Real Sports for Women: Try Rowing for a Total Body Workout

The sport of rowing is nothing new, but it hasn’t gotten much mainstream love in quite some time. That was until Claire Underwood on House of Cards put a rowing machine in the basement for her husband Frank. She’s an avid runner, using the sport to escape her twisted reality and keep in fighting shape, but Frank, well, he likes video games. He humors her and tags along on a run occasionally, but not often enough for Claire’s liking.

Real Sports for Women: Try Rowing for a Total Body Workout

So now, at the end of a particularly manipulative day, you’ll see the next POTUS retreat to the basement for an explosive workout.

No really, it may look like you’re just sitting there, but rowing is an incredibly beneficial workout. “Rowing is definitely a full body exercise. “It’s a lot of arms, back, legs, core, and glutes,” Enell learned from Mary Whipple, a two-time Olympic gold medalist for the U.S. rowing team.

Not only can you achieve a total body workout by rowing, but you can also tackle cardio. “Rowing on the Concept II rowing machine is pure cardio while developing muscle strength,” she said. This is the machine most gyms have, and she recommends it for a good beginner rowing workout.

If time is a burden, always working against your fitness goals, then this sport is an ideal solution.

Rowing has grown in popularity in the last year or so thanks in part to the rise of CrossFit and House of Cards’ domination of American TVs. The results are not only keeping everyone in shape, but it’s cooling off the spin cycle boom.

“Spinning isn’t dead, but it has been put on notice,” Jay Blahnik, a southern California trainer and group-fitness adviser, told Details magazine.

Rowing is better at strengthening the upper back than spinning “because it forces you to straighten and open up your body, whereas in Spin classes you sit hunched over in the same position you tend to sit in at your desk, so you’re not activating those muscles, thereby weakening them,” explained Shape Magazine.

Mary explained that while rowing you’re mostly working the quads, glutes, core, lats (latissimus dorsi, the broadest muscle in the back), and deltoids. You’re not, however, specifically working your shoulders. She told us that’s a big misconception about rowing.

In fact, Mary told us if you’re rowing properly, you’ll primarily tone your legs and core. “Your back will get defined, but the goal is not to use your arms that much, just for follow through.” That’s because when you row, you draw all of your power through the legs.

Mary and her fellow rowers do a lot to cross-train for their sport. “Rowers on the Women’s National Team use the rowing machine to increase their cardio to perform better on the water,” she said. As stated before, the sport is “pure cardio” and provides a “serious burn.”

Cross-training also includes a focus on weights, doing work like squats, leg presses, RDLs (Romanian deadlifts), and hamstring curls. And she says there’s a lot core work too, fine tuning and developing those tiny stabilizing muscles through the core, ribs, and obliques. This ensures the rower has the strength to perform, but more importantly avoid injury.

And don’t forget your Enell! “Good support is just as important in a rowing class as it is in running or Spin class,” reminded Enell Ambassador Jennifer Sader. “Because your whole body is engaged, your whole body will be moving. You need to bring the rowing handle under your chest, which will be easier if your chest isn’t bouncing all over the place.”

Maybe binge-watching Netflix shows wouldn’t be so bad if you could do it from the seat of a rowing machine?


18 Women Who Made Athletics Possible for the Rest of Us

“Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world,” remarked Susan B. Anthony. “I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride on a wheel. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance.”

Still, women aren’t permitted to race in the Tour de France.

For the first time it its more than 460-year history, St. Andrews opened its golf course to female members in February 2015.

18 Women Who Made Athletics Possible for the Rest of Us

We’ve come a long way, a very long way, since Title IX passed in 1972, with 52 percent of collegiate athletes being female. But long before that civil rights law passed, women were putting their mark on the sports world. A lot of firsts made way for a series of seconds, thirds, and so on.

Today, we can stand as proud athletes, no matter our sport, thanks to these (and so many other) strong, confident, fearless women.

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Diane Crump – Jockey

She was the first woman to jockey at the Kentucky Derby in 1970, just a mere century after the race began. Her career holds 230 wins.

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Katherine Switzer – Runner

She was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon in 1967, even if she didn’t exactly have permission. Race manager Jock Semple jumped in with the runners and shouted, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!”. She didn’t, and plans to run again in 2017. She’ll be 70 and will mark the 50th anniversary of her historic run.

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Jane Fonda – Fitness Guru

She released the world’s first at-home exercise video, Workout, in 1982. It has since sold 17 million copies.

Jenny Hanley – Hockey

She was the first woman to play on a men’s college ice hockey team at Hamline University in 1991. In that historic game she made 26 saves helped her team to a 5-2 victory.

