The Upper-Body Workout That Gives J.Lo Her Strong, Toned Arms

The Upper-Body Workout That Gives J.Lo Her Strong, Toned Arms

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When J.Lo gives us a peek into her workout routine, we pay attention. The famously fit star (can you believe she’s 48?) always looks incredible, whether she’s slaying the red carpet or fighting corruption as police officer Harlee Santos in her show Shades of Blue.

Although genetics surely play a role in Lopez’s insanely toned physique, it’s no secret that she’s seriously dedicated to her fitness—the A-lister often works out with Tracy Anderson and has even been spotted hitting the gym with The Rock. Yesterday, we got a glimpse into how Lopez gets her super-toned arms when she shared her upper-body workout with followers in a video on Instagram.

RELATED: 5 Booty-Boosting Exercises From J.Lo’s Trainer

In the snaps (which she captioned “Gettin’ it in!!”), Lopez proves she’s a resistance band master by demonstrating a series of intense bicep curls. If you often use hand weights on arm day, resistance bands are a great way to change things up; by forcing you to literally resist your own body weight, these stretchy plastic bands will take any workout to the next level. Bonus: they’re easily portable, making them ideal for on-the-go sweat sessions.

In addition to strengthening the upper body, Lopez’s move helps tighten and tone the core, while the squat position strengthens the glutes. The tool J.Lo is using is mounted to a wall, but you can modify the move with a loose resistance band by stepping on it in the center and pulling the ends towards your chest.

These Are Tracy Anderson’s All-Time Best Ab-Sculpting Moves

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The truth: The belly is a bad place to pack on pounds. That’s because excess visceral fat—found deep within the abdomen—increases major health risks (heart disease, type 2 diabetes, even dementia). One study revealed that normal-weight women with bigger bellies had a 48 percent higher risk of premature death than their slim-stomach counterparts.

Luckily, you can take control of that gut. “Cutting portion sizes, reducing saturated fats, and exercising more will all help,” says Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, associate professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine.

Adds Cynthia Sass, RD, “Foods rich in monounsaturated fats, such as avocados, extra-virgin olive oil, and nuts, have been shown to help ward off belly fat, as have beans, lentils, and peas.”

Performing ab-centric moves is also key, says star trainer Tracy Anderson. But you’ve got to hit the muscles from every angle. “It’s not just about the front of the abs, the rectus abdominis,” she explains. “You have to also get the obliques, the transverse abdominis—which acts as a girdle—and the lower back muscles working together.”

This series does just that. Do 30 reps of each move in the series on one side, then repeat the sequence on the other side. Don’t forget your 30 to 60 minutes of cardio six times a week to watch your dream abs take shape.

Tracy’s wearing: Puma Yogini Low-Impact Strappy-Back drycell sports bra ($40; macys.com), We Are Handsome Le Tigre Performance Leggings ($112; wearehandsome.com), Nike Presto Fly shoes ($100; nike.com for similar styles).

Walk-Around Plank and Lunge

Start in a deep lunge with left leg forward (knee turned slightly out), right hand on floor, and left hand on left knee (A). Step right leg forward as you press hips up, coming onto left toes while keeping left knee bent (B). Return to “A,” place both hands down, and extend left leg back and diagonally up (C). Return to “A” and repeat.

Alternating Crab Jump Hip Lift

Start seated with feet on floor and hands on either side of butt. Lift hips and extend left arm up (A). Lower hips slightly and step right leg back as you place left hand on floor; hop feet over to the other end of mat (B). Come into bridge position with right arm extended up (C). Continue alternating.

Lunge to Down Dog Arabesque

Kneel, then step right leg forward, place left hand on floor, and extend right arm straight back (A). Step right leg back until it’s fully extended with toes on floor; bring right hand to floor (B). Push up onto right leg, lifting hips and extending left leg straight up (C). Return to “A” and repeat.

