toning thighs and touching hearts

To all my gal pals out there – have your thighs ever made fire? You know, when you are walking or running and your thighs rub together creating enough friction to start a fire. Well, I most definitely have. For those who have not, let me tell you, it is a most unpleasant experience and thus why I choose to wear longer shorts or capris that protect my legs from said chafing. I would LOVE to be able to wear those short running shorts that look so comfy and breezy; but I know if I wore those during a Shred or Spinning class I’d have burns worse than the sunburn I got from the Florida sun.

Here are two well-thought-out options to deal with this unpleasantness: (1) We can live with it and carry a fire extinguisher at all times, or (2) we wear long pants all day, every day, to act as a buffer… even in the sickening heat of a Missouri summer, when the air is so thick you feel like you live in the Amazon. While these options are certainly doable, I would like you to have a 3rd option.

It’s called exercise. MIND BLOWN. Fortunately, I’m not suggesting you use a Jane Fonda thigh master contraption or that scary/inappropriate inner thigh exercise machine at the gym. Near and dear to my heart and thighs (awkward) is my favorite leg exercise – Spinning. Last week I taught this Spinning profile focused on toning thighs and touching hearts (ok mostly toning thighs). You can try this out on almost any spin bike (you need to be able to increase resistance and move to standing position on the bike*). Turn on some solid music for background and follow this profile for a killer workout that will leave your legs feeling like jello:

0 – 5:00 minutes Warm up on a flat road (80-100 RPM)

5:00 – 10:00 minutes Staying on a flat road, alternate between standing (2nd position*) for 15 seconds and seated flat (1st position) for 45 seconds (80-100 RPM)

10:00 – 15:00 Increase resistance, alternate between standing climb (2nd position) for 15 seconds and seated climb (1st position) for 45 seconds (60-80 RPM)

15:00 – 17:00 Decrease resistance to flat road and recover (80-100 RPM)

17:00 – 23:00 Do the following (warning: it’s gonna be tough, but I promise your thighs will be crying)

1:00 Seated Climb @ 75-80 RPMs
1:00 Seated Climb cadence build to increase RPMs by 5 (ex: if you were at 75, build to 80)
1:00 Seated Climb – add resistance @ 80 RPM
1:00 Standing Flat – at current resistance, increase pedal speed (cadence) by 5 RPMs (ex: if you were at 80, build to 85)
1:00 Seated Flat (decrease resistance) @ 85 RPM
1:00 Standing Flat – shift up/speed up to 90 RPM

23:00 – 25:00 Return to a flat road and recover (80-100 RPM)

25:00-38:00 Repeat the interval from minutes 17:00-23:00 two more times (with 1 minute rest in between). This part is killer and right about now you are going to question deciding to do this. I mean, I definitely questioned it as I was panting heavily in to the microphone and fighting the urge to say, “NOPE. DONE. CAN’T. WON’T.” Because I’m pretty sure if I had, the rest of the class would have said, “Yeah me neither! Let’s just be done.”

37:00 – 40:00 Return to a flat road to recover (80-100 RPM) – you did it. you nailed it! high-fives to you!

And there you have it, my friends. 40 minutes of THIGH BURNIN’ GLORY! I actually said this to the class and was totally expecting some laughs – all I got were blank stares. Just wait till I drop some Tina Turner “Rollin’ On the River” on them next week. It’s just too tempting for someone like me to have that microphone, undivided attention and music playing.

*If you’ve never taken a Spinning class before, here’s a quick reference guide to the positions I mention above. 

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