There are some exercises that you just can't do often enough. Three examples: wall slides, thoracic rotations, and the passive-lock single-leg hip raise. Unusual names, yes. But while you may not be familiar with these moves, chances are you should be doing them every day. Why? Because they help offset the toll that working on a computer -- or even a mobile device -- takes on your body.

Specifically, that toll is poor posture, which frequently leads to neck, shoulder, and back pain. And because sitting and slumping as you type, surf, or text can consume hours of your day, the more frequently you perform these moves, the better. The best part: You can do these no-weight, no-sweat exercises anywhere. (And for more ways to exercise anywhere you are, check out The 52 Best Places to Work Out in America.)

Exercise 1. Wall Slide
Stop what you're doing right now, and imagine that there's a string attached from the ceiling to your chest. Now imagine that the string is being tightened, pulling your chest closer towards the ceiling. If you were sitting with good posture, your chest wouldn't rise much. But if you're like most people, you just raised up a few inches. This is a good way to see how much you slump. And if you do, you should start doing an exercise called the wall slide immediately.

For best results, do 10 to 15 reps of this exercise up to three times a day. It's easy to do in your office, and it's also a great warmup before you lift weights. Yes, it looks simple -- and it is. But you'll love how good it makes your shoulders and upper back feel.

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You have to have speed if you want to be a baller on the flag football field, softball diamond, or pickup basketball court. And that first step is critical when it comes to schooling opponents. So what's the key to gaining a quicker first step? Training for speed by increasing your stride length or stride frequency. The strength-training exercises provided below will help with that. They're all basic compound movements -- exercises that involve multiple muscle groups -- and should be done prior to any additional strength work.

Remember, without proper weight-lifting form and stride mechanics, your odds of getting injured increase. So instead of being hoisted on your teammates' shoulders after catching an 80-yard TD, you'll be riding pine on the injured reserve.

• Take a barbell from a power rack or squat stand, keeping your upper back tight and chest up. Set your feet roughly hip-width apart and initiate the squat movement by pushing your hips back and then bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

• Squeeze the bar as tight as possible throughout the entire movement, this will create tension in your whole body and help you stay "tight" through the lift.

• Perform 4 sets of 3 to 5 reps.

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• Take a barbell from a standing position and with slightly unlocked knees push your hips backward while keeping the bar close to your thighs. Depending upon hamstring flexibility and individuality, lower the bar to knee-level or lower, then push your hips forward to return to the starting position.

• Keep your shoulder blades squeezed tightly and your entire back tight during this exercise to perform it properly.

• Perform 4 sets of 4 to 6 reps.

• Stand in front of an 18-inch box -- or a smaller box if needed, of course -- and step up with the right leg and press through the heel of the right foot to bring the left leg up to the top of the box. Slowly lower your left leg back down and repeat for eight repetitions on each side.

• Once the basic step-up movement is mastered with correct body position, try alternating legs each time.

• Perform 3 sets of 8 reps on each leg.

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There's an old fitness joke that goes like this: You know your workout is terrible if you do arm curls in the squat rack. Okay, this isn't really a joke. It’s a "nice" way of telling people that they shouldn't curl in the squat rack. (See, it makes the strong dudes really mad. Is this on? Tap, tap, tap.)

But seriously folks, no routine is perfect. And I've found three not-so obvious ways to tell if your workout needs work. Will your exercise plan pass -- or fail?

(And if you're still wondering why you shouldn't curl in the squat rack, just trust me and don't do it.)

1. You sit or lie down for more than two exercises

Most gyms are filled with places to park your butt. But a funny thing: The benches and seats aren't there so you can rest between exercises. (Most people do.) Apparently, they're there so that you can rest as you exercise. For example, the leg press, leg extension, and leg curl all require you to sit or lie down so that you can work your lower body muscles. "It doesn't make sense," says Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California. "People sit all day, and then they go to the gym and sit there, too."

