Happy July! Here’s the deal, people: It’s independence month and we’re celebrating with stars and stripes…which means, we’re working our abs…A LOT. Summer’s in full force and we’re keeping that beach body toned (you’re welcome!) To begin, lie flat on your back and lift your legs to a 45 degree angle, keeping them as straight as possible. To perform a “star,” draw an imaginary star in the air with your toes with your back on the floor and legs together. For a stripe, move toes horizontally from one side to the other, and back (counts as two.) You’ll be doing stars some days, stripes other days, and both for double trouble. Just save, print, or pin the image below and let the celebrations begin!
What’s a girl to do when her home gym closes for month?! Learn to surf, of course! Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration…I didn’t actually learn to surf, per se, but I did learn to workout on a surfboard! It’s called Surfset and it’s awesome! If you’re like me, you may have seen this innovative fitness company on Shark Tank years ago. Well, lucky for us, we can hang ten (have to use the surf lingo obviously, get used to it) at Well Within Studio in East Hampton.
Surfset allows you to ride the wave without getting wet! Inspired by the art of surfing, Surfset is designed to strengthen the core, improve balance, burn fat, and be fun! Combining high-intensity interval training with Pilates, resistance training, and constant stabilization, it’s a full-body workout that will get your heart pumping, your arms paddling, your core tight, and your entire body working!
Class begins with a warm-up (‘on shore,’ aka the floor) and immediately transitions into intervals of cardio and head-to-toe conditioning. Anything’s game, from ‘starfish crunches,’ to ‘duck-dive burpees’ (you think burpees are hard? Try doing ’em on a moving surface!) to ‘wave runner’ (aka mountain climbers.) The unsteady surfboard acts as an obstacle to jump over, a surface to squat on, a mat for Pilates and yoga, and even a place for standing arm-work with the built-in resistance band. The board is created to mimic the instability of an actual surf board on the water. In order to stay balanced or perform even the simplest movement on the board, the mid-section is engaged and working hard. By the end of the 45 minute class, (which flies by thanks to the thrill of the surf and hoppin’ music) the glutes, arms, abs, and back have all gotten a full workout!
It’s safe to say that these surfers thought of everything. Emma Field, owner of Well Within and Surfset instructor, explains what made her first fall for this unique fitness program:
“I stumbled upon Surfset a couple of years ago at a fitness convention in Germany and immediately liked what I saw. I kept in touch with the owners and as soon as a space became available, I opened up a studio to accommodate Surfset as well as various other fitness and yoga classes. I’ve worked with personal trainers and done pretty much everything out there, but nothing compared to Surfset. You get cardio, strength-building, muscle-lengthening and, of course, your core whipped into shape in no time! Personally, I love that there are no props, (besides the board, of course), so you get toned, but not bulky. I started my fitness journey as a Pilates instructor, so I appreciate a great workout using just your own body weight!”
So, how do you workout…on a surf board?! It takes a strong mind-body connection, an engaged core, and a balance of concentration and trust to complete the class without shaking profusely or falling off-board. Emma makes it look so damn easy and natural, you may wonder what’s wrong with you, but don’t fret. Emma says not to get discouraged at the first class. “If you keep coming back, your balance will improve and you will instantly start to see the results. I mean…who doesn’t want a toned surfer body?”
One Healthy Breakdown: Join the party wave at Well Within Studio! See you at the pipeline?!
Get ready to crunch into April! Spring is springin’ out there and before we know it, beach season will be upon us. Let’s work those abs and whittle that middle in time for Memorial Day! If that sounds good to you, just remember these two things:
1. Crunches are only effective with proper form. Slow down and think consciously about the ab muscles working on each and every rep. Keep the lower back flat on the floor, pull the belly button in, and use the abs, not the arms or the neck, to lift you straight up, shoulders off the ground.
2. Abs are made in the kitchen. Crunches will strengthen the muscles, but in order for those muscles to show, a healthy diet and fat-burning exercise are a must! (that means more carrots and less chocolate bunnies.)
Now that we’ve established that, let’s get ready to feel the burn this April. Just print, pin, or save this calendar and get your crunch on all month long!
One Healthy Breakdown: it’s crunch time, think beach + bikinis!
Two words: Beach Body. What comes to mind? I picture tight, tan, happy people, bikinis, surf boards, beach balls, sunshine…and maybe a chilled Corona or two?
WRONG! Now picture this: barbells, sweat, burpees, squats, and panting…a whole lot of panting. Connor Miller’s Beach Body class at Southampton Gym is all work, not so much glam, but if you’re looking for that one class to get you into beach body shape from head to toe, Beach Body is your answer. And, with a couple months until Memorial Day, now is the time!
If you want a half-assed workout, Beach Body is not it. If you want to shock your body, challenge your mind, and be sore (and high on endorphins) for days, Beach Body just might be for you. So, what exactly goes on in a typical Beach Body class? The good thing is that it’s always different (Connor keeps us on our toes)…and it’s always the same (as in the panting, soreness, endorphins, and lack of chilled Coronas.)
Class kicks off with the warm-up, which I’ve learned always includes squats. Lots and lots of squats. Weighted, half-way down, half-way up, jump squats, you name it, we squat it. Legs on fire. Everyone wants to quit, but Connor doesn’t allow that.
But then, the intervals start and oh, how badly we want to return to those delightful squats. Not kidding. Can’t forget those abs, shoulders, triceps, biceps, back, obliques, chest, or anything else, can we?!
After the warm-up, the class is comprised of high-intensity tabata intervals (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off) separated by abdominal circuits and strength-training with weights. Plyometric drills are all timed, so the goal is to bang out as many as reps as possible. Each interval is four minutes long. Four long minutes, really. The first round is doable. And then, just when your heart rate hits the roof, you have three more rounds to go. This is where the panting comes in. That 10 second break are just enough to avoid a heart attack, but definitely not enough for recover. Recovery must wait until about five minutes after class is over and sanity is regained.
Why must we do such nonsense? For the Beach Body, remember. Eye on the prize: Memorial Day. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) burns more fat in less time and increases metabolism long after the workout is done. Plyometrics combine both speed and power, meaning that each exercise demands both cardio and strength for a double whammy. Now you understand why this class is always full. It’s EFFECTIVE. Each muscle group is effectively exhausted, including, for sure, the cardiovascular system.
On a good day, I consider myself somewhat in-shape. Never do I feel ‘in-shape’ during this class, but what I feel after Beach Body, is without a doubt, totally worthwhile. A combination of absolute exhaustion, a flood of endorphins, topped off with anticipation for that ‘hurts so good’ pain that is to come. Since Beach Body hits every muscle group, it’s always a guessing game as to which muscles will be most sore in the coming days. Don’t be too intimidated, the class is tough, but it’s doable at any age and fitness level. It’s about starting somewhere, challenging oneself, progressing, and, don’t forget the panting. Regardless of your age, fitness level, or perfect beach body, there will always be panting.
You can catch Connor’s Beach Body class weekly at Southampton Gym.
One Healthy Breakdown: Maybe I’ll see you in Beach Body class. I’m the one gasping for air.