In France, being chic is a way of life. I'm sure you've read no fewer than a thousand nauseating analyses of the best way to wear a boatneck t-shirt and hold a baguette without ever actually consuming gluten. But I'm just a sweaty New Yorker — what do I know about it?
While Big Apple-dwellers are punching each other's lights out in sexy, basement-level boxing clubs and rowing in the dark, Parisians are exploring an altogether less explored fitness area: the skate park. At the fashion-girl favorite store Colette's Skate Gym, movers and shakers had the opportunity to learn the best way to use a deck without ever actually going anywhere.
The classes (so fancy even Vogue wrote about them) were taught by trainer Raphael Doub, who uses the skateboard because the wobbly deck makes for an intense core workout. Plus, he believes in keeping your fitness routine exciting.
Over a dubious Skype connection, at 9 pm in the City of Light, Doub and I connected for a digital workout. He broke down a few of his favorite moves while I tried not to fall on my face. I'm not a skater by any means, and if I can do it, so can you.
Grab a skateboard (I'm using a 22-inch Penny board in a colorway I wish I could dye into my hair), yoga mat and towel. We're ready to ride — well, mostly stand. But we'll get to that. Be ready to work hard and sweat a weird amount. I'd recommend 10-15 reps per set.
Lay down your mat, set the board flat and begin by getting your balance.
When you've got it, try touching your toes and staying balanced.
Now, we're going into a lunge in which our knee should touch the floor. Then, place weight on the board to come back up.
It'll look a little something like this. Try not to fall over and/or perish as you keep your core tight.
Now, place your towel on the board and get into an elbow plank. From there, use your abs to pull up into a downward dog and push back out.
If you do this right, it should burn with the fire of a thousand suns. As a modification, try the move on your knees.
Switch to a straight arm plank with the board underneath your palms. Use small movements to rock it back and forth.
If you fear concussing yourself, keep your fingers directly over the wheels in case of emergency.
Turn the board, and move it back and forth in the small motions. Are you purple-faced yet?
Moving to your side, balance on your glute and crunch with a straight leg. Your hand and toe should nearly touch. My face indicates the amount of effort this move requires.
Now, we're on to balance. Sit on the board and extend you arms, raising toes off the floor. For an extra challenge, move your arms in tiny circles.
Last one! Standing on the board with one foot, raise the other and balance. Once you're comfortable, lower down to touch your toes and come back up. Switch legs after a full set.
Now, we stretch. Standing on the board as pictured, reach down to loosen your calves.
With one knee on the board, slide back into a stretch while keeping your tailbone tucked. Repeat legs, and you're all finished.