Authentic voices. Remarkable stories. AOL On Originals showcase the passions that make the world a more interesting place.
Go behind the scenes with some of the biggest digital celebrities to see what life is like when the blogging and tweeting stops.
The story of punk rock singer Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! who came out as a woman in 2012, and other members of the trans community whose experiences are woefully underrepresented and misunderstood in the media.
Documentary shorts conceived of and directed by famous actors. Jeff Garlin, Katie Holmes, Alia Shawkat, Judy Greer, and James Purefoy
Park Bench is a new kind of "talking show" straight from the mind of born and bred New Yorker and host, Steve Buscemi.
Digital influencer Justine Ezarik (iJustine) is back. After covering the world of wearable tech last season, iJustine is expanding her coverage this year by profiling the hottest tech trends across the country.
A 12 episode documentary series following 5 startup companies competing in the 2013 San Francisco TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield as they fine tune their products and eventually present in front of a panel of judges in hopes of winning $50,000 in funding.
Enter the graceful but competitive world of ballet through the eyes of executive producer, Sarah Jessica Parker. This behind-the-scenes docudrama reveals what it takes to perform on the ultimate stage, the New York City Ballet. Catch NYCB on stage at Lincoln Center.
Nicole Richie brings her unfiltered sense of humor and unique perspective to life in a new series based on her irreverent twitter feed. The show follows the outspoken celebrity as she shares her perspective on style, parenting, relationships and her journey to adulthood.
Explore what it means to be human as we rush head first into the future through the eyes, creativity, and mind of Tiffany Shlain, acclaimed filmmaker and speaker, founder of The Webby Awards, mother, constant pusher of boundaries and one of Newsweek’s “women shaping the 21st Century.”
Gwyneth Paltrow and Tracy Anderson spend time with women who've overcome hardship, injury, and setbacks to triumph in the face of adversity.
Hank Azaria’s touching, humorous, and often enlightening journey from a man who is not even sure he wants to have kids, to a father going through the joys, trials and tribulations of being a dad.
ACTING DISRUPTIVE takes viewers inside the businesses and passion projects of Hollywood’s top celebrities.
Fitness Instructor Estelle Matthews guides us through a simple stretch and tone routine which can easily be followed at home.
Tags:Stretch and Tone Workout,Estelle Matthews,Post-natal Workout,parenting tips,simplymediatv
Grab video code:
Estelle Matthews: Hi there, I am Estelle Matthews. Welcome to my ten minute exercise program. Today we're going to focus on stretch and tone. Just ten minutes of pure stretch and tone working. To start with standing and then we go onto the floor for stretches and more toning of the leg area.
So first of all, just keep your feet parallel, weight equally on both feet and you don't need to sit, in fact it helps to be able to feel the tones. So hands above the side of your body, you move the right foot forward, stretch those toes along the floor, point and pull them back in. It's a feeling of resistance, especially on the back in. This comes from ballet exercise and it really works from toe, right up to the top to bottom, good. Next one is going to be a lift with a flexed foot and a point to touch the floor both in. Still get that dragging feeling on the way back so that you are working in contracting those muscles. Try it again, legs point, once more both sides, legs afoot, point, good.
Finally flex, back to the first leg, you are lifting up and pull up into a leg extension, lift and low, your foot stays flexed. If you are finding balancing problem, you can grab a chair, grab a partner, really tightening the muscles in the perfect sense. This can be done really as you like. It really controls exercise that goes to those legs. One more, hold it up, really don't need to lift your leg very high, relax the rest of your body and let's try from the other side.