Cosgrove says most of his clients want to undo the effects of their desk job. Think: belly-fat, poor posture, and tight muscles. "Sitting contributes to all of those problems," he says. "That's why we keep people on their feet. There are always exceptions, but I don't want anyone sitting or lying for more than two exercises. And for fat loss, I prefer that our clients don't sit at all." Yes, you have to lie down if you want to do bench press. But for most exercises, sitting is completely optional. (If you're still not convinced you spend too much time in a chair, find out Why Your Desk Job Could Be Killing You.)

2. You're not playing the right percentages

Here's a quick quiz:

Question 1: How many total sets of exercises do you do for your lower body each week? For instance, if you do three sets of the squat on Monday, and three sets of the lunge on Friday, that's six total sets. (Duh.)

Question 2: How many total sets of all exercises do you do each week? This includes everything: lunges, squats, bench presses, pullups, curls -- you name it.

Now divide your answer in Question 1 by your answer in Question 2. Keep that number in mind.

Question 3: What percentage of your body's muscle resides below your waist? Hint: Probably around 50 percent or more, right?

Final question: How does the percentage you calculated earlier compare to your answer in Question 3? "If there's a big difference, your workout is probably way out of balance," says Cosgrove. "Whether you're trying to lose fat or build muscle, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to improve your results."

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This isn't the only version of the quiz you should take, though. What about the time you spend working the front side of your body compared to the back side of your body? How many sets of exercises do you do for you chest, arms, and quads, compared to your back, glutes, and hamstrings? "I know guys who spend 90 percent of their time working 50 percent of their body," says Cosgrove. "This slows their results, and over time, can lead to injury due to strength imbalances." (Are you out of balance? Use these simple self-tests to find and fix your posture problems.)

Now this isn't an exact way to determine if your workout is balanced. But it'll help you determine whether or not you're even if in the ballpark. If you're closer to 90-10 than you are to 50-50, your workout is probably horrible.

3. You can’t pass this core test

Even if you don't have an ounce of fat, you could be soft in the middle. Watch the video to see a cool test of core of strength that you can try right now, courtesy of Gray Cook, P.T., author of Movement: Functional Movement Systems. It's a simple way to determine if your midsection isn't as strong as it should be.

Warning: The fact that you regularly do ab exercises doesn't guarantee you'll pass this test. "You can do lots of crunches and situps and still have a weak core," says Mike Wunsch, co-creator of 24-Hour Abs, Men's Health's newest ab-sculpting diet and exercise plan. "I see that all the time." The reason: Classic ab moves like crunches and situps work the muscles that allow you to flex (that is, round) your lower spine. True core exercises, on the other hand, train the muscles that prevent your spine from rounding.

The bottom line: If you can’t pass this test, you need to upgrade your ab workout to focus on stability exercises like the plank and side plank. The perfect solution: The Best Ab Workout You've Never Done.

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It's raining in Bhutan. That's not a reason to postpone a bike race, but it's not helping Bill Lahey feel more comfortable. Nor is the time of the start of the race -- two o'clock in the morning. Nor, for that matter, is the race course: through 10,000-foot mountain passes in the Himalayas, around hairpin turns on roads with no guardrails, down inclines so steep Lahey will have no choice but to steer at 40 mph or more.

Nor are the obstacles sure to get in his way: large trucks and farm animals, neither of which will be steered away from the oncoming bikes.

Nor is this haunting fact: only a third of the cyclists who start this race will make it 167 miles to the finish line.

So why is Bill Lahey, a 55-year lawyer from Cambridge, Mass., risking his life in the shadow of Everest?

"These are steep, windy roads more narrow and dangerous than a U.S. highway safety board would approve," Lahey says, actually understating the peril of the path he's about to take.

Yes, Lahey is a recreational cyclist who logs 60 miles per week on his high-end Trek road bike. But that's no reason to dedicate six months to train for this kind of extended nightmare. His partner on the journey, a Bhutanese man used to the dangers of the Himalayas, would say again and again how scared the race made him.


Eleven years ago, Lahey was living in Bhutan's capital, Thimphu, for six months while providing legal counsel on behalf of the U.S. government to the National Environmental Commission. In his spare time, Lahey was looking for a cycling buddy and was introduced to Ugyen Yoesar.

"He was a very resourceful and industrious 22-year-old," Lahey says, "and I put my family in his hands for a number of days while we were on a mountain trek. He was our guide."

