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These 4 Spinal Exercises Will Help to Fix Your Posture and Back

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Men’s Health/Eric Rosati

Just because you’re active and focused on your fitness doesn’t mean you’re not exposed to potentially compromising positions that can throw off your posture. Just look at trainer Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S., who is about as active and fit as you can be—but still found herself struggling with her upper body and spine.

Atkins was once a SoulCycle Master Instructor, and the time spent teaching and riding took a toll on her posture. “Years of being on a bike and in the gym (oh and smart phones/computers😅) has got my upper body in a bind,” she says. But she knows she’s not alone, and the spinal struggles are widespread.

“A majority of my clients in NYC are what I like to call ‘Desk Warriors.’ They’re the athletes that hit the gym in the morning and then go straight to the computer for 8-plus hours,” she says.

Backslash Fit Smart Yoga Mat

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To combat the stiffness and tightness that comes from poor positioning, Atkins makes posture work a priority. “Lately I’ve been implementing a lot of yoga-inspired exercises into our warm-ups and mobility sessions to help open up the chest and take some stress off the neck and back,” she says. “The key with using yoga-inspired exercises is to also bring over the breath work. Keep in mind, these are the exercises that are going to help reverse all those ‘pushing’ exercises so they’re bound to be uncomfortable for most biceps and chest-focused men.”

All you need to implement these exercises in your own routine is some space on the floor and a yoga mat, if you want a soft surface to work on. Check out this self-rolling version from our Backslash Fit brand if you need a new one.

Try to hold each exercise for 10 slow controlled breaths.

  • Reverse Plank
  • Baby Cobra
  • Locust Pose
  • Shoulders CARs

    Add this series of exercises to your pre-workout routine, or at the end of a long workday.

    Want to learn more moves from Atkins? Check out our series full of her workout tips, Try Her Move.

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Try These 4 Pushup Variations for a Better Bodyweight Workout

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Men’s Health/Eric Rosati

When you drop down to pushup, are you really thinking about what you’re doing? You’ve probably been pumping through the bodyweight staple since elementary school, so it’s easy to think you know just about everything about the exercise. It is pretty simple, after all—what you’re doing is literally in the name.

But there’s more nuance to the move than just hitting the ground and pushing off. Your body position is essential to get the most out of the pushup (learn more about that here). Your ultimate aim when doing the exercise is just as important, according to trainer Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S.

“Let’s talk about the goal of a pushup,” she says. “The perfect pushup isn’t doing the most reps. A perfect pushup is lowering all the way down and then extending all the way back up to the starting position.”

Atkins notices that a certain type of person she works with commonly skips out on that form and care for speed and brute strength. Dudes, she’s talking about us.

“Most of my male clients forget the extension at the top and are instead worried about how many they can do,” Atkins says. The trainer suggests that guys who are trying to get more out of their pushups should instead try to vary the intensity of your workouts by adding elements of instability and movement. This four-move series gives you an opportunity to do just that, with three challenging pushup variations and one regression.

Perform each variation for 10 reps

  • Hands Elevated Pushup
  • Iso Pushup Hold
  • Lateral Walk and Pushup
  • Pushup and Shoulder Tap

    You can insert these variations into your workouts in place of standard pushups, or you can take them on as a series, performing 3 to 4 rounds through the whole set.

    Want to learn more moves from Atkins? Check out our series full of her workout tips, Try Her Move.

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The 20 Best Low-Carb Keto Snacks to Buy at the Grocery Store

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EPIC Pink Himalayan & Sea Salt Baked Pork Rinds, Low-Carb, 4 Count Box 2.5oz bags

Epic Provisions
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$15.96

Get this—no carbs at all. Yessss. “That gas station snack you always avoided actually qualifies as a keto friendly food. Pork rinds are carb-free and are made up of fat and protein, fitting the keto bill,” says Rachel Daniels, MS, RD, and Sr. Director of Nutrition at Virtual Health Partners.

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What Is a Mandalorian? Explaining History of ‘Star Wars’ Species

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  • The Mandalorian is now live on Disney+.
  • What is a Mandalorian anyway, though?
  • Some classic Star Wars characters are Mandalorians, including one of the most famous ever.

    With the launch of Disney+, that means there’s also the launch of The Mandalorian, the first ever live-action Star Wars series. The first episode is already live, and between callbacks to powerful substances and a wild ending (don’t click unless you’ve already watched!), the show is already at the top of every Star Wars fan’s chart. But for some more casual fans, there are a couple lingering questions; namely, what, exactly, is a Mandalorian? Who is this main character? And why does he look like Boba Fett?

    And we can answer a few of these questions right off the bat. A Mandalorian is a species in Star Wars, something of a subset of humans—they come from the planet Mandalore. Boba Fett, while technically not a Mandalorian himself (we’ll get to that in a little bit), is the platonic Mandalorian, and wears a set of traditional Mandalorian armor and helmet. The main character in The Mandalorian, now, is no one we’ve seen before (as far as we know); he’s played by Game of Thrones star Pedro Pascal, and seems to be more on the anti-hero side than villain. That being said, he’s still a Bounty Hunter, and his goal is looking out for number one.

    There’s extreme backstory lore to the Mandalorians, a human race in Star Wars world based on the planet of Mandalore. For more in-depth reading, you can check out the Star Wars fandom page, which dives deep into the subject, which is mostly explored in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series (which sees the race co-opted and fought by none other than Darth Maul. It’s wild stuff!). But for our purposes here, we’ll stick to the basics.

    Outside of the cartoon series, the only Mandalorians have primarily appeared in the movies. Chronologically speaking, the first major Mandalorian character that is introduced to the story is Jango Fett, a villainous bounty hunter whose silver armor looks remarkably like the titular character of the TV show. Jango is eventually decapitated at the onset of The Clone War by Jedi Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson).

    Some of the extended universe stuff, however, puts Jango’s status as a Mandalorian in question. The Star Wars Fandom page says that despite his wearing Mandalorian armor, the fact that he was simply a human carrying out Palpatine’s evil made him not qualify; the planet of Mandalore supposedly considered him a pretender. Wookiepedia, however, paints a different picture, as Jango apparently rehabilitated his image in a novel called Order 66 (which is no longer considered canon).

    It’s also interesting to note that the most famous of all the Mandalorians—Boba Fett—isn’t, really, a Mandalorian at all. As you may recall in Attack of the Clones (as painful as that sentence is to write), Boba Fett is actually a direct clone of his arguably Mandalorian father, Jango Fett. So your own take on whether or not Jango qualifies as a Mandalorian—and whether a clone counts as anything other than, well, a clone—could lead to the answer of how you’d classify our friend Boba.

    That being said, Boba Fett stands for all the ideals that we would imagine a Mandalorian to stand for. First of all, he’s just a complete, inarguable badass—the man is probably the most famous bounty hunter in film history despite not even reaching seven minutes of total screentime in the original Star Wars trilogy. That’s gotta mean something, right?

    Surely, with a show called The Mandalorian, we’ll learn more about, well, the Mandalorians. But as of right now, we already do know quite a bit—and if the first episode is any indicator, we’ll have a pretty cool character to tag along on an adventure with.

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