It’s my second time to take the misleadingly named Hard Core/Stretch class with Kris. Actually two of the three words in the class title are apt (i.e. Hard and Core) leaving only “stretch” to dangle before us as a tantalizing mirage.
This is a dangerous class to watch the clock in but as a reporter I feel it’s my duty to check in occasionally with the time. In today’s class, Kris starts us off with a twelve-minute set of rapid-fire crunches from the supine position. Every forty-five seconds or so she has us change our leg position or the angle of the crunch but there’s no pause between sets whatsoever.
After the crunch set we flip over to our knees to assault the abs from a kneeling position. We begin with an opposite leg opposite arm pose (see pic) that’s moved through various planes and contractions before doing plank, side plank, forearm plank, you name it, if it works the abs, we do it.
Opposite arm/opposite leg core exercise
Now mind you, less than two hours before this class, I attended baby Mougeot’s (Jessica) Power Pump class, which of course, wore out most of my muscles. Therefore, my arms are shaking within the first thirty seconds of holding plank but complaining or backing down is out of the question. I know that Kris would never whine in similar circumstances so I do my best to tough it out.
There are only two others in class this evening and both of them are splendid endurance athletes (Betsy Meachum – 3rd in the LR marathon and Stephanie Tharp) who I know won’t quit or complain. Apparently, this Sunday evening version of Hard Core has attracted a large contingent of elite runners who “enjoy” this kind of punishment. Kris tells me that typically there are twenty in this class and she has no idea where they all are tonight.
Finally, in the last five minutes of class we arrive at long last to the stretch portion of things but even that part turns out to be challenging. Kris moves us from downward dog to plank to chaturanga (she calls it crocodile) to upward dog back to down dog and so forth and so on for about eight repetitions. Leave it to Kris to make the stretch part hard too.
chaturanga dandasana (aka crocodile pose)
This class is an awesome workout for the core muscles. Newcomers may have to rest occasionally to keep their form in tact but there’s no shame in occasionally crying ‘uncle’ in this class. Just know that Kris will keep on going and going (and going).
After this workout it just doesn’t seem right to do anything but offer up the $25 gift certificate to both Betsy and Stephanie. It would be too depressing to get through that hard a workout and then lose a coin flip for the gift certificate.
I’m down to my final ten classes and five days. This will be a full week but come Friday at 12:50 p.m. – the end of Krissa’s cycle class – you can stick a fork in me cause I’ll be done.