Saturday, 30 April 2016

Feel The Burn In Your Obliques With This Ridiculously Good Core Move

PeopleImages / Getty Images

Even if you’ve done downward dog a gajillion times in yoga class you’ll want to try this abs-focused variation called the Downward Dog Reach from Katherine Greiner of KGBody. This move incorporates a diagonal reach that recruits your obliques (they’re the muscles that run along the sides of your waist).

That’s not the only benefit: The exercise also incorporates another core-focused position, plank. And you’ll move through downward dog, a pose that helps stretch and strengthen your arms, upper back, and legs. It’s a delicious move for your abs that doesn’t require any equipment—here’s how to do it:

  • Start in a high plank with feet wider than hip-width apart.
  • Keep feet still as you shift hips up and back.
  • Reach right hand under and across to tap left knee.
  • Return to high plank and repeat on opposite side for 1 rep.
  • Do 2 sets of 10 reps.

Related: 5 Ways To Strengthen And Tone Your Butt Without Any Equipment

Want more super-toning moves and fat-burning cardio routines? Just sign up for SELF’s 6 Weeks To Summer Challenge with Tash and Dev, the best friends behind A Bikini A Day. The program has already started, but it’s definitely NOT too late to join—sign up here. #TeamSELF

Related: 6 Ultra-Effective Abs Moves That Aren’t Planks Or Crunches

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Friday, 29 April 2016

6 Ultra-Effective Abs Moves That Aren’t Planks Or Crunches


AleksandarNakic, Getty Images/Graphic by Jocelyn Runice

Crunch time? Good news: That doesn’t have to mean actual crunches. Or planks. Chosen by NYC-based trainer Rebecca Kennedy, these six moves will do an amazing job of strengthening your midsection—from all the angles. Killer? Yeah. But totally worth the burn.

And while there’s nothing wrong with sticking to the classics (after all, planks are fitness mainstays for a reason), you definitely don’t have to continue doing that monotonous abs routine you’ve done 100 times. But don’t forget—if you want to see results, you need to stick with a regular training routine that works your entire body, log cardio workouts, and maintain a healthy, balanced diet. But when you want to mix up your core workout, try these seriously effective moves, as shown by Kennedy herself.

Related: 5 Amazing Butt Exercises That Aren’t Squats

1. Kneeling Twisting Deadlift


Graphic by Jocelyn Runice

  • Start in a kneeling position with your shoelaces on the floor and your hands behind your head.
  • Drive your hips back as you lower your chest towards the floor, maintaining a flat back and braced core.
  • Lift your upper body back to starting position. As you’re coming up, squeeze the glutes and drive the hips forward. 
  • Once your body is upright, twist your upper body to the left, then to the right. 
  • Continue for 45 seconds. 

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Thursday, 28 April 2016

7 Equipment-Free Leg Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

Zoonar / N.Okhitin / Getty

Leg day—groan. Lots of squats—groan times two. Strengthening your lower body is tough, but it doesn’t have to be the worst, and you definitely don’t have to be stuck inside a gym this summer to work on those squats. From fast-paced circuit routines to gentle Pilates exercises and ballet-inspired strength moves, the seven workouts below can be performed just about anywhere with absolutely no equipment. Do them in your home, at the hotel, or on at the beach—because even mermaids do leg day

1. Wake up your leg muscles with this 15-minute mat Pilates routine from Cassey Ho.

Blogilates brings the heat with half clam lifters, froggers, scissor kicks, and more. Your thighs will burn in the best way possible. 

2. Or try this lunge-free, squat-free 16-minute routine. 

This workout from Jessica Smith TV is great for beginners (and anyone who despises squats or lunges).

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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Tennis Player Genie Bouchard Shares Her Ultimate Healthy Snack For All-Day Energy

In order to play like a pro you have to snack like a pro. And for professional tennis player Eugenie “Genie” Bouchard that means keeping your fridge stocked with eggs and your gym bag packed with bananas.

Bouchard typically spends four hours a day practicing plus another one to two hours in the gym training, she tells SELF. “I do all of this five-and-a-half days a week,” the tennis ace explains when I caught up with her to talk about the new Nike Tech Hypermesh collection. So she relies on eating small meals throughout the day to stay fueled. “I always have my energy bars and energy gels [on hand]. And bananas, definitely. All tennis players eat like five bananas a day.”

Even if you’re not logging 30+ hours of training per week, giving your body the nutrients it needs to function is essential to performing at your best. And taking the necessary time to recover is another non-negotiable. “Even sleep is part of my job because I need a certain number of hours of sleep to be able to train at the intensity that I do,” Bouchard says. “I’m constantly working to keep my body in the best possible shape.”

Another key component to Bouchard’s champion mindset is style—it’s about performance on the court and comfort off the court. And the Nike athlete is helping to celebrate the launch of the new Nike Tech Hypermesh gear (available starting May 5).

“It’s so light and is definitely a versatile piece that I can wear after a match, going to press, or between training,” says Bouchard. “I can slip it on and feel super comfortable.” The new outerwear is made with a lightweight material and breathable panels—essentially it’s a summer-ified version of the brand’s popular, signature tech fleece apparel.

Sleep, snack, dress comfortably…is Bouchard reading my to-do list?

From her go-to high-protein breakfast to her ultimate dinner guest, Bouchard shares more of her training tips and winning mindset strategies below.

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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Carrie Underwood’s Go-To Workout Moves For A Strong Lower Body (No Regular Squats!)

Check out the moves that give Carrie Underwood her crazy-strong lower bod from Glamour magazine.

Carrie Underwood gives us a little leg envy. OK, a lot of leg envy. To get those incredible stems, Carrie works out with her longtime trainer, Erin Oprea, several times a week. We asked Carrie and Erin to share their favorite moves to sculpt miniskirt-ready legs.

1. Squat Into Lunge

  • Squat down on your left leg, right toes just touching the floor for balance.
  • Without standing up, move your right leg back into a lunge.
  • Keep your left leg bent and return your right leg to starting position.
  • Do 15 reps, then repeat on the other side.

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17 Women Share Their Best Tips For Getting Motivated To Work Out

Sam Edwards, Getty Images

Working out is hard as hell—even before you hit the gym. Sometimes the best intentions, like setting an early alarm or packing sneakers in your work bag, won’t be enough to get you ~*psyched*~ about the grueling training session you’ve got planned. The truth is that every day won’t feel like a fitness fairytale, so don’t be so hard on yourself. Plus, it’s totally fine to skip the occasional workout. In fact taking extra time to recover may help you reach your fitness goal faster (hi foam roller!).

