which is much more challenging for your entire body.

Rope

A rope can be used for all manner of exercises. One of the simplest ways to train with it is to hang it over a pull up bar and then perform neutral grip pull ups with it. This will build grip strength as well as allowing you to train your biceps and lats. Otherwise, you can perform rows or even wrap it around your weights and pick them up that way!

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Yoga and the Elderly

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Yoga is ideal for people of all ages, but particularly for seniors for a number of reasons. Because yoga is not a purely physical practice, there is flexibility to adapt one’s practice to meet one’s needs.  This is a significant factor why yoga has become so popular with seniors.

In short,  there IS a yoga practice available to you, no matter your age, nor your physical limitations. And with the boon in senior specific classes available,  there’s never been a better time for seniors to discover yoga.

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Low Impact

The first is that in most cases, yoga is low impact. Hatha, Kundalini and Vinyasa yoga are all good examples of low-impact yoga that can be done safely even by complete beginners.

Increased Strength and Flexibility

A second reason is how much yoga can improve strength, flexibility and stability. This means less risk of slips, trips and falls, which can cause bones to break and even be life-threatening due to complications such as blood clots in the legs and pneumonia from inactivity.

Being more mobile and flexible also means greater independence well into your senior years. After all, it’s not just about how long we live, but the quality of life we enjoy as well. Staying fit and active is one of the best ways to care for your health, especially if you are a caregiver for an older relative or partner, have grandchildren and so on.

A Mental Workout

Yoga is also great for mental fitness. It improves mood, focus and concentration, especially in relation to the types of yoga which include meditation as part of their routines. Two such types are Hatha, the origin of all yogas, and Kundalini yoga. Kundalini yoga was formed in the 5th century AD to work on the energy centers of the body, known as the chakras in traditional Indian medicine (Ayurvedic medicine).

Increased Mobility

One of the biggest health challenges for the elderly tends to be pain and stiffness, such as that of arthritis. If we feel pain when we work out, we avoid working out. However, the less we move, the stiffer we become and the more pain we suffer. So we work out even less, leading to a vicious cycle of pain, stiffness and lack of exercise that can leave many people house-bound or even chair-bound when they could be out making the most of their golden years.

Starting Safely

As with all forms of exercise, it is important to start safely and sensibly through slowly adding activity to your day and not trying to overdo things. For this reason, certain types of yoga such as Bikram and Ashtanga are not a good idea. Bikram, known as hot yoga, is not just physically demanding – it is also known as hot yoga because of the roasting conditions in the studio, with temperatures often reaching 100F or more. This can lead to dehydration and a severe strain for anyone who has heart health issues.

Ashtanga has seven levels, a basic one and six more of gradually increasing difficulty. The fact that few practitioners have ever reached the most advanced levels will give you an idea of how demanding this yoga can be.

Finding the Right Studio for You

If you live in a moderately large urban area, chances are you have more than one studio close by to choose from. Many will offer free introductory lessons so you can try the yoga and see the studio for yourself. Many studios also offer discounted lessons or unlimited classes as part of a reasonably priced monthly membership.

You will naturally wish to focus on the classes themselves and how much health benefit you think you will get from them. Other important considerations in relation to choosing the right studio for you will be the skills, qualifications and experience of the teacher’s. Some specialize in yoga for seniors.

Check out an introductory class near you and see what a difference it can make to your health.

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5 Hatha Yoga Poses That Can be Performed a Home

Hatha is comprised of many different asanas or poses as well as breathing techniques highly recommended for beginners doing yoga at home.

Here are 5 easy Hatha yoga poses you can learn:

Hatha

1. Lotus Pose

One of the easiest Hatha yoga poses, this pose teaches awareness, meditation and patience.

How to do it:

Start in a sitting position with your legs stretched out in front of you. Slowly bend your right leg and bring your foot close to your left groin. Then bend your left leg and slide it gently on top of the right. Keep the soles of your feet perpendicular to the floor. Bring your hands to prayer position in chest level, take several deep breaths then relax.

2. Plow Pose

This pose stretches and strengthens both your back and leg muscles. It’s a good pose to learn to help improve flexibility when doing yoga at home.

How to do it:

Start by lying on your back with your arms by your sides. Bend your knees slowly, bringing the soles of your feet close to your buttocks. Raise your heels towards the ceiling and with your arms and back pressed to the floor, lower your legs over your head as close to the floor as you can. Hold for 4-5 breaths before going back to the starting position.

3. Staff Pose

This Hatha yoga pose stretches the back of your legs, opens your chest and lengthens your spine.

How to do it:

Begin this pose in a sitting position, your legs stretched in front of you. Place your hands behind your hips with your fingers pointing away from you. With your back straight and your shoulders relaxed, slowly press your chest forward. Stretch your arms then pull your toes toward you. Hold this pose for 3-6 breaths.

4. Standing Forward Bend

Another easy pose to learn when doing yoga at home is the Standing Forward Bend. It helps stretch the legs, the hips and the spine while keeping the knees flexed. It is also known to help improve circulation.

How to do it:

Stand straight with your feet apart hip-width. Stretch your spine as you inhale then bend forward as you exhale. Place your hands under the front of each foot. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute then inhale before going back to the starting position.

5. Bridge Pose

The Bridge pose helps strengthen the back, buttocks, neck, spine and thighs. It is also another Hatha yoga pose that helps improve circulation.

How to do it:

Start by lying on your back with your arms at your sides and your knees bent. Move your heels as close to the buttocks as possible before slowly raising your hips upwards. Press your shoulder blades down and slightly lift your chin. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

When doing yoga at home, practice these easy Hatha yoga poses first before moving on to more complicated poses.