4 Poses, 4 Minutes, and Your Hips and Back Will Thank You

If you have the ever-popular office job that involves sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, it can wreak havoc on your precious body, creating tight hips and lower back pain. Many stretches for your hips also stretch out your lower back, so these poses are like two for the price of one. It will only take about four minutes, but that’s all you’ll need to ease tension.

Butterfly

Sit on the floor, bend both knees, and bring your feet together. Using your hands, open your feet up like a book, pressing your knees toward the floor with your elbows. If you want more of a stretch, extend your arms out in front of you.Stay here for five breaths (about 30 seconds).Half Happy Baby

Lie flat on your back. Bend the left knee and hold onto the outside edge of your flexed foot with your left hand. Keep your left arm on the outside of your leg.Gently use your upper body strength to press the left knee to the floor below your armpit. Try not to tense your shoulder or chest, but keep everything relaxed. Stay like this for five deep breaths, and then switch legs.Then do both legs together for another five breaths. Pigeon

Sit with your right knee bent and your left leg extended straight behind you. If your hips are flexible, inch your right foot away from you. Make sure your left hip is always pointing down toward the mat. If it begins to open up toward the ceiling, draw your right foot back in toward your body.Rest your hands on your hips or walk your hands out in front of you, allowing your torso to rest over your right knee.Hold here for five breaths, and then repeat Pigeon on the left side.Double Pigeon

Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee and place your knee, shin, and foot on the floor so they’re parallel with your pelvis. Bend your left knee and place it on top so your knees, shins, and ankles are stacked. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you gaze down and see that your legs make a little triangle.To make this pose more intense, place your hands in front of your shins and walk them out as far as you can, folding your chest toward your legs.Stay here for five breaths, slowly release, and then switch legs so your right knee is on top.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson

4 Poses, 4 Minutes, and Your Hips and Back Will Thank You

If you have the ever-popular office job that involves sitting at a desk for eight hours a day| it can wreak havoc on your precious body| creating tight hips and lower back pain. Many stretches for your hips also stretch out your lower back| so these poses are like two for the price of one. It will only take about four minutes| but that’s all you’ll need to ease tension.

Butterfly

Sit on the floor| bend both knees| and bring your feet together. Using your hands| open your feet up like a book| pressing your knees toward the floor with your elbows. If you want more of a stretch| extend your arms out in front of you.Stay here for five breaths (about 30 seconds).Half Happy Baby

Lie flat on your back. Bend the left knee and hold onto the outside edge of your flexed foot with your left hand. Keep your left arm on the outside of your leg.Gently use your upper body strength to press the left knee to the floor below your armpit. Try not to tense your shoulder or chest| but keep everything relaxed. Stay like this for five deep breaths| and then switch legs.Then do both legs together for another five breaths. Pigeon

Sit with your right knee bent and your left leg extended straight behind you. If your hips are flexible| inch your right foot away from you. Make sure your left hip is always pointing down toward the mat. If it begins to open up toward the ceiling| draw your right foot back in toward your body.Rest your hands on your hips or walk your hands out in front of you| allowing your torso to rest over your right knee.Hold here for five breaths| and then repeat Pigeon on the left side.Double Pigeon

Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee and place your knee| shin| and foot on the floor so they’re parallel with your pelvis. Bend your left knee and place it on top so your knees| shins| and ankles are stacked. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you gaze down and see that your legs make a little triangle.To make this pose more intense| place your hands in front of your shins and walk them out as far as you can| folding your chest toward your legs.Stay here for five breaths| slowly release| and then switch legs so your right knee is on top.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson

This Treadmill Workout Will Probably Be the Most Intense 30 Minutes of Your Day

It didn’t take much convincing to see why Sandra Bullock, Amanda Seyfried, and Kim Kardashian all flock to Barry’s Bootcamp ¡ª 15 minutes into my first class, I was in love. The hourlong mix of high-intensity treadmill intervals and circuit training left me a sweaty mess, and I was already planning my next class on the way out of my first.

While nothing beats the full 60-minute class, the running segments are a workout on their own. For days when strength training isn’t in the mix, we have a 30-minute treadmill workout from Barry’s Bootcamp trainer Alycia Stevenin to give you a taste of what the class is like. You’ll move through sections of intervals, hill work, and sprints, which will challenge both your endurance and speed. While the workout is meant to be done as a whole, you can easily pull out any section and repeat it four to five times if you’d prefer to focus on a specific area.

