Spring-ing into Fitness

No-equipment-needed workouts are a quick way to build muscle and improve athletic performance including speed and power. Add a jumping element (or Spring for the season of Spring) —makes your moves plyometric— and is an easy modification to elevate your at home routine to a whole new level.

Here’s the workout I shared this morning on CH Morning Live. Check it out below or watch it HERE.

Consider grouping the five moves together for a 5-minute circuit and sneak it in as many times as possible during the day.

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Squat Jumps

Standing with feet hip-width apart, keep your weight back on your heels and lower down into your squat. Arms reach down towards the floor as you lower down. As you raise up from your squat, extend your arms above your head, jumping off both feet and returning to repeat again.

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Reverse Lunge with Knee Lift

Stand with feet hip-width apart and step your right foot back, coming into a low lunge. Shift all of your weight to your left foot, and bring your right foot forward, lifting your knee towards your chest, and simultaneously jumping off your left foot. Land softly on your left foot, and immediately step back into a low lunge to repeat.

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Box Jump

Fire up your calves by jumping in a square shape around an imaginary box. Begin by balancing on the right foot with a slightly bent knee. Keeping your arms loose at your side to help with balance, hop to the right, landing on only your right foot. Staying on the same leg, hop to the left, then hop forward, and then back. Switch legs and reverse the direction. Focus on quick, small jumps. Consider trying on two feet when just getting started.

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Plank Jacks

From a high plank on your toes, jump both feet out and in while keeping your shoulders stacked about your hips and core stable. To decrease the challenge, perform a step touch with each foot reaching it out to the left and back center before repeating with the right.

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Plank to Squat

From a high plank position, jump feet forward into a wide squat and bring hands off the ground in front of your chest. Pause for a second, then place hands on the ground and jump feet back into a high plank position. Repeat as quickly as possible.

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How Toronto can become a more ‘welcoming place’ for runners – and their tourism dollars

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Photo by Patrick Leung – the Ghost Race

Back in May 2017 I was invited to speak at City Hall sharing my perspective on Running Tourism in the City of Toronto. I had previously written for iRun magazine on Running Tourism, researching both the monetary benefits and social benefits for communities including Toronto, NYC, Ottawa, and Vancouver. So my perspective has came from that of a marathon runner in other countries, the research I complied for iRun, and my experiences as a leader in the Toronto run community. I was happy to share what I thought the city could do to support this sport and it’s athletes from near and afar and I was happy to continue the conversation in early 2018 as part of the working group establishing recommendations for the city council’s economic development committee. Some thoughts on that initial conversation were shared here by CBC.

On April 14th, the report that had been developed through the established working group of City Councillors, City employees, and community stake holders was released and the city council’s economic development committee voted to take a closer look at our recommendations.

Some recommendations from the working group included ideas like opening public transit earlier, having various City teams communicate more clearly and easily with race directors, and some welcoming and inviting tasks like displaying race promotional material on bus shelters, street banners, and even at the air port, as many Marathon Majors do welcoming athletes to the city and celebrating the event.

We highlight the financial benefit to the city, including a comparison of Toronto’s two marathons (and yes, only have one major race was brought up) to Marathon Majors including NYC ($36 Million CAD of $415 Million USD).

CBC did a follow up interview which I supported. You can check it out here.

As the city council’s economic development committee will be taking a closer look at these recommendations I am glad the the conversation continues and look forward to Toronto continuing to grow as an epic place to race and live.

 

4 Bay-sic Hill Training Tips

With the Around the Bay Road Race  happening this weekend in Hamilton, I spent Tuesday morning with the team from CH Morning Live chatting the race and sharing tips to rock the Valley Inn Rd hill. Watch it here and read my 4 tips to conquer the hill below.

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Four tips to dominate your next hill workout.

1. Keep your chest up and open. The most common advice you might have received is to “lean into the hill”. Unfortunately, this causes many runners to hunch at the waist to lean forward. This constricts your airway and makes it harder to breathe deeply. You do need to lean forward, but make sure you lean at the hips, not the waist.

2. Keep your head and eyes up. Dropping your head  leads to a slouch in your form and restricts how much oxygen you can take in. So  instead, drive your arms straight forward and back using them like pistons. Keep your elbows bent in a 90-degree angle, and swing them straight back and forth, and not across your body.

3. Drive your knees up off the hill and not into the hill – think of this as your knee drive. Work on landing on the ball of your foot to spring up the hill.

4. Bend your ankle. Think of yourself exploding off your ankle and using that last bit of power to propel you up the hill with minimal energy expenditure. Focusing on plantar flexion can save you a lot of energy and really help you get up the hill faster and with less energy.

What are some tips and tricks you use to power up a hill?