Most men perform the inchworm as a warmup exercise. The move stretches your calves, hamstrings, and thighs, while preparing your muscles for just about any activity. But throw a towel under your feet while you do it, and suddenly the inchworm becomes a grueling core-strengthening move called the inchworm slide.

"Sliding the towel to meet your stationary hands activates your abs, hip flexors, and obliques," says David Jack, C.S.C.S., owner of ActivPrayer in Phoenix, Arizona, and the creator of The High-Intensity Body-Weight Workout. "You'll finish feeling stronger and loose." Ready to give it a shot? Watch the video below to learn how to do the inchworm slide with perfect form. Then visit our essential guide to chiseling your front, and fortifying your back.

MH Standard Player for WordPress
Theme: Light

More From Men's Health: 7 Easy Stretches To Do At Work

Full Story >>

By Blood, Sweat & Cheers

Arrested Development fans are about to have a slew of new references they'll make at every possible occasion for the next decade (get excited!).

So to honor the return of the venerable series via NetFlix, we've devised a workout game that will work for episodes old and (hopefully) new. We promise, it's the best exercise plan you can get outside of Army (except on half days). The show premieres Sunday.

More From Blood, Sweat & Cheers:
-- WaveShape: Get Ripped Like A Surfer
-- Generate Juice For Your Phone By Riding Your Bike
-- A New Bicycle Helmet That Uses Fighter Pilot Tech

Follow Blood, Sweat & Cheers on Twitter @BloodSweatCheer.

Full Story >>

"Give me five more!" could result in five less. Training partners who are too encouraging could limit your workout, finds a study to be published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

While people who trained with a partner held a planking pose nearly 79 seconds longer than those who exercised alone, planking times dropped by more than half a minute when the workout partner called out encouragements.

(Want to run faster? Hit the weight rack first. Learn how to Shave Seconds Off Your 5k.)

What gives? When it comes to vocal encouragement, you're likely to interpret shouts of support as condescending or patronizing, not inspiring, says Brandon Irwin, Ph.D., the study's author and an exercise researcher at Kansas State University. It's also possible that random calls to "Push it!" might sound like your partner just trying to pump himself up, Irwin explains.

So who's your ideal workout buddy? "Someone who is very similar to you in just about every way, except he's a little stronger or more skilled," Irwin says. If your workout partner is too superior (and you know you can't keep up), your motivation evaporates, he adds. And tell your buddy to zip it -- or at least to be more personal with his vocal support. That means saying "Let's go, John!" as opposed to just, "Let's go!" Irwin explains. Case in point: The Worst Workout Buddy.

Full Story >>

Despite all the health benefits that yoga offers to a wide range of people, the modern stereotype often centers around sexy young women with toned bodies in tight pants. But what about everyone else who would be interested in practicing yoga? Or more bluntly, what about Fat Yoga?

That, in fact, is the name of a studio in Portland that just opened this year.

"I say I'm fat 'cause, guess what, I know I'm fat," Anna Ipox, the owner of Fat Yoga, told KPTV. "Our American script says, 'No, you’re not fat, just some other euphemism, thick, fluffy, big-boned, portly, whatever.'"

Ipox, who has practiced yoga since 2001, decided to open her own studio because of her frustration with instructors that didn't understand how to work with heavier students.

"Child's pose is impossible if you have belly fat or thick thighs," she told KPTV. "They just have no idea what it is to have a big body. I remember teachers pushing on my hips to make it happen. It's not a flexibility thing and I couldn't articulate any of that."

Ipox also says she is fighting "fat hate."

"Fat girls shouldn’t wear stretch pants, they shouldn’t wear white, they shouldn't wear yoga pants and you're not allowed to let your fat jiggle," she told KPTV of what she sees online. "I just realized I'm gonna make the place I want to go."

One of the class participants at Ipox's studio endorsed the concept and Ipox's branding.

"We come here to have that space and hold that space and be healthy and get our sweat on and laugh and have a good time," Melissa Brown told KPTV. "I really think she nailed it right on the head. Yoga for fat people. Fat Yoga."

