Friday, October 19, 2012

October News

Get Your Updog on Yoga Studios  

After a brief hiatus my inner yogi has resurfaced. Nothing like a little standing splits or eagle pose to make you realize your balance is off. But two classes in, and I felt like I was back in the groove! Sometimes you need a little break to appreciate how much yoga can benefit your coordination, proprioception, strength and overall mental well being. In my quest for some variety here's what I checked out:
Barefeet Yoga: New to the West Loop, this heated studio is still growing expanding instructors and schedule. The owner Robin taught both classes I took called Turn It Updog and Hot Yoga. Turn It Updog was a faster pace flow set to pop and soul music. Definitely fun if you're in the mood for it! The Hot Yoga class was a simple Vinyasa flow that any level would feel comfortable taking. Classes are $15/class and price goes down as you buy more class packages. More info 
Om On the Range: My favorite heated vinyasa yoga studio! Give me a nice long "OOOOMMMM" at the beginning and end of each of their classes. It really makes you focus and set your intention for an hour. Annie and Whitney are my favorite instructors (they laugh with you, not at you, when you wipe out trying an inversion). Check out the Bucktown studio $15/class and $12/class for a package of 10.
Vessel Yoga: If you're not up for the whole heated yoga class, Margo Kellison has some terrific classes. With 3 different levels to choose from, Vessel Yoga is the perfect place to begin your practice. If you want a physically challenging class that gives meaning to your day, check it out! $15/class and $13/class for a 10 pack. Go 
A Change of Pace: The ElliptiGO
 Picture courtesy

Looking for something to shake up your outdoor workouts? Try the ElliptiGO instead of your bike for some quality time with nature. Highly recommended for athletes just getting over an injury with less impact on the body than running, the ElliptiGO can climb any hills you would attempt on bicycle. For an alternative when it gets cold outside, purchase the stationary accessory and workout inside at home. For the same price as an indoor elliptical it's a terrific option! More info on
What Muffin Top?  
Okay, maybe that's not the phrase everyone likes to use, but we all know what I'm talking about. Whether you have a little excess on your abdomen, or for men the dreaded "love handles", everyone can use some work on the midsection. Even if you feel like your abs are perfect, these exercises can be used as a core warm up before cardio to get everything activated before you get moving.  
1) Scissor Side Planks: Start in a regular side plank position, making sure to keep your hips up and square. Slowly raise your leg up and hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat each side 3 times.
Side plank 
side plank2 
2) Medicine Ball Push Ups: With one hand on the medicine ball, lower yourself down so your arm is at a 90 degree angle and then push back up. If you want more of a challenge, roll the ball alternating hands between each push up. Do 3 sets of 12-20 reps.

med ball pushup

ball pushup
3) Medicine Ball Obliques on the Bosu: This is one of my favorite moves, but really be careful how far your stretch back with the ball. Start with a lighter ball (2-5 lbs) and angle off to one side stretching back, then lift and extend over toward your opposite knee in an arc movement. Do each side independently for 15 reps. Repeat 3 times.

bosu arc obl

arc obl2
4) Stretch Back Crunches with Adductor Isometric: Hello adductors! This is a terrific exercise because it gets your inner thighs and lower abs more involved. Use one ball between your knees to squeeze and one ball to stretch back with arms extended. Lift up reaching toward your toes with your shoulder blades off the ground. Do 3 sets of 20-30 reps.

stretch back med ball

stretch back med ball2
5) Bosu Side Crunches: The focus is your oblique muscles as well as your spinal erectors. Start side lying on the Bosu with the bottom leg bent, slowly side crunch up. Make sure just to stick to the range of motion that feels comfortable so you can really isolate those muscles. Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps on each side.      

bosu side crunch

side crunch bosu2