42 One-Minute Better Body Tricks
17. Take your daily dose of vitamin E.
According to a study out of Tufts University in Boston, a group of men who took 1,000 IUs of vitamin E supplement every day (a relatively high dose) for three months showed a significant reduction in muscle damage and inflammation post-workout. Researchers say women are likely to reap the same benefits and that 200 to 400 IUs daily may be sufficient.
18. Pump up your plank.
Pressed for time? "This total-body strengthener takes only a minute to do," says Kari Anderson, owner of ProRobics Conditioning Clubs and Gold's Gyms in Seattle. Begin on your elbows with your torso off the floor, legs extended and toes tucked. Lift one foot at a time and hold for eight counts. Then, with knees slightly bent, jump feet wide and hold for two counts. Jump feet back together. Repeat series three times. "You activate your entire lower body to push off and control each landing," explains Anderson. Plus, the abs have to kick in even more to help you jump, she says.
19. Sculpt your upper back with "wall angels."
Stand with your back against a wall, feet about a foot away from it and knees comfortably bent. "Start with arms overhead, palms out and your upper body flush with the wall," says Holt. From this position, slowly move your arms down, then up, keeping elbows and the backs of your hands on the wall at all times. "This strengthens your mid back and the rotator cuff muscles," Holt adds. Do two sets of 10 sweeps.
20. Exercise at your desk.
Chair squats and toe-ups are both easy to do in an office or cubicle, says Anderson. "Stand several inches in front of your chair with arms extended in front of you, and squat down until your butt barely touches the seat. Then stand and rise up onto your toes." Repeat eight to 12 times.
21. Think yourself stronger.
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation found that study participants got 14 to 35 percent stronger after 12 weeks of imagining themselves strenuously moving certain body parts. Think about your workout for 60 seconds while you're changing clothes in the locker room, or if you can't get to the gym, picture yourself doing a grueling weight-lifting set.
22. Time your workouts.
Set your watch to beep every 30 to 45 seconds, then begin your upper-body moves. Do as many reps of the exercise as you can -- while still maintaining good form -- until the alarm beeps. Either rest or, to keep your heart rate elevated, switch immediately to the next exercise. (This can be done with lower-body exercises as well.)
23. Sculpt while you chat.
"When you're stuck talking on the phone, stand with your feet in a V -- heels together, toes apart -- and plié," says Siler. “Lower hips until your knees are just past your toes. Focus on squeezing your inner thighs together as you rise up again." Do 20 slow pliés. On the last one, stay in the bent-knee position and lift and lower your heels eight to 15 times to target your calves. Still on the line? Do another two sets and soon your sexy legs will be the topic of conversation!
24. Strengthen your neck.
Place the palm of your dominant hand on your forehead and press your head against it for five seconds, suggests Mary Leonard, co-owner of the U.S. Athletic Training Center in New York City. Repeat on the right and left sides of your head. Finally, drop your chin, put both palms against the back of your head and lift up against your hands. "Doing this not only will strengthen your neck muscles, which can prevent injuries and enhance posture, but can also help alleviate stress-related headaches," Leonard says.
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