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New Twist on Old-School Exercises

Phil Lindeman

When Jane Fonda tells you to go for the burn listen. The physical therapy experts at Howard Head Sports Medicine often refer their patients to tried and true exercises not only to rehabilitate but also strengthen. If it has worked over the years it could work for you. And bonus—no leotards needed! The fitness mavens from Howard Head travel back to the '70's and '80's for new twists on old-school exercises.

Step Aerobics with Stephanie Drew
As a physical therapist and longtime fitness instructor Stephanie Drew of Howard Head Sports Medicine's Edwards clinic sees parallels between old-school step classes and modern programs like CrossFit and Zumba. Guided classes are a good starting point for newcomers along with gym regulars who want to shake things up.

Fit Tips
Work your legs. In a step class most movements naturally hit your
large leg muscles (quads glutes calves) but don't treat step like day-to-day walking. Actively engage every leg muscle every time and keep a full range of motion — even when you're tired. Move your whole body. Step class might hone in on legs but aerobics is made for a total-body workout.
Focus on balance to engage your torso and move your arms to elevate your heart rate. Make class part of your weekly (or even daily) routine. Consistency is key to any fitness regimen. If you get bored with one class simply move on to the next.

Pigeon Pose with Laura Olderog
As yoga wins more and more converts sports medicine experts have dug deeper into the athletic benefits of poses like pigeon. Laura Olderog a physical therapist and certified hand therapist at the Vail clinic says it's perfect for outdoor junkies — skiers boarders and the like — to boost core stability. A stronger core means you're less likely to lose balance which is the root cause of most knee injuries.

Fit Tips
Feel the full-body stretch. For newcomers pigeon pose can be surprisingly tough. It hits your hips pelvis lower back deep glutes hip flexors and core — just about everything from your shoulders down. Ease into the stretch and hold. Readjust if you feel pain. Grab your foot — and pull towards the back of your head. The modified pigeon pose stretches deeper
than the basic pose but it requires much more flexibility through the
back and quads. Work to it slowly.

Jumping Jacks with Stephanie Drew
Fitness doesn't get more basic than jumping jacks. But like any simple exercise jumping jacks can be a waste of time if you rush through form
and technique. Once you have the basics the sky's the limit with dozens of variations.

Fit Tips
Push for a full range of motion. With every jump touch your fingertips at the top and squeeze your thighs at the bottom. Enjoy the cardio bump. Jumping jacks are a quick simple way to elevate your heart rate. Try them
between strength sets for a more challenging calorie-burning circuit.
Shake things up. If you get bored with plain-old jumping jacks turn
to modern variations like burpees or other classics like lunges and
jumping rope.

Basic Push Ups with Doug Emerson
Doug Emerson a physical therapist and clinic director at Howard Head's Gypsum location is a fan of the push-up. He makes it a total-body workout.

Fit Tips
Stay taut from head to toe. Emerson describes the proper push-up as a “movement plank.” Your upper body does the bulk of work but always tighten your core squeeze your glutes and straighten your spine. Start with three sets of five then gradually increase the reps. Push through your pinkies. No matter where your hands are positioned Emerson says you'll get the best upper-body workout if you focus on pushing the ground away
from you through your pinkies not your palms. Get vocal. At the top of each pushup let out a controlled breath or grunt. It's often overlooked but
this little tactic maintains tempo and if nothing else reminds you to breathe. You can apply the same to weight lifting or any calisthenics.

Jogging with Philip Galloway
One thing I tell my patients is that running is a piece of the puzzle” Philip Galloway of the Edwards Howard Head clinic says. “People think that when they get out of shape they just need to start running but you need to be in
shape already to avoid injury.”

Fit Tips 
Start slow. And this doesn't refer to miles per hour. Whether you prefer the trails or a treadmill only change one factor (speed distance elevation gain) at a time. Progress even slower. Galloway says 80% of runners will have an injury in the course of their running career. The general rule is to bump your mileage by no more than 10 percent each week. Tap into the cross-training scene. As the leader of Vail Valley Running Club Galloway has noticed more runners pick up cross-training programs which mix road or track work with weight lifting and aerobics. Embrace the seasons. If cross-training isn't for you take your run into the great outdoors. Snowshoeing adds a new level of intensity and even trail running on dry land is a different kind of challenge. 

Fun Fact
Jogging for fitness was popularized in the U.S. by Bill Bowerman an American track and field coach and co-founder of Nike Inc. after he was
introduced to it in New Zealand in 1962.

Tree Pose with Laura Olderog
Yoga is much older than Jane Fonda yet modern versions of the ancient practice share much in common with retro-style aerobics and calisthenics. Yoga is also wildly versatile with styles built around poses for strength flexibility balance and spiritual well-being. The tree pose is square one.

Fit Tips
Find your breath. It's the cornerstone of yoga and conscious consistent
awareness sets the practice apart from other fitness regimens. Practice the basic pose then practice again. Tree pose seems simple on the surface but it highlights all elements of all yoga: breath balance and core strength.
Modify the pose. For the advanced tree pose stretch your arms wide and gaze at the ceiling — it will challenge your balance.