Founder of the The Class in NYC, Taryn Toomey, shares some of her best moves. (Photo: Bek Andersen)
With the excitement of New Year’s finally in the rearview mirror, how are those resolutions coming along? Chances are, with a few weeks into 2016 and the weather as wintry as ever, your ambitious workout goals for the new year are bit tougher to stick to. To combat your January slump, we’ve tapped Taryn Toomey, who left the fashion industry to found a cultish fitness class in New York City (aptly called The Class), for four get-toned-quick moves. Not only is she nuanced in how she advises each move, but the Amber Valletta-lookalike also has a certain kind of invigorating spirit, which will get you sweating and doing more than burpees than you’ve ever done in no time. (Her method is a unique, if unconventional, mix of yoga, boot camp moves and New Age-y shout-outs.) Just ask Naomi Watts and Christy Turlington; both ladies might be found in any one of Toomey’s NYC classes.
This move may sound like it’s solely for asses (sorry, couldn’t resist), but the cardiovascular move actually strengthens and tones the arms, abs, and legs. To perfect the move, Toomey recommends the following motions: “From downward facing dog you bend the knees deeply and then spring up lifting the hips over the shoulder; land lightly. Repeat on the beat of a song for the length.” Also, it’s important to think about form. “Keep the stomach and back body strong and engaged,” Toomey says.
Here’s where the perky bum of your dreams is made. Toomey’s version “tones and lifts the hamstring and glutes,” she says. Get into position on your forearms and lift one 90-degree bent leg toward the ceiling. Pulse on the beat of the song. Toomey’s tip: “Do not drop the knee below the hip until the song ends. When in doubt, talk to yourself: tell yourself it’s just the change you are feeling and go into the feeling.”
Standing Leg Lunge with Back Body Lift
Try this move and you’ll “tone the entire leg and back of shoulder or the rear deltoid,” Toomey explains. First things first, perfect your classic lunge: “Check to be sure the knee does not cross over ankle,” Toomey advises. Then extend your arms out to the sides and tip the upper body forward without moving the lower body. You can check your position by making sure your body forms one long line from back of the heel to the crown of head, Toomey says. Stabilize the front leg while drawing your back knee up toward the upper body; then open the arms even more before tapping the raised foot back. Return to starting position and repeat. Much of the idea here is actually about working the standing leg, but per Toomey, also “think about opening the body while strengthening and drawing breath through your entire system.”
Tricep Dip with Leg Lift
For tackling two tricky areas, the back of arms and the hamstrings, make this move your friend. Start in a reverse table top position. “Bend the elbows deeply keeping hips high, straighten arms, then keep arms straight as you lower hips toward floor,” Toomey describes. Pro tip: “be sure to keep your shoulder blades drawing down your back and the whole hand should lay flat so that you are lifting out of wrist and that your chest is open,” Toomey says. This way you’re engaging the back of the body as well as opening your body to breath.