Before Lahey returned to his family back in the States, he and his new friend rode bicycles across the entire nation of Bhutan. That may not sound like much of an accomplishment, considering the country bordering Nepal is only the size of Switzerland, but Bhutan's elevation ranges from 3,937 feet in the river valley town of Punakha to its tallest peak of Gangkhar Puensum at 24,836 feet. That's a four-mile vertical range. And there is only one fully paved road.

Just a few hundred miles east of Mt. Everest, neither man nor bicycle has conquered Gangkhar Puensum, but in an effort to inspire athletic participation and develop youth sports, the Bhutan Olympic Committee is trying to elevate cycling. So, last year, the Bhutan Olympic Committee hosted its first-ever endurance race and called it "Tour of the Dragon." Bhutan is known as the Land of the Thunder Dragon, and according to the official "Tour of the Dragon" website, "as difficult is it to conquer a dragon, so is it difficult to complete the race!"

Among locals, the Tour of the Dragon would come to be known as the "Death Race."

Yoesar, who has biked at altitudes as high as 18,000 feet, knows something about technically challenging locales and says the Tour of the Dragon "is very risky given the condition of the roads and the weather." And, he says, if more international competitors participate in the future, competitors "would be putting their lives at risk."

There are other bike races around the world that are notorious for one perilous aspect or another, but none has the combination of challenges posed by this mountainous course. France's Paris Roubaix is among the oldest and most prestigious single-day bike races, but Tour of the Dragon is longer, has nearly six-times the elevation, and the conditions are less predictable. The Death Ride in California is another world-class, single-day endurance race. Yoesar says the Tour of the Dragon is "much more dangerous" than the Death Ride because "the distance is longer, altitude gain and loss greater, and the ruggedness of the terrain superior."


A year after they met, Lahey helped bring Yoesar to the U.S. to train as a bicycle mechanic. "Since grade school I have always been fascinated by two wheels," Yoesar says, "and since high school I dreamed of owning a bike shop." He spent most of 2001 living with the Lahey family in Lexington, Mass., while working full-time becoming a bike tech. Then Yoesar returned home.

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But despite the fact that TV and the Web arrived in Bhutan in 1999, Lahey and Yoesar eventually lost touch. "I hadn't heard from him in years," Lahey says, "and then he asks me if I want to ride to Tibet." Lahey declined, but then last year, Yoesar won the inaugural Tour of the Dragon race, and Lahey was intrigued.

"I wanted to come back," he says. "It's a beautiful country with kind and lovely people. And this was a great opportunity to take on a physical challenge and reconnect."

But at that time, he had no idea just how challenging the race would be.

Since his college days at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Lahey says he has participated in a "century" (100-mile bike ride) every year. But the only official bike race he'd ever previously entered was the annual Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb in nearby New Hampshire.

"Right after I got back from my time in Bhutan," Lahey says, "I felt I was in really good bicycling shape, so I entered the Mt. Washington race which is considered the steepest race in the world."

It would not compare to the Tour of the Dragon.

To prepare for the Bhutan race, Lahey employed the services of Harvard's club cycling team coach, Ed Sassler. "I went to Ed four months ago, and said, 'Do you think I can handle a ride this long?'"

By the end of the summer, Lahey thought he was ready, but then the day before he was to leave for Bhutan, he got a call from Yoesar, saying road and hybrid bicycles had been banned from the race. "That's when I began to worry," Lahey says. He ran out and purchased his first mountain bike and headed for the airport.

Lahey flew out of Boston and arrived in Bhutan on September 6, to begin riding with Yoesar in the higher elevations to get acclimated to the altitude. By last Friday, he was in the village of Jakar, in the Bumthang District, some nine hours east of Thimphu.

And then he panicked.

"The first few days riding with Ugyen, I was really intimidated," Lahey says. "I had been to Colorado to train and rode Mt. Evans, the highest paved road in North America. Yet when I rode with him, I fell immediately behind. So I got nervous about whether or not I could do this, or embarrass Ugyen and his team." The race would cover 167 miles from Jakar to Thimphu in one day, and it would include four mountain passes at 10,000 feet or higher.

