Flip Your Workout on its Head — Part 3

You read last week about how to do the Forearm Stand and the “L” Stand, and you’re already standing taller and stronger after trying them! Here are the final two moves of the blog series for better posture and upper back muscles. Want more? Check out my Slimnastics Workout book (Amazon).

Handstand (no photos, self explanatory):

For the handstand, face the wall and place our hands about a foot away from it, on the floor. Get into a tight down dog position by walking your feet close to your hands and letting your hips rise to the sky. Look between your knees at the wall on the other side of the room. Kick one leg up then the next onto the wall above you. Now that you are holding all of your weight in your arms, press firmly into the ground, engaging your back muscles, and slowly step one foot away from the wall, then the other, so that you are hovering in handstand, stabilizing your core to help support you! Gracefully float one foot down then the next and relax in child’s pose.

Wall Walk to Wheel:

This is another fun upper-​​back strengthener, heart-​​opener, and backbend. Walk up to a wall and step a foot or so away, turning so your back faces the wall. Slightly bend your back and reach the arms overhead to touch the wall. Return to standing and inch forward a few times until you feel that you could not do another backbend and touch the wall.

Wall Walk – Nikki Fitness

When you have found your position, bend your back and look overhead, reaching the hands towards the wall and this time pressing your palms into it. Keep the feet hip-​​width apart with knees slightly bent and core tight. Slowly begin to walk your hands down the wall as far as is comfortable or coming all the way to the floor into wheel pose with your hands on the floor and fingers facing your heels.

Trainer’s Tip: Push hard against the wall because gravity will be pulling you down and you need to support yourself until you can reach the floor.

Wall Walk to Wheel – Nikki Fitness

Once in wheel, proceed to Wheel Push-​​Ups or walk back up. To walk up, press the hands firmly back into the wall and walk yourself back up to standing. As a counter-​​stretch, take a forward bend and reach towards your shins or the floor. Hold for two long breaths.

Wheel Push-​​Ups:

The wheel push-​​​​up is my favorite upper back move because it requires no equipment, and I always feel the muscles getting sore and stronger afterward. Once in the wheel position with arms and legs straightening into the arch formation, start bending the elbows to just barely tap the head to the floor and then straighten the arms again. That is one push-​​​​up. Work up to doing fifteen at a time and always counter-​​​​stretch between sets.

Fitness – fit it in, upside-down!

Upside Down Moves for Strength and Posture

Turn Your Routine on It’s Head! — Part 2

Summer Olympics always inspire me to work harder, better, faster and stronger… and to switch up my routine. If you are looking for a new way to challenge yourself and those you train, why not add some gymnastics moves to your workout?

Last week I showed you the first of four moves that turn your routine on it’s head, from my “The Slimnastics Workout” book and DVD, to get you holding your own weight, strengthening your upper back and arms, and improving your posture. Below, I describe the second move, the L stand.

L Stand:

Sit on a mat facing the wall, with your legs extended in front of you. Your feet should touch the wall with them flexed, and place your hands next to your hips. This is how you measure your distance for the L Stand. Keep one hand on that mark where your hips were, and flip yourself over to face the mat. Place both hands where you measured, shoulders width apart and get into a tight down dog with your heels against the wall. Walk one foot then the other up the wall until your legs are parallel to the floor. (It helps to have a partner spot you so that they can tell you if your feet are too high or low. Look at the wall and push your hands strongly into the floor. Your body should look like an “L” in a 90% angle. You can also play with lifting one leg away from the wall at a time.

Fitness — fit it in, upside down!