Squat and Plank Challenge and April 30 Day Challenge

 

Through the Sweat Pink Ambassador network I found an awesome Squat and Plank challenge–which I figured would be super useful for helping to get my core muscles and my legs into better shape. It’s being run over at Live. Sweat. Sleep. Repeat. (you can find the chart on her blog!).

 

Plank on The Mat

Plank on The Mat (Photo credit: lululemon athletica)

 

It starts off fairly easy–but at the end of the 6 weeks it gets more intense (Hello 3 minute plank!). I’ll probably be adjusting to do more squats each day (say, like 3 sets of X) and cutting the plank time in half of what’s planned and doing two of them instead (I’m a wimp, okay? And planks are tough.)

 

There’s also a super awesome Facebook Support Group for it as well which I’m part of. Motivation for a workout challenge never hurts.

 

I’ll also be doing another 30 Day Challenge for ballet-related muscles (the idea sprouted from Thanks & Kittens). Like she recommended, I’d suggest working on whatever you feel you need to. Back Flexibility? Splits? Turns? Do it. I’ll be making a slight adjustment and making my goal to wake up every morning and do this runner’s yoga regime, since it will help with my hip flexibility as well as help prep me for running.

 

If you’re doing either of these challenges, let me know and if you have a blog, link me to your challenge posts! I love hearing about how everyone else is doing and we can motivate each other.

 

My First 5k and Some Shin Splint Tips

My boyfriend and I just signed up for our first 5k–well his first 5k and my first “real” 5k. I ran a Color Me Rad 5k last June which wasn’t timed and wasn’t really a 5k–it was more like 2.7 miles. We’ll be doing the Catch Karl 5k in University City on April 7th. It was a cheap 10 dollars to sign up–which was a super important reason for us since we’re broke college students. The race benefits Camp Kesem, a free week-long camp for children whose parents have or had cancer. Karl is the camp’s caterpillar mascot. It’ll be a nice easy commute via public transportation from my apartment which should make the early time we have to wake up a bit more bearable.

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From last year’s ColorMeRad Race taken by my BFF Sarah

Something I’ve had to keep in mind while training for running is shin splints. I ended up with a really bad case in late January/February from ballet and had to take some time off, so I’ve tried to be really careful as I go back to ballet and work out in other ways.

One of the best ways I’ve managed it is stretching and icing. You can find more information on some stretches  from Self Magazine. Other stretches I’ve done that have been so helpful include using my therabands to stretch my foot in a flexed position as well as the yoga position downward facing dog. These stretches will also be helpful in stretching out your calf muscles if your ballet instructor as been throwing a whole bunch of calf straining barre combinations at you like mine has been.

How do you stretch out your calf muscles and shin splints?

PS. My blog and I were featured on Fit Approach’s blog in the Ambassador Spotlight. I love being part of this program, and if your interested, they’re currently accepting applications to be a #SweatPink Ambassador.

Yoga, Pilates, Running and More!

It’s been really tough to keep up with this given that I haven’t stepped into a studio in awhile–but I should be back relatively soon. Lately though, I’ve been trying to get into better shape over my spring break with a little bit of pilates, some stationary biking, and some yoga. It’s been tough, but I’ve been feeling a lot better lately. I’m looking forward to both getting back to ballet and getting into some running (I just bought a fancy armband for my phone!)

yoga

 (Photo credit: GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS)

Check out Do Yoga With Me for just about any yoga routine. I did their Runners Injury Prevention one this morning and it was awesome.  It was just challenging enough to help stretch out some of the issues I’ve been having.

What are your favorite activities to do besides ballet?

Dancing in the Street?

Well….kinda.

 

I don’t usually ever dance in public. Even practicing in an empty studio felt weird (A local studio was renting during the daytime for super cheap rates– so me and the boyfriend decided to get some extra practice in as well as some photos).

 

Sapporo subway platform

 

But recently, I’ve found myself marking out combinations (or other moves) while waiting for the subway to come. While occasionally I’ve done this while walking somewhere with the boyfriend or in my apartment, I felt the need to do it right after class on Monday while waiting for the subway–otherwise I was never going to get the beginning of the combination–a sequence of balances en tournant–into my brain. I often find that if I spend time thinking about the moves after class I can sometimes figure out the ones I couldn’t get in class. Bu, I can’t wait too long after the class has ended or I just won’t be able to remember the moves.  Maybe not the execution, exactly, but I can figure out how a step was supposed to be performed if I didn’t get it when it was first explained.

 

I looked like an idiot on the subway platform, but hey, I think I finally may have figured it out.

 

Do you dance in public? What tricks do you use to memorize tricky combinations?

 

Check it out: Our new Ballet Book Club

English: Book shelf

I’ve decided to host our book club over at GoodReads, and you can join it by following this link here. It’ll be the easiest way to create discussions as well as vote as to what books we should be reading (I’m thinking about one a month–since I know we’re all super busy).

If you don’t already have a GoodReads account, its super easy to set up, and you can even just set it up by linking it up to you Facebook account. GoodReads is a super easy way to share with your friends what you’re reading, what you want to read, as well as book reviews.

Make sure once you’ve joined that you introduce yourself and vote for what type of book you’d like to read first!

What book do you recommend we read first in the Ballet Book Club?

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