After spending 10 days getting familiar with a mountain bike twice the weight of his road bike at home, Lahey and Yoesar tried getting some sleep in Jakar before the 2 a.m. start time.

"The thing I was most concerned about the night before before was the first four hours of cycling in the dark," Lahey says, "which includes one 28 kilometer decent. Not knowing what is 15 feet in front of you is scary, especially when you are trying to go fast."

A few hours later, race organizers, local police, members of Bhutan's armed forces, and hundreds of onlookers gathered in the town center. Lahey was among 45 racers completing last-minute preps in total darkness; he was the only non-Bhutanese competitor. With overcast skies, not even the moon was kind enough to make an appearance to help the riders see their way. An ambulance eerily provided the only light -- flashing red -- while heading out in advance of the riders.

On cue, two hours after midnight Saturday, a starter's pistol was fired.


Yoesar was among the veteran Bhutanese riders surprised by how much more difficult the course was this year versus last year. The first real challenge was navigating a descent from 10,858 feet.

"I was very scared coming down the first downhill," Yoesar says, "because of the darkness, fog and the


condition of the road with the rain."

For nearly four hours, Lahey and the others blindly climbed up and down the first harrowing mountain passes with only headlamps on their helmets and handlebars. It wasn't long before a sizeable pothole claimed its first racer, putting a hole in the kneecap of a competitor who was taken by medevac to an area hospital.

By midday, racers were dropping like flies. And for those who weren't crashing or quitting, the 48-degree temperature and pounding rain was making every bump feel like a landmine.

Despite thousands of school children and others cheering along the route, Yoesar was losing momentum. "It was very slippery," he says, "and I couldn't use my goggles [because of the rain]."

Mudslides and washouts were becoming a real threat and Lahey's new bike was breaking down. "My front shock stopped working at some point," he says, "and when I got to the downhill in Nobding, well that shouldn't be called a road. You were better off being on a trail because it would have been more predictable. I was grabbing my handlebars so intensely."

If the altitude, weather and road conditions weren't making the race dangerous enough, the roads were still open to traffic. This was the nation's only major thoroughfare, after all, and cars and trucks needed to use it. Riders also had to dodge dogs and cattle that wandered onto the roads throughout the country.

"There were several times I feared a serious crash," Lahey says. "And several times I nearly had a head-on collision with a car or truck. My brakes weren't working well because of all the water and grit."

After nearly 12 hours of treacherous conditions, the first rider made his way down from Duchala Pass and into Thimphu under a police escort. He crossed the finish line in front of nearly 1,000 spectators.

Yousar was only 20 minutes behind the leader and finished third. Lahey, the oldest rider in the race, finished a very respectable eighth. Along with Yoesar's brother, Rinzen, their team, Yangphel Adventure Sports, won the team competition. Lahey didn't let his friend down after all.

But whether he rides next year is another question altogether.

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The beauty of the Guinness Book of World Records is that it encourages creativity. It recognizes 36 different kinds of juggling records including "Most Swallowed Swords Whilst Juggling Three Objects" and "Fastest Mile on Pogo Stick Whilst Juggling Three Balls."

Well, someone alert the Guinness folks, because they may need a new category: "Juggling Five Basketballs Using Hands And Feet While Upside Down."

Selyna Bogino is an Italian acrobat and artist who has become an Internet sensation with a video of her preparing to establish a world record in this variety of five-ball juggling.

Bogino can do things with her feet that most of us can't do with our hands. This video proves it as she juggles five basketballs with her hands and feet while laying upside down on her back, a style known as antipode juggling.

Now, according to Bogino's video description, this is simply practice; some "at-home fun," as she tries to beat the world record for longest and most difficult five-ball routine ever.

Practice? Her routine is so impressive that when she is tumbling balls underneath and through her legs it doesn't even look real. But it's quite real. And impressive.