But before you hit snooze or head to happy hour with sweat-free gym gear, think about whether you’re skipping one session or playing fitness hooky on the reg. It’s called working out for a reason—you have to show up and do something in order to see results. If you need a little inspiration before you get your fitness on, try these 17 ways real women motivate themselves to get #UpNOut.

Related: This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Take A Break From Working Out

1. Write down your goals and look at that list often.


Liam Norris, Getty Images

“I’m always fighting the battle of immediate versus long-term gratification, so I try to find ways to immediately remind myself of the long-term plan by writing little messages on my wrist. It can be anything from ‘4-8,’ because I believe it takes four to eight weeks for results of working out regularly to show, to ‘thank you,’ which is a reminder that I’ll thank myself later if I stick with my plan.” —Lindsey, 21

2. Create a buddy system with your BFF (even if you don’t actually work out together).

“I’ve found that motivating myself to work out usually has to come from a positive place instead of a negative place. My best friend and I have a shared private fitness board on Pinterest for when we need extra motivation. My friend is way better at updating it than me, but it’s super motivating, especially because I tend to work out alone. I can check our board and still feel like I have someone keeping me accountable.” —Claire, 23

3. Plan your workout schedule in advance.

“My week fills up quickly with events for work, drinks with friends, and other miscellaneous activities, so every Sunday I set aside 30 minutes to plan my workout schedule—and that includes booking spots in whatever classes I want to take. Then I write (yes, write!) the workouts in my planner. Once something is added to my calendar I consider it a non-negotiable—I have to go!” –Bari, 29

4. Have a killer playlist ready to go.

“To motivate myself to work out, I make playlists I know I will want to run to. My go-to running songs are mostly DJs like Swedish House Mafia, Alesso, and Audien, but I never forget the fitness classics, like ‘Run The World (Girls)’ by Beyoncé and ‘Sexy Back’ by Justin Timberlake.” —Emily, 23

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Monday, 25 April 2016

4 Ridiculously Effective Obliques Exercises You Can Do At Home

Strengthen your core from every angle with this workout from Glamour.

Your obliques are the muscles that run along the sides of your waist. And while it’s important to work your entire core, adding a few extra obliques-focused exercises to your regular routine has some added benefits: “Defined obliques are like contouring for your waist,” says Dalton Wong, founder of London’s Twenty Two Training, who has worked with Jennifer Lawrence and Zoë Kravitz. Wong gifted us with four ultra-effective moves; do them daily (and aim for one high-, one medium-, and one low-intensity 30- to 60-minute cardio session each week), adding another set whenever the moves start to feel easy. “You’ll see and feel results almost immediately,” Wong says.

1. Side Plank With Knee Raise — do 10 reps then switch sides

04 obliques illo 01

Illustrations: Tania Guerra

  • Lie on left side with forearm on the floor, elbow under shoulder, and feet stacked.
  • Lift hips and reach right arm toward ceiling; hold.
  • Bring right knee toward chest, as shown. Return to start.
  • Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

2. Seated Rotation — do 20 reps (10 on each side)

04 obliques illo 02

Illustrations: Tania Guerra

  • Sit on floor with shoulders back and knees bent, holding a single weight with both hands.
  • Lift feet and lean back on your tailbone in a V shape, as shown.
  • Rotate left, bringing weight down by left hip. Repeat, rotating right.
  • Alternate sides for 20 reps (10 per side).

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Is It OK To Exercise When You’re Sick?

Nikodash, Getty Images

To gym or not to gym? Glamour magazine weighs in on whether you should work out when you’re sick.

It’s a dilemma faced by many gym fans: Should you keep working out when you’re sick? Khloé Kardashian says yes.

“I personally always try to stick to my workout schedule even when I’m sick,” she said recently in her app. “I’ve been fighting a cold for weeks but don’t want to stop working out and lose motivation!” However, she admits, “sometimes you just have to listen to your body and take a break.”

So…what’s the right way to go? Should you just push through an illness and keep up with your regular workouts or take a break? Experts say it depends.

Dean Padavan, M.D., a sports medicine physician with Atlantic Sports Health in New Jersey, admits that it’s a little tricky. “It really does depend on the person’s diagnosis,” he says.

If you have a common head cold, for example, he says you’re probably fine to keep doing what you do. But if you have something like mono (which can present itself like a common cold sometimes), it can be really dangerous to exercise.

Got a fever? Take a pass on working out, says Sanford Vieder, D.O., medical director of Lakes Urgent Care in West Bloomfield, Michigan. “You shouldn’t do anything strenuous or aerobic at all,” he says. “You can do some stretching, but most of these illnesses are short-lived. It’s not going to deteriorate your conditioning in a couple of days.”

Vieder recommends following this rule of thumb: If you have an illness that’s above the neck (and you don’t have a fever), it’s generally OK to do mild to moderate exercise. But, he adds, “if something is causing you pain or making you feel unsafe or unsteady, that’s an indication to stop doing whatever it is that you’re doing.”

For illnesses below the neck, like a chest cold or bronchitis, you really want to skip anything strenuous, Vieder says. Why? “You could make it worse,” he says, especially if it’s in your lungs.

While those are the “rules,” experts stress that above all, it’s important to go with how you feel. Says Vieder: “Listen to your body—that’s always the best thing.”

Originally written by Korin Miller, Glamour

More From Glamour:

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Try A Roga Workout This Summer—Plus 4 More Outdoor Fitness Ideas

Klaus Vedfelt, Getty Images

This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of SELF.

Feel the breeze and soak up some vitamin D with one of these ideas. Then enjoy the happy vibes all day long.

1. River Rowing

City girls: Join a recreational crew class on Boston’s Charles River or the Chicago River. Or erg at Ro Fitness in Austin, Texas: If temps reach 55, the rowing machines go on the studio’s balcony.

2. Park Boxing

Trade the studio for sun with an hour-long conditioning, footwork and punching skills class in New York City’s Central Park. Bonus: They bring the gloves! Sign up at

3. Rooftop Yoga

The flagship Whole Foods in Chicago offers ah-mazing views of the city you can enjoy while getting your om on. Check your local WF Market at to see which classes it offers.

4. Roga

You’re in for an epic A.M.: Run for an hour, then yoga it up for an hour on the Instagram-perfect Santa Monica Pier in California. It’s the ideal way to start your Saturday. Find dates at

5. #SELFRunClub

The next time you’re in the Big Apple, join our editors and fave coaches for some miles with SELF’s Run Club. #TeamSELF pounds the pavement every week—get all of the details here.

