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With bathing suit season right around the corner, now is the best time to amp up your fitness routine.
This yoga-cardio combo is a serious calorie scorcher and body strengthener. Plus, studies show that regular exercise helps release endorphins, the feel-good hormones.
What's more, the mix-and-match circuit designed by celebrity trainers Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp, creators of the "Exhale: Core Fusion Bootcamp" DVD is optimum for personal customization.
"Start your workout off with a calming flow series that instantly reduces stress and gets all of your large muscle groups moving," says DeVito. Then, move into some faster-paced exercises that will make you feel the burn -- in a good way!
Minutes: Zero to 10 1. Warm up with high knees
1. Warm up with high knees
Stand with feet hip-width apart, extend arms overhead. Keeping torso lifted, bring right knee to chest. Switch legs and repeat. Do 60 reps, alternating legs.
2. Perform yoga flow series
Move from one pose right into the following one. Remember to incorporate your breathing as a guide.
- Vertical Stretch: Stand with feet hip-width apart and reach arms straight overhead.
- Forward Fold: Bend forward from waist, touching head to knees and bringing palms toward the floor.
- High Plank: Walk hands forward until you're in starting push-up position, also called a plank (palms under shoulders, abs engaged, legs extended behind you). Hold for two deep, full breaths.
- Push-ups: Do 8 push-ups (on hands or knees)
- Downward Dog: Push back into Downward Dog, palms and feet extended on the floor, forming an inverted V with your body.
- Warrior 1: Step right leg forward, lunge into it, with left leg extended and left foot turned perpendicular. Lift arms overhead.
3. Repeat series doing Warrior 1 with left leg forward. Do eight times, alternating legs in Warrior 1 each time.
4. Perform series twice more, adding a chair pose after each Warrior 1.
- Chair Pose: Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms extended overhead, palms facing each other; bend knees, pushing butt behind you and hinging forward slightly from hips, until thighs are almost parallel to floor.
Minutes: 10 to 20
1. Mountain climbers
1. Mountain climbers. Start in high plank position, with palms under shoulders, legs extended, abs engaged. Quickly bring one knee in toward the chest. Alternate legs for 20 reps.
2. Lunge rhomboid row. Start in a right forward lunge, with right knee bent 90 degrees, left leg straight and arms out to sides at shoulder level, elbows easy or slightly bent and fists facing forward. Lift left knee to chest as you bring arms in toward chest, touching your hands together in front of you. Return to start. Do 16 reps. Switch legs and repeat.
3. 20 mountain climbers.
4. Lunge pull-down. Start in a right forward lunge, with right knee bent 90 degrees, left leg straight and arms overhead, hands in fists beside each other. Lift left knee to chest as you pull arms down and out to sides at shoulder level (like a goal post). Return to start. Do 16 reps. Switch legs and repeat.
5. 20 mountain climbers.
6. High-low lunge. Start in a right forward lunge, with right knee bent 90 degrees, left leg extended straight behind you, and elbows bent by sides. Bend left knee until it touches the floor and tap left fist on floor. Return to stand and punch left fist toward ceiling. Do 16 reps. Switch sides and repeat.
Minutes 20 to 30
1. Lunge pulse.
1. Lunge pulse.Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, elbows bent in front of chest, and lunge right leg behind you, bending both knees 90 degrees. Gently pulse hips up and down 32 times.
2. Skater squat. Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Hinge forward from hips until back is almost parallel to floor and clasp hands behind you. Squat, keeping knees behind toes, and extend right leg out to side, toes on floor. Return to squat, switch legs and repeat. Do 32 reps, alternating legs each time.
3. 20 mountain climbers.
4. Repeat lunge pulse and skater squat.
5. Perform jump-back series. (Move quickly from one move right into the next.)
- Start in chair pose, with arms lifted overhead. Squat, place palms on floor in line with shoulders. Jump legs straight back into plank position; hold for 30 seconds. Do 10 push-ups (knees on floor or lifted), and jump back to standing.
- Squat into chair pose, with arms lifted overhead, and pulse up and down 16 times.
- Squat, place palms on floor, under shoulders. Jump straight back into plank position; hold for 30 seconds, then lift right leg straight up and down 10 times; switch legs and repeat. Jump back to standing. Squat into chair pose and pulse up and down 16 times.
- Squat, place palms under shoulders on floor, and then jump legs straight back into plank position. Hold for 30 seconds, then lift right leg straight up and out to side 10 times. Switch legs and repeat. Jump back to standing. Squat into chair pose and pulse up and down 16 times.
6. Recover in child's pose. Start on all fours with knees under hips, palms under shoulders. Push hips straight back, lowering chest to floor, until rear is between legs and arms extended long overhead.
Lindsey Emery is a freelance writer and co-creator of TheFitTrip.com. Formerly the senior fitness editor of Fitness, she now contributes to Self, Shape and Women's Health.
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Health - Your Spring Slim-down