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Becky Hammon – Basketball

She is the NBA’s first female regular season coach, starting in the 2014 season for the San Antonio Spurs. She played 13 seasons for the WNBA and ranks seventh in that league’s history.

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Sarah Attar – Running

She was the first woman to represent Saudi Arabia at the Olympics, competing in track at the 2012 Games. She finished last to a standing ovation.

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Katie Hnida – Football

She was the first woman to ever score in a Divison I NCAA football game, scoring two points for the University of New Mexico in 2003.

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Alice Coachman – Running

She was the first black woman to win Olympic gold. She was the only woman to receive a gold medal at the 1948 games, which she won for the high jump. She’s credited with opening the doors for track stars like Evelyn Ashford, Florence Griffith Joyner and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

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Sheryl Swoopes – Basketball

She was the first player to sign for the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in 1996. She’s a six-time all star and three-time player of the year.

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Shannon Eastin – Football

She was the first woman to officiate an NFL regular season game in 2012. She was a line judge during a Rams vs. Lions game, with more than 16 years experience officiating at the collegiate level.

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Violet Palmer – Basketball

She was the first woman to officiate NBA games. She’s still working for the league, having been on the job since 1997.

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Nancy Lieberman – Basketball

She was the first woman to coach a professional men’s basektball team, leading the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks to the playoffs in her first season. She played and coached for the WNBA, earned a silver medal at the 1976 Olympic Games, and is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. This season she’s an analyst for Thunder Live.

Lisa Lindahl – Fashion

She was responsible for developing the first sports bra, originally known as a jockbra, in 1977. Her invention, which fused together two jockstraps, made it possible for women to workout and participate in sports.

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Ellen O’Neal – Skater

She was the first professional female skater, she was known as the “godmother” of the sport in the 1970s.

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Gertrude Ederle – Swimming

She was the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926. She won two bronze and a gold medal at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris.

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Lyn Lemaire – Triathlete

She was the first woman triathlete and first female Ironman in 1979.

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Junko Tabei – Climber

She was the first woman to reach Mount Everest’s summit in 1975. In 1992, she became the first women to complete the Seven Summits, the highest mountain on each continent.

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Billie Jean King – Tennis

She’s the first woman to have a major sporting venue named for her, not to mention being a force in both tennis and female athletics. She’s the first woman to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom, first woman to be named as Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year, and first woman to receive the NFL Players Association Lifetime Achievement Award. She was the world’s highest ranking tennis female five times, and holds 20 Wimbledon titles.

images via pulptastic.com, deccanchronicle.com, thetimes.co.uk, poundingtherock.com, alarabiya.net, nydailynews.com, feminspire.com, blackyouthproject.com, foxsports.com, nba.com, nancylieberman.com, history.com, arkansasoutside.com, nymag.com


Spring Clean Your Gym Bag with This Simple Checklist

Spring is just itching to come out and play, which means our most active days are right around the corner. Are you ready? Only about 40 percent of Americans have a regular exercise regimen, and that number falls by half through the fall and winter. The new year boom at the gym is well-known, but expect your favorite trail to start flooding with the fair-weather crowd as soon as the weather breaks.

Spring Clean Your Gym Bag with This Simple Checklist

The warm weather boom will not only send you back to the trail and cleaning out closets, but you need to add your gym bag to the list, too! Whether you took the season off or not, it’s high time you peeked inside that funk bag and did a little spring cleaning. A good wash and swapping the old for new will set you up with better gear. You’ll feel better, workout stronger, and probably smell better, too.

Here’s a simple checklist to help you get started.

  • The Bag. Depending on the material, and the age, the bag itself is probably due for a cleaning. Wash it, dry clean it, or just toss it.
  • The Shoes. Your kicks are only good for 300-500 miles, depending on just how much wear and tear their endure. Start the season in a professionally-fitted new pair of running or gym shoes (and yes, there is a difference).
  • The Socks. Check the toes and heels and if the material is thinning or has holes, just toss ‘em in the trash. Replace with socks suited to your workout, like a moisture wicking material for runners or something with more grip for yogis.
  • The Bra. Like shoes, your bra will only last so many miles. Most sports bras should be replaced every six to 12 months, but an Enell can last up to two years if you care for it, and some customers have reported five years! Learn more about caring for your Enell.
  • The Deodorizer. If you keep dryer sheets, baking soda, or other odor absorbing supplies in your bag, be sure to swap that out. Moso Natural Air Deodorizing bags remove odor, bacteria, allergens, and more and last two years.
  • The Yoga Mat. That thing is super porous, which means it harbors a lot of germs and bacteria. Clean it after each session with hot water and soap. It’s time to replace the mat if it’s thinning in well-worn areas, smells bad, has any size holes, doesn’t roll/unroll properly, or the edges curl.

