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Get Beach Body Ready with these Five Great Yoga Moves

Posted Jun 15 2011 4:47pm

With bathing suit season around the corner you may be eager to tone up and get in shape. These five yoga moves will help you target typical problem areas such as the abdominals, thighs, buttocks and arms. Even better- put all of these yoga moves together and you’ll have a fun and simple total body toning routine!

*For video examples of each movement, click on each highlighted exercise below.

1. Chair Squats to firm your buttocks and thighs.  Stand at the front of you mat with your feet hip width apart, toes facing forward.  Place your hands at your heart center in prayer position. Inhale, sit back like you’re sitting in a chair (keep the weight in your heels), exhale come back to stand. As you get stronger bring your arms over head shoulder width a part with your palms facing each other. Work up to two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.

2. Chaturanga Push-ups for toned arms. Begin in a push-up position on your mat with your shoulders directly over your wrists (you may bring your knees to the mat to modify). Inhale then as you exhale, bring your elbows back and close to your sides as you lower your belly to the floor. Inhale then as you exhale press back to a push-up position. As you get stronger hold your chest and belly a few inches from the floor before you press back up. Work up to two sets of 8 to 10 repetitions.

3. Plank Crunches to flatten your abs. Begin in a push-up position on your mat with your shoulders directly over your wrists and your head in line with your shoulders (you may bring your knees to the mat to modify). Inhale and as you exhale bring one knee towards your chest. Repeat alternating on knee towards your chest. As you get stronger work on keeping your body flat as a board, with your bottom down, and hold your knee towards your chest for one breath. Work up to two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.

4. Yoga Lunges to firm your thighs. Begin at the back of your mat. Take a large step forward with your right leg. Try to cover as much of your mat as possible. Bring your hands in prayer at your heart center. Keep your hips forward, inhale and bend your right knee (make sure your knee stays in line with your heel, and keep your back straight with your head up). Your left knee will also bend and be a foot away from the floor, exhale come back up. Repeat the yoga lunge on the right side for 10 to 15 reps then switch to your left leg. As you get stronger bring your arms overhead, shoulder width apart with your palms in towards each other. Work up to two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.

5. Cat and Cow Crunches to firm your abdominals. Begin on all fours on your mat. Make sure your knees are below your hips and your wrists are below your shoulders. Bring your right knee towards your chest and look towards your knee. Hold for two breaths then extend your right leg straight out so it’s parallel to the floor. Repeat on your right leg for 10 to 15 reps then switch to your left leg. Work up to two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.

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