Health

Is the Apple Watch Series 3 Worth Buying? Our Fitness Editor Weighs In

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Nothing gets folks more excited than a new gadget, and today the world is all abuzz with news of Apple’s latest release: the Apple Watch Series 3 has officially arrived.

Available in two sizes, 38mm and 42mm, and gold aluminum (in addition to classic silver, space gray aluminum, stainless steel, or space black stainless steel), this new wrist bling makes major functional strides from previous versions. The most notable change is built-in cellular access that shares the same number as your iPhone, starting at $399. (There is also a version without cellular that starts at $329.) This is huge. No longer tethered to your phone, you can go off into the world (or maybe just for a run, bike ride, or errand) and leave your smartphone at home, but still be able to make calls, receive texts, use GPS, stream music through Apple Music (available later this fall), talk to Siri, and, yes, pay for that post-run cup of Starbucks. The extra convenience comes at a cost, of course—for cellular access, you’ll pay more in your current monthly cell phone bill (prices vary depending on provider).

To buy: Starting at $329; apple.com

Equally cool, Apple was able to add technology upgrades (hello, 70% faster dual-core processor, in-screen antenna, and eSIM card) into the Series 3 without noticeably altering its size. It's physically comparable to the Series 2, save for the extended back crystal, which is about as thick as two sheets of paper. Not bad. The only other visual cue that you're sporting the newer version is a red dot on the crown of the watch, which is meant to distinguish between the cellular and non-cellular versions.

Let’s talk battery life, always a big concern for consumers. The Series 3 is supposed to be able to keep on ticking all day long, and thanks to the bigger processor, it should run more efficiently too. Keep in mind, though, that this device is not intended to totally replace your smartphone (at least not yet)—it’s more for mixed-usage purposes. In other words, a hours-long gabfest with your bestie via your wrist could definitely drain the battery.

Also good: the new operating system, watchOS 4, which comes with the Series 3, is pretty cool. You’ll have access to a slew of new features, including an updated Heart Rate app (it alerts you to spikes in heart rate even when you're not working out), a new Siri watch face, upgraded Workout app with custom HIIT workout type, and more. It's also worth noting that it's possible to download the new watchOS 4 operating system on older models (I did so on my Series 2) and reap most of the upgrades.

So should you buy the Apple Watch Series 3? I just got my hands on one and I’ll be testing it for the next week. But so far, I've been impressed with how intuitive the Series 3 seems to be compared to previous versions. The upgrades to the Workout app also caught my eye (my favorite feature: when you start running, a little icon of a person runs on the screen with you). I even made my first watch-based call with a little help from Siri, and it was exciting to not have to rely on my phone.

There have been reports of issues with the cellular function on the Series 3 (some of the watches are allegedly connecting to unauthenticated wireless networks, and the company is investigating a fix). That said, if you're someone who wants to be able to go phone-free, this may be the wearable you’ve been waiting for. If that's not a major concern for you, perhaps consider the non-cellular version.

For all the runners out there, keep in mind that there's an Apple Watch Nike+ Series 3 version launching in October. So many choices, so little time.

This Look-Better-Naked Workout From Tracy Anderson Will Give You Serious Body Confidence

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The key to feeling amazing without a stitch on? Being comfortable in your frame. This slimming series does just that, upping your mind-body connection, getting you moving more dynamically, and fostering self-confidence (like all exercise!). 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.

Tracy's wearing: Aqua Classic Strappy Bralette ($18; bloomingdales.com), Ultracor leopard-print leggings ($185; bandier.com for similar), Nike Air Max Thea SE Metallic sneakers ($115; bloomingdales.com for similar).

1. Step Coupé to Single-Leg Plank

Stand with right leg slightly in front of left. Bend knees, reaching left palm to floor, right hand resting on hip. Lift left foot, rotating leg slightly so inner lower leg is tucked behind right leg ( A). Step left foot back, followed by right, to come into a plank ( B). Lift right leg, opening it out on a diagonal ( C). Step feet back in and rise to return to “A.”

2. Wide Stretch to Jazz Split

Start in a standing straddle; lower torso, placing left forearm and right hand on floor (A). Keeping left forearm on floor, bend left knee to kneeling, coming onto left hip as you extend right leg straight out (B). Continue rolling over, carrying right leg to other side until right toes are touching floor. Place right hand down and lift hips, coming onto left toes as you extend left arm up (C). Sit down and roll back to start; repeat.

3. Sit Back Lift Extend

Start seated with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Bend right leg in front of you and left leg behind you. Walk hands forward and lower down, coming onto right forearm and left palm (A). Pressing into right forearm and left palm, lift up onto right knee as you extend and lift left leg out to the side; raise left arm straight up (B). Lower back to “A” and repeat.

4. Kneeling Swing-Around Arabesque

Start kneeling; lift left knee up so left leg forms the top part of a triangle, with left hand on waist and right arm extended on a diagonal toward knee (A). Lower to left knee, placing right forearm and left hand on floor as you extend right leg up and back (B). Return right knee to floor, then lift left knee to return to “A.”

5. Crossed Split Side Plank and Lift

Start in a plank with legs wide; swing left leg counterclockwise, rotating torso as you lift left arm up (A). Rotate back to wide plank and come down to left knee as you sweep right leg up so inner thigh is parallel to floor (B). Return to start and repeat.

 

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30-Minute Barre Workout to Tone Up Your Thighs

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This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com.

A leaner, more toned physique isn’t the only incentive for building stronger thighs. Strengthening your muscles in front (quadriceps), back (hamstrings) and in between (adductors) is key to walking and running with ease, and jumping and squatting with power. Rock solid thighs will also provide a solid foundation for movement in any plane — for everyday and athletic feats.

