Happy April! I don't know about you guys, but I'm feeling summer + sunshine + Lithe Escape. I'm ready to run the beach! Spring has sprung, so it’s time to soak up the sunshine, get prepped to rock that Earned In Winter body, and spend time with friends and family. I miss the concept of having a true spring break in my life — taking a week long break from work to reset and refresh (and lay on the beach with margarita in hand). So this year I’m giving myself a personal spring break in the form of a staycation in Philly.
In honor of my much-anticipated break (and our upcoming Lithe Escape), I'm sharing some bikini tips with you. A fantastic bikini is always the first item I pack when I’m traveling somewhere warm. These Triangl bikinis are my swimwear picks for the season. I love the supportive neoprene fabric, bright neon colors, and fantastic fit.
If you choose to wear a bikini, you should show off your Lithe-earned body in a suit that you feel comfortable and confident in. Any Jane can wear a bikini, but to feel confident in a bikini is another story. Here are some tips so that you can run the beach:
Try EVERYTHING on. Suits look completely different on your body than on the hanger. Untie first – you need to adjust the straps to your body (not the girl’s who tried it on before you) or you won’t get the right look or fit.
Stringin' it? If you have a top with strings, tie it in the back first, and then stretch the cups over your breasts before tying behind your neck. Got a bottom with strings? Tie it so it sits on your hip bone. Don't go too low or even worse, too high. (Hello, David Lee Roth circa "California Girls.")
When a suit fits, you don’t get any “overspill.” Remember that everything has a place — inside your suit. Watch out for super-skinny straps ... Narrow straps are rarely flattering and create back bulge if you have even a little meat on your bones.
Lithe it up! I highly recommend our Essential Workouts. Skinny Jeans and High Mini classes are our blueprint. Both tone your body and build your Lithe muscular structure with a quickness.
Eat Lithe whenever possible. Eating Lithe (eating clean) will not only get you into your bikini, but it also makes you feel Lithe inside. Keep whole food (preferably raw) snacks on-hand at all times to keep energy levels up and hunger at bay.
Lastly, check yourself before you wreck yourself – in a three-way mirror, that is. You want to be sure you look great from all angles. Once you find a perfect fit, take note of the brand. Companies rarely change their fit from year to year. It’ll make next year’s shopping that much easier!
What you need: Wristbands (for your ankles)! Gloves!
Props: Thinny bands (the ones that Velcro around your ankles).
Clothing Considerations: Long pants make the ankle bands more comfortable.
Sweat Factor: Very light sheen. You can go to happy hour after or get away with not showering before work.
When I think of B-sides, I think of the white cassette tapes I purchased in the early '90s when my favorite group would release their newest single. My favorite song was on the A-side and often a not so great song, or an instrumental version of the A-side song would show up on the B-side. I'd usually give the B-side a quick chance, but quickly eject, flip the tape over and listen and rewind and listen and rewind the A-side. More music savvy consumers than I, collect records, the home of the original A and B-side, and there's much debate among collectors about the greatest B-sides of all time. Songs that may have been even better than the A-side that sold the album in the first place.
I must say that Lithe's B-sides was a mix of this A-side vs B-side question for me. A mix of OH MAN THIS COULD BE A CLASSIC with a little WHAT THE...! I can start by saying if you like Thinny (which I love), I think you'll really enjoy B-Sides. It's grounded for most of the class, like Thinny is, and the bands are around your ankles like they are in Thinny. However, I think the comparisons really end there. B-sides is like a mix of A-List Abs, Waspie, and Stems. Just sculpt city USA.The thing that makes B-Sides a little bit discombobulating is how different it is than those classes too.
Because in addition to the Thinny bands around the ankles, you grab the same bands with your hands too. Not additional bands hanging from the ceiling. You grab the bands that are around your ankles, find a place where you have a little slack and pull them towards you. This resistance is a monster. You have to really engage your core to keep your feet on the ground as you pull them away from you with arms. This is where the discombobulation occurs at first.
This is a class where you really need to listen to the cues your first few times. If you're a newbie, get to class early (especially at Rittenhouse) and get a mat with a good view of the instructor. Bari was my guide, and her cues were incredibly important. She explained what to do, and more importantly what NOT to do so that you don't accidentally strain your neck or something else as you wobble around at first.
The other key to this class is PLACEMENT. Placement of yourself right under the bracket in the ceiling where the bands are coming from makes a huge difference. A fellow Lither saw me struggling and encouraged me to scoot my tuckus right underneath the bracket and VOILA, I was a pro! (Kinda.) The next placement to be mindful of? Where you place your hands along the bands. Where you grab the bands will need to change depending on the move. Sometimes you'll need more slack, sometimes less. Listen to cues and remember to move your hands around consistently. This is especially important when doing the standing vertical band work (my new fave).
I have to say, although I've been a bit of a mess both times I've taken the class (improving every time), I absolutely love it. It's totally different than anything else, which I always welcome and which Lauren is so uncannily good at providing, and it's challenging. It's nice not to have muscle memory for something and have to work hard to get it right. And working hard is what you do. You quake, you shake, you tremble and you WERK IT.
Sometimes a break from CCS is just what the doctor ordered, especially when you're not sacrificing burn or difficulty level (which I never you think you do with grounded classes but more skeptical folks will likely agree with me for B-sides.) I say take a friend and give it a shot, if you haven't already. Sit next to each other. Shoot each other WTF glances, let go, and get into it. I will make this a weekly staple as long as I can, that's for certain.
See you in class!
What you need: Gloves!
Props: Pom Bands
Clothing Considerations: Whatever you're comfortable in.
Sweat Factor: Ice Bucket Challenge Status
I'm going to be bold and proclaim something big right now. Sideline is the new Lithe class that will change your entire body. Fast. We all know the staples like Waspie, Skinny Jeans and Higher Power will whittle you into shape, and we take them religiously. Add Sideline to the list, sister girls. Add Sideline to the list.
It kicked my ever-loving butt in a thousand ways. Unlike its title may convey, this is not a class where you can hang out on the fringes and observe. You are in high gear from the jump, and don't let that intimidate you. It was the perfect mix of high-intensity CCS, but also slower-paced sculpting interspersed throughout using Vertical Band Sculpting. This is where you stand up and step on handles of the Pom bands instead of holding the handles with your hands. You then push and pull on the bands that now have incredible resistance since you are holding them extremely taught with your feet. (Where you place your feet matters...up too close to the ball of your foot, and you'll be in pain quick...go back towards your heels.)
The Vertical Band arms sequence in this class might be the most challenging arms sequence I've yet to encounter at Lithe. My shoulders, biceps and back were on FIRE. During the cardio sequences I was praying for them to be over, so we could cool it down with the sculpting, but the arms and back stuff was so intense, that I was quickly praying for the sculpting to be over so I could get back to jumping around (and I'm not a cardio lover).
If you're trying to get your arms and back on point for any reason (wedding dress, just to be a badass) take this class. From butt to thighs to calves to waist to fingertips--you are working it out in Sideline. As I left, a fellow Lither and I agreed that taking that class on a consistent basis would whip us into shape in no time.
See you in class!
Image of Sayeh Magaziner via Dom
Lithe's Tight End is one of our two featured glue-based workouts for Jan-March 2015. Born late 2011, it combines our core cardio sequence with tall box work with Pom bands that make for a fantastic total-body workout with an emphasis on tightening and lifting that booty! Here's a re-post from Sayeh:
What you need: Gloves!
Props: Lithe’s Higher Power Band System (Pom Handles), Tall Box (from Hipster)
Clothing Considerations: Long pants (You place the pom handles around your ankles at one point.)
Sweat Factor: Imagine you are standing on a corner on a rainy day, and a giant SUV plows through a puddle near you, and mercilessly splashes you without so much as slowing down. Now, do that 10 times...and you might be close.
Growing up in Texas, I was a pretty big football fan. The Dallas Cowboys were winning Super Bowls, and I was going to my high school football games every Friday night. I fancied myself pretty knowledgeable about the sport. But, as the years have passed, I’ve become almost completely disconnected from what’s happening in the NFL. Eagles fans heckle me about another embarrassing Cowboys loss (as if they can talk, oooh buurrrrn), and I just shrug my shoulders because I haven’t the slightest clue what they’re talking about.
But in recent weeks, a phenomenon has swept the nation, and has brought football back into the forefront of my mind. Two words: Tim. Tebow. This man has single-handedly brought prayer back into public schools. Kids everywhere are having Tebow flash mobs--meaning they all take a knee simultaneously in some predetermined location, and feign ardent prayer. (Somebody oughta tell these kids that Rodin’s Thinker has been sportin this pose a century before Timmy hit the scene! DUH kids.) PRAYING flash mobs? Hopefully the trend will hit Philly soon, where the very mention of the term flash mob has shopkeepers and restaurant owners on South Street reaching for their baseball bats.
For those of you whose Facebook news feeds haven’t been inundated by Tebow-related attempts at comedy, Tim Tebow is the quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Extremely open about his religious beliefs, he is given to taking a knee on the field during games to say a quick prayer. Inevitably, it seems that despite his poor performance throughout these games, once he prays--things turn around and the Broncos come back and win in dramatic fashion. Case in point, last weekend when the Broncos ousted the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the playoffs. Tebow miraculously threw an 80-yard touch down pass to bring the score to 29-23 in overtime. The real crazy part? He threw for 316 yards that game. 3:16, Tebow’s favorite bible verse, which he often writes into the shoe polish under his eyes. Go fig.
And it’s because of all this Tebow mania that I almost fell to a knee to say my own prayer in Tight End last week. I was in so much pain that I almost pulled the girl off the box next to mine to make her kneel and chant with me: Dear God, make me a bird so I can fly fah. Fah fah away from here. Tight End is KILLER. Imagine that Weightless, Hipster and Sweet Cheeks got busy and made a little Lithe baby. That would be Tight End.
You begin the class by grabbing onto the pom handles and doing a cardio sequence similar to the fun, dance-cheer series in Weightless. The dance moves themselves are different, but super fun, and equally intense. Then, once your heart rate is pounding and your sweat is forming into little beads all over your body, you incorporate the tall box. Using the bands for support, you do a quad and glute-murdering series of squats, lunges and kicks.
Once you’re legs are giving way, and you’re considering consulting your lord above for support, you get down and go straight into another high octane cardio series. Once you can shake your rump no more, you get back on the box for some inverted work--a la Sweet Cheeks. Here you place the pom handle around your ankle and use the resistance to tap and lift your leg in a zillion different directions. The real crazy part? Lauren kept telling us that she was merely introducing us to Tight End basics--that soon the class will attempt to actually murder us with a lot more moves on the box, and a more ramped-up dance series during the cardio segments.
Tight End is a must-take for anyone looking to kick it up a notch and get their serious sweat on. And when you’re legs are quivering and the sweat is dripping off the end of your nose, just channel your inner Tebow, have faith...and believe. And hey, if you need to say a quick prayer to get through it, go for it. It’s working for the Broncos!
See you in class!
Image of Master Lithe Instructor Tif Nork via Lauren
New to Lithe, returning from a hiatus or just love our classics? Check out our Lithe Essential workouts Monday-Friday @ 6:45PM at Lithe Rittenhouse. The essentials are not beginner classes - They are Lithe's blueprint workouts that are perfect for building your muscular foundation, cardiovascular endurance and form.
Lithe Instructor Maggie Sieleman-Ross in Nike & Lithe via Dom
What a great year! Thank YOU for all of your hard work and dedication: We completed 3 challenges, 2 Lithe Escapes, traveled on tour to Seoul, NYC & LA, celebrated a decade in Philly, Welcomed 11 fantastic new instructors (Meredith, Cate, Jen L., Maggie, Jenn B., Annette, Liz S., Kalika, Jonathan, Alicia, Katie B), 3 veteran instructors became Masters, debuted 7 new workouts (Rah, Lithe Beach, Hi-Top, All That, Sideline, Mercy & Lithe Lab), 2 WKND's and have seen the most killer camaraderie and results than ever before! Here's to 2015! Check out some of our favorite posts...
Lithe Escape Jamaica, Lithe WKND, Lithe Escape Tulum, Love Letters, Kristy's Before & After, Lithe Tour Philly, Seoul, NYC & LA, Because I'm Perfect, Lauren's Gym Bag Essentials, Beauty Tips for a tired face, 3 Days to Flat Abs, Lauren for Prevention, Breaking the Mom Cycle, Talking biz with Forbes & Jon Oringer, Fall Transformation Results, Elizabeth Tomkins x Destination Maternity, Lithe Foods x Art In The Age Skinny Heathen series, Sayeh's Living Lithe Tips, Earned in Winter Challenge, Results, T-Minus 30 Challenge, Mission: Lithe, Mama Says, Lithe Spice No.1, Meg G. & Lithe on BLDG 25, love from the Press & Eating Lithe,
This week we're celebrating Lithe's Endvy, born in 2013...
My camera and I went out to the Main Line a few weekends ago and captured these pictures of my favorite Lithers seriously sculpting it out. Lithe Endvy is a bit like Thinny (it's so easy to cheat!), so you really have to work those bands. As you can see, these ladies were on fire!
Images via Lauren
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