5 Best Exercise Classes to take at SU

It’s registration season again! That means you’re probably prepared for the Hunger Games-esque scene that usually occurs during these few weeks. While this scene is usually caused because the classes you need to get into close within the first couple of hours, you don’t have to worry about that when it comes to workout classes. Typically, there are a few of the same courses offered at different times throughout the week, which makes picking them relatively simple. It’s important to have a scheduled time of day to workout that holds you accountable for showing up. If you’re anything like me, that chunk of time on Wednesday morning that you blocked for working out will inevitably turn into you sleeping in or going on a Netflix binge.

Luckily, through these workout classes you don’t have to worry about this anymore! It’s an opportunity to workout with your friends a few times a week, while getting an easy A. Syracuse offers a wide variety of really interesting and cool workout classes, but after taking a quick poll of some students that I know have taken them, the following classes were ranked the highest:

  1. Bootcamp Fitness – This class seeks to really whip you into shape. The class is structured so that you get a large variety of workouts anywhere from interval training to yoga. I really enjoyed bootcamp because we were pushed harder than most classes, and it was a great way to work on everyone’s spring break bods!
  1. Tabata – Tabata is a type of high intensity interval training (H.I.I.T) that forces you to push yourself. The class that I took works either through a Tabata app or the teacher leading the sections by personally timing the intervals. These intervals require you to push yourself to the limit for 20 seconds with whatever exercise the teacher chooses, then you get a 10 second break. If you’re thinking, hey that’s not too bad…repeat eight more times. Tabata is supposed to be an amazing fat burner, so I’d suggest taking another interval class for the first half of the semester, and then Tabata for the second. That way, you’ll be in great shape going into Tabata and can get the most out of it.
  1. Pi-yo – This class combines both pilates and yoga. This class is great for strengthening and balance, while also giving you a great workout! A lot of people that I’ve talked to say that it works well for stress relief and that it gives them a nice break in the middle of their day to stretch and meditate.
  1. Zumba Step – This class is fun! While it doesn’t require you to have rhythm, it does require a positive attitude and a desire to dance. The class is a modern version of step aerobics, and mixes high-energy songs with simple moves. This class definitely will keep your heart rate up for 45 minutes, and burns about the same amount of calories as an interval training class.
  1. H.I.I.T – As mentioned, this acronym stands for high intensity interval training. The class is structured a lot like Tabata, but the intervals are different. For H.I.I.T, you would push yourself for 45 seconds and get a 15 second rest. This is a great class because it really allows you to increase or decrease the intensity to suit your body in the best way possible.

All of the teachers I’ve had so far have been great, so I’d suggest finding a class that works well with your schedule to take with some friends! To sign up, just search the name of the class you’re interested in on MySlice, or select ‘PED’ and your availability—this will hone in on your options. When else will you ever be able to earn credit for getting into shape?

By Courtney Rosser

Feel Great · Fitness

Best Moves for Your Best Butt

A favorite hobby of most people is stalking. Let me clarify. A favorite hobby of most people is stalking random people, especially fitness gurus, on Instragram that you happen to come across while mindlessly scrolling though. We can’t help it. We are curious. We click on a picture, and soon we are obsessively staling their photos, 72 weeks deep in their instafeed. We are magically drawn to their perfect bodies, their toned arms, and their muscular legs.  We like their pics and we constantly wonder, “Why doesn’t my butt look like that?” or “How can my butt look as flawless as hers?” or probably the most philosophical question we all ask ourselves, “How can I look like them and still eat whatever I want?” Well, we can’t help you on that last question (no matter how much we want too!) but we can help you get on your way to a better butt so that you can soon be Instagram-envied like your favorite celebs and workout stars. With these new moves, you’ll be the envy of all your friends, and will soon be rocking those bikini bottoms when you hit the beach in stride this summer.

Toe Taps
Say sayonara to saggy skin with this simple move that helps tone your lower behind.

How To:

  • Lie flat on your back, lift your feet off the ground. Bend both knees to 90 degrees so your thighs are perpendicular to the floor.
  • Slowly and quietly tap your left toes to the floor, then your right. Alternate tapping feet for one minute. Do 3x with break in between.

If you are a visual learner, check on this awesome video to see how it’s done:

Squat Kickback
This move is great for those with impeccable balance! (And for those who are not, this is a great way to improve your balance and coordination!)

How To:

  • Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and squat. When your rise up from squatting, bring your left leg straight behind you while extending your arms forward. When squatting, remember to keep your weight back on your heels.
  • Return to the squat position, then repeat on the other side.
  • Continue alternating sides for one minute. When extending the leg behind you, keep your hips square — don’t twist them toward the side. Do 3x.

If you are a visual learner, check on this awesome video to see how it’s done:

Plié Squat
Plié’s are no longer just for graceful dancers. As simple as it sounds, Plié’s help tone both you’re outer butt area and your inner thigh. With a fast, quick move that does both the jobs, this move is a win-win!

How To:

  • Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and toes pointing out.
  • Bring your arms out straight in front of you and lower into a squat. Go as low into the squat as you can without letting your knees move past your toes.
  • Do for 1 minute. (After about 40 seconds, pulse at the bottom of the squat for 20 seconds.) Do 2x.

Note: Be sure to tuck your tailbone under and contract your glutes. Keep your torso tall, and don’t let your knees creep past your toes.

If you are a visual learner, check on this awesome video to see how it’s done:

This move will really have you feeling the burn! A classic butt-burner exercise, lunges are a great way to tone your butt muscles, your thighs, and your inner core. Once you start to feel the burn, you are doing it right!

How To:

  • Stand with feet together and hands on your hips, then lunge forward with your right leg.
  • Jump up, switch legs in midair, and land with your left leg in a forward lunge.
  • Continue alternating sides, for one minute. Do 3x.

Note: Keep your fists up in front of your chin and push off the floor with both feet. Your front knee should be bent 90 degrees and align over your ankle.

If you are a visual learner, check on this awesome video to see how it’s done:

Hip Raises
This interesting yet intense move allows you to work you glutes without straining your back. Though relatively simple, this exercise is great for working your lower body muscles, most importantly your butt and thighs.

How To:

  • Place your arms out to your sides at a 45-degree angle. Brace your core–imagine you’re about to be punched in the guts–squeeze your glutes (butt muscles) tightly.
  • Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from you shoulders to your knees
  • Continue this repetition for one minute. Repeat 3x

If you are a visual learner, check on this awesome video to see how it’s done:

Though this move may not feel fun, at least the name is! This move is a great way to work your lower core, hips, and most importantly your butt. And when you start to really feel the burn, try to think of something as pleasant as the name to keep you going!

How To:

  • Begin on all fours with your knees hip-width apart and your wrists stacked over your shoulders.
  • With a pointed toe, extend your left leg behind you and slightly to the left side (it should be level with your spine)
  • Keeping your core tight and leg straight, slowly lower your leg to tap the floor. Squeeze your glutes as you lift the leg back to starting position, then slowly tap the floor about a foot to the right.
  • Return to starting position to complete the rep. Repeat for 45 to 60 seconds before you switch legs. Do 2x.

If you are a visual learner, check on this awesome video to see how it’s done:

Donkey Kicks
This move will have you looking your sexiest whether you done a bathing suit or just some sweet shorts. By toning your butt and upper and inner thighs, you will be looking and feeling your best this summer.

  • How To:
  • Get on all fours with hands under shoulders, knees under hips
  • Keeping right knee bent 90 degrees, flex right foot and lift knee to hip level.
  • Lower knee without touching floor and continue action for 15 reps. Then switch legs and repeat. Complete 2x.

 If you are a visual learner, check on this awesome video to see how it’s done:


By Annie O’Sullivan

Feel Great · Fitness

Debunking CrossFit Myths

CrossFit is a word you have probably heard quite frequently. If you are unaware of what this sport is, it is a combination of weightlifting, cardio, gymnastics, pure pain, and 100 percent fun. Now you might be wondering why people would subject themselves to this torture, but staying active for CrossFitters is not only part of their daily routines, it’s something they look forward to and enjoy. The reason for this is because CrossFit is not only a fast-paced, high intensity workout, but each box (the CrossFit term for a gym) is unique. This sport is not just a place where you get sweaty then go home; you form friendships and join a community that supports one another, pushes you to achieve your full potential, and provides people you can rely on whether it be in the box or out of the box. CrossFit not only fosters a community setting, but it comes equipped with its own lingo (WOD, PR, Kipping, Rx, etc.), meal plans (paleo diet), and stylish workout gear (Reebok cross trainers, Reebok spandex, Reebok anything really). It is not only a sport or a gym, it is a lifestyle.