Full Story >>


Popping painkillers before a long race could actually make pain much worse, says a new study in BMJ Open.

Marathon and half-marathon participants who consumed over-the-counter analgesics -- diclofenac, ibuprofren, and aspirin -- before the 2010 Bonn Marathon in Germany were five times more likely to experience adverse side effects like gastrointestinal issues, haematuria (blood in urine), stomach cramps, and heart palpitations during their run than those who stuck to a pill-free pre-race ritual.

There was also a positive correlation between dosage and risk. So the more milligrams runners took, the higher their chances of suffering (even more than normal).

What's up? Painkillers reduce the production of protective hormones called prostaglandins, says study author Kay Brune, Ph.D. The blockage of that production then aggravates the stress exerted by long-distance running. “Between this stress and the drugs, the GI-tract, kidney, and cardiovascular systems are overrun,” Brune says.

(Rewrite your running bucket list with one of these 11 Best Races to Run in the World.)

Of the 49 percent of runners who reportedly popped pills, only 11 percent said they were already in pain before the race; the rest were simply being cautious. None of them seemed to know the risks involved.

“Bottom line: If you're not in pain, don't take painkillers,” says Reed Ferber, Ph.D., director of the Running Injury Clinic at the University of Calgary. “You’re putting yourself at a metabolic disadvantage, because now your body is fighting to get those pills out of your system, rather than focusing on the very important task at hand.”

And if you are in pain? Don't take painkillers. "They'll simply mask critical signals that you need from your body about when to reduce your intensity, or stretch, or stop running," says Ferber. If you feel pain in training, the best thing you can do is ask a sports medicine doctor to help you figure out what the root cause of that pain is, and then address it fast. "With proper rehab, you can significantly increase strength and cut your pain in half in just three weeks," Ferber says.

If you’re not on the verge of a serious injury, but still need a little pain relief on race day, Ferber recommends a more natural, temporary fix, like Kinesio Tape, compression sleeves or a Cho-Pat Knee Strap.

Meanwhile, save the Motrin for when you’ve finished your last mile. “For most people, pain at the end of a long race is unavoidable, and it’s okay to take painkillers then,” says Brune. “But if you’re in pain from the start, you’re probably better off not participating.”

Medications aside, diagnose your pain with this guide to every ache and twinge. Learn The Top 5 Running Injuries--And How to Treat Them.

Full Story >>

What's the fastest way to sculpt a rock-solid core like Rocky Balboa's? Slow it down. "Your muscles can handle more weight on the eccentric, or lowering, phase of a lift," says Todd Durkin, C.S.C.S., author of The IMPACT! Body Plan. So decreasing the pace of that phase -- like you do with this slo-mo move from Rocky IV -- forces your muscles to work harder, accelerating your gains.

Ready to try it? Watch the video below to see how to perform Rocky Abs with perfect form. Keep your body as straight as possible and use your lower back, abdominals, and hips as a single unit to control the speed of the descent. Take 5 to 10 seconds to slowly lower your body down to the floor.

MH Standard Player for WordPress
Theme: Light

For the best results, pair this core-sculpting move with Durkin's 28-Day Fat-Torch, a metabolic training plan that will strip away the fat covering your abs for good.

Related Story: The 3 Best Moves To Prevent Back Pain

Full Story >>

Roughly 80 percent of men experience back pain, but now there's hard-core pain relief. An abs workout may help your achy back, say researchers in Brazil. After cyclists with lower-back pain completed a core-strengthening program, 44 percent reported less pain. "Pedaling can create micromovements in your pelvis and spine, which can lead to lower-back pain," says Stuart McGill, Ph.D., a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. "Core work stiffens your spine and back, shifting movement to your legs."

A back-saving abs workout can help everyone from elite cyclists to desk jockeys. McGill recommends a three-move routine consisting of the front to side bridge, curlup, and bird dog. Ready to try them? Watch the video below to see how to perform the exercises with perfect form. (We also sampled 6 back-pain treatments to see which one will Banish Back Pain Forever.)

MH Standard Player for WordPress
Theme: Light
Full Story >>