MOVE MORE 2016-10-14T05:48:33+00:00

Refinery29 x Adidas Greater Every Run Event

I recently had the pleasure of hosting some runs at an event involving two of my favorite companies: Refinery29 and Adidas. It was all to continue the celebration of the release of Adidas Running’s latest shoe created specifically for the female foot- the UltraBoostX.  I’ve spent a lot of time in these shoes the past few months and I love them.  The shoe’s floating arch, boost sole and primeknit upper hug my foot like glue to keep up with my every move.

The event took place in Santa Monica, California in front of the gorgeous adidas 3rd St Promenade store.  There were 3 runs throughout the day- 1 and 2 miles led by Remi Ishizuka and myself and a 3 mile led by my girls Diana Mireles and Mellie Cay.  These three ladies have been at my side since I started sharing my fitness journey last year so this was an especially exciting combination of women 🙂

Throughout the day there were insane performances by treadmill dancers who were once on America’s Got Talent.  As a professional dancer, I tip my hats to those ladies turning, leaping and jumping all while in perfect unison on a moving belt!  Juice Served Here poured delicious runner themed pressed juices and attendees were able to try on the Ultra Boost X and enter a raffle for an Adidas gift card.  Adidas swag, Rx bars and tunes from DJ Lola Langusta kept the energy flowing all afternoon.

Despite the classic ocean-fogged weather, I met SO many new faces full of energy, eager to become #GreaterEveryRun.  Thank you to Adidas Running and Refinery 29 for having me be apart of such an inspiring afternoon and thank you to all of my friends new and old for coming out!

BodyBoss Method 12 Week Fitness Guide Review

I am lucky enough to try new workouts on the regular. Some are trendy, shiny and gimmicky… others like BodyBoss Method, let the work do the talking.  It’s a straight forward, 12 week fitness guide that uses High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) as the basis to reshaping your body.

BodyBoss  explains, “The HIIT technique involves repeated bursts of brief, intense anaerobic exercise performed at maximum effort, alternated with short periods of recovery.”   BodyBoss HIIT days consist of 7-8 exercises done for 7-8 minutes and repeated for 3 rounds.  This is a total workout time of 24 minutes.  When you complete your workout, you continue to burn calories as your body recovers.  This is called afterburn or the #BossEffect.

A typical week with BodyBoss looks like this:

Monday

Your workout week begins with Legs and Booty HIIT.

My favorite BodyBoss Leg and Booty exercise is the squat with side kick.  You kill two birds with one stone lifting your ass while kicking out your aggression.

With your feet slightly wider than shoulder distance apart, do a squat without letting your knees go beyond your toes.  Try to lower yourself back until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

Dig your heels into the ground and press back to vertical, shifting your weight to your left leg.  Kick your right foot as if you’re busting through a doorway with your heel.  Return to squat and repeat.

Tuesday

Tuesdays are about keeping the train in motion with some light exercise.  The BodyBoss schedule reads my body’s mind and creates peaks and valleys in the week so you don’t get burned out.  Bike, swim, go for a walk or take yoga.

Wednesday

Arms, Abs and Core  HIIT days are Wednesday.  I find that working my core always re-energizes my body so hump day is the perfect day for this session.    I love V Sit Ups because they’re simple and there are so many variations to challenge yourself.

Start on your back with your feet and shoulders hovering above the ground,

Exhale while you engage your ab wall to lift your upper body towards your lower body.  You can keep your legs bent, straight or even twist to either side to work your obliques.

Thursday

Thursdays are for Cardio.   I use these days as opportunities to make a fit date.  Running, hiking, cycling and group classes are always more fun with with partner.

Friday

Fridays are the big finale.  Total Body HIIT days.  These days you rotate between only 4 exercises that usually correlate with what you did on Monday and Wednesday.  These days usually require less reps but more energy and explosiveness from you.  The BodyBoss book says, “Think of it as your Friday super power session!”

My favorite BossBody exercise for Full Body days is the Aeroplane Push Up.  A plank alone is a great way to engaged your full body, but with a twist and push up added on you’ll be the best kind of dead by rep 12.

From plank position, lower your upper body towards the ground.

Push your arms straight and shift your body weight onto your right hand.  Lift your left elbow towards the sky, opening your body outward.

Extend your arm and focus to the sky to form a straight line.  Return to starting position and repeat on the left.