Ready to do this at the gym? Take our printable workout with you!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

This Treadmill Workout Will Probably Be the Most Intense 30 Minutes of Your Day

It didn’t take much convincing to see why Sandra Bullock| Amanda Seyfried| and Kim Kardashian all flock to Barry’s Bootcamp ¡ª 15 minutes into my first class| I was in love. The hourlong mix of high-intensity treadmill intervals and circuit training left me a sweaty mess| and I was already planning my next class on the way out of my first.

While nothing beats the full 60-minute class| the running segments are a workout on their own. For days when strength training isn’t in the mix| we have a 30-minute treadmill workout from Barry’s Bootcamp trainer Alycia Stevenin to give you a taste of what the class is like. You’ll move through sections of intervals| hill work| and sprints| which will challenge both your endurance and speed. While the workout is meant to be done as a whole| you can easily pull out any section and repeat it four to five times if you’d prefer to focus on a specific area.

Ready to do this at the gym? Take our printable workout with you!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

This Yoga Sequence Is Even Better Than a Before-Bed Massage

This Yoga Sequence Is Even Better Than a Before-Bed Massage

Yoga before bed can be some of your best defense against insomnia. By calming down your body and your mind| you’re putting yourself in a better position for sweet and restful slumber. Ready to get to bed? This yoga sequence will save the day.

u2014 Additional reporting by Jenny Sugar

| Child’s Pose

Start off your bedtime practice by cooling off in Balasana:

  • Kneel on your mat with your knees hips-width distance apart and your big toes touching behind you. Take a deep breath in and| as you exhale| lay your torso over your thighs. Try to lengthen your neck and spine by drawing your ribs away from your tailbone and the crown of your head away from your shoulders.
  • Rest your arms beside your legs| with palms facing up| or try extending your arms out in front of you.
  • Stay here for 10 breaths.

Learn about a variation of Child’s Pose here.

| Standing Forward Bend

Standing Forward Bend will feel like all the stress is pouring out of the top of your head:

  • Stand at the top of your mat in Mountain Pose at the front of your mat. Inhale and reach your arms straight above you.
  • As you exhale| engage your abs and fold forward with a straight back. Tuck your chin in toward your chest| relax your shoulders| and extend the crown of the head toward the floor to create a long spine. Shift your weight forward onto your toes| straightening the legs as much as possible. Place your hands on the ground| fingertips lining up with the toes.
  • Hold here for 10 breaths.

Here’s a deeper explanation of Standing Forward Bend.

| Wide-Legged Forward Bend C

Wide-Legged Forward Bend C is another relaxing pose that will loosen up your shoulders and help you destress before bed:

  • From Standing Forward Bend| slowly roll up vertebrae by vertebrae until you’re standing at the top of your mat.
  • Stand with your feet three to four feet apart| placing your heels slightly wider than your toes.
  • Bring your arms behind your back| clasping your fingers and pressing the heels of your palms together in a fist.
  • Fold forward| hinging at your hips| drawing the crown of your head and your hands toward the floor. Relax your toes| and try to shift the weight of your hips forward so they’re in line with your feet.
  • Stay here for 10 deep breaths. Then press into your feet| engage your quads| and inhale as you stand up.

Here are more details on how to do Wide-Legged Forward Bend C.

| Butterfly Pose

The introspective Butterfly Pose gives your hips some love:

  • From Wide-Legged Forward Bend C| sit on the floor| bend both knees| and bring your feet together. Using your hands| open your feet up like a book| pressing your knees toward the floor with your elbows. If you want more of a stretch| extend your arms out in front of you.
  • Stay here for 10 breaths.

Check out these details on how to do Butterfly Pose.

| Seated Straddle

Seated Straddle is an active pose| but it will also prep your body for sleep:

  • From Butterfly Pose| allow your legs to straighten out into a straddle position with three to four feet between your heels.
  • Make sure your toes and knees are pointing straight up. Sit with a tall spine or slowly fold forward at your hips| pressing your belly button and chest forward to prevent your back from rounding.
  • Either support the weight of your torso with your hands on your legs or feet| or rest them out in front of you.
  • Hold for 10 breaths.

Read here for a variation that targets one hamstring at a time.

| Head to Knee Pose A

Head to Knee Pose A gives your sides an amazing stretch. This is my favorite pose to practice before bed:

  • Come up slowly from Seated Straddle| and bring your both your legs straight out in front of you. Shake them out for a moment.
  • Bend your right knee| and place the sole of your foot against your inner thigh| pulling your heel as close to your body as you can.
  • Inhale to sit up tall| and exhale as you fold your torso over your left leg. Rest your hands on the floor on either side of your leg| place them on your shin| or wrap your hands around your left foot.
  • Stay here for 10 breaths| sit up| and repeat this pose on the left side.

