Torture is not something I normally pay for, the exception being when I head into barre3 once a week for an hour-long muscle-searing session of tip-toe squats, face-scrunching ab work and leg work so intense it’s known to induce the “barre3 shake.” Apparently balancing tippy-toed on your right leg, the left extended behind you while doing one-legged squats will do that to you.
Barre3 combines elements of pilates, yoga and ballet, done at the barre or on a mat. I love barre3 for it’s intensely focused strength training routine; mixing flexibility, balance, grace and raw strength. After just a few weeks of doing barre workouts 1 to 2 times a week I felt my core suck in, my stabilizer muscles strengthen and an overall sense of strength and endurance. I head to barre3 during my rest or cross-training days—after lacing up my shoes or hitting the pool I feel a wonderful sense of strength and balance in my core propelling me through my run, bike and swims.
Barre3 studios are cropping up around the country, the majority of the studios, not surprisingly, are located in the Pacific Northwest (barre3 was founded in Portland, Oregon). But don’t fret, the intense workout can be yours on DVD or sign up for barre3′s new at-home subscription service, streaming 30 to 60 minute barre3 workouts straight to your house.
Don’t let a little snow stop you from hitting your favorite trails this winter. Grab a pair of snowshoes, bundle up and head out the door for a fun but surprisingly sweat-inducing aerobic workout. Snowshoeing can add a little adventure in your cross-training while clearing your head through the tranquility of the great outdoors. It’s an easy, almost no-brainer way to enjoy the winter season.
Stop by your local outdoor store to find the safest and best route for yourself. Check avalanche warnings and be aware of your surroundings as you head out—it’s easy to loose yourself in the sparkling snow, especially if it’s a new route. I like to stay on well-worn paths—looking for tell-tale signs of trail markers and other snowshoe tracks as the sure sign I’m headed in the right direction.
Find the right snowshoes for you here or stop by your local outdoor store for maps, guided tours and directions. Some recreational areas even allow dogs so load up the gang and head out.
Stand Up Paddling or SUP, is surfings latest twist – combining something old and something new – the sport has gained an explosion in growth and popularity in the last few years. Its incredibly low learning curve and versatility in the ocean, lakes, waves and rivers has made it a world-wide hit. SUP is not only a perfect inland sport for a place like Seattle where waves are scarce but lakes and rivers abound, it’s also a fantastic way to work your core, legs, back and arms in a fun and relaxing way. Continue reading “Cross Training: SUP” »
Denny Creek Trail #1014 is a short hour-long drive from Seattle
Take a Hike, Literally
We hit theDenny Creek Trail this past weekend for a hefty but much needed hike – taking a brief break from running for an an invigorating 8-mile climb through woods, over snow and finally to a spectacular waterfall. Cross training is not only good for your body but your spirit as well and hiking is the perfect way to get some fresh mountain air, hug a tree and stop to smell the wildflowers. Hopefully it will invigorate your training while you work up a sweat. We love to incorporate short spurts of running on the climb up—almost like mini hill repeats, stopping whenever we need a break. Don’t overlook cross training, your body will thank you for it!