Get In Shape for Winter: Boo-tay Boot Camp

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As the leaves start to fall, crisp air moves in, and everything starts to smell like pumpkin spice, one thing comes to my mind: Winter is upon us! With the change of seasons, my mind is filled with pow-slashing daydreams and I become a little more cautious mountain biking. ‘Tis the time to protect my knees, save money for a pass and get my body in shape for a stellar season!

I have started out this fall with some unique outdoor work-out seshes as I find myself often overwhelmed at a gym. To get fit this season, I have incorporated a combination of salsa dancing, hula-hooping and an ass-kicking boot camp class! You might be giggling to yourself thinking what a silly work-out routine, however, I have been amazed to find that latin-style dancing and wiggling through a hoop teaches me fluidity, flexibility and hand-eye co-ordination (all helpful on the hill). In addition to these movement oriented exercises, I have been attending a boot camp class once a week that is a mixture of total body conditioning exercises, combined with interval and strength training. The best part of the class is that it’s taught by my close friend Tess Harper, who keeps us all motivated with her awesome music choices and encouraging pointers.

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For those who aren’t Utah bound, here is an example of some exercises you can do at home.The class is a mixture of plyometric/HIT (High Intensity Interval Training) with body weight exercises and some cardio. The class varies from week to week, but here are a couple of descriptions we did last Monday.

SET 1 - Lateral Hops to Split Jumps:

This exercise is a combination of two movements. A lateral hop is jumping with both feet from side to side and a split jump is kind of like a jumping lunge. To do a correct split jump, you start in a normal lunge position and then extend both legs, jumping as high as you can and landing with legs/feet in opposite positions. To perform this set correctly, you would do a lateral hop once on each side and on the third hop, immediately perform two split jumps (one for each leg), and repeat for at least thirty seconds with no rest.

SET 2 – Knee Touch Plank with Push Up:

This exercise is more focused on strengthening your core and upper body. To perform, begin in a plank position. Bring right knee to left elbow/left knee to right elbow and then do one push up.

Both of these exercises sound easy enough when performed alone, but when combined you get a killer interval workout. Both sets are to be performed three times in rounds of 30seconds, with the only recovery period being a 10 second run in place. Phew!

Lateral Hops to Split Jumps: 30 seconds

Knee touch Plank with Push Up: 30 Seconds

Run in Place: 10 Seconds

REPEAT 3X… then die.

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This class is great because everyone is on your level of ‘fuck my life’ during the 45 minutes of exercises with names like ‘suicides’. In between rest periods, you are feeling your butt to see if it’s gotten any tighter and trying to find feeling in your arms again. Nevertheless, you feel amazing afterwards, or maybe like jumping into a pool of IcyHot? It’s hard to decipher. I’m three weeks into the class and already feel a lot stronger. With a good diet, consistent training and activities that not only make me sweat, but bring me lots of happiness (yes I’m talking about the hula-hooping), I can’t wait to see how I perform on the hill this year. Cheers to lots of squats, lunges, and planks!

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