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As a frame of reference, the record for "Longest Duration With Five Basketball" is 37.46 seconds, which Pedro Elis Cinta of Spain set in 2009 while standing and using just his hands:

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Back in 2002, University of Virginia scientists estimated it would take 250,000 crunches to burn a pound of fat. We're pretty sure the researchers published this statistic to make a point. But after almost a decade, that point still may not have hit home. "I'm amazed at the number of people who think that simply doing ab exercises like crunches and situps will make their belly disappear," says Craig Rasmussen, co-creator of 24-Hour Abs, Men's Health's newest ab-sculpting program. "That's probably the least efficient way to reveal your six-pack."

The real secret: Work every inch of your body, not just your abs. "Muscle is your body's primary fat burner," says Rasmussen. So by choosing the right exercises -- multi-muscle movements that burn lots of calories, but that also simultaneously train your core -- you can truly carve out a washboard. And you can start today, with these 3 genius "ab" exercises.

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1. Mountain Climber with Pushup
Why it works: Sure, the pushup is a great movement for your chest, shoulders, and triceps. But it's also a great core exercise. Why? Because to do it right, your core muscles have to work over time to keep your spine stiff, according to a recent Canadian study. And when you combine this classic move with an ab exercise called the mountain climber, it engages your core even more. Watch the video to see how to do the exercise with perfect form. Try doing to 10 to 12 reps, or simply perform sets for 30 to 60 seconds at a time. And for more ways to improve the pushup -- and other classic moves -- discover these 18 Exercise Upgrades.

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2. Turkish Getup
Why it works: When people first hear of the "Turkish getup", their typical reaction is to chuckle. Then they try the exercise. No one chuckles after that -- at least not if they do it right. At its core, the Turkish getup is a super-simple movement: You lie on your back, holding a kettlebell or dumbbell above one shoulder. Then you simply stand up, while keeping the weight above you at all times. This not only helps build total-body strength -- including your core -- it’s also a great way to torch calories. But as simple as it sounds, there are plenty hard-to-notice details that can help you get the most out of this move. So watch the video to learn the seven steps of the Turkish getup. A good place to start: Do 3 reps -- or "getups" -- with each arm; rest 60 seconds, and repeat one more time. As fitness expert David Jack says: "Get this exercise right, and it will do amazing things for your body." (On the flip side, there are surprising things that can hurt your body: Find out How High Heels Can Make A Woman's Breasts Sag.)

3. Pushup-Position Row with Squat Thrust
Why it works: Now and then, an exercise becomes popular seemingly overnight. That's the case with the pushup-position row, which is a good way to work your back, and even better for strengthening your core. (Every time you row one dumbbell, your core muscles have to fight to keep your body stable.) However, we've discovered a way to instantly make it more effective. In fact, you might think of it as turbocharging this exercise. How? By combining it with the classic squat thrust. This boosts the demand on your cardiovascular system and increases your calorie-burn, helping you melt belly-fat as you sculpt your abdominals. Try doing this exercise for 30 to 60 seconds, then rest 30 to 60 seconds and repeat one to two times. And don't forget the old fitness joke: To really lose belly-fat, you'll need to also perform the "plate push-away." That is, you need to push your plate away before you eat too much -- especially when you're faced with one of these 25 Healthy Foods That Aren't.

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-- Additional reporting by Maria Masters

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So how many of you men out there want to look like Natalie Portman in The Black Swan?

Didn't think so.

Sure, ballerinas are known for their petite frames, but don't let their size fool you. Those girls are stronger than a lot of men out there. In fact, workout routines usually owned by women, such as ballet and Pilates, actually can make men both better-looking and better athletes. Check out how a hockey goalie benefits from doing a form of the plie:

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Then there's Pilates. While training for the Olympics, I started incorporating Pilates to my out-of-water program and saw immediate results. But I was surprised to see only a few men in the classes. The strength needed to perform these exercises correctly and precisely was extreme and the burn was intense. The smaller movements isolating particular muscles while consistently keeping a tight core adds up to one tough workout. Pilates training is about balance and core, and let me tell you, if there's a fantasy running back on your squad who doesn't have amazing balance and core muscles, you should cut him immediately.

Here are some Pilates moves that will help you get healthy and get ripped:

Sure you'll get some looks if you join a ballet or Pilates class. But stick with it and the looks will quickly turn to admiration. And maybe jealousy.

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