Are you sitting down while you read this? If so, then the Crab Hip Hold is an exercise you must add into your routine. “We sit so much. We sit at breakfast, we sit while driving to work. Being in that position all day, your glutes and hamstrings are never contracted,” Jeremy Frisch, U.S.A.W., owner and director of Achieve Performance Training in Clinton, Massachusetts, and creator of the 24-Hour Arms Workout.
The Crab Hip Hold attacks all of those muscles you rarely use while chained to your chair. “You’ll get a big contraction in your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back,” Frisch says. “A lot of people are weak in those areas. But they’re the athletic power muscles that propel you forward and allow you to run and jump high.”
Watch the video below to see the Crab Hip Hold in action:
If your shoulders are tight, the Crab Hip Hold will also pull your shoulder blades back—a lifesaver if you’re hunched over a keyboard all day. To get the most out of the move, focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together and pushing with your arms to keep your body in a straight line, Frisch says.
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Recharge Your Brain
Adults who devoted 4 days a week to an hour of moderate aerobic exercise (running, stair climbing, or riding a stationary bike) had more bloodflow in their dentate gyrus, the area of the brain where memories are formed, according to a 2007 Columbia University study. Increased bloodflow may signal the growth of new brain cells, a process known as neurogenesis, says Adam M. Brickman, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist and coauthor of the study. It’s also possible, he says, that exercise stimulates the release of a growth factor in the brain tied to neurogenesis. Another study found that people who did resistance training once a week saw a 12.6 percent jump in a performance on memory tests.
Slow Your Cells’ Aging Process
The cells of people with high omega-3 levels age more slowly, according to research from the University of California at San Francisco. Researchers aren’t sure why, but it may have to do with the anti-inflammatory properties of omega- 3 fatty acids. “Many of the conditions associated with aging—arthritis, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s—are related to chronic inflammation,” says Bowerman. She advises eating cold-water fish (mackerel, salmon) twice a week, and taking 2 grams a day of a fish-oil supplement. Our favorite: Nordic Naturals Omega-3D, which delivers 550 milligrams of EPA and DHA and 1,000 IU of bone-strengthening vitamin D.
Relax Your Arteries
Regular aerobic exercise can delay and may even reverse aging in your arteries, concluded a 2008 review in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Study coauthor Douglas R. Seals, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology and applied physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, explains how: Exercise boosts your heart rate, which increases bloodflow. A better bloodflow creates more friction on the blood vessels’ inner lining (a.k.a. the endothelial layer), which, in turn, stimulates the production of nitric oxide. This improves the ability of your arteries to dilate and confers other benefits as well, like reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, protecting your arteries from developing disorders. New research indicates that highintensity aerobic intervals appear to deliver greater endothelial benefits than steady-state aerobic training, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Fight Age with Muscle
After 50, the sedentary man’s muscle loss speeds up and he then loses about 10 percent of his muscle mass every decade. This leads directly to osteoporosis. If you’ve been lifting weights, keep it up. If you haven’t, start now—it’s not too late. American College of Sports Medicine guidelines cover strength training for people over 65. Your workout should also involve more balance moves to strengthen your feet, ankles, and core and to straighten your posture.