Fitness Friday: Fearless Workout from Nike Training Club

Happy #FitnessFriday! Today we’ll be toning and strengthening our core. Today, I’m sharing the 15-minute Fearless Workout from Sofia Boutella courtesy of Nike Training Club. This workout has a total of 5 moves that you will repeat three times.  Are you ready?  Let’s do this!

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can download the Nike Training Club app FREE of charge. This is one of the many at-home workouts & stretch routines available to you.

Grab a mat, and let’s get started!

The first move in the Fearless Workout is the Crunch Circuit.

1)  Lie on your back with hands behind your head and legs slightly apart in a V-shape.
2)  Squeeze your abs in tight to lift your upper body and shoulder blades off the ground.
3)  Return to starting position.
4)  Crunch forward again and extend one arm straight in front of you, with your palm-side facing up.
5)  Lower back down.
6)  Crunch forward again and extend the same arm straight out in front of you with the palm side facing down.
7)  Return to start position and repeat with the opposite arm.
8)  Repeat for one minute alternating arms, as above.

Check out this YouTube clip to see dancer Sofia Boutella demonstrate this move.

The second move in this workout is V-Ups.
1)  Sit upright with your knees tucked into your chest, feet elevated off the floor, and hands in a supportive position behind you.

Courtesy of Nike Training Club

Courtesy of Nike Training Club

2)  Extend legs out in front of you as you lower your upper body back towards the floor.
3)  Crunch back in to start position and repeat for a total of 60 seconds.

Watch a YouTube clip of modified V-Ups below:

The third move in this workout is Side V-Ups with Leg Kicks.
1)  Sit upright with knees tucked in and feet off the ground. Swivel to one side and keep your hands in a supportive position behind you.
2)  Kick your legs out as you lower your upper body towards the floor.
3)  Crunch your knees back in.
4)  Kick the top leg out in front of you.
5)  Bring it back down to start position.
6)  Kick the top leg behind you.
7)  Return to start position and repeat on the other side.
8)  Do this move for one minute.

Watch a YouTube clip of modified Side V-Ups with Leg Kicks below:

The fourth move is V-Hold with Leg Kicks.

1)  Sit upright with knees tucked in to your chest, feet off the floor and hands in a supportive position behind you. This is the same starting position that you did above in move #2.
2)  Tighten your abs as you kick one leg towards the sky.
3)  Return to start position.
4)  Tighten your abs as you extend the same leg out in front of you.
5)  Return to start position and repeat, alternating sides for one minute.

Watch a YouTube clip of modified V-Hold with Leg Kicks:

The fifth move is Side High Kicks.

1)  Start on your side with legs stretched out, using your arms for support.

Courtesy of Nike Training Club

Courtesy of Nike Training Club

2)  Bring your legs in towards you bending both knees.
3)  Kick out with both legs to make a 90-degree angle, making sure you keep both legs as straight as possible.
4)  Bring both legs back in towards you chest.
5)  Return to start position and repeat for one minute, switching legs halfway through.

Repeat each move 2 more times for a total of three sets.

Congrats! You are DONE!

The Science of Sensation

Wow, what an incredible week this has been for me.  I have been fortunate enough to spend the past week in Portland, Oregon training getting trained to teach the Nia Technique.  Nia is a sensory-based movement practice that leads to health, wellness, and fitness.  With much excitement for what lies ahead, I am happy to announce that I received my White Belt in Nia and am now a certified instructor.

The Science of Sensation

One of the things that I came to appreciate this week was how important it is to use sensation to understand what my body needs.  It has always been very easy for me to do things in a mindless fashion — eat quickly (often on the go), drive from destination to destination on autopilot, even moving to music via choreography versus having something in the music itself stirring movement in me.  After this week, I have a new way to make sure that I am practicing mindfulness … to ensure that I am taking time to appreciate my experiences, both big and small.

The science of sensation is powerful.  I’m not talking about feelings or emotions such as happiness or sadness.  I’m talking about simply realizing how a part of your body feels and acknowledging it — your eyes after hours looking at the computer, your back after sitting in the same position all day — that kind of sensation.  If you are relaxing, you might simply sense the softness of the fluffy rug underneath you.  As an exercise in self-awareness, I encourage you to stop & sense.  Is there any pain in any part of your body?  If so, move in a subtle way until you feel that pain start to lessen.  Are you comfortable and relaxed?  Sense what that feels like and try to release even further.  