Check out these tips on how to get more out of Head to Knee Pose A.

| Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose is an ideal inversion to try out before bed:

  • From Head to Knee Pose A| lie flat on your back with your arms along the sides of your body| with your palms facing down. Bend your knees| placing your heels as close as you can to your bum.
  • With your palms and feet pressing firmly into the ground| lift your hips up. Keep your palms on the mat or clasp your hands together below your pelvis| extending through your arms. Or you can also bend your elbows and rest your hands on your lower back. If your feet are close enough| you can also hold your ankles.
  • Stay here for 10 deep breaths| lifting your hips as high as you can.

If you want more details on how to do Bridge Pose| keep reading.

| Legs Up the Wall

Legs Up the Wall will instill a sense of calmness in your whole body| and it will also relieve aches and pains from a sore lower back or tight hamstrings:

  • Once you’ve come out of Bridge Pose| sit up and place a folded bolster| blanket| or pillow against a wall.
  • Sit down as close as you can to the wall| next to the blanket. Lie down on your back| place your feet on the wall with your knees bent| and scoot your body over so that your bottom and lower back are on the blanket.
  • Sit with your bottom touching the wall| and then place your feet straight up| resting your heels on the wall. You can keep your arms by your sides| or by your head (this position will stretch your shoulders).
  • Close you eyes and allow your entire body to relax| feeling gravity pulling you down as the wall and blanket support you.
  • Hold for 30 seconds| then roll your body over to one side with your knees bent| and rest your head on the inside of your arm| staying like this in fetal position for a minute or so. Then you can roll up onto your knees and come to stand up.

Learn more about Legs Up the Wall here.

| Lying Spinal Twist

Right before taking a rest| increase side-to-side spinal flexibility with this reclined twist:

  • Lie on your back| bending the knees into the chest.
  • Extend your arms out in cactus position with your elbows at right angles| palms facing up.
  • Slowly lower both knees to the left. Rest them on the ground and turn your head to the right.
  • Hold here for at least five breaths| feeling your spine lengthen and twist. You may even hear some “”cracks.””
  • Use your abs to lift your knees back to center. Slowly lower both knees to the right| and look over your left shoulder.
  • After five breaths| release| and head into your final pose.

| Savasana

Take rest in Corpse Pose before climbing into bed:

  • Lie on your back and close your eyes. In order to relax and open your body fully| extend your arms a few inches away from the body| with the palms facing up. Put about 15 to 20 inches between your heels| allowing your feet to fall open with the toes pointing out. Actively shrug your shoulder blades down toward your hips. Lengthen through the spine as much as possible| relaxing your lower back toward the floor.
  • After you’ve found a comfortable position| stay here for as long as you want| around 10 minutes or more| if your schedule allows for it. If you’re short on time| remain in Savasana at least until your heart rate slows down and your breath returns to its natural| soothing rhythm.

Having trouble relaxing? Here are four tips for sinking into Corpse Pose.

Differences Between Working Out in Your 20s vs. Your 30s

Differences Between Working Out in Your 20s vs. Your 30s

When you hit the 30-year mark, it not only means more candles on your birthday cake than someone in their 20s, but it majorly affects your workouts as well. Give a little nod or chuckle (or shed a little tear) if you can relate to these.

|

Workout Motivation:
20s: To look cute and because it’s fun.
30s: Because none of my jeans zip and so I don’t get some horrible disease and die.

Types of Workouts
20s: I’m all about fun, fast, challenging, and crazy!
30s: How about something simple with the least risk of injury?

Workout Attire:
20s: The wilder the better!
30s: Basic and black (and boring).

|

Who we’re chasing:
20s: Wearing my cutest top so I can chase that cute guy at the gym.
30s: Doing sprinting intervals so I can chase after my kids.

Getting Dolled Up:
20s: I’d rather die than show up at the gym without a full face of makeup and my hair done all pretty.
30s: Yay, I actually remembered my hair tie!

Footwear:
20s: My sneakers are a few years old, who cares?
30s: Without my brand new sneaks and arch-supporting insoles, my plantar fasciitis really acts up.

|

Length of Workout:
20s: Sure I’ll take two classes in a row. I’ve got nowhere to be.
30s: Get in, get out, nobody talk to me, just gotta get it done!