Of course, if you have heard of CrossFit, then you have probably heard how “dangerous it is,” how it is “unhealthy,” and how all CrossFitters are obsessed. Well, the last myth is true, most CrossFitters are obsessed, but for good reason, I promise.

Debunking the myths:

  1. Myth: The coaches are unqualified.

Truth: It’s quite the opposite actually. Yes, it is correct that you only have to attend a two-day seminar where you take a test and they evaluate your skills in order to be a trainer. This seems like it is not enough of a barometer to determine whether a coach is qualified or not, but in fact, it is. It doesn’t quite matter how many certifications you have, but rather, how you put your knowledge into practice. The coaches that care about the sport also care about being qualified for it. These people are not given certifications just by showing up, they are tested and given rules and regulations to follow. This sport does not typically pay its coaches a ton of money, so they are not usually doing it for monetary reasons, rather they do it because they love it.

  1. Myth: The coaches yell at you, and push you too hard.

Truth: The coaches are not yelling at you, they’re encouraging you because they know you are stronger than you believe yourself to be. You only push yourself as hard as you deem appropriate. No reputable coach is going to do anything to make you feel uncomfortable, and everyone in the box is rooting for you. It is such an empowering feeling when you think you are going to fail at a workout, but 20 other people are cheering you on because they believe that you can reach your full potential. Nobody wants to push you ‘til you puke, although that is a common joke among CrossFitters (the mascot for CrossFit is called Pukie the Clown), they just want to ensure you succeed.

  1. Myth: You can get hurt.

Truth: Yes, you absolutely can hurt yourself, but who cares? What I mean by that is you can get hurt sitting on the couch, which can cause extreme back pain. You could get hurt running on the treadmill by twisting your ankle or getting stress fractures. You can get hurt attempting any workout, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. That is why each CrossFit affiliate requires foundation classes for beginners. These classes provide more one-on-one instruction typically, and the coach goes through all the movements you would be attempting in a regular CrossFit class. They ensure that you know what you are doing before you go head-first into a workout.

  1. Myth: It’s too hard.

Truth: Any workout is as hard as you make it, and CrossFit is no exception. If you cannot do the workout Rx (as prescribed), then you can always scale it! You are not shamed for doing some of the movements a little differently because it takes time to learn how to do pull ups, toes to bar, hand stand push-ups, and many other movements. The workouts and the people may seem daunting at first, but everyone is fully supportive. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and no one is penalized for tailoring the work out to fit their abilities. There are always going to be competitors, but you do not have to be a professional CrossFitter to benefit from the sport. This is applicable even at a regular gym. If you see someone running faster and putting in more mileage than you, you are not going to speed up to keep up with them if you know your body cannot handle it. Instead, you naturally progress and run a little more and a little better each time until you can finally keep up with the nut on the treadmill next to you. It takes time to do a workout Rx, so don’t be deterred from trying the sport because it appears to be “too hard” or “too scary.” Everyone scales at one time or another, and it is nothing to be ashamed of, it is about getting the best and safest workout in as possible!


Still not sold? That’s alright, because it isn’t for everyone. Although you can scale the workouts, it does not mean it is going to appeal to everyone, and that is perfectly a-okay. Some people call CrossFit a cult, and even I, an avid CrossFitter, have made that joke time and time again. However, I have seen some people accomplish amazing feats because of this sport, and it is absolutely worth a try!