For more, pick up the May issue of SELF on newsstands, subscribe, or download the digital edition.

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Sunday, 24 April 2016

Tony Horton’s Ultimate Exercise For Whipping Your Core Into Shape

Annebaek, Getty Images

Can’t bear to do one more crunch or plank? Shake up your abs routine (literally) with the flutter kick, a core-rocking move from P90X creator Tony Horton.

The move is a part of his new DVD workout program, 22-Minute Hard Corps, which is basically all of the muscle-quaking, sweat-dripping power that the P90X franchise is famous for in just—you guessed it—22 minutes. “Hard Corps is designed to get as much muscle recruitment as possible [in every move],” Horton tells SELF. “You’re always working more than just one thing.” Plus, you can do it at home—no actual drill sergeant required.

In 22-Minute Hard Corps, you alternate between cardio, resistance, and core-focused workouts—and the flutter kick is just one of the featured moves. It’s all about strengthening those abs, Horton explains. “I like the flutter kick because if you’re doing it properly, your upper abs are engaged because your shoulders and head are off the floor, and the movement of going up and down activates the lower abs, too,” he says. (The move is similar to a scissor kick, if you’re familiar with that exercise, but Horton puts his own spin on it.)

Ready to try it? Work it into your regular routine or try the full eight-week boot camp (available for $40 on

Abs Exercise: Flutter Kicks


Graphic by Valerie Fischel

  • Lie on your back with your palms flat on the ground and placed under your butt.
  • Lift your shoulders and upper torso off the ground and lift your legs so they’re hovering above the ground a few inches.
  • Begin to flutter kick your feet up (as shown), like you’re walking up to the sky. After four counts, your legs should be up, so your body’s in an L-shape. That’s 1 rep.
  • Reverse the movement and flutter kick your feet down for four counts so your feet are hovering a few inches off the floor. That’s another rep.
  • Do 22 reps (just like in 22-Minute Hard Corps).

Hard Corps…hard cores

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Saturday, 23 April 2016

5 Epic Races From Around The Globe

Half Corked Marathon via Facebook

Every adventure-seeking athlete should check out these next-level races from Savoteur.

Whether you like to go hard or prefer a slow and steady pace when it comes to marathons (and bike rides and ultramarathons), one of these five unusual races around the globe is sure to have you lacing up your shoes.

1. Half-Corked Marathon, Canada

May 27-29

Instead of downing liters of H2O, parched runners at the Half-Corked Marathon can be found sipping on an entirely different type of beverage: wine, and plenty of it. Hosted in Western Canada’s wine country, Half-Corked is an 18-kilometer route that leads participants to stops at 38 wineries in the Oliver Osoyoos region. At each one, vino is served to the thirsty travelers alongside nibbles prepared by celebrated local chefs. With one of the most relaxed vibes of any race we’ve ever seen, this run clearly caters to the oenophile over the rugged athlete.

2. Simpson Desert Bike Challenge, Australia

Simpson Desert Bike Challenge via Facebook

September 27-October 1

As if a grueling ultra-cycling race weren’t difficult enough on its own, how about adding scorching heat and desert-like conditions to the mix? If this sounds like your type of thing, then you’ll want to head Down Under for the Simpson Desert Bike Challenge. Only the toughest riders will be able to survive this five-day race, which crisscrosses close to 700 sand dunes. Getting across the dunes on a bike adds another layer of difficulty to this already challenging race, but with its salt lakes and gibber rock plains, the desert’s striking scenery more than makes up for it.

3. Yak Attack, Nepal

November 5-15

You’ve gotta be one tough mother to even think about taking part in Nepal’s Yak Attack, the highest mountain-bike race on earth. With climbs reaching 12,000 meters in altitude, much of the 500-kilometer route through the Himalayas is so far above sea level that the oxygen levels hover at 50 percent—or lower. Riders can expect conditions to fluctuate between humid 85° F temperatures on the ground to below zero at the mountaintop as they traverse snow, ice, and the lunar landscape of the “Forbidden Kingdom” region where this year’s race will occur.

4. The Last Desert, Antarctica

The Last Desert via Facebook

November 18-29

While all the races that make up the Four Desert Marathon Series involve treks through incredible landscapes (like the Sahara and the Gobi), the Last Desert race outdoes them all. In a nutshell, it’s a seven-day self-supported race across the rugged terrain of Antarctica. Yes, we are indeed referring to that Antarctica. And while visiting the continent at the bottom of the globe is clearly enough to earn you serious bragging rights, the weeklong sojourn also gives you the opportunity to explore this untouched wilderness. Journey over white mountains and black beaches as you catch glimpses of wildlife found nowhere else on the planet. In a word: epic.

5. Yukon Arctic Ultra, Canada

February 5-18, 2017

Every year since 2003, a group of ultramarathoners decide to torture—er, challenge themselves by heading to Canada’s Great White North for the Yukon Arctic Ultra. Participants navigate the backcountry on foot, skis, or a bike in this nonstop multi-day race that covers hundreds of kilometers of frozen tundra along the Yukon Quest sled dog trail. During a race in which temperatures plummet to more than -50° F (plus wind chill), the usual worries about dehydration and fatigue give way to serious concerns about frostbite and hypothermia. It’s no wonder this race is billed as the toughest ultramarathon the world over.

Originally written by Serena Matter, Savoteur

More From Savoteur:

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Thursday, 21 April 2016

5 Effective Resistance Band Exercises For A Strong Firm Butt

PeopleImages / Getty Images; Graphic by Valerie Fischel

A mini, circular resistance band is the ultimate sculpting tool: It’s inexpensive (this pack offers three resistance levels for less than 20 bucks), versatile, and portable. Just wrapping the band around your legs during basic exercises, like the go-to bodyweight squat, immediately makes the move more challenging thanks to the added resistance. It’s definitely a super-toning secret weapon—and that’s why Brooke Taylor of Taylored Fitness NY loves the simple but effective equipment.

Now that you’ve joined the band, here are a few of Taylor’s go-to lower-body resistance band moves. Do this travel-friendly workout a few times per week, or add the exercises to your regular training program. And, if you want more resistance band butt exercises, be sure to check out these 50 Shades of Glutes moves.

1. Hip Bridge – do 15 reps

Courtesy of Esme Benjamin

  1. Wrap the band above your knees.
  2. Lie on your back and place your feet on the ground a few inches away from your butt. Feet should be about hip-width apart.
  3. Push through your feet and lift your hips to the sky until they align with the knees and shoulders, and squeeze your glutes at the top.
  4. Lower your butt down, pausing a few inches above the mat.
  5. That’s 1 rep, do 15.

