Saturday, 4 June 2011

Yoga Styles

Yoga For All

Over the years Yoga has been evolving to meet the needs of all – from good health to curing different illnesses right up to self-realization. Hatha Yoga the most popular Yoga in America as well as many other parts of the world continues to grow, develop and flourish. This is that branch of Yoga that focuses upon physical health and welfare and believes that our bodies are nothing but vehicles of the spirit. A number of different Yoga styles, all of them rooted from Hatha Yoga have evolved and continue to thrive all over the world today. The aim is to heal the body, balance the mind, and bring about union between body, mind and spirit through the practise of asanas or poses, pranayamas or breathing.

Styles of Yoga

All Yoga Styles have common roots, all of them originating in India. As a matter of fact, the creators of the 3 major styles — Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Viniyoga Yoga or Flow Yoga all happened to be students of one Sri Krishnamacharya, a celebrated Yoga practitioner and teacher from Mysore in India. The two other styles developed by disciples of the well-known Swami Sivananda, are Sivananda Yoga and Integral Yoga. Whatever style you go in for, is a matter of need or personal choice.
The different schools and styles of Yoga are as follows:

Ananda Yoga

Ananda Yoga is a classical Hatha Yoga style that makes use of Yogasana (poses) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) to arouse and start to control the subtle energies within yourself particularly those of the Chakras in order to experience peace. The objective of Ananda Yoga is to utilize human energies to harmonize the mind, body, and emotions. Above all, it aims to attune the practitioner with higher levels of awareness. This is more of a gentle, inward experience unlike any aerobic or athletic practice.

Anusara Yoga

Anusara Yoga was founded in 1997 by one John Friend. This is a robust Hatha Yoga style that combines the Tantric philosophy of inherent goodness with the Cosmic Principles of right alignment. Here, practitioners of all levels of aptitude and skill discover the yoga experience feel great despite unique limitations, differences, and skills. Anusara is a graceful way of aligning the non-dual philosophy with a set of principles.

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga is the perfect Yoga style for people looking for a serious workout. This style was developed by one K. Pattabhi Jois, and is a rather demanding physical style. Practitioners are made to move through a set of flows, skipping from one pose to another with a view to build flexibility, stamina and strength. This style is definitely not for beginners to Yoga or for those who have a relaxed approach to fitness. This style involves a challenging sequence of postures with synchronized breathing and a flow of Yoga pose.

Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga is the brainchild of one Bikram Choudhury, who learnt Yoga from Sri Bishnu Ghosh. Bikram Yoga is done in a room with temperature up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so you must be ready to perspire a lot. Every Yoga pose is usually done twice and retained for a fixed period. Bikram Yoga sessions usually begin with standing postures, then go into backward bends, forward bends and, finally, twist. The postures are accompanied by Kapalabhati Breath also called “breath of fire”. This Yoga style is “scientifically” designed to warm and stretch the ligaments, muscles and tendons in the way they ought to be stretched.

Integral Yoga

Integral Yoga lays equal stress on the Pranayama (breathing exercises), Asanas (physical postures) and Meditation. Integral Yoga was created by Swami Satchidananda, who also introduced chanting to the crowd at the Woodstock festival. Integral Yoga has also been proven therapeutic in as much as it has worked wonders in curing a variety of ailments, particularly Heart Disease.
Integral Yoga revolves around the practice of 8 main goals:
1. Physical Health and strength
2. Control over the senses
3. Calm, clear and a well-disciplined mind
4. Higher level of intellect
5. Strong will power
6. Love and compassion
7. Lesser ego, and
8. Ultimate joy and peace.

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar Yoga has been named after its founder Sri B.K.S. Iyengar one of the most renowned Yoga teachers in the world. This style of Yoga is known for its precise alignment of postures and attention to detail. B.K.S also popularized the use of props such as Yoga belts and blocks to make the practices easier. His great attention to postural alignment and detail has come to be the most distinguished traits of Iyengar Yoga.
In Iyengar Yoga you hold the poses longer and repeat them several times. You can move to Pranayama (the breathing techniques) only after you have achieved a certain level of mastery of the postures. Iyengar Yoga props help practitioners achieve the best results possible as well as minimize the risk of getting injured while providing optimum support.