Plank With Knee Pull to Bridge

Start in a plank with legs wide (A). Rotate body to face right, coming into side plank as you lift left knee toward chest and slightly twist hips to tap right hand to left thigh (B). Return to “A,” then step right foot over left foot to rotate torso as you push hips up into bridge position; extend right hand up (C). Return to “A” and repeat.

Parallel Knee Pull-In Side Plank

Start in side plank with feet and hips stacked, right hand on hip (A). Bend right knee and bring it up (B). Return to “A” and repeat.

Side Plank to Hydrant Arabesque

Start on all fours. Lift right arm toward ceiling and bring right knee toward shoulder so right thigh is parallel with floor (A). Swing right leg back, extending it (B). Lower right leg down so ball of right foot touches floor and place right hand on floor (C). Twist torso to face left, pushing hips up, extending left arm up, and reaching left foot to floor as you press into side plank (D). Rotate body back down to return to starting position. Repeat.

 

Pin the full workout for later:

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This Viral Video Shows the Most Bizarre-Looking Leg Cramp We’ve Ever Seen

This Viral Video Shows the Most Bizarre-Looking Leg Cramp We’ve Ever Seen

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A video of what is quite possibly the most painful-looking leg cramp ever has gone viral. The 50-second clip, posted Monday by Angel Bermudez on Facebook, has racked up 16 million views and more than 177,000 shares.

“After the workout. Start to relax and then this happens. Painful yes it was,” Bermudez wrote in the caption. The footage shows the muscles of his calf contracting and squirming, almost as if something were inside his leg, right under the skin.

Take a look, if you dare. (Warning: There’s some NSFW language in the caption.)

RELATED: Here’s How You Can Use a Lacrosse Ball to Release Your Calves

“This is what a cramp looks like,” you can hear Bermudez saying between grunts and groans, clearly in significant discomfort.

Plenty of commenters said they found the alien-like motion of Bermudez’s cramp flat-out disturbing. But others had clearly been through similar pain, and were quick to offer advice: stand up and walk, stretch, eat a banana, drink more water.

Although we don’t usually recommend following health advice from strangers on Facebook, in this instance, they’re on to something. Those solutions might actually help.

Leg cramps are sudden and involuntary muscle contractions, and—even though they can hurt like heck—they’re usually harmless. Leg cramps are thought to be caused by some kind of irritation or activation of nerves that tell the muscles to contract, and stay that way.

The irritation can be brought on by a range of things, from dehydration to a mineral deficiency, or even pregnancy. Ramping up your workout intensity too quickly, or over-training tired muscles can also lead to cramping. (For more on the possible triggers, check out “13 Causes of Leg Cramps—And How to Stop Them.”)

To eat clean (and save money!) this fall, sign up for our 21-Day Healthy Lunch Challenge

You can usually cure a cramp (especially one that comes up quickly after a workout) by hydrating with water, replacing electrolytes and minerals lost through sweat, and gentle stretching. But check with a doctor if you have frequent leg cramps that don’t seem to be related to physical activity or your diet. Some underlying health conditions, like peripheral arterial disease and multiple sclerosis, can also cause leg cramps.

5 Moves, 30 Minutes: Your Ultimate Kickboxing Workout

5 Moves, 30 Minutes: Your Ultimate Kickboxing Workout

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This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com.

It’s time to give your cardio routine a kick in the you-know-what. Just like other cardio workouts, kickboxing offers all the benefits of a high-intensity routine, including better coordination, mobility and strength. You’ll not only knock your muscles into high gear, but you’ll squash the stress of the day.

RELATED: Undefeated: Kickboxing Workouts to Get You Strong

Anja Garcia, one of the lead instructors for Daily Burn’s new Undefeated kickboxing program (available now), guarantees this is one workout you can’t fake. “The choreography combinations force you to stay connected throughout the entire workout. And let’s be honest, punching and kicking helps get out any aggression, fear or sadness.”