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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Work Your Butt With This 1 Ultra-Effective Move

Your glutes are where it’s at. “It’s one of your biggest muscles so the calorie burn you get from moves that recruit your gluteal muscles is major,” says Katherine Greiner of KGBody. And the arabesque exercise is one of her go-to moves for targeting your backside.

The move may look simple, but it’s ultra-effective. That’s why Greiner included it in the strength routine she created for the SELF x A Bikini A Day 6 Weeks To Summer Challenge. To score the full butt workout (and more!), just sign up for the program—it’s free!

For an A-plus arabesque, all you’ll need is a chair (or some other sturdy surface like the edge of a couch or countertop). Here’s exactly how to perform it with perfect form:

  • Start with hands on sturdy chair back, left leg straight, right toe pointed touching ground.
  • Keeping right leg straight, lift leg high without arching back (about 90 degrees).
  • Return leg to ground, without touching, for 1 rep.
  • Do 10 reps; repeat on opposite side. Do 2 sets.

Related: 5 Ways To Strengthen And Tone Your Butt Without Any Equipment

Want more super-toning moves and fat-burning cardio routines? Just sign up for SELF’s 6 Weeks To Summer Challenge with Tash and Dev, the best friends behind A Bikini A Day. The program kicked off a few days ago, but it’s definitely NOT too late to join—sign up here. #TeamSELF

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The Protein Smoothie Tone It Ups Karena And Katrina Swear By

Nadya Wasylko; Graphic By Jocelyn Runice

This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of SELF.

With abs like theirs, it’s no surprise that Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn met at a gym in California. What’s amazing is how they’ve parlayed a shared love of fitness and community into the global brand known as Tone It Up. In addition to a huge following (half a million members) and a successful business selling branded products like workout gear and nutrition plans, they also host sold-out retreats from coast to coast. “If you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life,” says Kat. 

Here, they share a few secrets to reaching your goals, as well as their go-to smoothie recipe.

1. Focus your to-dos.

While task lists help organize thoughts, a lengthy one can be as overwhelming as it is helpful. Karena suggests zeroing in on doing three things every day really well. “You’ll actually do each task in a way that you can be truly proud of,” she says.

2. Dress the part.

Headed to a big work meeting? Wear your best blazer and favorite heels. “You want an outfit that makes you feel like the girl boss you are,” says Kat. Ditto for the gym. Put on cute leggings and sneakers that make you feel strong—because you are!

3. Visualize success.

The girls are true believers in the power of seeing your future. They save inspirational quotes and photos in a shared Pinterest board to motivate themselves to stay the course. “It’s easy to get off track,” says Kat. “Everyday reminders help you reset, refocus, and stay present.”

4. Appoint a wingwoman.

Kat and Karena constantly discuss their dreams with each other, everything from their fitness goals to business aspirations. Ask a trusted person—best friend, sibling, colleague—to help you keep tabs on yours. Say, “I would really love for you to ask me about [insert a work, fitness or life goal here] in two weeks.”

5. Keep calm and smoothie on.

Here’s how Kat and Karena power up:  “Puree one cup almond milk, ½ banana, two shots of espresso, and one scoop of our Perfect Fit Protein. Freeze in an ice-cube tray. Blend five cubes, then sprinkle cacao nibs on top,” says Kat. Find more delicious and filling smoothie recipes here.

For more, pick up the May issue of SELF on newsstands, subscribe, or download the digital edition.

The post The Protein Smoothie Tone It Up’s Karena And Katrina Swear By appeared first on SELF.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

5 Signs Its Time To Replace Your Workout Gear

Sam Edwards, Getty Images

Out with the old and in with the new. Here are five handy tips from ClassPass to help you know when to replace your exercise essentials.

Just as bulky sweaters are packed into the depths of a tiny closet or tossed after a season of heavy use, activewear is also subject to its own seasonality and life cycle. Workout clothes are about functionality and style, both of which, sadly, can expire. Keep these tips in mind to maximize closet space allotted for your yoga pants stack during the next spring-cleaning session.

1. Be critical of the workout tank.

They say dress for the job you want. Well, the same advice can be applied to working out. When you’re not wearing something that makes you feel great, you’re less likely to operate at your top effort. How you feel when you start a workout impacts how well you train that day, and a big part of how you feel has to do with how you’re presented. When a shirt loses its vibrancy or shape after too many washes, it will affect the way you see yourself. Further, less technical fabrics have a tendency to stain or break down with continued use (read: excessive sweating).

2. Stretchy pants shouldn’t be too stretchy.

When previously form-fitting leggings start to feel a little less so, it’s probably time for a change. Seams and waistbands can become loose (especially when washing instructions aren’t always followed closely), and styles can be outgrown. If you want to be ready to take on the world, it can help to upgrade to a new style, size, or fabric that is better suited for your current workout obsession.

3. Don’t be lenient with sports bras.

If there is one type of fitness gear worth investing in, it’s the sports bra. The benefits of a good-quality, well-fitting, and activity-appropriate sports bra are plenty. While the high-end brands design their pieces to last, all sports bras reach a point where they are no longer truly effective. Move past the killer color combo, cool designs, and the fact that you had to set aside money for a month to make the purchase, and set your sights on a brand-new one that’s going to offer the support you need.

4. No need to hoard water bottles.

Any person with a fitness obsession is likely to have multiple water bottles stashed around the house. Guess how many water bottles that same person uses during a workout? One. Most people have just one or two they use on a regular basis, and several others that just sit around unused. If you fall into this category, or if you’ve never invested in a quality bottle, it may be time to get rid of the excess and shop for the one that’s going to last.

5. Assess gym bag functionality.

At some point, everyone will get distracted by an appealing gym bag, and after putting it to use, they may discover it doesn’t meet their needs or personal preference. The perfect bag will be different for everyone. Finding the right size and shape that allows you to pack everything you need—but also avoids you completely emptying out the bag on the street just to find your phone—is hard. If the one you’ve been using isn’t making your life easier, accept that there’s a better option out there and let the old one go.

Originally written by Amy Hillock, ClassPass

The post 5 Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Workout Gear appeared first on SELF.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Can Some Foods Help Your Body Detox?

Can Some Foods Help Your Body Detox? Blog Post

Based on the abundance of cleanses on the market, you'd think a regular detox regimen is a must-do. Not so. Our bodies are pretty adept at eliminating most harmful substances we encounter, thanks to our kidneys, liver, lungs and GI system. And, buyer beware: the cleanses and detox diets out there vary widely and often aren't based in science. There are, however, a few foods that research shows can amp up your body's natural detox process.

