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Your legs will feel like Jell-o after, but at least they’ll look nice and toned. By Melissa Romero
Laurent Amzallag's workout is no walk in the park, but it will leave your legs toned. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you’re already bored with your fitness regimen, we’ve got just the routine to spice things up. We can always count on Sports Club/LA trainer Laurent Amzallag to kick things up a notch with his rigorous but fun workouts. He calls this New Year’s workout LSFH: Laurent’s Sequence From Hell. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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Posted at 11:15 AM/ET, 01/16/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
You’ll only need a set of weights for this strengthening workout. By Melissa Romero
FitTrition's Melissa Farley, shown here performing a plank row, whips up a New Year's workout that's sure to give your body that coveted lean look. Photograph courtesy of Farley.

Congratulations on making it to week two of your New Year’s resolution to stay fit and healthy! As promised, we have another exclusive Well+Being workout for you to try in order to stay on track.

Melissa Farley, founder of the local personal training and wellness company FitTrition, has designed this FIT Workout that keeps your body guessing with its six exercises and ab work. All you’ll need is one set of five- to eight-pound weights. 

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Posted at 03:00 PM/ET, 01/09/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Your body is the only tool you'll need for this workout. By Melissa Romero
Using just your body weight, this New Year's workout works on flexibility, strengthening, and burning calories. Photographs courtesy of Shutterstock.

Doing the same workout every day is a sure-fire way to fail in keeping your New Year's resolution to be healthier. To keep you on track through January, Well+Being is here to help. For the next few weeks we'll offer New Year's workouts to keep you lean, toned, strong, and entertained. 

This week's routine was designed by local trainer Inez Sobczak, who runs Fit-Nez Boutique in Arlington. It improves balance, flexibility, and strength without extra equipment. 

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Posted at 03:00 PM/ET, 01/02/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Personal trainer Canaan Dorian demonstrates how to foam roll properly. By Melissa Romero

Foam rolling has been around the physical therapy world for a while, but these days you frequently see it happening in gyms and studios. It’s a great tool for increasing flexibility and range of motion, but the problem is that most people don’t know the best muscle areas to focus on—or how to foam roll properly, for that matter. We asked personal trainer Canaan Dorian of Mint DC to demonstrate a few key areas to foam roll. 

Muscle Area: IT Band

This long muscle that runs along the outside of the thigh is often a major cause of knee pain. To prevent soreness, place one hip on the foam roller and place your top leg in front of it. Slowly roll the IT band over the foam roller for 1 to 2 minutes.

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Posted at 02:30 PM/ET, 12/19/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Barre classes can be intimidating. Kelly Griffith of Xtend Barre DC and Fuel Pilates shares some common moves to expect so you’re not completely out of the loop. By Melissa Romero

The barre fitness movement has been on the rise for a couple of years now, so it’s not surprising that studios are now offering hybrid classes, mixing the best aspects of two different workouts into one. Xtend Barre DC, which opened its first DC location last month in Mount Vernon Triangle, combines barre and Pilates into one invigorating workout aimed at giving your body that long and lean physique. 

But both Pilates and barre classes can be intimidating, especially if you’re in a room with a bunch of current and former dancers who can dance circles around you. Xtend Barre’s Kelly Griffith performs some of the common moves you can expect at Xtend Barre, and most Pilates and barre classes.

Exercise 1: Shaving Plie into Releve

Bring weights together above head with palms in. Bend elbows as you plie. Extend legs and arms back to starting position. Add releve (lift heels) if possible.

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Posted at 02:30 PM/ET, 12/05/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Using kettlebells and weights can add some spark to your normal squat. By Melissa Romero

The squat is often touted as one of the best exercises you can do for overall fitness. The squat develops upper- and lower-body strength, core strength, endurance, and flexibility. And if you think about it, the movement is something we do on a daily basis, from sitting on a desk chair to getting up from the couch. 

But as with any common exercise, squats can get pretty boring after your third set. We turned to John A. Morris of Mint DC to whip up some modifications that will add a little oomph to your everyday squat. 