Although these kickboxing moves will knock out major calories, they don’t skimp on strength either. “The punching and kicking helps to strengthen everything from your shoulders and back to your abs and legs,” Garcia says. “As with all your punches, it isn’t just about the upper body. So much of the punch also comes from your legs. You are working your abs and lower body, too.”

TRY IT NOW: Daily Burn’s Undefeated Program

5 Kickboxing Moves to Squash Calories and Build Strength

Before you jump in the ring, take a few minutes to review proper boxer’s stance. “Your foot positioning is super important as the power of the punch actually originates from the glutes,” Garcia explains. The traditional boxer’s stance is with your left foot forward, feet shoulder-distance apart. “Your feet should be in a staggered fighting stance with your back foot slightly out to the side so that you’re able to use your hips through the punch,” Garcia says. Next, bring your fists up to your cheekbones and keep your elbows in by your sides — also known as guard position. Your fists should be close enough to your cheekbones that your thumbs can touch them.

Guess what? You’re ready to rumble. For the kickboxing workout below, perform eight reps of each exercise and repeat for as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes.

GIF: Undefeated

1. Jab, Cross, Hook, Uppercut

Throughout the Undefeated program, you’ll do different variations of this classic combo. But to help you maintain form, here are a few pro pointers: “In the jab, the punch comes straight out from the shoulder. Imagine the point of contact being someone’s nose,” Garcia says. For the cross, utilize power from your back hip to strengthen your punch, and for the hook, keep your arm at 90 degrees, Garcia adds.

How to: Get into guard position (a)Jab: Extend your left fist straight with your thumb pointed toward the floor. Pop it back to guard position (b)Cross: Turn your right foot inward and bring your right hip and shoulder forward. Keep your elbow in as you punch your right fist straight out with your thumb pointed to the floor. Pop it back up to guard position (c)Hook: Lift your left heel off the ground to shift your weight to your right side. Bring your left elbow up to shoulder height, forming a 90-degree angle, with your thumb facing up. Pop it back up to guard position (d). Uppercut: Turn your right hip and shoulder forward. Punch upward with your thumb facing you. Pop it back up to guard position (e). This is one rep.

I WANT IN: Sign Me Up for Daily Burn’s Undefeated

GIF: Undefeated

2. Sweep, Squat, Kick

The sweep squat is a new take on the basic squat, engaging other muscles in your glutes and quads. But adding the kick also fires up your hamstrings, Garcia says. “The great bonus in this move is that the sweep down engages the core a bit more.”

How to: Get into guard position, feet shoulder-distance apart (a). Sit into a deep squat, while keeping your hands by your cheekbones (b). As you come up to stand from the squat, sweep your arms laterally to your left side and kick your right leg straight out (c). Repeat on the left side (d). This is one rep.

GIF: Undefeated

3. Jab, Cross, Slip

This move is all about good offense and defense. Here, Garcia says to step into the punch and then defensively slip back and duck away from someone else’s potential punch.

How to: Get into guard position. Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart facing forward (a). Extend your left fist straight out with your thumb pointed toward the floor. Pop your fist back into guard position (b). Bring your right hip and shoulder forward to punch your right fist straight out with your thumb pointing the floor. Pop it back up to guard position (c). Keeping your hands in guard position, sit into a squat and duck your head, slipping it to your right side (d). Repeat on the left side. This is one rep.

SIGN ME UP: Start the Undefeated Kickboxing Program Today

GIF: Undefeated

4. Front Kick, Back Kick

Control is everything during this combo of kicks that also demands flexibility and mobility in your hips and hamstrings. Garcia recommends starting your kicks low at knee height before gradually going up to hip or chest height.

How to: Stand in guard position with your hands by your cheekbones and your feet in a staggered fighting stance (a). Kick your right leg forward, and then your left leg back, while maintaining upper body form (b). This is one rep.