Sivananda Yoga

Sivananda Yoga was created by Swami Vishnu Devananda who is responsible for one of the greatest Yoga classics in modern times titled “The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga”. This work was first published in 1960, and still continues to be among the best Yoga books available. He termed his style of yoga Sivananda Yoga after his mentor, Swami Sivananda , also one of the most renowned Yogis in the world. Sivananda Yoga lays more emphasis on the classic asanas (poses), Pranayama (breathing techniques) and Relaxation. It also focuses a lot on Positive Thinking, Meditation and Yoga Diet.
Other Yoga styles popular in the world today include:
    Bharata Yoga
    Jivamukti Yoga
    Kripalu Yoga
    Kundalini Yoga
    Svaroopa Yoga and
    Viniyoga or Flow Yoga


The asanas in this section are the basic poses that every yoga practitioner is supposed to know.  It isn't the same as simply learning the mechanics of swinging some little league bats, it can take practice. The basic poses are to be learned in the sequence presented. They are arranged in the approximate order of difficulty. Each new pose can be taken a new day.   The basic poses are:


Yoga lotus sukhasanaLOTUS (SUKHASANA)
    1. Sit in a legs-crossed position with the soles of your feet turned upward and heels pressed against the lower side of your abdomen. Keep your spine straight.
    2. Place your hands on your knees, palms up. Hold as long as you wish.
    3. This is one of the meditative postures. It imitates an inverted lotus flower. The head is held erect and the eyes closed during this posture.
    This promotes balance and harmony.


    mountain pose tadasana

    1. Stand in an erect position with your feet together. Press the feet flat against the floor as if to stretch them.
    2. Visualize a string through the spine pulling you upward, lifting the knees, hips and hamstrings.
    3. Equally distribute the body weight. Keep your abdomen in and chest high. Your arms may remain at your sides.

    This is a basic posture of balance and control. It is the foundation for good standing posture.


    1. Stand in the mountain pose. Inhale slowly and raise arm overhead.
    2. At the same time, lift your left ankle behind you and clasp it with your left hand. Shift your weight to the right side.
    3. Exhale and pull the left leg toward your body and lean forward slightly while looking forward.
    4. Your right arm will provide balance. Hold for 20 seconds. Slowly release and return to start. Repeat to opposite side.
    This improves balance, coordination and quadriceps flexibility.


    1. Get into a seated position with legs extended forward.
    2. Rest your hands on your thighs and straighten your spine.
    3. Raise your arms in front of you to shoulder level.
    4. Then proceed to raise them overhead, bending slightly backward.
    5. Bend forward to your knees.
    6. Grab your knees and hold the stretch for 10 seconds.
    7. Your head should be bent forward.
    8. Pull your body forward to your knees with the elbows bent outward. Hold for 10 seconds.
    9. Return to upright position.
    10. Place hands on your thighs and relax.
    This increases spinal flexibility and strengthens the back.


    cobra bhujangasana yoga pose
    1. Lie face down with arms at sides and head resting on either side.
    2. Slowly bring your head to center and rest your forehead on the floor.
    3. Place your hands underneath your shoulders with your fingertips facing inward.
    4. Tilt your head backward and begin raising your trunk. Push your hands against the floor and slowly start straightening your arms. Hold extreme position for 10 seconds.
    5. Slowly tilt your head forward and lower your trunk back to start. Relax and concentrate on the feeling in the legs, back and abdomen.
    This removes tension from the spine and back, strengthens and firms the abdomen and buttocks.


    1. Get into a standing position, arms at sides.
    2. Your feet should be approximately six inches apart. Relax your spine.
    3. With your palms facing outward, raise your arms until they are in front of your chest, elbows bent.
    4. Straighten your arms. Then slowly bring them behind you, keeping them raised high. Interlock your fingers. Concentrate on the stretch in the shoulders and chest.
    5. Slowly bend backward. Maintain balance and control. Look upward and hold for 10 seconds.
    6. With knees locked, bend forward and bring your arms over your back. Hold for 10 seconds.
    7. Return to upright position. Unclasp your hands and concentrate on relaxing the neck, spine and shoulders.
    This strengthens and tones the muscles of the chest, back and arms. The rib cage expansion aids respiration.


    1. Stand with feet wide apart.
    2. Slowly raise arms to sides until they reach shoulder level. Your palms should be facing down.
    3. Exhale and bend left until you can bring your left hand to your left knee.
    4. Keep your knees locked. Inhale and bring your right arm over as far as possible without bending the elbow. Hold the position for 20 seconds while breathing deeply and concentrating on the stretch.
    5. Slowly straighten and return to start.
    6. Relax for a moment, and then repeat to opposite side.
    This trims the waistline, relieves tension in the neck and back.



    leg clasp padahastasana yoga pose
    1. Stand in the mountain pose.
    2. Bend forward. Bring your arms behind your knees and clasp your hands.
    3. Be certain to position your hands securely behind your knees and slowly draw your upper torso down as far as comfortable. Your head should be lowered and directed toward your knees. Hold for 10 seconds.
    4. Lower hands to calf level. Again draw your body inward. Hold for 10 seconds.
    5. Unclasp your hands, inhale deeply and raise your trunk back to start, one vertebra at a time.
    This tones and firms the thighs and calves. It also improves hamstring flexibility. 


    bow dhanurasana  yoga pose
    1. Lie on your stomach, arms at sides and chin resting on the floor. Bend your knees, feet together.
    2. Reach your arms back and grasp your ankles. Slowly raise your torso while arching your back until the abdomen bears the bodyweight. Tilt your head back and hold for 10 seconds.
    3. Slowly lower until chin is resting on the floor. Release your grasp and lower feet to the floor.
    4. Lie flat with head turned to one side. Rest and observe the feeling in the pelvic region, back, arms and legs.
    This shapes and tones hips, thighs, buttocks and abdomen. It strengthens lower back and promotes flexibility in the chest, shoulders, back and arms.


    spinal twist ardha matsyendrasana yoga pose
    1. Sit on the floor. Place your right sole against your left thigh.
    2. Cross your left foot over the right knee and place the sole of your foot firmly on the floor.
    3. Position your left hand before you.
    4. Bring your right arm to your left knee and firmly grasp it.
    5. Slowly twist your trunk and head to the left. Your left arm will then be placed around your waist and rested on your right side. Keep your chin close to your shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds.
    6. Slowly move our of the posture and relax. Change leg position and repeat to other side.
    This releases tension from the spine and promotes spinal flexibility.


    1. Sit on the back of your heels with your feet close together.
    2. Slowly move your arms backward, and then place them securely on the floor behind you.
    3. Drop your head backward while inhaling and expanding your rib cage. Arch your spine. Hold extreme position for 15 seconds. Walk hands forward and return to start.
    4. Relax for 10 seconds and repeat.
    This increases flexibility in ankles, feet and spine. It also strengthens the abdomen and lower back.


    1. Get into a seated position.
    2. Pull your heels into your groin area and grasp your feet. Keep your spine straight.
    3. Slowly lower your knees.
    4. Hold extreme position for 10 seconds.
    This firms the thighs and promotes knee and inner-thigh flexibility.


    plough halasana
    1. Lie flat on your back with arms at your sides. Your palms should be facing down.
    2. Slowly raise your legs. Use your hands to push against the floor as you lift your trunk. Continue lifting until your legs are lowered beyond your head with your toes touching the ground as near to the head as possible.
    3. Once you have moved as far as comfortable, press your chin against your chest.
    4. Place your hands on your back with elbows on the ground. Hold for 20 seconds.
    5. Slowly unroll back to a lying position. Press your hands against the floor for support of your body weight.
    This promotes spinal flexibility and deep relaxation of all the muscles. It also improves the functioning of the internal organs by supplying them with extra blood.


    shoulder stand sarvangasana yoga pose
    1. Lie flat on your back.
    2. Place your hands at your sides, palms down, and begin to raise your legs. Press your hands against the floor to push your legs upward.
    3. Place your hands on hips, elbows on the ground. Try to straighten your legs and hold them upward. Your chin should be tucked in against your chest. Close your eyes and relax. Hold for 10 seconds.
    4. Bend your knees, release your hands, and slowly return to start, one vertebra at a time.
    This promotes circulation in chest and neck. It is also said to stimulate the glands, in particular the thyroid.


    simple fish matsya yoga pose
    1. Lie down, face up, with your legs crossed as in the Lotus posture.
    2. Cross arms over and around your head. Let your body weight drop naturally.
    3. Do not force the position. Breathe naturally and hold as long you wish.
    4. Change leg position and repeat.
    This loosens shoulders and hip joints and relaxes the body.


