I hear it all the time: “I can’t engage my core without holding my breath.” Well friends, I assure you that you can indeed breathe and engage your core at the same time. Put your thinking caps on y’all, cuz I’m about to drop some knowledge on ya. When we think of the core, we often envision the six-pack muscle that runs right down the center of our bellies (rectus abdominis) or the obliques that form the sides of our waists. But the core is so much more than just those muscles. Your core is a community of muscles that…

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Chronic lower back pain … who doesn’t struggle with this? My own experience with lower back pain started when I was 19. It was not surprising to me though. I actually sort of expected it — after all, my dad had back pain for as long as I can remember. The doctors who examined me could find no structural issues in there — by all accounts, my lower back was not injured. After years of not getting any satisfying answers, it was suggested that I might have to just accept the fact that, thanks to genetics, it was simply my lot…

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I’m not big into using machines at the gym. I definitely prefer free weights — you know, barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells, oh my! There’s something I just really love about my body having the responsibility of stabilizing and moving the weight along a specific path rather than letting a machine do it. Mostly, I suppose, because this mimics life and the sports I enjoy participating in. But there is one machine that I use frequently — the cable machine. It’s a machine that look like a big tower with a pulley system in the center, and has adjustable weights and…

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There was a period of time — not so long ago — when the most requested poses in my yoga classes were hip openers. But that is definitely changing. So many people are now are experiencing the effects of long hours spent in front of computers and mobile devices — all that tech is rapidly becoming a (literal) pain in the neck … and shoulders … and upper back. In a healthy human skeleton, the cervical spine — which includes all your neck bones — is the most mobile part of your spine. And it’s a good thing because this…

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Dumbbells, dumbbells, dumbells. We love dumbbells! (Specifically, these dumbbells.) And, here are the best ways to use them — for every part of your body. Best Dumbbell Exercises for Your Back Best Dumbbell Exercises for Your Arms Best Dumbbell Exercises for Your Shoulders Best Dumbbell Exercises for Your Chest Best Dumbbell Exercises for Your Glutes (Our Fave!) Best Dumbbell Exercises for Your Legs Best Dumbbell Exercises for Your Core Want more? You can get specific dumbbell workouts that target each area listed above here. Happy lifting and muscle building! Now tell us: what’s your favorite dumbbell move? That single-leg box squat…

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The top floor of my gym is mostly just a line of lifting platforms and barbells — and this is where I spend most of my time when I’m there. There isn’t much in this world that makes me feel more badass than lifting a heavy barbell. Something about it just feels like home to me. But I’ve also been writing online strength training programs for women for a few years now and even after all this time, it’s still shocking to me how many women avoid picking up barbells. This phenomenon is further reflected in the fact that when…

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Burpees … the thing we all love to hate. There’s no shortage of memes out there that speak to the misery that burpees inflict upon us. Like this one… Or this one … Oh wait, or this one … But for real though, I could go on and on. I recently listened to a close friend go on a rant about how difficult and pointless the burpee is. He argued that this movement was clearly designed by trainers and coaches for the purpose of torturing their clients. I listened to my friend argue his point, waxing poetic about how there’s simply no…

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We all have those days when we don’t feel quite like ourselves — like something’s a little off and we’re  not feeling our usual level of awesomeness. I’ve been there, too — so many times. Sometimes I know why (not enough sleep, being overworked, too much … AHEM … celebrating). But the most frustrating times are those moments when I really can’t put my finger on why I feel out of sorts, almost as if there’s just some weird energy lurking around that I just can’t seem to shake. Enter yoga. It really is such a fabulous tool for tuning into…

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Do you guys remember when Kristen shared this Tiny House Cooking recipe? via GIPHY Well, every time we’d talk about it or mention it in our editorial meetings, I’d always think of the web series Tiny Kitchen and be, like, OMG, Kristen, you love that, too? via GIPHY And, every time, she’d be, like, Jenn, no — this is for people who live in small spaces, like apartments with little kitchens. Not, like, a dollhouse. via GIPHY Then I’d remember that they’re different. And … start gushing all about Tiny Kitchen and how adorable it was and how much it just…

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