By Rachel Cathie

Feel Great · Fitness

If You Do Anything, Do Yoga

When the stress is building, and you feel like you’re going to explode, it’s always a good idea to get out, get active, and get exercising. But when the cold weather hits, and your schedule fills up, it can be hard getting to the gym, or even having the energy to get out of your nice warm bed in the morning.  Yoga is a great way to stay fit without hard “wear ‘n tear” fitness routines that your body seems immune to during the winter. Not only is it good physically for your body, but it has emotional benefits as well. And on the plus side, who doesn’t love a good excuse to go and buy some more Lulu Lemon gear?

Improves Flexibility
Yoga keeps your muscles toned and makes your body more limber. If you stick with yoga, you will notice that your muscles will become much more flexible and soon you’ll be hitting those headstands easily.

Helps Posture
Say goodbye to the aches and pains your lower neck and back start to feel when you hit that afternoon slump. Studies have shown that yoga helps improve posture and spinal adjustment, which keeps your body from feeling sensitive and sore throughout the day.

Increases Heart Rate
Stretches such as the Down-ward Dog and the Tree pose have shown to improve blood circulation and increase your heart rate. This gives you a nice rosy post-workout glow that will leave you feeling great the rest of the day.

 Calms Your Body
The key to relaxation is good breathing, and yoga is a great way to get active and learn how to do it. Yoga classes are a great way to learn more about your breathing and the inner self in a group setting. They encourage focusing on the present and teaching strategies to cope with outside stress.

Strengthens Concentration
Studies have shown that participating in yoga on a regular basis helps improve your coordination, memory, and reaction time. Taking as little as a 15-minute break from your studies to stretch it out with some basic yoga poses can be the difference between that B+ to an A on your next exam!

 Increases Happiness!!!!!
Anything that increases happiness should always be a priority in your life. People who participate in consistent yoga practices have shown an increase in serotonin levels and an overall happier outlook on life. So get out, channel your inner yogi, and soon you’ll be on your way to a more relaxed and happier you!

By Annie O’Sullivan

Feel Great · Fitness

Gift Guide for Your Exercise-Obsessed Friend!

We all know that one person, whether they be a friend, sister, brother, mom, dad, aunt, uncle, or cousin, who is always on the move, always on top of the new exercise trend, the ever-conscious health nut! While you’re okay with lounging in your bed Saturday mornings watching a movie, they are already up, at the gym on the spin bike, or outside on a five mile run. This holiday season, get them a great gift they will appreciate…and actually be excited to use! With this quick gift list, find an awesome gift that you’ll feel great about giving and the receiver will feel great about while working out!

Foam Roller
Though somewhat expensive depending on where you buy it, this crazy gadget is a godson to runners, and will have your friends’ legs in great shape so he or she can run the next 5k feeling awesome!


“Namaste” Necklace
A cute and quirky necklace for your yoga-crazed cousin, this necklace can also be customized any way you want, so it is great for multiple people.


Water Bottle
An increasingly popular item, this water bottle is cute, colorful, and very eco-friendly! The Swell water bottles are another popular option.


Customized Yoga Mat
Hot yoga has become an increasingly “in style” exercise trend, and this yoga mat is perfect for your mom who is obsessed with it! With a non-slip grip at a relatively cheap price, this mat is not only great for yoga, but also for Pilates, aerobics, and your standard CORE exercises. What’s even better is that you can personalize them with names and initials!


Lulu Lemon Headbands
With so many cute colors and styles to choose from, it’s no wonder many girls are obsessed with Lulu headbands. Built with sweat-wicking and anti-stink fabric, these stylish hair accessories will become a classic staple in any workout routine, whether it be running, biking, or spinning.


Swim Spray
Made for the swimmer in your life, this spray gets rid of the strong scent of chlorine from your hair and skin post-workout. Great for those times when you can’t always grab a quick shower, this is a gift that the wet n’ wild friends in your life will love!



By Annie O’Sullivan


The Daily Dozen

You can do twelve of anything! Try these…

12 Squats

12 Mountain Climbers

12 Burpees. Make it a challenge and add a pushup or two for every burpee.

12 Sit ups

12 Pushups. Remember to keep your core tight and stay about 6 inches from the floor.

12 Triceps Dips. Pull out your desk chair and position your hands shoulder width apart. Slowly bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle, then push back up.