Schedule:
20s: Wake up for 90 minutes of hot yoga, take a three-hour hike, then follow it with a SoulCycle class!
30s: I think I can squeeze in 20 minutes of a Jillian Michaels video.

Class Timing:
20s: Get to class early to meet my BFF and to get the best spot.
30s: I barely make it there on time but am typically five minutes late.

|

Weight Loss:
20s: I walked my dog wearing yoga pants. Phew, what a great workout!
30s: At least four workouts a week are a must if I want to just maintain my weight.

Flexibility:
20s: Wow, I can touch past my toes!
30s: If I try to fold in half my back will literally break in half.

|

Boobs:
20s: I’m wearing two sports bras for added support.
30s: I’ll pay any amount of money for a bra that’ll make my sagging boobs look as perky as they did in my 20s.

Hands:
20s: I better get a manicure so my hands look pretty in Down Dog.
30s: Who cares about my nails? Yoga better help my arthritis.

|

Butts:
20s: What can I do to make my butt look smaller?
30s: Bigger the better. Bring on the squats!

Postclass:
20s: Leisurely hit the sauna, take a long shower, then meet up with friends for a splurging dinner out.
30s: Bolt out as soon as the class is over to relieve my significant other or sitter.

Post-Workout Fuel:
20s: Let’s head out for a beer, ’cause whatevs!
30s: Love me my homemade energy ball and coconut water.

|

Muscles:
20s: What’s DOMS?
30s: Ughhh, DOMS, why do you feel so close to a hangover?!?

Strength:
20s: Check out my biceps. I just joined CrossFit.
30s: Check out my biceps! I just had a baby.

|

Sex:
20s: A morning romp in the hay totally counts as a workout.
30s: I work out just so I don’t hurt myself having sex.

Alcohol:
20s: I’m a little hungover, but I’ll work out anyway.
30s: I work out just so I can drink more wine.

Differences Between Working Out in Your 20s vs. Your 30s

Differences Between Working Out in Your 20s vs. Your 30s

When you hit the 30-year mark| it not only means more candles on your birthday cake than someone in their 20s| but it majorly affects your workouts as well. Give a little nod or chuckle (or shed a little tear) if you can relate to these.

|

Workout Motivation:
20s: To look cute and because it’s fun.
30s: Because none of my jeans zip and so I don’t get some horrible disease and die.

Types of Workouts
20s: I’m all about fun| fast| challenging| and crazy!
30s: How about something simple with the least risk of injury?

Workout Attire:
20s: The wilder the better!
30s: Basic and black (and boring).

|

Who we’re chasing:
20s: Wearing my cutest top so I can chase that cute guy at the gym.
30s: Doing sprinting intervals so I can chase after my kids.

Getting Dolled Up:
20s: I’d rather die than show up at the gym without a full face of makeup and my hair done all pretty.
30s: Yay| I actually remembered my hair tie!

Footwear:
20s: My sneakers are a few years old| who cares?
30s: Without my brand new sneaks and arch-supporting insoles| my plantar fasciitis really acts up.

|

Length of Workout:
20s: Sure I’ll take two classes in a row. I’ve got nowhere to be.
30s: Get in| get out| nobody talk to me| just gotta get it done!

Schedule:
20s: Wake up for 90 minutes of hot yoga| take a three-hour hike| then follow it with a SoulCycle class!
30s: I think I can squeeze in 20 minutes of a Jillian Michaels video.

Class Timing:
20s: Get to class early to meet my BFF and to get the best spot.
30s: I barely make it there on time but am typically five minutes late.

|

Weight Loss:
20s: I walked my dog wearing yoga pants. Phew| what a great workout!
30s: At least four workouts a week are a must if I want to just maintain my weight.

Flexibility:
20s: Wow| I can touch past my toes!
30s: If I try to fold in half my back will literally break in half.

|

Boobs:
20s: I’m wearing two sports bras for added support.
30s: I’ll pay any amount of money for a bra that’ll make my sagging boobs look as perky as they did in my 20s.

Hands:
20s: I better get a manicure so my hands look pretty in Down Dog.
30s: Who cares about my nails? Yoga better help my arthritis.

|

Butts:
20s: What can I do to make my butt look smaller?
30s: Bigger the better. Bring on the squats!

Postclass:
20s: Leisurely hit the sauna| take a long shower| then meet up with friends for a splurging dinner out.
30s: Bolt out as soon as the class is over to relieve my significant other or sitter.

