And on this special day of love, we wanted to share with you our Yin Yang partner workout. Try it with your sweetheart or own your own — your heart will thank you!
THE YIN YANG PARTNER WORKOUT
“The yin and yang principles act on one another,
affect one another and keep one another in place.”
– Chuang Tzu
“As a couple, we’re very yin and yang, so our when we do train together, our workout often reflects those two sides of our personalities,” says Jessica Smith, a certified Pilates and fitness instructor based in Miami who created the “Yin Yang Fusion Workout” with her husband, Guillermo Gomez, a 4th degree black belt. “We wanted to create a workout that balances, something that wasn’t too hard, or too soft, but was just the right combination of both, in order to maximize results that will last over the long term,” explains Gomez. Their martial arts based workout draws upon the ancient Chinese principle of balancing opposites, known as Yin Yang, fusing together a mix of styles including kickboxing, qi gong, pilates and yoga.
Below are 2 sample moves from the workout (try completing a full circuit with them – do each one back to back with no rest in between, repeating one full set leading with the right, and one full set leading left):
#1: The 8-Count Punch Combo
This combo not only targets your biceps, triceps, shoulders, abs and back, it also gets your heart rate up so you are burning off fat at the same time.
1) jab 2) cross 3) upper, 4) upper 5) hook 6) hook 7) reach 8) reach.
To Do It:
Begin in a fighting stance, with right foot slightly forward, arms ‘on guard’ (elbows bent in by ribs, hands in fists by cheeks). 1) ‘Jab’ right arm: punch straight forward, rotating fist palm down, bringing elbow out to the side, without locking the joint. Return arm to guard position. 2) ‘Cross’ with your left arm: rotating your left hip forward and lifting left heel off the ground, punch left arm straight forward, rotating fist palm down, bringing elbow out to the side, without locking the joint. 3) ‘Uppercut’ right arm bent at 90 degrees, fist palm faces up, punch up keeping elbow bent. 4)‘Uppercut’ from the left arm. 5) ‘Hook’ from the right, bend elbow 90 degrees, and turn fist palm down, keeping arm shoulder height and parallel to the floor and punching just to the midline of your body. Return to guard. 6) ‘Hook’ from the left. 7) ‘Reach’ right arm up to the ceiling, keeping hand in fist 8) ‘Reach’ from the left arm.
Put these 8 moves together as quickly as you can, repeating the sequence 8 times in total before moving right into the Figure-8 Flow:
#2: Figure-8 Flow
This movement engages the core, creates a connection between body, mind and breath while releasing the tension in the upper body from the punch combo drill.
Start standing with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart, arms extended in front of your thighs, with your palms facing in. Sweep both arms up and across your body to the right, turning your left hip and lifting your left heel off the floor and you swing arms up. Swing your arms freely in a figure-8 pattern across your body, from the right, then to the left, allowing your palms to remain open and your hips and heels to rotate your body into the sweep. Take deep breaths as you start to build a rhythm with your motion, and imagine any stressful energy moving out through your fingertips, and cast it away from your body. Do this for up to a minute before immediately repeating the 8-count punch combo leading left.
Try the full Yin Yang Fusion workout featured in our “Cross Training for Fitness” DVD!
Photos By: Vanessa Rogers Photography