My thoughts on BodyBoss

  • Amazing for Beginners. This book teaches you how to work out.  Not only does it tell you what to do, it tells you how to do it.  The back of the book has a full glossary of how to do the most basic to advanced moves.  For someone just beginning their fitness journey who may never have done a squat in their life, they have a 4 week pre-training program to ease you into the motion before fully committing to the 12 week plan.

  • Amazing for hardcore fitness fanatics.  There is an option to increase the intensity of every exercise in the book.  Adding weights, ankle weights, stairs etc, takes each exercise to the next level.

  • BodyBoss budgets time for stretching. I also love that the book budgets time within the workout for stretching.  Long, lean bodies are created by working the muscle then stretching it.  Even as a dancer, I take stretching for granted.  The Body Boss stretches are simple, but seeing them on the page makes stretching before and after your workout a no brainer.

  • Option to pick and choose. BodyBoss is effective whether or not you are following their 12 week plan.  I love to workout at home or while I travel, but I often spend just as much time thinking of exercises as I spend actually doing them.  The Body Boss book gives me a roadmap for my workout, wherever I am in the world.

  • You can travel with it.  Many people skip workouts when they travel because they are away from their local fitness classes, regular running routes, or usual gym equipment.  BodyBoss HIIT days require nothing else but the book.  I like to take photos of the pages  I’ll need while away so all I don’t need to pack anything extra at all!

  • Supplement my group class addiction.  I love group classes with a passion because you show up, do what you’re told and leave in complete exhaustion.  ClassPass has recently limited us to 10 classes per month which is not nearly enough. I supplement these group classes with BodyBoss sessions.

REFORMING MY RUN

I started running recreationally about four years ago.   I laced up, plugged in and worked up a sweat giving little thought to form or function.  This approach to running contrasts to my life as a dancer.  Over the years I have been taught to be aware of what every inch of my body is doing and why.   I have memories of repeating the same movement over and over until it became second nature.  I would never claim to be a perfect dancer, but I do take pride in being an aware dancer.  In January I started to share my workout life online via photos on Instagram, this blog and through my ambassadorship with Adidas Running.  I’ve continued upon my run-to-feel-good ways until I scrolled upon this sponsored ad of me to the right.   Comments read “yikes, that heel strike tho,” and “her hips are gonna be hurting with that stride”.  ……GASP….STOP THE PRESSES… WHAT’S A HEEL STRIKE?  SEND HELP. I will NOT be the Kendall Jenner of running.

Meet Jessie Zapo (@jessiezapo).  Jessie and I met in January at the Adidas PureBOOSTx launch in Santa Monica.  Over the span of seven years Jessie has carved a space for women and new runners in the NYC urban running community.  Named “the first lady of running,” Jessie created and produced programs for organizations like Bridgerunners, The Black Roses NYC and Girls Run NYC.  During a recent trip to New York I was lucky enough to have some one on one sessions with Jessie that opened my eyes and rocked my running world.

Run Revelations

EFFICIENCY

My first revelation on form was understanding how it’s systematically inefficient to lead with your heel.  I used to think that a longer stride was created by reaching my foot/heel further and further in front of me.  My run was low and heavy but my stride was long so I never thought there was a problem.

A stride that leads with your heel (heel strike) involves 4 steps per stride, while a mid foot strike only involves 3:

KNEE

MID FOOT TO GROUND

KICK BACK

      Heel Strike Stride:

  1. KNEE LIFTS
  2. HEEL TO GROUND CONTACT
  3. MID FOOT CONTACT
  4. KICK BACK

       Mid Foot Strike Stride:

  1. KNEE LIFTS
  2. MID FOOT TO GROUNT CONTACT
  3. KICK BACK

HIGH KNEES 

A correct stride is initiated by the knee.   The force of your knee lifting into air sends your body upward and propels forward into your next stride.  Your foot never reaches in front of the knee that’s lifted- it hits the ground directly underneath.

Jessie sent me this video from Competitor Magazine to help understand this concept.

FLEXED FOOT

In dance class I was always taught to jump off the ground heel, ball, toe and land toe, ball, heel to absorb gravity and protect my joints.  This is not the case when you run. Though you will naturally run in this sequence, emphasizing the toe ball heel landing will slow you down.  Lifting your knee with a flexed foot, positions your foot to land directly on the ball when you put it down underneath you.  Your heel will follow.

EMPHASIS

Before our lessons, my run felt heavy.  I put emphasis down/into the ground with every stride.  Jesse encouraged me to think of the action as UP.    Your foot is pushing off the ground rather than hitting the ground with every stride.  Thinking “UP UP UP” immediately made my run lighter and stride longer.  More time in the air gave me more time to propel forward and run faster.

