As you know, I spent last week at Blogfest and the IDEA World Fitness Convention. Here are my Top 10 Takeaways. While Thursday and Friday were spent learning some great blogging information, the last two days I was able to attend six workshops. In addition, on Friday, mixed in with all that blogging stuff, we managed to fit in three (yes, three!) workouts. I will admit, by Saturday afternoon, at my second Functional Fascia workout of the day I could hardly lift my legs.
I managed to learn a lot of information about various types of functional workouts, so I thought I’d share some of it with you here.
Our first functional workout on Friday was called Kaia Fit and it was taught by one of its creators, Nikki Warren. Kaia Fit is designed to be empowering for women, and it included some teamwork and competition in the mix. We were split into two groups. As we started, one group was given a high intensity partner exercise to perform for time. For example, one partner would hold a plank, while the other hopped twice over her, then they would switch positions. After the first team completed the repetitions, the time was recorded.
Over on the other side of the room, the other team was doing lower intensity but still functional exercises. One partner would hold a plank while the other did squats to touch down on their partner’s back. So many repetitions, then switch positions. The teams took turns completing each set of exercises (my team won two of the three sets…go Pink!), then we were treated to a nice cool down and stretch. I loved that all of the exercises were body weight only, and both the partner and team aspect added a lot of fun to the equation. The exercises were simple (that doesn’t mean they were easy, just not complicated movements!), so easy to teach to and monitor in a large group.
I’ll tell you up front that HighX was my favorite functional workout of the weekend. And not just because it was taught by Gabrielle Reece, who was also the keynote speaker. During her talk, Gabby told us how she created this workout, basically a group of women getting together to workout with Gabby as their leader. As the group grew, so did her ingenuity in planning a workout that would challenge, but would still be accessible for all age groups.
Let’s work! @highxtraining w: @gabbyreece #sweatpink #blogfest #1millionminutes #ljinspired A photo posted by Jamie King (Walker) (@jamiekingfit) on Jul 17, 2015 at 11:08am PDT
As we entered the large room, we were divided into 15 teams of eight (somehow our group ended up with 10, but that worked out fine). Equipment was laid out in a large oblong, with the name of each exercise printed at each station. Each team spent three minutes at each station, alternating high intensity and lower intensity exercises for 30 seconds each. Then we moved quickly to the next exercise.
This was a tough workout! From planks to lunges to sandbag presses, we pretty much killed each muscle group (in a good way). The group format created a sense of teamwork, and everybody was cheering their team on.
Fortunately, by my third workout of the day, Zumba with its creator Beto Perez, all I had to worry about was having a good time and trying to wiggle my hips. I was much more successful with the former than the latter.
Functional Fascia for Group Exercise
When I woke up on Saturday morning, I quickly decided that my body was too beat up for a run. Instead, I took my time getting ready, in order to get to my first session at 7:30. As I’ve mentioned, I’ll be getting my Fascial Stretch Therapist certification later this summer, so I wanted to soak up all the information that I could. What I didn’t realize was that after about 45 minutes of lecture and demonstration, we had a 45 minute workout to perform!
The idea behind functional exercises for fascia is to use new exercise sequences that are designed to train the fascial lines of the body. These involve a variety of multiple part movements such as a lunge with a reach, squat with a curl, then moving to an upper back extension, and side plank with a hip drop to a full hip extension. Yes, you need to focus your mind as well as your body.
The workout was quite challenging and I broke a good sweat. It also gave me a ton of ideas that I can take back to work with me. These are exercises that be used in either a group setting or one on one.
Fascia Gone Wild
I will admit that by the time I did this workout my body had given up and just wouldn’t cooperate. In the lecture portion, we learned more about fascia and its function, then began a workout that started with holding planks while doing various types of arm and leg movement. I just couldn’t. I tried. But my hips were sore and just didn’t want to work anymore. I did a little better after we stood up and did a few exercises like squat presses, lunges with twists, and other exercises that work the body in multiple planes and are good for the fascia.
After a pretty good night’s rest (considering I had three roommates), I headed to Plyometrics Palooza early Sunday morning. Taught by my friend Jason Karp, Ph.D, this session focused on using plyometrics to improve performance. After very little lecture time, Jason got right to the workout portion of the workshop. We did hops, jumps, rebounds, and more. I did pretty good all things considered. I was sore and tired, but so was everybody else. Our last exercise we teamed up for a little relay race. We were the Bloggers!
Team Bloggers for the win! Well we didn’t really win but we had tons of fun and learned a lot in Coach Jason’s Plyometrics Palooza session at the last day of #IDEAWorld! Our bodies were exhausted, our brains were mush, yet we pulled through. #blogfest @coachhenness @fitfoodiemama @mommyrunfast @sweetblondesfitlife
This was my final workout and as you may have guessed, I was pooped. The presenter was wonderful. She specializes in functional flexibility and in addition to running her own studio, training at yet another, she also travels to various football teams, in particular the NY Jets, to stretch some of the players. The idea of Bare Essentials was learning tips to teach proper from and creating progressions with little or no equipment.
She taught us how to teach various exercises and to progress them in a group setting. I picked up a few good tips (side lunge for the win!), then we were led through what would be a moderate level workout at any other time, but exhausted as I was I found the squats (with progressions of course), lunges, and burpees (at the end!!!) very challenging.
Overall, even if I was exhausted, I had a great time at IDEA World, and feel like I learned a lot that I can implement right away. It is always inspiring to meet other fitness professionals, get great new ideas, and just get energized from the experience.
What’s your favorite functional workout?
My weekly linkups! Please stop by and check out all of the great recipes, workouts, and information that all these awesome bloggers share every week!
Meatless Monday with Tina and Deborah
Meatless Monday with Annmarie
Bonnie, the Pin Junkie
Tip Tuesday with Debbie in Shape
Wednesday Wisdom with Nanna’s Wisdom
Fitness Friday with Jill Conyers
That Friday Blog Hop with xoxo Rebecca
The Blog Booster Party with Kathleen