Did this “click” for you?  Please leave a comment below and share your experience!



21-Day Fitness Challenge – Are You Up for It?


I can’t believe that it’s already March!  It feels like this year is flying by.  That being said, I am not a huge fan of winter and cold weather so BRING ON THE SPRING!!


I extended another 21-day fitness challenge this past week thanks to Kristi Fauth (aka Robobarbie).  The fitness challenge is all about setting a new healthy lifestyle habit.  It takes 21-days to form a new habit … let’s make it one that is good for our bodies!  Doing this with all of you guys who are participating via the Wellness Science Facebook community is awesome and extremely motivating.  I need that extra motivational boost that accountability to others gives me — don’t you find that helps?





On Tuesday, I headed over to Uforia Studios to get my cardio fix Zumba-style.  The 11:45 class with Asya was filled with energy and, as promised, we had fun while we worked our butts off (literally!)  If you have not tried Zumba and you find your regular workouts boring and no longer motivating, I highly recommend you try and class or two.  Zumba is for everyone.  You don’t have to be an experienced dancer.  Just show up willing to work hard and have fun.  It is no surprise that instructor Asya has quite the following.  She adds a little something extra to class by working the room and dancing with everyone.  I’ve never seen anyone end a routine quite like she does either (think back handsprings & splits … yes, I’m serious!)  My abs and hips were still sore for two days after this class, so I must have gotten to some muscles that weren’t used to getting a workout (awesome!)  I will definitely make this part of my new healthy habit.


I want to hear from you!  Leave me a comment below this post and tell me about the workouts that inspire you.  Have a favorite class or instructor?  Tell me about those here too.  And don’t forget to stretch … and breathe! :-)



You may also want to read:


How to Get Fit Doing What You Love


How to Hold Yourself Accountable

You Can Dance, for Inspiration


I started dancing when I was about five years old.  First, I was enrolled in ballet class.  I still remember the sequined orange costume and frilly tutus we wore that year as “Florida Orange Blossoms” in my dance studio’s recital showcasing routines representing each of the fifty United States. 


I eventually added tap and jazz to my repertoire, but I quit dance classes when I became a teenager because I thought I was way too cool and way too busy doing things teenagers do like three-way-calling all of my friends to talk about boys.


Aside from a semester of ballet in college that I thought would be an easy ‘A,”  it was close to twenty years before I ever took a dance class again.  I was vacationing at a women-only spa in Southern California, and the program offered about a dozen exercise and yoga classes every day.  I didn’t think I had enough rhythm to join the cardio dance classes, even though they looked really fun.  I couldn’t resist on the last day since I heard that a well-known choreographer from the east coast was coming out to teach the class.  That hour was SO MUCH FUN that I stayed for the second dance class and had a ball dancing to tunes from the Grease soundtrack that I’d played about a million times as a kid.


Due to my job and other preoccupations, it was still a couple of years before I made dance (or any kind of exercise) part of my regular routine.  I discovered both Zumba and NIA (the acronym for Neuromuscular Integrative Action) dance at approximately the same time.  While both dance classes, the two are completely different.  In Zumba, you feel like you are in a music video.  You move non-stop, but it is so much fun the sweat and breathlessness doesn’t seem to matter.  NIA is a completely different experience.  While still a cardio workout, NIA emphasizes self-expression, body awareness, and enjoying the movement.  After my first NIA class, I remembered how much I used to love to dance.  Dance has a way of making us feel lighter in spirit, which is great for type-A’s like me who feel the need to control.  


Dancing for exercise isn’t a new concept, (remember those infomercials for Sweatin’ to the Oldies with Richard Simmons?) but the popularity has increased in the past couple of years making it pretty easy to find a variety of classes no matter where you live.  In addition to benefits such as a decrease in blood pressure and weight loss dance has also been shown to provide benefits such as improved mood and energy, stress reduction, and increased self-esteem.


A study at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York with close to 500 participants aged 70 and older measured cognitive activities such reading and doing crossword puzzles as well as physical activities like swimming, golf, and dancing to see if doing any of these activities reduced the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.  Frequent dancing reduced the risk of dementia by a whopping 76% — way more than any other activity that was studied.


There are plenty of dance classes/styles to choose from, so choose something appropriate for your current fitness level.  Start with beginner level class at first and move up as your confidence and skill increases.


Want to know how many calories you are burning?  Check out this Calorie Burn Calculator for info on calories burned while dancing and tons of other activities.


The most important thing?  Have fun!!