Today I sit down to discuss one of the most frequent video requests I get: rehabilitation workouts. My badass co-worker, Laura Crago, is currently in recovery from a DOUBLE knee surgery. But that doesn’t stop her from getting her workouts in. She’s making the best of it, and blogging her entire experience. Check out her blog here. Laura shares her favorite moves for rehabbing them ol’ knees!
I gotta thank the Nonstoppers for this one. By request, here’s my video on how to stretch. I’ve selected my top three stretches for your hip flexors, glutes, and inner thighs. First, the half-assed “hey I can kinda, sorta, nearly touch my toes” stretches have gotta stop. Instead, try some of these…
1. Hip Flexors Stretch – lunge and squeeze your butt cheeks together (with your glutes, not with your hands, duh). Push your heel down and bend your knee (on the front leg). You should feel it in the hip flexors. This is a great stretch for cyclists.
2. Inner Thigh Stretch (aka adductor stretch, aka the sexy stretch) – put your weight on one leg and come down into a squat. Stick out the other leg and hold it. It may be difficult to keep your balance so feel free to use a chair. Lean into your hip.
3. Glutes Stretch – sit down and cross one leg over the other with your ankle against your thigh. This will create a “leg hole”. Link your hands through your “leg hole” and around your thigh. Lie on your back and gently pull your foot (the one on your other leg) to your chest.
Watch the video for more details on how to stretch properly, or just to see me squeeze my ass. And feel free to ask questions in the comments.
You guys have seen him ride my instructor bike at Soul Cycle when I'm on my 3rd class and too pooped to do it. You've seen him kill it in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd row on any other given day- pushing seriously hard on the sprints and hills, inspiring all those around him to do the same. This is Ben Turshen. He started as a student in my class and now he's graduated to the instructor apprentice program at Soul Cycle. Now that he's into outdoor riding, he's been nudging me out of retirement to race again. We did this past weekend- an alleycat in Brooklyn. Ben and I came in 1st and 2nd respectively! While I was applying for BIGGEST LOSER, Ben wrote this awesome testimonial for me. And while BL's newest trainer Anna Kournikova may not inspire many ---- Ben's story sure will: A year ago, I walked into Soul Cycle with my sister to take my first spin class with Kym. Entering the studio, among other things, I thought to myself this chick [Kym] is hard core--a tattooed rock star with abs that would make even Calvin Klein drool. This was different from any other spin class I had ever heard of--"Soul Bands", created and designed by Kym herself, featured resistance bands hanging from the ceiling that riders use to do abdominal and upper body exercises, all while continue to pedal against resistance on a spin bike.
After three years of law school and over a year working as a junior associate at a big law firm, I had let myself go. My weight fluctuated between 205 and 210 lbs. My problem wasn't that I didn't know how to exercise--far from it--I had a bachelor's degree in athletic training and masters degree in exercise physiology and before law school I worked in fitness for almost seven years as personal trainer and a strength and conditioning coach, training elite level athletes--and my old workouts were right up there with the athletes I trained, powerlifting, anaerobic conditioning, speed training, plyometrics, you name it...I wouldn't put my athletes through anything I couldn't do myself. My problem was I didn't enjoy exercise any more. My schedule was overwhelming and my motivation was low--it wasn't worth my time to drag myself into a commercial gym just to do a boring half-ass workout. My friends would joke and say "you remember when Ben was jacked"--referring to my pre-law fitness days. But that all changed in that first class with Kym. I was hooked.
Kym created an atmosphere that made working out much more than just a physical experience--everything about Kym's class resonated with me. Her music was SICK (by sick, I mean really really good) and her instruction was clear and precise, which made me feel like I knew what I was doing, even as a novice rider. But more than that, Kym was inspirational--she challenged me and other riders to look within ourselves to find what motivates us--and it worked, we rode harder.
After that first class, I became a regular in Kym's Wednesday night class and Saturday morning bands class. In only a few short weeks, I was down below 200 lbs. The fitter I got in the more I wanted to ride. I went from taking 3 classes a week to 5. And one Saturday I decided to go to Kym's earlier class, after which Kym said I should stay for her second class. I told her that "I was spent" but she insisted--and something amazing happened--all the fatigue I felt in the class before was gone and I rode harder and felt better in the second class. On my way out the door Kym told me "See, I knew you could do it". "Doubles" became my new routine on Saturdays and Sundays and I went from 5 classes a week to 7 to 8, to...well, you get the idea....and of course, the weight kept coming off. I was below 180 lbs for the first time since high school--I had never looked or felt better.