    simple locust salabhasana
    Lie on the floor, face down. Rest your chin on the floor and place your hands at your sides. Make a fist with each hand and place them firmly against the floor at approximately thigh level. Raise your left leg slowly while pushing against the floor with your fists. Raise as high as comfortable. Hold for 10 seconds. Lower leg to ground. Relax for sometime. Raise your right leg and follow the same procedure. This strengthens the abdomen, buttocks and lower back.




    deep relaxation savasana yoga pose



    Through yoga one learns to respect his body and take care of it properly. Through yoga one learns to view stress and worry as negative factors, which rob the self of energy that would otherwise be channeled towards personal growth.

    By yoga one learns to stretch his body like a rubber band but at the same time with control,direction and purpose. In all, yoga would dramatically improve the way one looks and feels.

    Origin and nature of yoga

    Yoga comes to us from the heart of Eastern philosophy. Early Indians developed a method to transcend the limitation of the senses and this was called as yoga. Through conscious control of physical and mental activity, the individuals practicing yoga can master their surroundings and rise to a higher spiritual plane.

    The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root "yug", meaning to link or join together. Yoga deals with the whole person. A single word to describe yoga is "Balance". Yoga is designed to balance the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of an individual. As the mind and soul approach equilibrium the human becomes increasingly aware of its identity and relationship with the external world surrounding it. Yoga is an empirical science based on observations and reflections of experience or introspection. Yoga may be defined as the science of self-fulfillment. It allows us to utilize our capabilities to the fullest while permitting us to choose our own goals.
    Archaeological evidence shows that the inhabitants of the Indus Valley practiced yoga prior to 2000 B.C. Through word of mouth the tradition was passed on from father to son and from teacher to pupil. A major shift from oral to written tradition began with the arrival of the Aryans in India shortly after 2000 B.C. The Aryans developed the language of Sanskrit and it later became the canonical language of Hindu scriptures. Because the forerunners of yoga are found in the Upanishads written in Sanskrit, Sanskrit became the accepted standard for yogic vocabulary. Around 300 B.C yoga began to take form as an organized group of principles and practices.
    The person, most responsible for systematizing yoga was the Indian Philosopher, Patanjali. Around 200 B. C. Patanjali bolstered the move from oral to written tradition. In the classical treatise, YOGA SUTRA Patanjali codified in writing a large body of yogic principles and processes. The yoga sutras are a step-by-step guide to the attainment of physical, mental and spiritual balance. It consists of an ordered series of 194 terse aphorisms or sutras. Each sutra addresses itself to some aspect of self-development. According Patanjali, yoga is "The discipline leading to the highest development of spiritual consciousness".
    The eight limbs or stages of yoga are

    Thursday, 2 June 2011


    Traffic exposure
    According to previous studies, traffic exposure triggers about 8 percent of heart attacks among those who are vulnerable, and it can affect you if you're a driver, a passenger, or even a bicyclist riding along the road.

    People who are sedentary most of the time, and then suddenly engage in heavy-duty physical activity, are most at risk. The best protection against this is to regularly engage in exercising.

    Too much alcohol can increase inflammation and interfere with your body's ability to dissolve blood clots, putting your heart at risk.

    Air pollution
    Smog, vehicle exhaust, and other polluting particles emitted by vehicles and other sources of air pollution, combine to form a potent, but silent, killer.

    Strong emotions
    Both intense positive (extreme happiness, excitement, joy etc.) and intense negative emotions (depression, grief, anger etc.) can stress the heart.

    A number of studies have proven that a person's risk of heart attack greatly increases with the number of cigarettes he or she smokes. There is no safe amount of smoking. Smokers continue to increase their risk of heart attack the longer they smoke.

    Stress is a normal part of life. But if left unmanaged, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems, including heart disease and high blood pressure

    Drug abuse
    Taking illicit drugs such as cocaine and marijuana has been linked to constriction of blood vessels leading to heart damage or stroke, irregular heartbeat, and death.

    Being overweight
    Being overweight or obese can raise your risk for heart disease and heart attack because it increases the odds of getting blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes

    Sedentary lifestyle
    Inactive people are nearly twice as likely to develop heart disease as those who are active.