12 Lunges. Step forward with one foot creating a 90-degree angle, step back. Kick it up a notch, by doing 12 forward lunges then 12 backwards!

12 Jumping Jacks

12 Second Plank. Hold it for 12 seconds.

12 Russian Twists. Create a V shape with your body, then tighten your core and rotate from side to side.  For more of a challenge, raise your feet and double the counts.

12 Booty Kicks. Start on all fours.  Raise your right knee to a 90-degree angle and pulse for twelve counts. Reverse and repeat for the left side.

12 High Fives to You! Pat yourself on the back, because you just completed your first daily dozen.

This workout will take less than ten minutes and is a great way to break up a study sesh or a pre-shower routine. The best part is that no equipment is required. It’s easy to just throw your favorite song on and crank out this daily dozen.

Going a Step Further: Create a challenge group!

If you give a girl a challenge, chances are she’ll conquer it. You are not the only girl on the floor looking to avoid that freshman 15.  Be courageous and ask your floor mates if they want to start a daily squat challenge or a fun nightly ab routine. Creating a team of girls requires you to be committed and gives you something active to look forward to.

Adapted from Body Rock.

By Sydney Hughes


How to Work out When You Really Don’t Want to

Balancing school, sleep, and a social life can be difficult; getting a workout in during your busy schedule isn’t always a top priority. And even if you have the time, it can be hard to get up and be active as the weather gets colder and the workload piles up. However, getting a workout out in, even if it’s as small as a 30 minute walk, has shown major benefits. It can reduce stress, boost metabolism, and stimulate brain activity. With all these great benefits, why NOT workout? Sometimes all it takes is a little motivation, so we have come up with some tips and tricks to get you energized and excited about exercising.

Stylish Gear

One of the biggest motivators for working out is how you look! Having exciting and cute workout gear can make getting active a whole lot easier, because it gives you something to look forward too. As they say, you only feel as good as you look. Whether you’re into running and hiking, or would rather stick to the gym, there is adorable and affordable workout gear for every type of exercise. So go out and go wild while shopping, and before you know it, you’ll be excited to get your work outs in.

Kick it With a Killer Playlist

Having a killer playlist can help exercise feel easy and effortless. While the type of music you listen to is up to you, fast-paced, energetic songs are more likely to work your body harder, and in the long run, make you feel better.  With apps like RockMyRun, FIT Radio, and PaceDJ, it is quick and easy to put together an upbeat playlist. Or you could make your own, sans app, which gives you the perfect excuse to buy the new Beyoncé album.

Set Post-Workout Perks

Setting post-workout goals is one of the most invigorating things about finishing a workout. While every workout doesn’t necessarily deserve a treat for accomplishing it, it’s important to reward yourself every once in a while for pushing yourself to get up and be active, whether that means treating yourself to a pedicure or getting ice cream in the dining hall. These little rewards will not only give you something to look forward to after working out, but soon exercising could become something you don’t necessarily need an incentive to do at all.

Buddy Up

Friends are excellent motivation tools, and they are especially great for guilting you into a workout when you’d so much rather sit in your room and watch Netflix. Trust me, we’ve all be there. Working out with a buddy gives you someone to talk to during and helps take your mind off of the workout itself. It’s a great way to get fit and spend time with friends. As an added bonus, it’s almost like having your own personal cheerleader pushing you to keep going when you want to give up.

By Annie O’Sullivan

Feel Great · Fitness

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Fitness Tracker

By now you’ve probably seen someone you know sporting a fitness tracker around his or her wrist and wondered what it is and how it works. Or, perhaps you wear one yourself, but you don’t know quite how to use it to maximize your health. Here are five tips for choosing the best tracker for… Continue reading 5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Fitness Tracker

Feel Great · Fitness

Fashion Spotlight: Fabletics

Looking for affordable, high-quality athletic wear? Try out Kate Hudson’s new athletic line, Fabletics! The celebrity has designed her own clothing brand to allow women and young adults to try out a new type of lifestyle. Her line includes everything from sports bras, cropped leggings, yoga shorts, headbands, and much more. It is a great… Continue reading Fashion Spotlight: Fabletics