You do wobble around a bit. Just grabbing onto something, you are still isolating working that leg. Flex the foot, lift and down. If you ever had a knee or leg injury, this is a very good way to build up the muscles in the quadriceps again. But of course, if you've been away from exercise for sometime, you really need to get the strength back into those legs and this is really the way to do it. If actually you can do it sitting down. And once more, hold it up there. Squeeze it out. Lower it, bend the knees, pick the hands down the knees around your back, tunes the chest, pull that stretch. You feel it stretches right the way through the back into the shoulders and the abdominal muscles are contracted. So coming up and release. After those quadricep exercises, you need to stretch outwards, lift the heel into the bottom, bend the supporting knee, take the arm out to the side for balance. And once more, you can hold to a piece of furniture or a partner to help you with your balance.
Turn to the other side, here we go. Take your time, it doesn't need to be done to any set feet, you need to come up. We got to workout a deep stretch now. Step forward on the right foot, left leg behind you, hands down with that front foot and so stretch up the leg behind you, aiming to push that back heel in towards the floor, it won't go, it won't get there, that's the feeling, a stretched leg, hold it there. Now important, the upper body here, relax the body, shoulders dropped, the elbow should remain slightly soft. Then you can deconstruct further by taking the knee down gently to the floor. Don't let the knee touch the floor if you haven't got some spot, there you need either a towel or a mat or some cotton. So feel very comfortable here, then lift that toe, the toe comes out and point through, it's keeping the majority of the weight going forward. You will feel deep stretch here in that hamstring and you will feel all the way down the extended quadriceps. Feel that, alright, good.
And pull back in, you come back up and go gradually and extend the other leg up. You make sure you got some support, good. Staying there, getting that position technically correct. Again remember not punching up, okay? The back should be long and head following on but do anything within that. Gently lowering the back knee as long as you got a nice support underneath it, carpet works absolutely fine. Point the toes after the back and sink a little further into that stretch. Always remembering that you can squeeze the bottom tight again, you got a real tension contraction there. If you can maintain that, you are getting a very deep stretch throughout the legs. Holding it there for another half a dozen seconds if you can cope with that. So this time around, not coming all the way back up, just bring the knees in, take the hands in front of you, just like this. Flat back here, widen knees just a little bit. Just lifting through a counter stretch so rounding the back, hollowing the stomach, chins to the chest, and hold it there.
Now very important to keep the bottom squeezed tightly and keep that contraction in the abdominals. Come back to a flat back position. Never pretend to get into an arch back because obviously it looks more dramatic but it's not good for you back, especially if we take that lovely contraction. Then bring it back into a flat back. This can be done as slowly as you feel.
Let's try one more really slowly and with a lovely big contraction in the abs. Hold it there, the neck should not be strained and flat back. Now the knees slightly focused together, stretch one leg up behind you, flex this. Then we'll just do a few of these today, you can't really develop this and do quite a lot of things like lifts. If you are into sculpting those bottom, this is just a brilliant one. Lift and lift and lift and lift, just a couple of more, lift and lift, round the back, pull it back in, stretch the other leg out behind you. Flex the foot and do this. There is that feeling of resistance there if you squeeze tightly at the back of the leg. The feel should be leading the movement. Lift, and seven, and eight, good. And round back, sit back on your heels, stretch through the arms and the shoulders. And that again should not be squeezed up into the wrong opposition, you should follow the line of the spine.
Now just to finish with a bit of a challenge. You take the hands forwards. We're going to work our abs for the last time but there is a value of getting a sleek stretch thrown in, toss behind you. This might take a bit of time to build up this position. If you find the position itself too challenging at the moment, there is an easy option, bring the knees down keeping the back flat. And if you can, lift up, try and bend to create a lovely flat line and hold it there for up to 30 seconds. And you will feel the shakes if you're doing it, just bring your knees down again gently and lift it back up when you are ready for it, good. When you got enough with that, knees down, bring them back in towards the hands, relax, back into that stretch. Fingers crawling along the floor, sit back onto your heels. You might just need to relax the shoulders of to taking the strain with that last exercise.
So there you have ten minutes of some deep stretches combined with some toning for the legs and it really was at a very peaceful pace. So this of course will be ideal if you're just getting back into exercise and you don't have to go at a frantic pace.