The First Female Golfers Join St. Andrews, and Why Golfing is a Legit Workout

Earlier this February, an historic event took place at St. Andrews, the legendary home of golf in the United Kingdom. The first female members were admitted to the club otherwise known as the Royal + Ancient Golf Club. For the first time in its 260-year history, seven women, including Princess Anne, accepted honorary memberships, something its members voted to do with an 85 percent majority last fall.

Yes, even in this modern day, in 2015!, women are still excluded from literal boys’ clubs. Sure, people will continue to say this is a sign of how the tide is changing… but is it too much to want to not have to see a changing tide?

The Civil Rights Act passed in 1964, and Title IX passed in 1972. Title IX was a civil rights move that prohibited discrimination — namely gender-based — in educational programs and activities that accepted federal funds. This is what opened up female athletics at the high school level.

It was only three years ago that Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia accepted the first female members of its 80-year history. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was amongst the notable first women to join.

Why golfing is a legit workout

Do you also think of golf as a man’s sport? Well we beg you to think again! It requires more physical fitness than you may think, which means golf offers a more legitimate workout than you probably assumed.

Walk, don’t cart. Walking an 18-hole game of golf, over varied terrain, will exceed your 10,000 steps per day goal in a dynamic way. The National Institutes of Health reports an average of 11,948 steps taken during a standard game of golf. It won’t count as a cardio workout, but taking some 2,000 steps beyond your daily goal is still an exceptional physical activity that few Americans take advantage of.

Carry, don’t caddy. If you’ll schlep your own bag of clubs across the course, your round of golf also counts as a weight bearing workout. A fully loaded golf bag can weight 30 to 50 pounds, giving you a great bit of resistance during the walk. Especially if you walk at a brisk pace between holes, the added weight will boost your heart rate for added fitness benefit.

Total body toning. The long walks with a bit of weight resistance will help you (mostly) skip leg day at the gym! You’ll certainly feel the game in your quads, hamstrings, and glutes after a full round. And your upper body will get some deserved attention too (through your biceps, triceps and shoulders), thanks to the swinging motion and carrying the bag. Of course, you’ll engage your core with proper form.

Balance to the core. Great balance also contributes to a strong core, so as you engage those abdominals and lower back — whether you’re walking or swinging — you’ll be able to focus on an otherwise overlooked area of the body. Those honed balance skills will certainly prove their worth in every aspect of your every day life.

Whether you just putter around or keep a running tally of holes-in-one, find your way to the golf course on a regular basis…Gender be damned!

And don’t forget your Enell Lite before you hit the links!


4-Ingredient Raspberry Orange Zest Smoothie and 12 More Raspberry Orange Indulgences

As we if weren’t already burning up from spring fever, we had to go and launch a hot new Raspberry Zest Enell. Now we’re fully craving the vitamin D-rich days of spring and summer. This new bra color will just have to tide us all over!

Enell Sports Bra in Raspberry Zest

Let’s go ahead and agree that this is one of the single best color combinations around. There is nothing juicier — in flavor or appearance — than seeing raspberry and orange come together. Bright, fun, playful, happy, and indulgent, this may be our most exciting color launch yet.

To celebrate the newest limited edition Enell, we’re sharing a brand new smoothie recipe. One taste of this fresh raspberry, hand-squeezed orange treat and you’ll understand why we think this is such a divine combo.

Raspberry Smoothie Recipe

Enell’s Raspberry Orange Zest Smoothie
serves 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 6 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 avocado
  • juice and zest of one orange
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes

INSTRUCTIONS

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and mix until everything is chopped and well combined. Add more or less juice to reach desired thickness.

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Bras and smoothies aren’t the only ways to enjoy this indulgent pairing. Here are a dozen more delicious raspberry & orange recipes from around the web:

Raspberry and Orange Muffins

Orange Slices with Warm Raspberries 

Raspberry Orange Zest Jam

Paleo Raspberry Orange Coffee Cake

Raspberry Blood Orange Cake

Raspberry and Blood Orange Sorbetto Mimosas

Raspberry and Blood Orange Frozen Sangria

Orange Blossom Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

Raspberry Orange Sweet Rolls

Raspberry Orange Trifle

Orange and Raspberry Creamsicles 

Orange Zest Waffles with Raspberry Sauce