Hello! My name is Shannon Taylor. I'm a long-time writer and editor from Minnesota surprised to find myself on an island in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, three younger children (the oldest is attending college in Chicago), and two dogs.

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Winter Fun

Anti-“Gravity” Workout with Simone De La Rue

Simone de la Rue Workout

So I’m watching Gravity the other night and thinking how old is Sandra Bullock? I googled Sandra Bullock workout and discovered two things: Ms. Bullock is four years older than I am and her trainer is Simone De La Rue. And Ms. De La Rue definitely knows how to fight gravity.

I quickly headed over to the Body by Simone (BBS) website, loved what I saw, and immediately signed up for a month of online videos for $9.99. Simone’s workouts are a fusion of Pilates, bar method, strength training, and cardio dance moves with a heavy dose of plyometrics. The dance routines are challenging (you will be sweating!), but they’re fun and easy to learn. You have to love a trainer who includes some Running Man!

Simone is funny and friendly, but not overly chipper. And she’s obviously in amazing shape. In her own words, here’s how she got into training:

I was first a classically trained ballerina and I was working on Broadway doing musicals. I worked with an actress who needed to look like a dancer, and so I spent three months with her training her in dance and my technique. By the end of that, I had such a great time and she then recommended me to other actor friends. So I actually fell into it by accident. But it was a good accident!

I did shows in the West End, in Australia and here. So I’ve done Cats, Fame, Grease, Happy Days, Phantom of the Opera, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Promises Promises, and I danced in the Oscars. (Guest of a Guest interview)

Why Dance?

Dance is a fantastic form of exercise because it provides you with both aerobic and anaerobic movements. You get aerobic exercise by jumping, swaying, spinning, etc., and anaerobic exercise by holding squat positions and balancing. You increase flexibility and even get your brain involved trying to remember all those dance routines!

Here’s the thing: I believe in lifting heavy, too, especially now that I’m over 40 and my muscles are starting to flee my body. Good times. But I also like Pilates-inspired moves with lighter weights that emphasize range of motion and lots of core work. Put the two together, add some cardio and stretching, and you have the best of both worlds.

The best sign of a great workout is that you can’t wait to do it again, don’t you think? Every day, I’m excited to give Simone’s dance moves another shot. Of course, I’m super motivated right now because I have to wear shorts and a swimsuit in ONE WEEK. Funny how that didn’t sink in until just recently!

Simone’s online workouts are designed to be mix-and-match, so this is a workout I put together yesterday. I felt energized for the rest of the day. If you’re looking for a fun and effective workout to get you ready for spring, check out Body by Simone and let me know what you think!

Dance Cardio and Superset Combo Workout

(Use whatever size weights work for you, but don’t be afraid to lift heavy!)

Warm up with Simone (use any of the cardio videos for this)

“Ball” dance routine (about 5 minutes)

Superset 1:
Squats with dumbbells to overhead press (12 reps with 10-lb. weights)
Deadlifts (12 reps with 20-lb. weights)
Repeat each set three times

“Kickboxing” dance routine (about 5 minutes)

Superset 2:
Push-ups (12 reps)
Bent-over rows (12 reps, 12-lb. weights)
Repeat each set three times

“Marathon” dance routine (about 5 minutes)

Superset 3:
Stability ball roll-outs (10 reps)
Skull-crushers (10 reps with one 20-lb. weight…carefully!)
Repeat each set three times

“Hopscotch” dance routine (about 5 minutes)

Simone’s “Black Swan”-inspired arm exercises with wrist weights to burn out arms (about 3 minutes)

Cool down with Simone

{ photo by Zoe Buckman }

Update: Here’s a link to some good calf stretches because you’ll need to stretch your calves really well after this workout!

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