By Helen Ray
The trending mantra “strong is the new skinny” has made a wave in women’s health in recent years. Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are seemingly flooded with images of women flaunting their six packs over six ribs.
This world of strong women has even welded their own celebrities including Virginia native, Christmas Abbott, who is a well-known CrossFit enthusiast, NASCAR’s first female pit crew member and mega-muscle woman. If becoming the next G.I. Jane is an interest to you, here are some exercise routines and nutrition information you can adopt to suit your new muscle needs.
Is a general strength and conditioning technique that incorporates functional moves such as squatting, jumping, pulling and lifting, performed at high intensity. CrossFit varies workout routines by following a workout of the day (WOD) method so you avoid a monotonous routine. CrossFit is great for people who get bored at the gym easily, who don’t have a lot of time to work out and who thrive off working in groups.
Ballston Crossfit, 1110 N. Glebe Road Arlington, 22201
Crossfit Verity, 22710 Executive Drive Sterling, 20166
There are some local gyms that specialize in strengthening, incorporating similar functional moves to build strength but don’t follow the intensity of CrossFit. These gyms are great for people who are looking for more personalized routines, who like working out in a smaller group of people and if you’re not quite the competitive type.
Underground Athlete, 3150 Spring Street Fairfax, 22031 and 101 Executive Drive Suite D Sterling, 20166
Was adopted from the idea of generating controlled movements. It incorporates a unity of mind and body where you’re constantly trying to strengthen your “powerhouse”— the core of your body including your abdomen, lower back, inner thighs and buttocks. Pilates is great for people who want a general body strengthening and toning, who are introverts when it comes to working out and who believe in quality of quantity.
Inner Core Wellness, 2108-A Gallows Road Vienna, 22182
Mind the Matt, 3300 B Fairfax Drive, Arlington, 22201 and 2214 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, 22301
This type of exercise has become very popular in women’s fitness as a way to hone strength and confidence. Pole fitness incorporates acrobatics and dancing for an ultimate workout that tones your core, arms and legs. It’s great for open-minded women who work out best in female-friendly zones and who want to work out in a unique and feminine way.
Diva Fit, 4080 Lafayette Center Drive Suite 210 C Chantilly, 20151, 157 B Hillwood Ave Falls Church, 22046 and 317 Sunset Park Drive Herndon, 20170
Pole Pressure, 2304A Huntington Avenue Alexandria, 22303
While deciding the right workout is important for the appearance of your body, you also don’t want to neglect what you put into it. Danielle Omar, local registered dietitian/nutritionist, suggests keeping your calories up through protein intake and watching portion sizes. She also recommends increasing water intake since muscle is mostly made out of water, “you need to keep your water intake up to preserve muscle and to build more muscle. The more dehydrated you are, the less muscle you’ll be able to build.”