But if you’re tired of standard squats and lunges, stepping up to the barre can help give your lower half the TLC it needs. Becca Pace, lead trainer for Daily Burn’s Barre Harmony program, says, “Barre workouts allow the smaller muscle groups [like the inner thighs] to fire up and engage.” Barre’s signature lengthening and strengthening pulses and pliés target the thighs like no other. And we’re combining six of Pace’s favorites into one muscle-torching thigh workout. If your legs start to shake, that means your thighs are really working.

RELATED: Barre Harmony: Total-Body Barre Workout You Can Do at Home

6 Barre Exercises for a 30-Minute Thigh Workout

Using a chair that’s about hip height, do 10-15 reps of each of the six moves below. Repeat for two to three rounds. “Higher reps of more intricate exercises tests muscle endurance and builds strength and flexibility without putting pressure on the joints,” Pace explains.

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony

1. Second Position Plié with Relevé

For this classic barre move, Pace says when you’re bending your knees in plié, press the outer edge of your feet down and pull your knees back to prevent them from falling in.

How to: Stand behind a chair with your feet in second position (feet slightly wider than hips-width with your toes turned out at 45 degrees), hands resting lightly on top of the chair. Roll your shoulders back and tilt your pelvis forward so your hips are in a neutral position (a). Sit into a grand plié squat with your hips in line with your knees, and then lift your heels off the ground in relevé (b). Squeezing your glutes, bring your heels back down to the ground and do a demi-plié before standing back up (c). This is one rep.

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony

2. Reverse Lunge to Passé Combo

This lunge combo tests your hip mobility and balance. “When you’re going to passé, press firmly on your front foot and push off the ball of the back foot to bring your toes to the inner knee of the front leg,” she says.

How to: Stand parallel to a chair on your right side with your feet in first position (heels together and toes turned out to 45 degrees) (a). Take a step back with your left foot and sink into a reverse lunge. Then, bring your left foot back to first position (b). With your left foot pointed, tap it to your left side and then come up to relevé on both feet. Lift your left knee bent out to the side, and with your left toes pointed, touch your right knee in a passé position (c). This is one rep. Do 10-15 reps before switching sides.

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony

3. Curtsy Lunge Pulse

Be sure to evenly distribute weight in each foot when you’re in a curtsy lunge. “Aim both hips forward like headlights and wrap inner thighs toward one another, like magnets,” Pace says.

How to: Stand behind a chair with your feet hip-width apart, hands lightly resting on top of the chair (a). Step your left foot behind you to your right side and lower your body into a demi-plié (half-squat) (b). Lift your arms up overhead in third position and pulse your legs for 10-15 reps before switching sides (c).

RELATED: Barre Basics: A Beginner’s Guide to Barre Workouts

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony

4. Tuck in Demi-Plié with Relevé

Imagine leaning your back against a wall when you’re positioning your body for this move. Your back should remain in neutral throughout the entire movement. Pace says to pull your belly button up toward your ribs to activate your core.

How to: Stand behind a chair with your feet hip-width apart. Place a rolled up towel between your thighs, just above your knees, and squeeze them together tightly (a). Engaging your abs, tilt your pelvis slightly forward with your tailbone pointed down. Bring your heels up up to relevé (b). Squeezing your thighs and glutes, demi-plié up and down for 10-15 reps before lowering your feet back down to the ground (c).

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony

5. Inner Thigh Lift

As you lift your bottom leg, be sure not to shift your hips forward or back, and keep your core activated as you lower it back down, Pace says.

How to: Lie on your right side on a mat with your left leg stacked over your right leg. Cross your left leg over your right, planting your left foot firmly on the floor on your side and lying your head down on your right arm (a). Keeping your right foot pointed, lift your right leg off the ground and then bring it back down. This is one rep. You should start to feel the burn in your right inner thigh (b). Do 10-15 reps before switching sides (c).

RELATED: 5 Butt-Sculpting Exercises from Barre Harmony

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Barre Harmony

6. Rainbow

While this exercise is meant to work your thighs, your obliques will get some lovin’, too, in order to keep your hips square. “Try to avoid the hips lifting and dipping, but instead, continue to point them down,” Pace says.

How to: Get in a tabletop position with your hands right under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Bring your right leg out to the side with your knee straight (a). Keeping your hips square and engaging your abs, sweep your right leg up and over to the left side, so you create a rainbow with your leg. Bring your right leg back to the starting position. This is one rep (b). Do 10-15 reps and then switch sides.

Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by Daily Burn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by Daily Burn.

This Is the Secret to Robin Wright’s Super-Toned Arms

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Whether she’s General Antiope in Wonder Woman, Claire Underwood in House of Cards, or Lt. Joshi in this month’s Blade Runner 2049, one thing remains true about Robin Wright, 51—her arms are freaking amazing! According to Rockin’ Model Workout creator Grace Lazenby, who has taught Wright in the past, one way to sculpt OMG arms is with Pilates Rowing. "You’re engaging your chest, core, back, triceps, and biceps," says Lazenby. Do it three times a week to begin seeing results in two weeks.

Sit on your sit bones, glutes and core engaged, with legs and arms outstretched and a 2- to 3-pound weight in each hand (A). Extend and reach forward while rounding spine down; push and lengthen arms forward as though rowing, reaching weights toward toes (B). Exhale and lift from core up to a straight back, extending arms straight up (C). Lower arms to return to start. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps. Perform entire sequence 2 or 3 times.

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