Bon jour, mes dumplings!! As I’ve warned many times in several posts/ newsletters, I’m writing to you today from an incredibly charming little appartement in Montmartre. In fact I even took a day-off today from sightseeing and stayed around the neighborhood to work on PD. Not that it’s been exactly the same as working from home–I have a view of the Eiffel Tower from my blogging table / breakfast nook on the patio, and I’ve been eating amazing vegan meals today, all prepared by my boyfriend. I’m not usually used to these “oh my god why is everything so perfect??” kind of puzzling moments. But guys, it’s happening.
For workouts, we’ve been relying on lots of walking around the city. I thought I was fit but something about wandering for hours in a strange city really feels like the most intense workout! This morning we even ran all around Montmartre, starting from the famously high stairs going straight up to Sacre Coeur. Yes, I ran straight up those devilish steps (think the one Frodo had to climb in LOTR, except not at all sinister), swinging my arms and looking all crazy fit, while French people ate croissants and smoked cigarettes languidly all around me.
While it’s easy to get cardio on vacation, one still can’t completely neglect strength training. A quick and essential full-body core workout is a great complement to walking/running. Core moves I like the best are those that utilize more number of major muscles than just your abs. That means back, arms, shoulders, and thighs also get a workout. Let’s get to it!
1. Inch worm
Start standing, feet together. Raise your arms straight up overhead and come into demi-pointe (releve). Bring your arms down as your crouch into a ball, then crawl out to plank. Do a push up, then crawl back in using the same movements, returning to the top. Repeat 10 reps, 2 sets.
2. Three-legged Crunch
Start in plank position with your hands under your shoulders. Inhale and raise your right leg behind you, foot pointed. In one motion, exhale, curl in your core while pushing away from your shoulders and tucking your right knee to the chest. Inhale and return to position 1. Repeat 16 reps, 2 sets, on each side.
3. Side plank pulse
Come onto a side plank with your weight balanced on the forearm and both feet. Engage your core, and pulse your hips up and down, mindful of keeping the hips facing directly front.
4. Boat pose – alternating feet
Start on your back, both feet on the ground and knees up. Then straight your right leg at the knee so that your foot is pointing 45 degrees up. Inhale and engage your core; exhale and raise your torso up into a boat position. Repeat 16 reps on this side, then do the same thing on the other side.
5. Boat pose- criss cross
After finishing #4, stay in boat position with both feet straight out in front. Criss cross your palms in front of you for 1 minute. (You may also add 3 lb weights to give your arms and core the extra challenge!)
5. Kneeling Lean Back
Start from kneeling position, your toes together and your knees slightly apart. Inhale and engage your core; exhale, tuck in your pelvis to protect your lower back, and lean back as far as you can without “breaking” at the waist. Lightly pulse by tucking in your pelvis just 1-2″, using your core muscles to stabilize your whole body.
Related: 7 Crunches-free, Fun Core Exercises
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling