GIF workouts are the new hot trend in at-home fitness. Last time, the workouts we featured were all about new moves and unique combinations. This time, we’re bringing you GIF workouts for challenging full-body toning and stretching routines. Check with your doctor before starting any of these tough workouts.
Toning exercises like crunches can be boring as hell. If I’m working out, I want to stay focused and not have my exercise session feel like a total slog. Anna Kaiser, celebrity trainer and founder of hot fitness method AKT in Motion, has created a routine for New York Magazine that fits the bill. It’s designed to help you sculpt a “Dancer V” and is great for those who are ready to go beyond the classic crunches and sit-ups, with modifications to help those who aren’t quite so advanced so you have something to work toward. I set out to do the first move, a 45-degree lean-back assisted by a towel, and the GIFs clearly illustrated how I had to position my body. Engage your abs, and you will definitely feel this move deep within. It’s incredibly important to keep your abs engaged and have proper form, not only to make the moves effective but also to support your back and stay safe throughout the routine. This one is definitely going into my regular workout rotation.
Madonna is no slouch when it comes to her work ethic or her fitness regimen, and it shows with this workout featured in Harper’s Bazaar from the pop star's head personal trainer Craig Smith. This workout, made up of compound movements, is no joke, from the beginning Pushup to Arabesque straight through to the Curtsy Lunge to Side Attitude. In fact, those lunges were almost a treat after some of the more punishing moves in this routine. I did find the Center Squat with Plank Walk awkward with the weights, and my form was suffering, so I ditched the weights and was able to keep my form and still feel the burn in all the right places. This could have been because my weights were not as substantial as the recommended 5- to 7-pounds. Similarly, I performed the Plank to Forward Lunge without weights but kept them nearby so I could do the Single Rows that followed with them. The 3 Knee Repeater was great for testing my balance and working my entire body. Overall, this workout is great for those who may be pressed for time but still want a solid toning session.
One thing I’ve discovered while practicing yoga at home is that taking classes with knowledgeable yogis has definitely helped with my form. Still, especially for more advanced moves and transitions, simple but clear visual instructions are a powerful tool when applying what you’ve learned in class to a home practice. The Coveteur’s GIF yoga feature, 7 De-Stressing Yoga Moves, offers high-quality GIFs of some ace yoga moves courtesy of Sarah Levey from Y7 Yoga Studio that will most definitely help you place your focus on your body and breath and off of whatever happens to be troubling you. This is not a sequence for beginners by any means.
For me, this didn’t work well as a yoga flow in itself, since setting up for each move took me out of the yoga mindset. However, I did appreciate practicing each move individually, and the GIF set is wonderful for shaking up your home practice, as it can provide a loose structure of sorts if you’re improvising a flow and need a base. Each GIF clearly illustrates the nuances of moves such as the fluid transition from Plank to Upward Dog and how to set up for various levels of Bridge and Camel, allowing you to work with your body’s needs and abilities. The next time I consulted this GIF set, I was able to “fill in the blanks,” if you will, with moves like Downward Dog, Warrior One and Warrior Two, and I added some hip openers into the mix for a well-rounded yoga session.
Ultimately, these toning and yoga GIFs are a perfect way for you to test additional exercise options and see what works best for you. So listen to your body and have some fun with your fitness routine!