Thursday, August 12, 2010

Working Out and Staying Cool

Although I love warm weather, I have an aversion to working out in it. I get super sweaty and I break out in heat rash behind my knees, the crooks of my elbows, and my neck! It is torture. I can't NOT workout, so I have my "go to" workouts that keep me trim, sane, and help me beat the heat. They are all based on small muscle movements, a ballet barre, resistance bands, pilates, and yoga. Similar, but different.

SQUEEZE: Created and led by Tracy Effinger, Squeeze is one of my favorite workout series. I own the original Squeeze, Squeeze Stronger, and Squeeze lower body challenge. It is a more athletic approach to small muscle movements: Tracy keeps a brisk pace throughout and doesn't spend a lot of time setting up the movements. She uses light weight and a lot of reps to tire out your muscles in a way that most heavy weight exercises can't. Her ab workout is one of the toughest around- you won't die but you'll want to!
Equipment: mat, light hand weights, a medium sized ball, a dance barre or high backed chair

THE LOTTE BERK METHOD: Lotte Berk was a famous Russian ballerina who created this pilates-esque workout that has been around since the 1950's. This version was created by Lydia Bach who opened a studio here in NYC and is similar to popular classes at Exhale (Core Fusion), Bar Method, and Physique 57. I own all four DVDs: Basic Essentials, Hip Hugger Abs, Muscle Eats Fat, and High Round Assets. Each video is about 30 minutes in length and is very instructional. Once you get past the over instruction it is a really great series and wonderful when I am short on time or don't have the energy for Squeeze.
Equipment: mat, light hand weights, a dance barre or high backed chair

FLUIDITY: I love infomercials and bought this series off of one. It came with four DVDs: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced and a Seat and Thigh video, two resistance bands, a rubber ball, and a beautiful ballet barre that sets up on it's own without being attached to a wall. I use the barre for all my ballet workouts! It was a great purchase even though it was pricey. Led by Michelle Austin, the workouts are very similar to Lotte Berk and Callanetics, but I feel they are a little more ballet inspired. I love the stretching after every move and feel these workouts made me better at my other workouts because of the control that I gained over my muscles. The ab workouts are TOUGH.
Equipment: Fluidity barre, resistance bands, rubber ball

I just bought Core Fusion Pure Abs and Arms and will be doing a separate post about it (I liked it!). All these workouts are proof that you don't have to jump around and sweat like silly to gain strength, muscle tone, and grace. I use them regularly in my rotation and find they help in all aspects of my fitness gains.

1 comment:

  1. Nice videos. I'm having to heat train right now (tri on Sunday), and let me tell you... looking forward to next week when I'm back in the AC!!!