RELATED: Need a Cardio Fix? Try This 5-Minute Kickboxing Workout

GIF: Undefeated

5. Uppercuts

Uppercuts are deceptively lower body moves. The real power behind them comes from your shoulders, back and legs, too. “Firing up these big burners helps increase your metabolism and makes kickboxing a total-body workout,” Garcia says.

How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart (a). Pivot your right hip and shoulder forward (b). Keeping your elbows in, punch upward with your fists. Be sure your thumbs face you (c). Right then left is one rep.

We Can’t Stop Watching This Insane Human-Powered ‘Fitness Machine’ Video

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In an crazy new workout video just released by Red Bull, 14 fitness personalities give a whole new meaning to the post-gym selfie.

The energy drink company tapped a team of elite athletes and coaches to construct a Rube Goldberg-esque “fitness machine.” In the complex, choreographed routine, the super-fit talent use various moves and skills to power the contraption, which through the domino effect, eventually triggers a camera to snap a group photo at the end.

The project was inspired by Red Bull’s “Athlete Machine” video, which went viral a few years ago. The new clip, filmed at Deuce Gym in Los Angeles, took 250 hours to design, and incorporates everything from cycling and weight lifting to rope climbing and hip-hop dancing.

The video’s stars include Nike Master Trainer Holly Rilinger, Olympic rugby player Carlin Isles, and CrossFit competitor Colleen Fotsch, among others. 

We are seriously impressed!

This Is the Vibrating Foam Roller Khloé Kardashian Swears By

This Is the Vibrating Foam Roller Khloé Kardashian Swears By

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Khloé Kardashian always keeps her social media followers up-to-date on her latest fitness obsessions, whether she’s posting her daily workout routine on Instagram or sharing her gym bag essentials on her official app. Yesterday, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star, 33, took to Snapchat to reveal her current must-have piece of workout equipment: an upgraded version of the classic foam roller.

In a series of snaps, Kardashian raved about her HyperIce Vyper 3 Speed Vibrating Foam Roller ($179, amazon.com), saying she uses it after many different workouts. And if the name doesn’t make it clear, yes—this foam roller vibrates.

RELATED: Can Foam Rolling Really Get Rid of Cellulite?

At first glance, you might not even realize that the HyperIce Vyper is a foam roller; the sides feature buttons and lights that make it look more like a boom box than workout tool. But with three different vibration speeds, it claims to combine the practice of foam rolling with vibrating technology to relieve muscle pain and stiffness.

Kardashian isn’t the only HyperIce Vyper fan. The product has over 150 customer reviews on Amazon, and 70% of reviewers gave it a 5-star rating. Many of those reviews echo the reality star’s claim that the vibrating tool comes in handy after many different workout routines, from running to HIIT to yoga.

“This thing was sent by the workout angels,” says Amazon user Mark Aardvark.

Experts agree that foam rolling can deliver some real benefits. “There’s ample evidence that this kind of massage helps boost tissue repair, increase mobility, and decrease soreness,” Kari Brown Budde, DPT, a sports physical therapist in Columbus, Ohio, told Health in a previous interview.

But if you’re not willing to invest nearly $180 in the vibrating version, the good news is that even more basic foam rollers can help soothe knots and relieve post-workout muscle pain. We like the RumbleRoller ($80; amazon.com) and the super-portable SKLZ Hydro-Roller ($38; amazon.com). Try foam rolling everywhere from your shins to your glutes to your IT band for full-body pain relief.

8 Arm Exercises You Haven’t Done Before

You can read the rest of this article on Life by Daily Burn.

You’ve probably cranked out a bunch of bicep curls and triceps kickbacks throughout your days at the gym. And while these moves work great for building muscles in your upper body, a few creative takes on your typical arm workout will help you carve even better results. That’s especially true if the exercises mix a few movements into one, so you work more muscles simultaneously (that means you’ll burn more calories, too). Enter: These eight creative arm exercises you probably haven’t tried before.

