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"Yoga is about stability, Pilates focuses on mobility and stability, and tai chi is all about mobility," says Lawrence Biscontini, group fitness manager for the Golden Door Spa at Wyndham El Conquistador in Puerto Rico, who designed our program. "Moving from one discipline to the next circulates the energy throughout your body, so you're refreshed by the end." You'll also feel pretty darn strong -- these moves are a killer way to sculpt your arms, abs, legs, and butt, using just your body weight for resistance.
Strengthens: Shoulders; Stretches Front of Body
Strengthens: Legs, Glutes, Hips; Stretches Back
Strengthens: Glutes, Hamstrings, Inner Thighs; Improves Balance
Strengthens: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Shoulders; Stretches Back
Strengthens: Arms, Chest, Glutes; Stretches Hips
Question: "What can I do to get more energy for a morning workout?"
Answer: Try these tips from Lawrence Biscontini, coauthor of Morning Cardio Workouts (Human Kinetics, 2006).
Soul Stretches (36 minutes; $16.95)
Instructor Ulrick Bien-Aime leads you through 30 different stretches, including two 15-minute workouts designed to bust stress and improve flexibility. Pick the variation that suits your level.
Crunch: Super SlimDown Pilates Yoga Blend (40 minutes; $14.95)
More of a soothing mind/body routine than a heavy calorie burner. Instructor Ellen Barrett starts with a flowing yoga workout, then shifts into a mat-based Pilates segment with challenging variations that will leave you feeling strong, sculpted, and reenergized.
Tai Chi for Health Yang Long Form (2 hours; $19.95)
This is billed as the most comprehensive tai chi DVD. Master instructor Terry Dunn carefully details 108 tai chi positions for more than an hour, then puts them all together in a fluid 17-minute series.
All videos are available at collagevideo.com.
Originally published in Fitness magazine, May 2006.