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I have a muscle there?

April 16, 2010

I’m staying at the W Hotel in Chicago this week and my experience has been fantastic thus far.  The service, the complimentary breakfast, the decor, the location (right on the water), the view (of the water).  Best of all – which is a big deal for me, minor for others – the fitness facilities.   They have an indoor pool as well as a ‘real’ workout space.  Not a stodgy room with a piece of ancient cardio and mismatched weights. 

The only downside is that the cardio machines are typically occupied (a few non-functioning) and ceiling is LOW.  One poor guy attempted to go for a run on the treadmill until his head brushed the ceiling.  Can you say concussion?

I was out of luck the other morning as well.  All cardio machines were in use, except for the recliner bike (which isn’t the most effective cardio in my eyes).  So I warmed up on the “lazy bike” and had to be creative with the rest of my workout.

I reverted to another secret weapon for a blast of cardio : 

Mountain Climbers

You might look ridiculous doing this move, but it’s worth the stares you will get.  Nice thing is that you can do it anywhere (I snuck in a set in my hotel room this morning).  It’s great for leg, arm and core strength, plus cardio fitness.  A whole body exercise, which is what you want. 

Here’s how to do it (think of running on the spot, but horizontally):

  1. Get into the push-up position (arms straight), balls of your feet on the floor.
  2. Lift your right knee straight up towards your right arm, then back down.
  3. Repeat with your left knee to left arm.
  4. Increase the speed of each rep so your legs are alternating up and down.
  5. Continue for 30 seconds.  Work your way up to sets of 60 seconds gradually
  6. Catch your breath and repeat x 3 (or more if you have it in you)

Alternate with another exercise such as weights or abs while you rest in between sets.

The next day my legs were sore in the oddest spot.   Let me try to explain this…put your hands in your front pockets and press the very top of your thigh, where your leg meets your torso.   That’s the spot!  That “muscle” was pretty sore today which is 2 days later.  So this exercise didn’t target the “trouble areas” but by your third set, when your heart is pumping and your dripping with sweat, you’ll know that you’re getting way more out of it.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. julie permalink
    April 16, 2010 10:00 pm

    I should be marking, but here I am, watching throwdown with bobby flay and catching up on my danielle scoop – thanks for the workout tips, one of these days (although I’ve started zumba and I love it). If you’re looking for a new veggie (and haven’t already tried it, although I think you’ve tried everything Danielle) – try parsnip fries – I almost like them better than regular fries – no joke! (and I love french fries) Cut them in slices, along with some carrots, season with oil and salt, bake in oven at 375 for 30 min. (make sure to flip halfway) – delicious! So sweet and tasty!

  2. April 16, 2010 12:28 pm

    mountain climbers, burpees and plank all are great exercises, however dont do core exercises if you plan on going to a comedy club. You’ll find other muscles you never knew you had.

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