I am a 17-year-old dancer from Spokane, Washington. Last year, I sprained my ankle pretty badly and had to miss my classes and sit out of a recital. I thought that was the worst of it but then I just found out I also have to rehab my hip next year. I want to be the best I can but it seems like everything is holding me back from that. Your practice seems so perfect and effortless, have you ever had an injury that held you back or anything else in the way of your dancing?
I am sorry you’re feeling so down! Hopefully my story will lift your spirits and show you that no, nothing will ever hold me back from dancing! A lot of people don’t know I injured my neck severely just four days before we left for the MOVE Live Tour in 2014. A previous injury that happened on the set of Rock of Ages came back with a vengeance. My C2, C3, C4, C5 vertebrae were out of place. Because of this injury, I had five ribs out of place, my hips were rotated forward on the right hand side, and I had a tingling sensation running down my left arm all the way to my ring finger.
For the entire MOVE Tour we had to find a physical therapist in every city who could work on me before each show. I’d use a stem machine throughout the day to loosen the muscles in the area and keep a rotation of heating pads on throughout the show in between dances. I even had to wear a neck brace (as you can see).
For this week’s Ask Jules, I’m going to share a question I actually had for one of my favorite people, David Zint! David is a senior instructor and training officer at SoulCycle, as well as a personal trainer and life and motivational coach. He’s pretty much the coolest person all around. I’m so happy to have David sharing his advice today, but remember — always do what feels right for you and your body!
I am wondering what the absolute best breakfast would be before taking one of your morning classes or getting into an early intense cardio session? If I were taking a super early the-sun-just-came-up class, do I have to eat breakfast beforehand or can I wait until after?
I feel like the luckiest girl ever now having shot four covers for SHAPE Magazine! Every issue has made me increasingly more proud to have the chance to work with the talented SHAPE team. The magazine is a great opportunity for me to connect with you about what I believe it takes to feel good from the inside out.
Many of you have written in to the magazine with questions for me regarding my fitness routine. Below, I’ve answered 10 questions from SHAPE readers. I hope they inspire you to live, love and move to your fullest!
1. What do you find to be the most effective ab exercise? — Rachel M. on Facebook
I love them all! I find that mixing up my moves is what’s most effective. I like to lay on a box during leg raises, so I can really use my lower abs with each movement. I also love standing exercises for abs where I can really isolate my torso. I sometimes add hand weights to these moves in order to work my obliques too. Both are effective!
2. What’s your go to food when refueling after a workout? — Jude J. on Facebook
I have a protein shake right after my workoust. Otherwise I’ll get hungry an hour after and binge on something I probably shouldn’t!
3. What do you feel like was your biggest achievement? — Caren S. on Facebook
I feel really lucky because I view all my little achievements as one big achievement. I feel most accomplished when I’m living a balanced lifestyle with diet and exercise, in my relationships with friends, family, and my fiance. All these little things add up 🙂
5. How do you stay on track with eating healthy on the weekends? — @pattilli7 on Instagram
Everything in moderation! I also like to say I’m committing to having a healthy lifestyle rather than using the phrase “dieting.”
6. How do you stay motivated? What do you binge on? — @michele_stuurman on Instagram
I stay motivated because I find that I actually FEEL better when I’m putting healthy, yummy food into my body. When I binge, I definitely go straight for the pizza and pasta!
Like almost everyone else I know, I was pretty glued to the Olympics last week. There’s nothing more inspiring than witnessing others who have worked and trained so hard going after their dreams. I was especially surprised how excited I was while watching the rowing competitions. I love the aspect of teamwork, the graceful movements of the oars and how beautiful the boats look gliding across the water.
Watching these athletes perform inspired me to mix things up when it came to my own performance. I asked my trainer Erica Hood from Body By Simone if she would come up with a workout inspired by rowing for our next training session. Erica delivered an short and simple move that I’m so excited to share with you!
This exercise works your upper body, back, lats and core, and all you need is a good set of Resistance Bands and you’re ready to go!
Olympics-Inspired Rowing Workout: The Seated Upright Row
For more fitness inspiration follow Erica on Instagram @errrrrrrka.
There are many moving components when it comes to getting in a good workout. Staying hydrated, eating the right foods to fuel your energy, and knowing what you’re doing in order to avoid injury are the most important elements to consider. Wearing clothes that allow you to move freely and choosing the best shoes for your foot and type of exercise are major ones, too.
I’ve found when it comes to working out it’s the minor details that often provide even more support, allowing me to have a more effective workout. And when I have all these things prepared and at the ready, I can hit the gym before I have time to make any excuses. 🙂
Here are the 7 things I have to have to get my sweat on!
Why spend more time inside than necessary when the weather is this gorgeous?! I’ve rounded up some of my favorite ways to turn up my workouts by taking them outside with these awesome accessories. This way we can work on our fitness while having fun in the sun — a win/win if you ask me!
As with any workout you do, be careful, and if you’re body is telling you it’s had enough, be sure to listen! The outdoor elements can make any exercise more challenging, so start slow and work your way up to expert level workouts slowly.
I was very inspired by the Ask Jules email below from a reader named Missie. Missie is dealing with several health challenges, which make it difficult for her to be physically active, but you know what? Those limitations are not stopping Missie from finding activities she’s able to do to be healthy and fit.
Keeping up with your fitness isn’t all about appearance. We know it’s also about reducing levels of stress and anxiety, improving mental clarity and focus, having a greater lung capacity and getting a good night’s sleep.
My personal trainer, Erica Hood at Body by Simone had some excellent advice for Missie. Through that I learned about adaptive yoga, a type of yoga for people of all abilities, including disabilities.
I am one of your “older” newsletter and blog readers! I simply find you so inspiring! I don’t think inspiration has age limits! Here’s my question for you: I’m a 48-year-old empty nest mom. But I also have 2 serious health issues (CRPS/RSD and Sjogrens Syndrome) that really limit what I am able to do physically in terms of exercise. I’m unable to do anything that involves impact on my right foot/ankle or standing only on that foot. In addition, both conditions cause nearly debilitating fatigue which worsens if I overdo exercise.
I have heard the term “adaptive yoga” but don’t know anything about it. I’m trying to find out what it’s about to see if it’s an option for me. Is this something you have knowledge of? I appreciate any help you can give!
Often I’ll receive emails from you guys that I feel is best answered by an expert. Ashley’s email asks a popular question amongst my readers: how to get flat abs. I second what my trainer from Body By Simone, Erica Hood, says below.
It’s not only about the exercise you do but also what you put in your body. Eating clean and getting proper hydration is an essential part to achieving a tight tummy. Smart nutritional habits plus strengthening moves, as Erica suggests, equals a strong, healthy core!
The first and most important tip toward your flatter tummy is healthy eating. In addition to that, you want to make sure you are doing quality not quantity abdominal exercises. It doesn’t matter how many reps you can do, but that you execute proper form and really engage the core muscles to their max potential. Be sure to also switch up your exercises making sure to hit upper abs, lower abs and obliques.
A few weeks ago, you met my trainer Erica Hood from Body By Simone when she taught us some killer moves for our glutes. This week, Erica is sharing her recipe for bona fide biceps.
These bands create a resistance that when used correctly can help build strength, improve posture and balance. Erica and I have been using them to tone my arms using the two movements below. If you don’t already have the bands, you can buy them here.
2 Easy Steps To Beautiful Biceps
Position: Start standing with both feet in the center of the band.
When it comes to tightening up the bod, trainer Erica Hood at Body By Simone has all the right moves! Last week, Erica taught me a great exercise to tone the hamstrings and glutes. This one can be done at home or in the gym. All you’ll need is a squishy rubber ball. You can find one here!
I’ll let Erica show you how it’s done. You’ll have to let me know if you give this a try!
3 Moves To Work Your Glutes
Position: Start on all fours and place the ball behind your knee.