Kym's lifestyle outside of the studio has also inspired me to become a healthier person. Kym shares her playlists, workouts and recipes on her blog--and for someone who barely ate any vegetables, I'm now eating kale by the pound. But Kym definitely has a "bike life"--she practically never takes public transportation and pretty much only gets in a car if she's going out of state. She rides her bike everywhere and in any weather--and that rubbed off too. I had bought a fixed gear track bike three years ago that pretty much collected dust in my apartment. Now, I'm on my bike almost everyday.
When I left that first class, I said to my sister, "I wish I could be half as ripped as her [Kym]"...check out my "after" pictures. Wish granted. Thank you Kym!
Today I taught 2 spin classes and then rode the Japan-Aid Alleycat race for Japan Red Cross. WON 1st place female and 9th overall. ! AAAND checked off 4hrs of cardio to go towards my FIT4HUMANITY GOAL!
OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: I’ve signed up to be a team captain for Fit4Humanity: The Cardio Campaign for Community Health. This is a groundbreaking fitness campaign to raise funds for sustainable health care in Darfur and Haiti.
I’ve pledged to do 50 hours of cardio in 21 days (It’s really 30 days but I got a late start!!) and raise $1,500 for Community Health International (CHI) by April 30th.
Please consider sponsoring me today. Your gift at any level will help me reach my goal and it makes an immediate difference in each life within the communities Community Health International serves. Just click on the link below, choose “Sponsor a specific Team Member” and enter in my name:
You can learn more about CHI and the F4H campaign by visiting their website at www.communityhealthinternational.org or by following them on Facebook. Community Health International is a 501(c)3 organization. All donations to CHI are tax-exempt. EIN/Tax ID: 26-0397519
Playlist from Today’s 10:45am class @ Soul Cycle SOUTH BEACH!
Holy Sh*t it’s 50 degrees out in NYC! Here’s a sweet one to keep you movin’! (get outside!) Download here and a little added sweetness: Secret V-day Gift
Playlists for last week……….. WEDNESDAY 7:30pm: Rome- Phoenix Player Hater- Big Pun I Follow Rivers- Lykke Li (listen in last week’s post!) Beggin’ -Madcon The Good Life- Chiddy Bang Wasted Time- Kings of Leon Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart- Alicia Keys Heavy in your Arms- Florence and the Machine P.Y.T.- Michael Jackson Say “Na!”- Aaron Lacrate (B-more Rmx of PYT) Cosmic Love- Florence and the Machine Fire- Augustana
THURSDAY 7:30pm: Guillotine- Yadi California Gurls- Katy Perry and Snoop Dog Breakeven- the Script Cooler than Me-CPR Remix Home- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Drop it Like it’s Hot (Snoop Dog Cover) - Neon Hitch Rockstar 101- Rihanna Broken-Hearted Girl (Alan Braxe Dub Rmx) - Beyonce Heartbeat (Chase & Status Rmx) - Nneka Blood- Middle East
I already blogged today but I couldn’t stop myself from sharing this one: Lykke Li’s new single I Follow Rivers. It’s soooooo good. Expect to hear this in class for sure. Enjoy!
aaaaaand the remix to get your dance on:
thank you, ladies and gentleman. goodnight.
Alright children, consider this your Christmas present: 3 playlists. The songs you can’t buy on iTunes have a link to listen (you can even download them if you’re savvy) All for you, because… No One’s Gonna Love You more than I do!
WEDNESDAY 7:30PM CLASS- Tribeca Descending- Black Crows Everything’s Gonna Be Alright- Naughty By Nature (rest of the playlist is the same as below…)
THURSDAY 9:30am CLASS- UES Call Me - Kings of Leon Float on- Modest Mouse Drop it Like it’s Hot (Snoop Cover)- Neon Hitch All of the Lights- Kanye West Raise your Glass- P!nk Like a G6 (L.A.S.E.R. Remix) - Far East Mvmt *free download The Return of Alejandro- Lady Gaga vs Ace of Base Breakeven (Dj’s from Mars Rmx) - The Script We Walk - The Ting Tings Coming Home- Diddy
THURSDAY 10:30am CLASS - UES Guillotine - Yadi *click to listen California Gurls - Katy Perry Power - Kanye Alors On Danse feat Kanye - Stromae Bonified Lovin’ (Yuksek rmx) - Chromeo * free download Come Home - Chappo Carry Out- Timbaland FREAK (Danny G Pop Art Rmx)- Estelle No One’s Gonna Love You - Cee-lo Hey World (Don’t Give Up Version) - Michael Franti and Spearhead