Exercise 1: Kettlebell Deadlift and Squat
Reps: 3 x 15

Stand with feet slightly more than hip-width apart on an elevated surface (such as the last step on your stairs at home). While holding a kettlebell or dumbbell, slowly bend forward, keeping legs straight with a slight bend in the knee. Then lower into a squat. Straighten legs again, return to standing position, and repeat. 

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Posted at 02:00 PM/ET, 11/28/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
These core exercises are much more challenging than your typical crunch. By Melissa Romero

While it’s true that doing ab exercises alone won’t get you anywhere near that coveted six-pack, it doesn’t mean you should avoid them altogether. Ab exercises make for great additions to your normal workout. We asked Mark Kiersh, who just joined Mint DC as a personal trainer, to demonstrate some ab exercises to intersperse into our next workout. They may look simple, but we can guarantee your core will feel way more burn the next day than if you did boring old crunches.

Exercise 1: Windshield Wipers
Reps: 3 x 20

Lie on your back and grasp a sturdy pole behind you (your bed frame works). Lift your legs so your body forms an L shape. Slowly lower your legs to one side, then lift and lower them to the other side (think of the movement windshield wipers make). That’s two reps.

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Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 11/14/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Will Noel of Mint DC shows how to progress from a modified pushup to an advanced, elevated one using a TRX Suspension Trainer. By Melissa Romero

The pushup is one of the most common exercise moves, but the problem is many folks don’t know how to do one properly. A few months ago we featured a video demonstrating how to perfect your form, and now we’re going to show you how to progress from the basic, modified pushup to a super-advanced pushup using TRX Suspension Trainers and kettlebells. Read on for photo demonstrations of Will Noel of Mint DC performing each exercise. 

Exercise 1: Modified Pushup*
Reps: 3 x 10

There’s nothing wrong with starting out on your knees if it means you’ll eventually perform a successful pushup. Start with your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart and directly under your shoulders. Your knees should be slightly apart and toes should touch the ground. Slowly lower your torso down to a pushup, elbows back. Return to starting position and repeat.

*You can also perform a modified standing pushup by placing your hands on the back of a sturdy chair, a wall, or a bench press bar in the gym.

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Posted at 10:15 AM/ET, 11/07/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Put that towel or laundry detergent bottle to use with these tough at-home workouts. By Melissa Romero
Don't let Hurricane Sandy ruin your workout regimen. Try these various workouts to stay in shape while stuck indoors. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

It's likely most of us will be stuck indoors for days, thanks to Hurricane Sandy. But don't let that be an excuse for you to pack on the pounds with all of those snacks you stocked up on. We rounded up a bunch of our at-home workouts for you to try. Now get to work!

4 Stay-at-Home Workouts
These workouts use household equipment such as a gallon of milk, a bottle of laundry detergent, and a towel. You'll work your quads, gluts, hamstrings, core—pretty much every muscle in your body.

The At-Home Chair Workout

Grab your nearest sturdy chair and start sweating! This customizable workout focuses on muscle strength, endurance, and stretching to improve flexibility. 

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Posted at 11:20 AM/ET, 10/29/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Ditch tired swings for these less familiar (and much harder) moves. By Melissa Romero

When we tried a kettlebell workout for the first time, we couldn’t believe how sore our quads were from swinging that thing around. But that was almost a year ago, when the kettlebell fitness craze was just beginning. We wanted an update to the now-tired swings and squats, so we turned to personal trainer and Lululemon ambassador Errick McAdams.

Turns out you can perform almost any normal bodyweight exercise with a kettlebell and really work up a sweat. McAdams is using a 25-pound kettlebell, which is a good range for men to work with. If this is your first time using one, he recommends starting at a lower weight. We’re excited to introduce this new series of Well+Being workouts. Check back every Wednesday for a new one!

Exercise 1: The Upright Row*
Reps: 3 x 10 or 15

Stand hip-width apart and hold the kettlebell at your waist. Raise the kettlebell to your chest, keeping elbows out. Lower and repeat.

*Add a squat to the beginning of this exercise for more of a challenge.

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Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 10/24/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()