There’s no two ways about it: Running hills sucks. But while it makes you huff and puff like no other, it’s a quick way to improve your race performance, say local running coaches Julie Sapper and Lisa Reichmann of Run Farther and Faster.
Hill sprints “help strengthen your legs and improve your speed,” they explain. Plus running sprints uphill actually put less impact on your joints than running on flat surfaces.
We’re in the heart of spring race season, so it’s likely that your training regimen calls for some midweek speed work. Next time, try this hills sprint workout whipped up by Sapper and Reichmann.
A couple of weeks ago we featured this elliptical workout to get your heart racing. We’re back this week with another workout for the elliptical by personal trainer Elizabeth Brooks. “I love this workout because it’s super intense for when you don’t have a lot of time, and it’s great for hamstring and glute training,” she says.
1) Select one of the hill programs that are pre-programmed into the elliptical machine. The program will randomize the incline on the elliptical, and you will manipulate the resistance and RPMs (revolutions per minute).
2) Determine how much time you have to spend on your cardio workout that day and input that time frame.*
3) When you are ready to start, try the following resistance pattern and keep your RPMs between 130 and 140 RPM.
Hill 1: Level 8 resistance
Hill 2: Level 9
Hill 3: Level 8
Hill 4: Level 9
Hill 5: Level 10
Hill 6: Level 8
Hill 7: Level 9
Hill 8: Level 10
Hill 9: Level 11
4) Take a water break every 10 minutes, drinking at least 6 ounces of water each time.
*If you have 30 minutes, each of your hills will be about 2 minutes long and you will maintain a speed of 130 RPMs for that entire hill. Brooks says you can start at a lower level and build the same pattern.
Here’s something scary to think about: Bathing suit season is just a bit more than two months away. We turned to local personal trainer Ana Browne to get our abs into tip-top shape by demonstrating four one-of-a-kind core exercises to incorporate into our workouts. And you can trust they’ll work—Browne competes in national bikini-body competitions.
Windshield Wipers x 3 sets of 1 minute
Lie down on a yoga mat holding two dumbbells over your chest. Raise and extend legs so your body forms an L-shape. Slowly shift your legs from left to right, mimicking windshield wipers. Perform for 1 minute.
Beginner: Perform without dumbbells and place hands off to side with palms down.
Intermediate: Hold two medium-weight dumbbells for 1 minute.
Advanced: Aim for feet to touch the floor when tapping side to side for 2 minutes.
Fortunately, there are some simple tactics that can provide a boost to your elliptical workout, says local personal trainer Elizabeth Brooks. “The wide variety of inclines and resistances make it an extremely versatile and effective piece of equipment.”
Brooks shared with us one of her favorite elliptical workouts, which requires use of a ten-digit phone number—whether it’s your own or that cute guy or girl’s number you snagged at last night’s boot-camp session. “I love this workout because it’s so easy to change up your workout every time” if you choose a different phone number, says Brooks.
When Lexie Bohnert and Kristine Esposo aren’t busy posting on their fitness blog, Workout Wonks, they’ve got day jobs in a typical DC office. Like most of us, they spend hours at their desks, and call the humdrum office lifestyle that leads to hunched shoulders and compressed lower backs “computerasana.”
Eventually, the duo decided to combat computerasana by organizing a Wednesday yoga class with their coworkers. They also shared a series of moves designed to stretch out muscles that can get tight while slumped in front of a computer. So next time you encounter a stressful day at the office, detox and relax by trying these simple poses.
Wonky Post-Work Flow
To begin, try . . .
Child’s pose side stretch: Walk the fingertips to the left and sink the right hip toward the right heel. Right fingertips can inch past the left. You’ll feel the deep stretch through the right side body. Repeat on other side.
If there’s one thing Washington can agree on, it’s that Rock Creek Park is a gem. The 1,745-acre park is always filled with cyclists, runners, and walkers, and offers a great oasis from daily stressors. While you could run for miles, we thought it’d be fun to take advantage of the park’s exercise trail at Calvert and Connecticut Avenue. Now that the days are getting longer and the sun is sticking around, we fully recommend hitting the park to try out this intense three-part workout, designed by personal trainer Errick McAdams.
Location: Rock Creek Park below Calvert Street (turn left down the hill at 24th Street).
Start at the Body Swing apparatus and run down the path (if you’re running uphill you’re going the wrong way) and across the bridge. Turn around and run back. Repeat 1 to 3 times, depending on fitness level.
With crazy cold temperatures taking over Washington this week, personal trainer Errick McAdams’s leg-sculpting workout comes at just the right time. The short but intense routine takes as little as 15 to 20 minutes, and can be performed in the comfort of your warm living room. Be prepared for sore hamstrings, quads, and shoulders the next day, thanks to the 50 squats and 40 pushups and burpees required of this workout.
Performing the following set three times.
- 30 jumping jacks
- 5 burpees*
*Beginner: Perform burpees without pushup or jump at the end. Intermediate: Perform burpees with pushup and no jump. Advanced: Perform the burpees with pushup and jump at the end.
If you’re already bored with your fitness regimen, we’ve got just the routine to spice things up. We can always count on Sports Club/LA trainer Laurent Amzallag to kick things up a notch with his rigorous but fun workouts. He calls this New Year’s workout LSFH: Laurent’s Sequence From Hell. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Congratulations on making it to week two of your New Year’s resolution to stay fit and healthy! As promised, we have another exclusive Well+Being workout for you to try in order to stay on track.
Melissa Farley, founder of the local personal training and wellness company FitTrition, has designed this FIT Workout that keeps your body guessing with its six exercises and ab work. All you’ll need is one set of five- to eight-pound weights.
Doing the same workout every day is a sure-fire way to fail in keeping your New Year's resolution to be healthier. To keep you on track through January, Well+Being is here to help. For the next few weeks we'll offer New Year's workouts to keep you lean, toned, strong, and entertained.
This week's routine was designed by local trainer Inez Sobczak, who runs Fit-Nez Boutique in Arlington. It improves balance, flexibility, and strength without extra equipment.