When you say you want sculpted bis, tris, shoulders and back muscles — we say master these moves. Flex it out with this ultimate upper body workout.

RELATED: 3 Quick Triceps Exercises for Sculpted Arms

8 Arm Exercises for a Better Upper Body Workout

Perform each exercise below, in order, for 30 seconds each. Try to eliminate rest time between each move. After the eighth exercise, take a 60-second breather, then repeat two more times. To really intensify the strengthening power, pick up a pair of dumbbells. Soon you’ll want to bare those arms all the time.

 Bicep Curl in Stationary Bear Crawl

GIFs: Daily Burn 365

1. Bicep Curl in Stationary Bear Crawl

Show off your guns by working your biceps (the front of your arm) from a different angle than the standard palm-forward posture. While you do it, you’ll be chiseling your core thanks to the stability-testing stance.

How to: Start on your hands and knees, wrists under shoulders and knees under hips (a). Lift your knees an inch or two off the ground and hold them there, back flat and abs tight (b). Turning your palm up and elbow out to the side, bend your right elbow, curling your hand up to your chest. Your right arm should be perpendicular to your left (c). Place your right hand back down and repeat on the left side (d). Continue alternating.

 Tricep Chop

2. Tricep Chop

You’ll strengthen the back of your arms, aka your triceps, as you perfect this rotational chop. Consider your obliques toned, too.

How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart, slight bend in your knees (a). Clasp your hands together (or hold a dumbbell on both sides) and bring them to your left side, turning your shoulders and head to the left. Your hips should stay facing forward (b). Then, swiftly move your hands overhead, straightening your arms (c). Bend at the elbows to bring your hands behind your head. Keep your elbows squeezing in close to your ears (d). Straighten your arms back overhead (e). Next, bring your hands down to your right side, twisting your upper body to the right (f). Return to the tricep extension and repeat, as you continue alternating sides for the chop.

RELATED: More Muscle, Please: The Evolution of Women’s Arms

 Hinged Front Raise to Lateral Raise

3. Hinged Front Raise to Reverse Fly

Welcome a chiseled back and shoulders with this two-for-one move. Switching between the duo of exercises fires up multiples muscles, so your entire upper body benefits.

How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart, slight bend in your knees (a). With palms facing your sides and elbows straight, lift your hands straight up so they’re in line with your ears (b). Return them back down in front of you (c). Then, with palms facing each other, lift your hands out to the sides with a slight bend in your elbows — it should feel like you’re holding a big beach ball (d) Return them down in front of you (e). Continue alternating between raises and flyes.

 Bicep Curl to Throw

4. Bicep Curl to Throw

Combining an upper body and lower body move in this exercise, you’ll work your biceps, legs, butt and even your abs. Don’t forget to put some power behind your over-the-shoulder throw and pick up those weights to enhance the arm challenge.

How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart (a). Squat down and simultaneously bring your hands up to your shoulders to perform a bicep curl (b). As you stand back up, bring your hands back down (c). Then, step back with your right foot to perform a reverse lunge. At the same time, bend your elbows and bring your arms to your left shoulder, like you’re throwing something behind you (d). Return to start and repeat the squat and curl (e). Then perform the lunge and throw on the other side (f). Continue alternating with the squat and curl between each lunge and throw.

RELATED: 3 Rowing Machine Workouts for Cardio and Strength

 Arnold Press

5. Arnold Press

Your shoulders never looked so good — or felt so strong. This targets all sides of your deltoids, as well as your triceps.

How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart, slight bend in the knees. Bend your elbows 90 degrees, and bring them up in line with your shoulders, elbows and fists touching (a). Open your arms so palms face forward and elbows come out to the sides (b). Then, press your arms up overhead as your straighten your elbows (c). Bring your arms back down to shoulder height, then close them back in front of your face the same way you started (c). Repeat.