8 Low-Impact Cardio Workouts

Sunday, 17 April 2016

A Yoga Flow Sequence For Stronger Abs


M-Imagephotography / Getty Images

In search of an excellent ab workout that doesn’t involve burpees? Look no further: This flow from The YogaFit Athlete—the latest book from Beth Shaw, founder of YogaFit—is just what you need.

First off, this isn’t your average yoga book. Designed with athletes in mind, you’ll find an assortment of beginner-friendly routines intended to improve game-play and reduce risk of sports-related injuries. Specialized workouts that target flexibility, core strength, endurance, and more will improve your performance no matter your sport—baseball, cycling, swimming, you name it!

This workout is a great ab routine for both athletes and non-athletes: A simple combination of planks and balancing poses promises to strengthen your core and get you sweating. So roll out that yoga mat and get ready to flow. 

Warrior III to Leg Up—do 5 to 10 reps on each side

Warrior III

  • From a standing position, shift your weight over to your right foot and keep your pelvis facing forward. Extend your left leg back so that your toes are touching the mat behind you and keep your hips stable.
  • With your hands at your hips to start, hinge forward on your right leg while you lift your leg up, keeping your spine long and your raised leg straight. Keep your pelvis facing the floor as well as the knee and toe of your raised leg. 
  • Press back through your heel and reach forward through the crown of your head. 
  • For more core work, extend your arms ahead of you with your shoulders down and back.

Transition to Leg Up

  • From Warrior III, lift your upper body back to standing while you lower the extended leg and bring it through to a raised position in front of you with a 90 degree bend at your hip and knee.
  • Continue to reach your arms up to encourage good posture with core center activation. For a challenge, move with breath from one pose to the other. Inhale to Leg Up and exhale to Warrior III. 

Standing Pigeon to Tree Pose—repeat on opposite side

Standing Pigeon

  • From Mountain Pose, shift your weight to your right leg and lift your leg. Flex your left foot and cross it over to rest your ankle on your right thigh while you sit back, as in Chair Pose.
  • Enjoy the hold for 3 to 5 breaths while you sit deeper into the stretch.

Transition to Tree Pose

  • From Standing Pigeon, stand tall on your right leg, move your left foot to the inside of your right leg below or above your knee. 
  • Hold for 3 to 5 breaths while you extend your arms like branches or reach up over your head. 

Shoulder Touches in Plank Pose—do 20 to 30 reps

  • With your toes on the floor, shift forward so that your shoulders are directly over your wrists. Stabilize your shoulders against your rib cage without squeezing them together. 
  • Reach long from your heels to the crown of your head with a strong core center. 
  • Lift one hand to touch the opposite shoulder with little or no movement in your torso. Hold and switch sides. Move slowly and steadily to increase awareness of your entire body from your heel to the crown of your head with special attention to your core center and shoulder stability. 

Knee to Same Elbow in Plank—do 15 reps on each side 

  • From Downward Facing Dog, reach one leg back and up. Slowly bring your leg underneath you with a bent knee.
  • Lift up with your core center and reach your knee to your elbow on the same side. 

Knee to Opposite Elbow in Plank—do 15 reps on each side

  • From Downward Facing Dog, reach one leg back and up. Slowly bring your leg underneath you with a bent knee. 
  • Lift up with your core center and reach your knee to your opposite elbow.

Opening Closing Side Plank Pose—repeat on opposite side

  • From Plank, stabilize your shoulders, making sure that they are directly over your wrists.
  • Lift one arm up and open into Side Plank. Use your oblique muscles to lift your hip to the sky while you reach further with your arm.
  • Take your raised arm and reach it down and under you while you stay lifted in your hips. 

From the book The YogaFit Athlete by Beth Shaw. Copyright © 2016 by Beth Shaw. Reprinted by arrangement with Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

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Friday, 15 April 2016

The One Full-Body Move Your Workout Routine Is Missing

PeopleImages, Getty Images

Craving a little variety in your gym routine? If you’re not ready to overhaul your training plan, simply adding in one crazy-effective move can help keep your mind focused and your workout fresh. Kelvin Gary, owner of Body Space Fitness studio in New York City, to the rescue: He gave SELF one total-body move you should definitely add to your next sweat sesh.

Meet the squat overhead thruster. “In this move, we work the legs, backside, arms and core, all in one,” says Gary. “The legs [and glutes] are involved in the squat, the arms are involved in the press, and the core comes into play as you transfer force from your legs to the kettlebell, and as you pause with the kettlebell overhead.” Here’s your game plan:

  • Start with a 10 to 16-kilogram (or 22- to 35-pound) kettlebell at chest height, feet hip-width apart, holding on to the handles. 
  • Squat down, with feet facing forward, until hips are parallel with knees or lower.
  • Squeeze your glutes as you straighten your legs and press the kettlebell overhead.
  • Fully extend the kettlebell overhead as you stand up tall. Return to start for 1 rep.
  • Do 12 to 15 reps.  

The post The One Full-Body Move Your Workout Routine Is Missing appeared first on SELF.

7 Exercises For Killer Arms and Shoulders

Moof, Getty Images

Strong, toned arms and shoulders can make you feel like a total badass–whether you’re nailing those burpees during bootcamp or showing off your results in a racerback tank. Time to get lifting, pulsing, and pushing, ladies: These seven arm-shaking moves are totally worth the burn. 

1. Rolling Push-Up


  • Start in a high plank with a 10- to 15-pound medicine ball under left hand.
  • Engage core and bend elbows, lowering into a low push-up position. 
  • Push back up to high plank and roll ball to right hand (as shown), keeping elbows away from body.
  • Repeat in opposite direction for 1 rep. Do 12 reps.

Courtesy of Lauren Williams, head coach at Tone House, a sports performance gym in New York City

2. Supergirl Soar

  • Lie facedown, a light weight in each hand, arms at sides.
  • Lift upper body and arms (as shown) to start.
  • Keeping upper body lifted, reach your arms straight in front of you, shoulders next to ears.
  • Pause; return to start. Do 12 reps.

Courtesy of Julie Bobek, creator of the All About You: Arms class at Reebok Sports Club/NY in NYC

3. Resistance Band X-Raise


Larsen & Talbert

  • Stand on a resistance band with feet hip-width apart. 
  • Criss-cross 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.

