BeWOW: Total-Body Cardio and Conditioning Workout

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This week, your workout is going hit your entire body, with strength-training exercises and cardio to boot.

You’ll tackle a circuit of six different exercises, as outlined below. At the end of the circuit, you’ll do 100 jumps with a jump rope. (If you don’t have a jump rope, do jumping jacks.) Your goal is to complete the circuit, top to bottom, five times through.

A couple of optional tweaks: If you do not know how to do kettlebell swings (video tutorial below), you can always just do squats. For the one legged squats, you’ll need a bench or a chair: Do your squat with one leg raised, sit until your butt taps the bench, then stand right back up. And if you’re just starting out and five rounds is too much, try two or three rounds and build up from there.

Good luck!

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Your Weekend Workout Playlist: Songs That Get Stuck in Your Head

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Sorry for what I’m about to do, you guys: This week’s playlist is two hours of songs that are pretty much guaranteed to get stuck in your head. The good news is, all the songs are awesome, which means having them stuck in your head, on repeat, isn’t totally a bad thing.

I got some outside input on this one, so the songs really span generations and genres: the Grease soundtrack’s “Summer Nights,” Boyz II Men’s “Motown Philly,” Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and, the pièce de résistance, Aaron Copeland’s “Rodeo.” (I thought I was pretty clever with that one.)

Enjoy!

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BeWOW: How to Shred with Kettlebells

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This week, we’re using a kettlebell. Just one kettlebell. Don’t be intimidated!

If you don’t have a kettlebell at home or if you don’t have access to one, I would suggest going out and buying one. It’s a great piece of equipment to have in your repertoire. If you do have some bells, pick a weight that you can do a lot of different exercises with and a moderate amount of reps.

For the workout, you’re going to do a circuit of five different kettlebell exercises five times through as fast as you can, while maintaining good form. Good luck!

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Your Weekend Workout Playlist: Rap You Can Run to

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This week’s workout playlist is a medley of our favorite rap hits, from oldies like Biggie’s Mo Money Mo Problems to more recent tunes like Iggy Azalea’s Black Widow. These beats are sure to get you moving, whether you’re on a long run or on an imaginary dance floor in your living room. Happy sweating, friends!

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BeWOW: Pick-Your-Distance Trail Running Workout

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For this week’s workout, we’re using a running trail. Now, we’re guessing you already have a favorite running spot but, if not, we’ve got a ton of great local trails for you to choose from. Once you’ve chosen a trail, grab a running buddy and get ready to sweat.

For the workout, you’re going to pick landmarks along the trail, like trees, or rocks, or the person running in front of you. After you’ve chosen a landmark, you’ll do an all-out sprint to that spot. Then, once you reach the landmark, you’ll pick another point in the distance, and jog until you get there. Then, you’re going to pick another landmark and sprint to it. You’ll do this, picking your landmarks and switching between sprinting and jogging, for the entire course of the workout.

The really nice thing about this week’s workout, is that you get to choose how long your run is. Before you start, just decide how long you’d like to spend on the trail—maybe it’s your 30-minute lunch break or 45 minutes or 51 minutes? Who knows? It’s up to you. Just make sure to set your stop watch, and don’t stop your workout until your alarm goes off. Good luck!

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I Tried It: Stiletto Fit Pole Dancing, A Workout in Six-Inch Heels

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I don’t know what I was expecting when I stepped off the trolley in West Philly onto a deserted stretch of Lancaster Avenue on Monday morning, gym bag in hand. But a fuchsia pole dance studio barely a stone’s throw away from a liquor store definitely wasn’t it. I was headed to Stiletto Fit at A Sensual You, a class all about toning your butt, legs and abs, done entirely in sky-high heels. To say I was unprepared is a gross understatement.

From the second I walked in, it was clear that I was completely out of place. In fact, the first words out of my mouth were, “Don’t worry, you can totally laugh at me.” And believe me, these ladies should have. The uniform of choice was booty shorts and strappy platform stilettos that would impress stilt walkers and strippers alike. I had on leggings and heels I bought on sale in high school. To make matters worse, there was only one other student in the class, so there was no hiding in the back. I felt like a walking—no, a stumbling, disaster, and the class hadn’t even begun. Read more »

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