    Ring finger length and ALS Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, May 2011

    Having long ring fingers has been associated with a lethal nervous system disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, that this does not mean people with long ring fingers will develop the disease - or even that they are at higher risk for it.

    ALS, sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rapidly moving disease that is always fatal. Although it tends to leave people's intelligence intact, it attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary movement, causing progressive weakness and paralysis. Most people with ALS die within three to five years, although about 10 percent live 10 years or longer with the disease. When muscles in the chest fail, patients cannot breathe without ventilation and most eventually die from respiratory failure.  The cause of ALS isn't known. Although it can run in families, it strikes at random, and there is no cure.

    Researchers used a digital camera to photograph hands and finger length of 110 Britons, some with ALS and others without the disease. They then looked at the ratio of the length of each person's index finger to ring finger - called the 2D:4D ratio. The ratio is calculated by dividing the length of the index finger of the right hand by the length of the ring finger. A low ratio indicates the ring finger is relatively long compared with the index finger. Scientists believe that this finger-length ratio is a marker of high prenatal testosterone levels. It is the most likely reason that men have longer ring fingers than index fingers, as compared to women.

    The researchers found that 2D:4D ratio was lower for people suffering from ALS, compared with those without the disease. The relative lengths of the fingers provide a clue as to what makes the nerves vulnerable. It looks like male hormones in the womb not only make our nervous systems and muscles more masculine, they might also raise the risk of ALS.

    However, the researchers stressed that the digit ratio has no use as a screening tool. What the study does find is that people with ALS tend to have more ‘male’ hands, with a ring finger relatively longer than the index finger - something that is a tendency in men. ALS is more common in men, but this might suggest that the reason is something to do with the balance of hormones one is exposed to in the womb, because finger length seems to be determined partly by the amount of male hormone a developing baby is exposed to.

    Tips to prevent tanning

    Cover yourselves up as much as possible. You can wear gloves and full sleeves clothes to protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays that tan the skin.

    Always wear a hat when you are outdoors or carry an umbrella with you.

    Avoid moving out in the sun between 10 am and 3 pm. This is the time when both the types of UV rays i.e. UVA and UVB penetrate to its maximum into the earth surface resulting in tanned skin.

    Always use a sunscreen lotion when going out in the sun. Apply the sunscreen lotion 15 minutes prior to moving out. The SPF (sun protection factor) of the sun screen lotion should not be less than 15.

    Apply sunscreen lotion to the all those areas of your body, which remain exposed to the sun. Always choose a sun screen lotion that best suits your skin type. Even if you apply a lip balm, make sure it is preceded by the application of a sun screen on your lips.

    Supplements cannot prevent our body from sun tan and sunburns. But a healthy diet and fluids can sure prevent you from dehydration.

    Drink plenty of water, cucumber juice and water melon juice. Keep cool tea bags, cucumber slices, or a soft cotton towel dipped in cold milk over your face. This might be helpful in preventing your skin from tanning.

    Aloe vera gel could be applied over your entire body regardless of the degree of sunburn.

    Plan your wardrobe to avoid burning. Even a light, shiny fabric or a wide-brimmed hat can help protect your skin from damage.

    Wednesday, 1 June 2011

    Effective Belly Exercises

    Effective Belly Exercises
    Developing the abdominal muscles requires hard work. You shouldn't ask what the easiest way to get a flat belly is because there is no easy way to get a flat belly. Instead, ask what exercises are the most effective. You're going to have to work hard, but by choosing the right exercises, you'll get the results sooner.

    Bicycle Crunch

    The bicycle crunch is the most effective abdominal exercise around, according to a study published in the May/June 2001 issue of ACE Fitness Matters that examined the abdominal activation of 13 exercises. The bicycle crunch uses almost two and a half times as much abdominal muscle as the traditional crunch. It works the upper, lower and oblique abdominals in the same movement, making it not only effective, but efficient. To perform a bicycle crunch, lie on an exercise mat. Raise your legs off the mat and pump them in and out as if you were pedaling a bicycle. Place your fingers behind your ears and crunch your upper body off the mat. As your right knee comes toward your chest, crunch your left elbow toward it, and vice versa. A twist to each side equals one rep. Perform sets of 10 to 20 reps.

    Exercise Ball Pull-In

    Exercise ball pull-ins aren't just one of the best exercises for targeting the lower abdominals, they're also fun. It's important to perform an exercise that works the lower abdominals more than the upper, because most exercises do the opposite, and underdeveloped lower abdominals can cause a pot belly. In "The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding," Arnold Schwarzenegger explains that exercises that tilt the pelvis toward the chest work the lower abs. That's exactly what your abs do during an exercise ball pull-in. To perform an exercise ball pull-in, get into a push-up position with your legs supported by an exercise ball beneath your knees. Pull your knees to your chest. The ball will roll along your shins. Push your legs back out straight. Perform in sets of 10 to 20 reps.

    Heel Touchers

    Heel touchers also target some abdominal muscles that often don't get enough attention: the oblique abdominals. The oblique abdominals are responsible for twisting and tilting your upper body to the sides. By developing them, you can narrow your waist and gain functional strength that protects your spine. To perform heel touchers, lie on your back on an exercise mat with your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands palm down at your sides. Crunch your torso up and hold this throughout the set. Lean to your right side and touch your right heel with your fingertips. Return to center, then do the same thing on the left side. Move in a controlled manner, really feeling the contraction in your obliques. Touching each heel equals one rep. Perform sets of 10 to 20 reps.


    The plank is a simple and effective exercise. It develops strength all along your abs and through your core. To perform the plank, lie on your stomach on an exercise mat. Rise up onto your toes and elbows. Hold your body in a perfectly straight line for as long as you can. Perform the plank at the end of your exercise routine, and only do one rep to really finish off your abdominals. Try to hold the plank for longer each time. The result will be a flatter stomach from top to bottom.

    Exercises for a Flat Stomach or Tummy

    Exercises for a Flat Stomach or Tummy

    Exercises to target the abdominal muscles are beneficial for firming your stomach. Doing crunches won't eliminate belly fat as will a proper diet and cardio program, but exercises like the ab crunch will tone the muscles of your rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis and obliques. These are the major muscles of your stomach and waist.

    Scissor Crunch

    The scissors crunch elevates the difficulty level from a regular bent-knee floor crunch by straightening the legs. When you bend your knees to do a crunch you can easily tuck your pelvis and press your lower back into the floor to support your spine. Lying on your back and instead straightening your legs makes this more difficult, and forces your abs and lower back to work harder. To do the scissor crunch, lie face up on the floor with your legs straight and cross your ankles. Bend your elbows and put your hands on the back of your head. Then, raise your head and shoulders off the floor. Lie back down to finish one repetition. Perform an equal number of crunches with your legs crossed both ways.

    Fingers To Heel Oblique Touchers

    The fingers to heel oblique touchers are almost self-explanatory. This exercise works the muscles of your obliques on the sides of your stomach by trying to touch your heels with your fingers. Begin lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart on the floor. Your knees are bent at 90 degree angles. Your arms are next to your sides with your palms down. Hover your arms about an inch off the floor and raise your head and shoulders up. Then, bend your spine to the left and reach toward your left heel. Bend and reach to the right. Your head, shoulders and arms stay in the air during the exercise.

    The Rings

    The rings is a challenging exercise that works several muscle groups, though it is still considered an exercise for flat abominals. The abominals are worked as well as the chest, shoulders, triceps and lower back. Place a rolled up yoga mat or thick towel on the floor. Then, sit in front of the mat and place your palms on the mat next to your hips and beneath your shoulders. Extend your legs in front of you with your heels on the floor with the balls of your feet lifted slightly into the air. Your knees are bent greater than 90 degrees. Now, lift your buttocks a couple of inches off the floor with your arms completely straight. Lean forward and move your hips back over the mat. Lower your hips back to the floor.

    The Best Workouts to Burn Fat & Get a Flat Stomach

    Workouts that burn fat and tone muscle, including abdominal muscle will be those that offer moderate to high-intensity calorie burning capabilities, combined with strength training that builds lean muscle mass. To combine the efforts of diet and exercise while at the same time seeking to increase muscle definition and flatten the stomach area, individuals need to engage in a variety of both all around exercise activities and those that focus on abdominal strengthening and toning.

