Base-pumping music greeted me long before I stepped inside the pop-up tent in Target’s parking lot. I knew exactly where to go based on the display of multicolor lights spinning around the walls of the giant white tent that was the site of a pop-up workout class. Celebrity Trainer Anna Kaiser recently teamed up with Target to introduce a new fitness apparel line called the C9 Champion Limited Edition by Anna Kaiser collection.
The real fun was experiencing Anna’s signature dance-based cardio class, “Happy Hour.” I took the class as a true Happy Hour workout on a Friday evening on one of my easy run recovery days. I’m training for a 50k trail marathon, and strength/plyometrics has become a part of my regime. My goal was to see if Anna’s Happy Hour workout could supplement a cross-training day for me.
Cross-training for Running in Anna Kaiser’s Happy Hour Class?
The Happy Hour class was a blast! In addition to high-energy, heart-pumping music, the workout moves themselves were just challenging enough to break a sweat, but I still had more fun than a traditional workout. Anna’s Happy Hour class was a mix of dancing, kickboxing, barre and plyometrics. It’s perfect for students of any level, and gave me a comprehensive full body workout. I won’t lie- my arms were a little sore by the end of the 45 minute class after all the planks and weighted arm moves.
Some of the best moves in the class are found in my everyday strength regiment for running:
Lunges and Squats:
The basic dance sequence included side-to-side lunges and body weight squats performed at a faster pace. The quick motion of pushing your foot off the ground helps with balance and target the glutes, quads, hips and hamstrings. Squat pulses are made easier with the high energy coaching from the instructor.
A core sequence involved a series of plank holds, mountain climbers and push-ups. Everyone knows that as a runner, you need a strong core. The entire sequence, we held ourselves in a plank position, which made the later arm exercises burn a little more.
Hip Extensions and Leg Kickbacks:
After a few cardio interval dance sets on our feet, we moved to the floor and worked our glutes. Butt workouts often start in tabletop, and the beat of the music in Anna’s class kept us true to the repetitions. The moves included hip extensions, leg kickbacks and fire hydrant lifts, all that targeted our interior and exterior glutes and hip flexors.
Bicep and Tricep Pulses:
While you don’t really need to work your arms for running, in trail running I find it easier when you have more strength in your arms, especially if you are carrying a handheld. The longer you’re out running on the trail, the heavier the seemingly lightweight bottle will feel. The bicep and tricep pulses in Anna’s workout used just 3 pound weights, but we repeated the movements for an entire song, so that by the end of the set, our arms were burning!
In general, cardio dance is good for coordination…something I don’t really have (hence why I’m a runner.) Following the instructor’s simple routine will keep you on your toes and alert to what move comes next, and while out on the trails, you have to be able to move quick.
If you’re a runner looking for a fun way to get in those sets of squats, lunges and core work, I recommend Anna Kaiser’s Happy Hour Workout. Check out here website, where you can download three free workout videos.