Post-Workout Fuel:
20s: Let’s head out for a beer| ’cause whatevs!
30s: Love me my homemade energy ball and coconut water.

|

Muscles:
20s: What’s DOMS?
30s: Ughhh| DOMS| why do you feel so close to a hangover?!?

Strength:
20s: Check out my biceps. I just joined CrossFit.
30s: Check out my biceps! I just had a baby.

|

Sex:
20s: A morning romp in the hay totally counts as a workout.
30s: I work out just so I don’t hurt myself having sex.

Alcohol:
20s: I’m a little hungover| but I’ll work out anyway.
30s: I work out just so I can drink more wine.

How to Increase Your Flexibility

These effective stretches will do wonders to your body ¡ª SelfSwap a gingerbread house for an elegant cookie Christmas tree ¡ª Real SimpleNutritionist-recommended ways to stay healthy during the holidays ¡ª ShapeHow to get the sexiest shoulders ever ¡ª HealthFun ways to make fruits and veggies more appealing ¡ª Women’s HealthThe healthiest holiday dishes to try this season ¡ª Cooking LightTrainers hate when you do this at the gym ¡ª Fitness3 moves to strengthen muscles ¡ª GreatistSurprise everyone with these famous cookie shots on holidays ¡ª POPSUGAR FoodImage Source: Shutterstock

How to Increase Your Flexibility

These effective stretches will do wonders to your body ¡ª SelfSwap a gingerbread house for an elegant cookie Christmas tree ¡ª Real SimpleNutritionist-recommended ways to stay healthy during the holidays ¡ª ShapeHow to get the sexiest shoulders ever ¡ª HealthFun ways to make fruits and veggies more appealing ¡ª Women’s HealthThe healthiest holiday dishes to try this season ¡ª Cooking LightTrainers hate when you do this at the gym ¡ª Fitness3 moves to strengthen muscles ¡ª GreatistSurprise everyone with these famous cookie shots on holidays ¡ª POPSUGAR FoodImage Source: Shutterstock

Get the Arms You Want Without Doing Push-Ups

Let’s be honest ¡ª push-ups can be tough. Luckily, our friends at Self have given us six alternative moves to get toned arms.

1. Power Punch

SELF / Arthur Belebeau

Anchor center of band at hip height. Stand with back to anchor, holding handles at hips, elbows bent, palms up. Lunge left leg forward as you punch with right hand (as shown); repeat on opposite side for one rep. Do three sets of 12 reps.

Works shoulders, triceps, biceps, butt, thighs

2. Flex and Crunch

SELF / Arthur Belebeau

Anchor center of band about 2 feet off floor and sit with feet flat, holding handles in front of you, palms up; curl handles toward you so biceps engage. Lie back (as shown) to floor; sit up, biceps still engaged. Do three sets of 12 reps.

Works biceps, abs

3. Fiesty Fighter

SELF / Lauren & Talbert

Stand on band with feet wide, knees soft, a handle in each hand. Pivot on right toe as you uppercut punch to left (as shown). Quickly repeat on opposite side for 1 rep. Do 20 reps.

Works shoulders, back, obliques, legs

4. X-Raise

SELF / Larsen & Talbert

Stand on band with feet hip-width apart; crisscross it in front of you and hold handles at hips, palms in. Step to left as you raise hands to chest, elbows out (as shown). Return to start; repeat on opposite side for 1 rep. Do 20 reps.

Works shoulders, back, outer thighs

5. Biceps Burn

SELF / Larsen & Talbert

Stand on band with feet more than hip-width apart, a handle in each hand, arms locked at sides, palms up. Curl handles up until you feel biceps engage (as shown); lower arms to start, then rotate hands in front of body and curl toward chest. Lower and return to start for 1 rep. Do 20 reps.

Works arms

6. Curl and Crunch

SELF / Larsen & Talbert

Lie face up with center of band around feet, legs extended and hovering above floor, a handle in each hand, palms up, arms at sides to start. Curl hands toward chest with elbows at sides as you crunch up, raising legs a little higher (as shown). Lower to start; repeat. Do 20 reps.

Works arms, abs

Check out more great articles by Self:

5 Essential Foam Roller Exercises Your Muscles Will Love

5 Apps For Incredible At-Home Workouts

These Simple Stretches Will Help Combat That Too-Full Feeling

Work Your Butt, Thighs, and Abs With This No-Equipment-Needed Exercise

Image Source: Self Magazine