    Fat Burn

    Engage in exercises and activities that burn fat, which is achieved by burning calories. In order to lose weight, a person has to burn off more calories than those ingested in order to drop weight. The best workouts to lose weight in the belly are all-around cardiovascular workouts like step aerobics, kickboxing, jogging, power walking, spinning and other high-intensity activities that increase heart rate and burn calories. Do a cardio or aerobic exercise routine for about 30 to 45 minutes.
    Belly Busters
    Perform targets abdominal exercises while at the same time following a low-fat and low-sugar diet, which 
    will help reduce calorie intake and bloating. Specific exercises that target the belly or abdomen include crunches, waist twisting exercises, sit-ups, reverse crunches and lying-down bicycle exercises. Do abdominal exercises for about 15 to 20 minutes every day, on top of the cardio portion of your exercise activities to help tone and strengthen abdominal muscles.

    Pilate Roll-Up

    Engage in some basic Pilates exercises such as the roll-up, single- and double-leg stretch and one-leg circles.

    For the roll-up, lie on the floor, arms over the head, feet together. Lift only the head and shoulders off the floor, sucking in the abs at the same time. Exhale and reach forward with your arms, like you're trying to pull something off the ceiling. Hold this position. Inhale and return the head and shoulders to the floor. Do this about five times.

    Pilates Single-Leg Stretch

    The single-leg stretch can be done while lying on the floor, back straight, legs extended in front of you. Lift both legs slightly off the ground and lift the head and shoulders off the floor. Exhale and lift one leg perpendicular to the floor, reaching the arms forward to touch around the calf. Pulse two times and then lower the raised leg while at the same time lifting the opposite leg. Pulse again. Continue this scissor-like move five times on each leg for a total of 10 repetitions.

    Pilates Double-Leg Stretch

    Lie on your back on the floor, legs straight. Lift the head and shoulders off the floor and grasp hands behind the head. Lift both legs to a 45-degree angle from the floor. Hold this position, and keeping the upper body off the floor, move the legs downward until they're about a foot from the floor. Then raise them back upward again. Repeat this move 10 times.

    Fast Fat Burning Exercises for Your Back

    Fast Fat Burning Exercises for Your Back

    When it comes to losing back fat, you need to realize that you cannot lose weight in one specific location. That would be spot reduction, which is not possible. What you can do is lower the overall fat in your body while toning the muscles in your back. This, in turn, can give thinner coated areas like your back more definition and a leaner look. The main muscles to target are the trapezius, lats, rhomboids and erector spine.


    Rowing is a type of cardiovascular exercise that also works your back muscles. This can not only help you burn fat, but also help you tone up. Perform rowing for 45 to 60 minutes, four to five days a week.

    Upright Rows

    Upright rows work your traps which are found on the top of your back and you can use a barbell to do these. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding the bar in front of your thighs with an overhand grip. Your hands should be approximately eight inches apart. In a steady motion, raise the bar up to chest height and pause for a second. Slowly lower the bar and repeat 10 to 12 times. When doing upright rows, keep your back straight and core tight.

    Lat Pull downs

    Lat pulldowns work your latissimus dorsi, which are the "V" shaped muscles of your back, and your rhomboids which are located in between your shoulder blades. Sit on the seat of the lat pulldown machine with the padded support firmly placed on top of your thighs. After grasping the bar with a wide, overhand grip, lean back slightly, pull the bar down to chest height and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Slowly let the bar rise back up and repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions.

    Two Arm Dumbbell Rows

    Two arm dumbbell rows work the middle of your lats and rhomboids. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding the weights in front of your thighs with your palms facing you. Keeping your legs straight, bend over until your back is slightly higher than parallel to the floor and let your arms hang straight down. In a steady motion, lift the dumbbells up to your stomach and pinch your shoulder blades together. Slowly lower the weights and repeat 10 to 12 times.

    Straight Arm Pulldowns

    Straight arm pulldowns place the most emphasis on your upper lats. Attach a straight bar to a high setting on one side of a cable machine and face the weight stack with your feet spaced shoulder-width apart. After placing your hands shoulder-width apart on the bar, push it straight down to your thighs and squeeze your lats forcefully. Slowly raise the bar up to shoulder level and repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions.

    Straight Leg Dead lifts

    Straight leg deadlifts work your erector spinae muscles which are found in your lower back. You can use a barbell to perform these. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding the bar in front of your thighs with an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Keeping your core tight, bend forward at the waist and push your butt back. Once you feel a strong contraction in your lower back, stand up and repeat 10 to 12 times. bar up to shoulder level and repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions.