Day: June 16, 2015

Inspirational Member of the Month: Hazel Singer

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Hazel is such an inspirational person, throughout our time together she has motivated me in ways that she most likely doesn’t know. When I first met with Hazel I was taken aback. She came to me with an array of physical hurdles that most people would have used as an excuse to stay at home and as far from the gym as possible. Yet there she was! Not only was she ready to train, she was well informed and eager to find ways to stay active despite her surgeries and other physical ailments.

When I think of Hazel I don’t think about the fact that she has had a hip replacement, a knee replacement, bilateral retracted rotator cuffs, collapsed bones in one foot as well as scoliosis. No, I think about a woman who goes to the gym 5 days a week without fail, who follows her workout regimen religiously and always has a smile on her face about it. Working with her has taught me to not only question the limitations that I have put on myself but also to question the limitations I put on others.

When I asked Hazel what motivates her and she said she loves the gym culture, the people she sees every morning and knowing that she has control of that aspect of her life. I can honestly say that I didn’t expect Hazel to have progressed as quickly as she did, but her confidence and persistence encouraged me to push her harder. Hazel went from using a cane and the hand rail when going up and down the stairs when we first met to walking confidently without any assistance and this is due to her own will to overcome any hurdle thrown her way.

Hazel is always challenging herself in ways most won’t even dream of. Whether it is her pushing the prowler, doing rope throws or killing the high intensity interval circuits on the elliptical, Hazel is sure to be giving 110%. On days when I want to give myself an excuse to slack I think if Hazel and am reminded that I can make the most out of where I am and that I am the only person in my way.

4th of July Workout

For this 4th of July, we want to infuse your training with some explosiveness and intensity. Don’t be fooled by the deceptively simple movements, like our founding principles they are simple but powerful. And America wasn’t built alone, so grab a friend and challenge each other to perform at the very best of your abilities.

Warm-up 5 min on some cardio equipment; then perform 4 rounds of each exercise for 10 reps of the following:

A.) Lunge Jumps

B.) Barbell Push Press

C.) Squat Jumps

D.) Resistance Band Standing Explosive Chest Press

Rest 1 minute between rounds.

Move with purpose between exercises. If done correctly, you don’t want to do a round five. You may even be seeing fireworks. If you have any questions, please ask any of our fitness professionals.

June Employee of the Month: Natalie Swistak!!!

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Please congratulate Natalie Swistak for being nominated employee of the month. Natalie has been an instructor for Seattle Athletic Club since 1999 when we first launched Cycle at the club. She has taught many different formats including Kickboxing and Step, but her passion remains with Cycle.

Natalie consistently goes above and beyond when it comes to teaching Cycle classes. Her positive energy and enthusiasm for teaching are reflected in the outstanding classes she teaches and her passion shines through every time.

As a strong leader in the Cycle Department, she is a huge asset to our team. Natalie is a true professional in every aspect of the word. She is dedicated to teaching, having fun, and most importantly, listening to the members every time they step into the room.

This is what Natalie said about her Cycle classes at SAC, “My 6am Cycle classes bring me tremendous happiness because we have amazing, positive, and dedicated members who like to work hard but have fun!  We motivate each other every week and it’s something special I have not seen at many clubs.  I owe my inspiration to the members who make this happen!”

In addition to leading Cycle classes, Natalie is an inspiration outside of the studio as well. She has been competing in triathlons since 1998. She has completed 3 ironman distance triathlons and placed top 10 in her age group at Ironman Whistler in 2013! She is scheduled to do Ironman Arizona in November with her fellow TN Multisport Athletes. When she is not on the bike, running or swimming, she loves to snowboard and travel up to Whistler to mountain bike.

We are delighted Natalie is a part of our team here at SAC! Thank you Natalie for all you do!

Pilates Exercise of the Month: Double Straight Leg Stretch

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Purpose: The fourth exercise in the Stomach Series targets the powerhouse to the extreme.

1. Lie on your back with hands behind your lifted head; one on top of the other, (not interlaced). Elbows wide.

2. Extend your legs straight to the ceiling, heels together and toes turned out slightly, squeeze inner thighs, sink navel toward spine.

3. Inhale and lower your straight legs down toward the mat for 3 counts. Stop if you feel your lower back begin to arch.

4. Exhale as you raise your straight legs toward the ceiling. Don’t allow the legs to pass 90 degrees; the tailbone does not leave the mat.

Complete 8-10 times. To end bring both knees into chest.

Checklist:
Remain perfectly still in your torso.
Engage the glutes and inner thighs to support and protect your back.
If your back arches off the mat as you lower your legs, you are taking them too low. Bring shoulders away from ears.

Note: If you have a delicate back, place your hands in a V position just below your tailbone (palms down) and leave your head down.

Visualization: Imagine your legs are attached to springs above your head. You must stretch the springs on the way down and resist their pull on the way up.

Jocelyn Paoli, Pilates Instructor