JESSIE’S FORM CUES

  • Eyes up

  • Head up

  • Knees up

  • Shoulders relaxed

  • Neutral spine & pelvis

Photos by Melissa Holtz (@melisinestudio)

Headphone Review: Sudio Sweden

I recently received a gorgeous pair of Sudio VASA Blå wireless headphones from my friends at Sudio Sweden.  At first glance, these headphones are absolutely stunning.  After living with them for the last couple of weeks, here’s my review.

  • Pro: Swedish design is stunning.  Each pair comes with a chic matching leather pouch and rose gold clip to store and secure the headphones.
  • Pro: The sound is great, even my musician boyfriend approves.  Sudio explains the headphones have a “tuned driver and amplifier. The combination of driver and amplifier is able to separate the sound of every instrument in every song, thereby giving the listener a true studio experience.”
  • Pro: Bluetooth/wireless aspect helps streamline my everyday activities.  City walks and airplane rides are less of a mess and I don’t have to make sure my phone is within wire’s distance away.

  • Pro:  The headphones are super light, I forget I’m wearing them.  Sudio claims they are the lightest on the market thus far weighing 14g.
  • Con:  Despite trying all four ear bud sizes that come with the headphones, they fall out when I jog, dance or workout.  This was major for me as I continue my search for a pair of headphones that not only look and sound amazing, but stays secure even with extreme physical activity.

Overall, these headphones are chic and fantastic for all activities except working out.

Check out Sudio Sweden here. Enter discount code “YouKongDoIt” for 15% OFF. 

Adidas Running in MONTAUK

Adidas does it big. Pure Boost X was launched earlier this year and I was lucky to participate in the shoe’s epic three day launch in Santa Monica, CA.  Recently, Adidas Running continued the Pure Boost party but this time in Montauk, NY.  For those who are unfamiliar,  Montauk was once a quiet fishing town past the Hamptons on Long Island, and is now THE summer getaway place to both escape and be seen. The event started with a bang as we boarded three helicopters from NYC to MTK.  One hour later we were at Gurney’s Resort.  We went through hair and makeup glam, picked out our outfits for the weekend, and got the new Pure Boost X.  The two days centered around what adidas Women always stresses- being strong in every sense of the word. We trained- ran in the rain, took a Barre 3 class, examined our gaits and took SUP paddle board yoga.  We also spoke with 3 time Olympian Jennifer Rhines and Barre 3 founder Sadie Lincoln on building our own empires, finding balance and doing it all with positive energy.    The video and photo library below represent it well.  Thank you adidas Running for another epic event.

15 min Full Body Partner Workout

It’s always better together.  I recently teamed up with my girl Michelle Carigma of Modern Fit (@_modernfit) to create a self sufficient workout date.  Assign your partner a number, complete these three exercises, then switch!  Grab some water then do it all again.

EXERCISE #1

Partner 1 (Michelle) – Forearm Plank. Engage your core and glutes. Use your lats to press your forearms into the ground and chest away from the ground.

Partner 2 (Meagan) –  20 Tuck Jumps over Parter 1.  Get your knees up and count the 20 jumps aloud.

Added difficulty: Partner 1- Lift one leg and hold. Switch lifted legs halfway through Partner 2’s set (jump 10).

EXERCISE #2

Partner 2 – Wall Sit.  Sit against a wall with your feet shoulder width apart.  Have your partner check that your bum is even with your knees to make a perfect 90 degree angle.  Roll your shoulders back, engage your lower abs and hold the position as long as it takes for Partner 1 to complete their set below.

Partner 1 – 30 Tricep Dips.  Bend your arms to 90 degrees while holding your partner’s knees.   If this feels awkward, have Partner 2 widen their stance.  Without letting your elbows splay outwards, push up until your arms are nearly straight. Repeat 30 times.

Added Difficulty:  Partner 2- Do 15 dips with right leg lifted parallel to the ground then switch legs for the remainder of the set.

EXERCISE #3

Partner 1-  25 Sit Ups.  Two feet on the ground.  Arms crossed or behind your head.

Partner 2- Mountain Climbers.   Start in plank position while holding Partner 1’s feet.  Draw one knee towards your nose, switch.  Repeat as fast as you can for as long as it takes Partner 1 to completes their sit-up set.

Added Difficulty:  Partner 1- Touch opposite elbow to knee while sitting up. Partner 2- Cross your knees to opposite shoulders.

Photos by Ron Holden 

All clothes: Adidas Women (Jean Jacket- Levi’s)