Feel Great · Fitness · Student Life

4 Ways to Be More Active on Campus

Two weeks into the semester and you’re already dreading going to the gym? With the first month of the year coming to an end, we’re all still trying to follow up on that New Year’s resolution of making an effort to work out more. During the winter months, especially when we have to deal with… Continue reading 4 Ways to Be More Active on Campus

Feel Great · Fitness

5 Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Spin Class

Trendy spin classes can put a real dent in your wallet. SoulCycle averages about $30 per ride depending on location, and its competitor Flywheel can charge you anywhere from $30 to $35. So you’d be wise to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to get your money’s worth out of your workout. Here… Continue reading 5 Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Spin Class

Fitness · General Health

2015’s Best Health and Fitness Apps

If you are on your phone basically 24/7, why not use it to make yourself healthier? These three fitness apps are just what you need to prevent that annual winter weight gain. Fitocracy Macros When people diet, they tend to count calories. However, counting calories leaves you prone to the negative side effects of dieting,… Continue reading 2015’s Best Health and Fitness Apps

Eat Smart · Feel Great · Fitness · Nutrition

The Maya Moore Diet

So, what’s her secret? After making just a slight tweak to her diet, WNBA player Maya Moore saw significant improvement in her performance on the basketball court. After spending some time with Kara Lawson, WNBA veteran, prior to the 2013 WNBA season, Moore completely cut out dairy foods from her diet and consumption of processed… Continue reading The Maya Moore Diet

Feel Great · Fitness

Foam Rolling Basics

Although regular exercise is an essential part of maintaining your health, people often forget that allowing your muscles to recover between workouts is equally important. Muscle recovery is crucial in order to avoid injury during workouts and allow your muscles return to their normal elastic and healthy state in order to perform at their highest… Continue reading Foam Rolling Basics

Feel Great · Fitness

Pre-Workouts – Are They Really Doing What You Think They Are?

A pre-workout is a supplement taken on its own or added to a drink that gives the person in question an energy boost. Personally, I was taking one for my early morning workouts to make them more effective, or so I thought. What exactly is in a pre-workout? According to “The Corpus Compendium”, a fitness… Continue reading Pre-Workouts – Are They Really Doing What You Think They Are?

Fitness · General Health · Student Life

Yoga Exercises for Better Sleep

Having trouble getting to sleep at night? This simple and relaxing yoga sequences can help you achieve a more restful sleep. The best part? All of these moves can be done in bed. Upside Down Hamstring Stretch Lie on your back with your legs against a wall or headboard. You’re butt should be about six… Continue reading Yoga Exercises for Better Sleep

Feel Great · Fitness · Sex + Relationships

Partner Yoga: It’s Yogasmic

Sensing a little disconnect with your partner? Want to get a little closer, but not comfortable enough to plunge into a Kama Sutra pose? Here, I present you with a playful and effective way to build trust and balance in your relationship. Think: partner yoga. According to Susan Walsh, PsyD, who recently launched a partner… Continue reading Partner Yoga: It’s Yogasmic

Blog · Feel Great · Fitness · General Health · Student Life

Rowing: The Better Total Body Workout

We’ve all seen the weird sitting machines that replicate rowing a kayak on the floors of our gyms. If you live on South, they’re exceptionally noisy and can sometimes make you wonder “how is that even considered a workout?” Rowing (or erg-ing as the local kids call it) works out your entire body from shoulders… Continue reading Rowing: The Better Total Body Workout


Pump Up the Jams: Workout Playlists

One of the key elements for a good workout is a good playlist. Music can motivate, inspire, distract, or regulate a workout. Studies have shown that one’s pace is usually on target with a song’s tempo; therefore music can be helpful to a variety of exercises. Now to construct a complete playlist based on tempo… Continue reading Pump Up the Jams: Workout Playlists

Blog · Feel Great · Fitness

Build Muscle, Lose Weight Fast

It’s common knowledge that in order to build muscle in the gym, you need to eat lots of food to fuel your body. However, the consumption of extra calories is often synonymous with fat gain, leading to a difficult conundrum: How can you add muscle to your frame, while minimizing the amount of fat that… Continue reading Build Muscle, Lose Weight Fast