4. Bow And Arrow

  • Stand with feet staggered wide, left foot in front, a heavy weight in each hand at sides.
  • Bend knees and lean forward as you reach right hand toward left foot (as shown).
  • Straighten legs, drawing right weight to waist.
  • Do 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Courtesy of Julie Bobek, creator of the All About You: Arms class at Reebok Sports Club/NY in NYC

5. Triangle Push-Up

  • Start in a plank.
  • Walk hands together so thumbs and forefingers form a triangle.
  • Do a complete push-up (as shown) for 1 rep.
  • Too tough? Lower your knees. Do 12 reps.

Courtesy of Pete McCall, exercise physiologist

6. Downward Dog Push-Up

  • Start in a downward dog position.
  • Bend at the elbows, sliding the shoulder blades down the back, and then pressing back up to the starting position for 1 rep.
  • Start with 10 reps; build up to 20. 

Courtesy of The Barre Code

7. Chair Dip

  • Sit on edge of a chair, hands on edge of seat, fingers forward, legs extended, feet flexed.
  • Use arms to lift yourself off chair.
  • Bend elbows, lowering body until upper arms are almost parallel to floor, hips directly under shoulders (as shown).
  • Push through hands to rise back up for 1 rep. Do 12 reps.

Courtesy of Pete McCall, exercise physiologist

The post 7 Exercises For Killer Arms and Shoulders appeared first on SELF.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

1 Ridiculously Simple Stretch That Will Help Improve Your Posture

Chad Springer / Getty

If you’re not careful, the daily grind can really take a toll on your posture. When 3 P.M. rolls around, you’re usually typing away at your work while hunched over your keyboard. You may be able to ignore that shoulder stiffness for a while, but it’ll eventually become seriously uncomfortable—and that’s when you should get up and stretch it out. 

Thankfully you can, and with absolutely no equipment. This one simple move from Jenn Seracuse, Director of FLEX Pilates, is easy to do nearly anywhere—even in your office—and intended to improve posture. “We sit with our arms reaching forward at computers, and we’re always texting,” she tells SELF, and this stretch should help counteract that. It will open up your chest and “alleviate some of that tightness that comes with the mostly sedentary lives we lead,” she explains.

Related: 6 Ballerina-Approved Stretches For Tight Hips And Legs

But that’s not all: Though most posture stretches focus on opening the chest and shoulders, this move also gives some much-needed love to your hip flexors. “Tight hips affect posture because they pull the pelvis out of alignment and create a forward tilt in the hips,” says Seracuse. Since the bones of the spine are all connected, “when one part is out of place it creates a chain reaction, sending the rest of the bones out of alignment to compensate.” This move utilizes a lengthening technique that will open up your hips and help correct that imbalance. 

Ready to get stretching? Check out the pose below and prepare to say hello to great posture. 

Hip & Chest Opener

  • Start on one knee with your opposite foot planted in front of you. Make sure your legs are far enough apart that your back leg can be lengthened while your front knee remains stacked directly over your ankle, not past it.
  • Place your hands on your front knee and tuck your tailbone slightly to activate your glutes. Release the hip of your back leg forward and down toward the floor. 
  • Clasp your hands behind your back and reach your arms down toward the back of your back knee, keeping your arms as straight as possible. Lift your heart to open your chest.
  • Hold for 3 to 5 breaths. Repeat on opposite side. 

If you can’t quite clasp your hands during the pose, says Seracuse, hold opposite elbows or use a towel instead. 

The post 1 Ridiculously Simple Stretch That Will Help Improve Your Posture appeared first on SELF.

How to Buy a Healthy Salad Dressing

How to Buy a Healthy Salad Dressing Blog Post

It's nice to have a homemade salad dressing on hand, but c'mon, life gets busy and the convenience of store-bought salad dressings sometimes wins. But with the right dressing, you can take a plate of greens from dull to delightful. Here's how to pick a healthy salad dressing at the grocery store that doesn't undo the work of those veggies.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Get Ready To Burn Fat And Tone All Your Muscles With Our Summer Fitness Challenge

Remi Pyrdol

Have you heard the BIG news? SELF’s new fitness challenge kicks off this Saturday, and it’s going to be all sorts of next-level, fat-burning, core-sculpting, sweaty-selfies-galore amazingness.

The #6WeeksToSummer Challenge starts in just a few days (this Saturday, April 16 to be exact), so make sure you join the Challenge here. Why? The plan includes a smart mix of toning workouts and cardio routines that build in intensity. This means your muscles will be constantly challenged and you’ll never get bored! (It also means you’ll score 10 all-new and incredibly effective cardio and sculpting routines.)

The best part? You’re not doing it alone. Join best friends and business partners Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman from A Bikini A Day, as well as the thousands of other women who have already signed up. You’ll also have access to easy-to-follow GIFs that demonstrate proper form of each sculpting move and lots of other fun surprises along the way. All you need to bring is your A-game.

Here’s your three-step plan for #6WeeksToSummer success:

1. Sign up right now. Seriously, just do it! It’s free and you can enter for a chance to win a super-luxe beach vacation, too.

2. Be on the lookout for a daily emails that will tell you exactly what workout you have to do that day.

3. Share your feelings and track your progress using the hashtags #6WeeksToSummer and #TeamSELF. We’ll be looking for your sweaty selfies! 

So get ready to burn calories, feel energized, and strengthen from head-to-toe! Let’s do this!

The post Get Ready To Burn Fat And Tone All Your Muscles With Our Summer Fitness Challenge appeared first on SELF.

Welcome to Access Change Fitness and Nutrition

The post Welcome to Access Change Fitness and Nutrition appeared first on Access Change Fitness and Nutrition.

Original Article: from Access Change

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Run Your Best Mile With SELF Magazine And The #SELFRunClub

Spring is the perfect time to start pounding the pavement and why not do it with some friends in tow? Come out and join SELF staffers every other Wednesday night at 6:30 P.M. for a run around downtown Manhattan. Each week we’ll provide you with a coach (or two!) and lots of cheers! Your #SELFRunClub coach will and craft a workout that will help you run stronger and faster. The run will vary each week—so one week you might do sprints, the next a three- or five- miler. Each coach will bring their own flavor to the table, providing you with a unique workout every time.

OK, so here is everything you need to know:

  1. It’s free! All you need to do is show up!
  2. Anyone can join, so grab your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues and let’s all run together!
  3. We’re all meeting at Brookfield Place in downtown Manhattan. We’re meeting at the Winter Garden (see the map below).
  4. SELF Run Club takes place every other Wednesday at 6:30 P.M., see below for the full schedule.
  5. Come dressed and ready to run. We’ll have someone at Brookfield to stay with your stuff if you decide you have too many layers.
  6. And don’t forget to take a few running selfies and share using the hashtags #TeamSELF #SELFRunClub.

And here’s your SELF Run Club schedule:

  1. April 13: Come out and run with SELF’s own Fitness Editor, Emily Abbate
  2. April 27: November Project superstar and coach for NYRR’s John Honerkamp
  3. May 11: A Sweaty Betty coach
  4. May 25: Mile High Run Club coach Andia Winslow
  5. June 8: A Pearl Izumi coach/athlete
  6. June 22: A Brooks coach/athlete

Be sure to check our SELF Fitness Facebook page for updates or cancellations because of bad weather. Let’s run this town!

Don’t live in NYC? Don’t let that stop you! Virtually log a few miles every Wednesday and share your run using the #SELFRunClub hashtag! Virtual high fives are lots of fun (and way less sweaty).

The post Run Your Best Mile With SELF Magazine And The #SELFRunClub appeared first on SELF.

That Moment When: Paige Selenski

Alex John Beck

This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of SELF.

That Moment When: Paige Selenski

Paige Selenski officially achieved elite-athlete status when she made the under-21 U.S. women’s national field hockey team as a sophomore in high school. But she was simultaneously going through a life-altering hardship: the loss of her mother, Judy, to ovarian cancer. “It was a shock,” says Selenski, 25, who plays forward and is known for her lightning speed. After all, Judy was the one who introduced Selenski to the sport when she was 10. “She did everything she could to watch me play, even when she was really sick at the end,” says Selenski. Her mother passed away just before Selenski’s hockey career picked up and took her to places like China and the Netherlands. “It motivated me and propelled my whole career,” says Selenski, who’s one of 26 national team members vying for a spot on the squad that will compete in Rio. If she makes it, this will be Selenski’s second Olympics. “Losing my mom made me stronger. In a way, I play hockey in her memory.”

Paige Selenski’s Road To Rio:

First: Winning the 2015 Pan Am Games qualified Selenski’s team for Rio.

4: Average number of miles forwards log during a game. Selenski ran track in high school to improve her field speed.

16: Selenski’s age when she made the under-21 U.S. women’s national team (where she played alongside college-age athletes).

Be sure to tune in: the Olympics begin August 5th on NBC.

Top, Laain, $190; Bottom, $75; Sneakers, $120; Field hockey stick, Gryphon Hockey, $400; Styling, Michaela Dosamantes; hair, Dana Boyer for Oribe Hair Care; Makeup, Laura Stiassni at Artlist; Manicure, Yukie Miyakawa at Kate Ryan.

For more, pick up the May issue of SELF on newsstands, subscribe, or download the digital edition.

The post That Moment When: Paige Selenski appeared first on SELF.

Monday, 11 April 2016

10-Minute Body-Toning Workouts You Can Do On Your Lunch Break

During an especially hectic week at work, fitting in time to exercise before or after office hours can be a total toss up. That’s why sneaking in some gym time midday truly sounds like the dream. Unfortunately, not all of us can just waltz out of the office for over an hour to take a “lunch break.”

Just because you’re busy, though, doesn’t mean you can’t sneak in some time to sweat. Here are some short-and-sweet 10-minute workouts you can do whenever you have time, either at the gym, by your desk, or in the nearest empty conference room.

1. Get your heart rate up fast with a total-body cardio blast.

Since there’s no equipment required, you can do this workout from Jessica Smith TV literally anywhere you have the space (an empty conference room, perhaps?).

2. Sculpt your abs with one quick circuit.

This XHIT workout even hits those hidden lower abs, which are so tough to target.

3. Get a total upper body workout, without lifting a single weight.

Not everyone stashes medicine balls and dumbbells under their desk. With this FitnessBlender workout, you can target your upper body using only your body weight.

4. Use your desk and your chair to stretch and sculpt your entire body.

If your co-workers look at you like you’re crazy, ask them to join and get the endorphins flowing throughout the entire office.

5. Work your core from every angle with a 10-minute plank flow.

Try moving through all of these plank variations—from Men’s Health and trainer BJ Gaddour—in 10 minutes without dropping to the floor to keep that core engaged as long as possible.

6. Sometimes, what your body really needs is an amazing stretch.

Try celeb trainer Juliet Kaska’s stretching workout from PopSugar to ease any tightness and gear up for your next intense class.

7. Lift your booty in the break room.

Your butt will thank you for taking a break from sitting and showing it the love it deserves with this circuit of basic squats and leg lift exercises from Blogilates’ Cassey Ho.

8. Grab your kettlebell and sculpt your abs, arms, and legs in one quick sesh.

If you do keep a kettlebell under your desk, whip it out and nail these easy and super-effective moves from LA-based trainer Amy Kiser.

9. Whip out your best ballerina moves with a killer thigh workout.

All you need is your body and a floor to stand on (and this BeFit video) to make your thighs burn like crazy.

10. Only have 5 minutes? Try this express full-body workout.

Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser created this exclusive full-body workout for If you don’t have dumbbells, try using soup cans, or even water bottles to add some weight to your movements.

The post 10-Minute Body-Toning Workouts You Can Do On Your Lunch Break appeared first on SELF.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

The 10-Minute Cardio Interval Workout You Can Do On Any Equipment

Jacob Ammentorp Lund, Getty Images

Short on time? Cardio machine-of-choice taken? Bored of your same-old, same-old routine? This quick heart-pumping workout is your solution for any gym dilemma.

At just 10 minutes long, this workout is super-effective thanks to its high-intensity intervals that burn calories even after you’ve cooled down, says Eric Salvador, C.P.T., head instructor at The Fhitting Room. “This ‘afterburn’ effect is the reason why intense exercise intervals will help burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic and steady-state workouts,” he says.

This workout can be done on a treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical, row machine, stair master…you name it. If you’re using a machine with a resistance option (like a bike or an elliptical machine), set it to moderate resistance; it should feel like a four to six on a scale of 10. Add a small incline or skip it all together if you’re on a treadmill—speed should be the focus.

During the slow speed, “you should be able to carry a conversation and not feel that you are gasping for breath,” Salvador says. This is your warm-up and cool-down pace. Pick up the speed during moderate intervals, but use them as active recovery. Your sprint should be your maximum effort—go as fast as you can. “The goal is to keep your pace on each sprint and use the other 45 seconds to recover,” he says.

Ready? Here’s Salvador’s versatile 10-minute cardio interval workout plan. 


Graphic by Jocelyn Runice

The post The 10-Minute Cardio Interval Workout You Can Do On Any Equipment appeared first on SELF.

10 People Share What It’s Really Like To Lose 50 Pounds

Courtesy of Seana Vogt/Graphic by Dana Davenport

Losing weight can actually have a lot to do with gaining: Think mental strength, understanding, and self-acceptance (insert raised hands emoji here). These 10 women may have some seriously amazing weight loss in common, but their journeys are all uniquely inspiring: From their reason to start to their motivation to keep going, these women have learned tons along the way—and they’re sharing their struggles, triumphs, and what their weight loss means to them.

SELF chatted with the inspiring women below to find out what they’ve learned in the process. Here are the surprising, confusing, and inspiring revelations from their weight-loss journeys.

1. Pounds may melt quickly at first, but don’t be discouraged by plateaus along the way.


Courtesy of Kymber Moore/Graphic by Dana Davenport

Kymber Moore, 23, lost 75 pounds

“The biggest surprise for me was how quickly I’ve lost weight. It always seemed like such a slow process. Being a huge fan of instant gratification, it was very helpful to watch the pounds fall of so quickly…[but] I knew that at some point I would hit a plateau. After losing weight so consistently for seven months it is really disheartening. But at the same time I’m really happy with what I’ve done so far. Now that it’s getting warmer I’ve been playing tennis, which has been super awesome. I definitely realize how much easier it is now that I’ve lost so much weight.”

2. You don’t have to do everything at once. You can focus on healthier eating first, and incorporate exercise when you’re ready. 


Courtesy of Seana Vogt/Graphic by Dana Davenport

Seana Vogt, 27, lost 55 pounds

“I didn’t think it was possible to lose as much weight as I have and as quickly without working out once…[but] all of the weight I’ve lost is from changing my eating habits. They say abs are made in the kitchen and I believe that more than anything. I have proof! My schedule is extremely busy between working full time and keeping up with two children, a boyfriend, and a dog…We have a great routine at home and [I wasn’t] quite ready to throw something new in the mix yet. I plan on adding in some type of exercise into my routine as well as sticking to my clean-eating plan.”

The post 10 People Share What It’s Really Like To Lose 50 Pounds appeared first on SELF.

Friday, 8 April 2016

8 Secrets Behind Julianne Hough’s Crazy Strong Dancer’s Body

How Dancer And Model Damaris Lewis Gets It All Done


This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of SELF.

A lifelong dancer and in-demand model, 25-year-old Damaris Lewis moves fast whether she’s in front of the camera, at the barre, or on tour with Prince. A style correspondent for NBA TV, the Brooklynite volunteers with kids through the Garden of Dreams Foundation and is launching a travel blog this spring. Positive thinking is the key to managing a busy schedule, she says: “You have to wake up with the intention of having a good day.”

1. Stretch Session

As soon as I get up, I grab my mat and practice a 15-minute yoga stretch taught by my friend Traci Copeland on the Nike+ Training Club app.

2. Green Meal 

My breakfast usually consists of a kale-and-fruit smoothie with oatmeal. Greens are important for me, and spinach is my pick-me-up—I’m Popeye number two! My body doesn’t do well with caffeine, so I don’t drink coffee, but I love Yogi Ginger tea.

3. Morning Dance

I take three or four dance classes a week; Alvin Ailey is my go-to. On top of that, I box, hula-hoop, and jump rope. Once it gets warmer, I’ll bring my Rollerblades back into my routine.


4. Stylish Outfit

For workouts, I like a Mara Hoffman sports bra, Nike Pro tights, and Adidas Boost sneakers. My get-me-out-the-door-fast outfit is Stuart Weitzman Lowland boots, black leggings, a GapBody T-shirt, and a Chantelle bra-and-undies set.

5. Feminine Fragrance

I don’t leave the house without perfume: either Cartier La Panthère [$110], Miss Dior [$100] or Chanel Coco Mademoiselle [$94].

6. Hair Care

I get my hair washed and conditioned once a week at Amoy Couture Hair. When I do it myself, I use SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil shampoo [$10] and leave-in conditioner [$11]. At night, I wrap my hair in a head tie or doobie.

7. Complexion Boosters

For puffy eyes, I like Earth Therapeutics Recover-E Cucumber Eye Pads [$7]. I’ve been using Christine Chin products since 2006—they’ve never failed me. I use Maya Chia face oil [$59] on my face, Lucas’ Papaw [$9] on the lips and call it a day.

8. Wild Tunes

I love nature music, and I blast Dan Gibson—he has an album for each mood. I’m pretty sure there are days when my neighbor thinks I’m crazy because my apartment sounds like the Serengeti.

Top, N.L.P., $160; Shorts, Alala, $75; Ball (painted), Wilson Sporting Goods, $60; / Sports bra, $67; Shorts, $128; Sneakers, $140; Laces, $4;

The post How Dancer And Model Damaris Lewis Gets It All Done appeared first on SELF.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

6 Ballerina-Approved Stretches For Tight Hips And Legs


Yulkapopkova, Getty Images; Graphic by Jocelyn Runice

“I started studying ballet when I was nine. I lived and breathed ballet for over 10 years before transitioning to modern dance,” Heather Andersen, founder of New York Pilates studios in Manhattan tells SELF. “All that dancing was wonderful, but it left me super tight.” Translation: In order to keep her muscles happy, and body operating at peak performance, she had to get her stretch on.

Even if you don’t plan on spending your days on stage, your body will benefit from taking a few minutes each day to stretch. Between long hours sitting at the office, time logged in the gym, and all of the other crazy parts of your day, ahhhhhh-worthy stretches are just what your hips are asking for. And Andersen created a restorative stretching class for just that reason—to get her clients to spend time focusing on increasing their flexibility and giving those tense, tight muscles some TLC. Both reasons have major fitness payoffs.

“Rough day at work? Stretch it out and reset,” says Andersen. “Stretching feels amazing but is often neglected. So loosen those muscles, get real deep, and forget about the day’s problems.” 

Below are six of her top moves for opening up your hips, releasing the muscles of your lower body, and getting into the most satisfying stretch ever

1. Seated Ankle To Knee Stretch

Sit on the seat edge of a sturdy chair with both feet planted on the ground and spine long. Bring your right ankle on top of your left knee, allowing your right knee to drop open. Hold for 30 seconds (lean forward over your legs to deepen the stretch if you want). Then repeat on the opposite side.

2. Piriformis Release With Ball

Sit on the floor and cross your right ankle over your left knee. Place a therapy ball (like this one or a lacrosse ball) under your right glute. Lift your body a few inches of the ground and lean your right glute into the ball. Begin to roll your body over the ball, hitting all areas of your right glute. Do this for 30 seconds then switch sides.

The post 6 Ballerina-Approved Stretches For Tight Hips And Legs appeared first on SELF.