Our Favorite Fitness Classes for Cross-training


The three of us at Runs in Tutus have all started our training for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November! Amanda has been following a training plan she created to help reach a personal record at the race, while Melanie and Christine have been following the Jeff Galloway training plan posted by runDisney. Regardless of the training plan we are following, all of us have incorporated cross-training into our weekly workout routine. This helps keep us strong and makes us better, safer runners!

While it may not sound as exciting as running through Cinderella castle, you’d be surprised how many fun and exciting options there are out there! For example, by attending group exercise classes you can learn something new, have some fun, get in your cross-training AND meet new friends along the way. This is a HUGE perk. You won’t believe how motivated you are to make it to class when your new friend expects you to be there. No one wants to be the loser that didn’t show up!

Not sure which classes to try? Here are some Runs in Tutus personal favorites. Extra points if you show up to class in a tutu.

Princess Christine: I really enjoy dance fitness classes and ballet. I like ballet because it is mentally and physically challenging and it builds a strong core and improves flexibility.  I had the idea of trying ballet for cross-training a couple years ago. Ballet dancers seem to have pretty rockin’ bods, and the cute clothing and pinkness fit my number one criteria for starting a workout program. I have to say it has really changed my body and my core! The slow concentrated effort on the upper body, along with precise directive from a pro ballet teacher were exactly what I needed.  As for flexibility, I am pleased to say the stretching and barre work have been an excellent compliment for running. My hips feel so much better, and my stride has improved with my increase in flexibility. I take ballet and dance classes about 2-3x/week.


Christine danced in Don Quixote last June. Ballet is her favorite form of cross-training. She also danced in Swan Lake this summer. Photo credit: Dony Dawson

Princess Melanie: I like kickboxing, dance cardio, indoor cycling, and general weight training/conditioning classes. I feel like those are the classes where I burn the most calories, but also work out muscle groups that don’t get a lot of attention with running. I also enjoy an occasional yoga class for flexibility and strength. I use ClassPass which allows me to take a wide variety of classes and also makes it hard to pick a favorite. I’m really motivated by the welcoming and friendly environment in group fitness classes, and it’s especially great when you get a fun, high energy instructor! I take 3 classes a week.

Melanie having fun after class!

Princess Amanda: I absolutely love POUND classes. It’s a class that combines isometric movements with simulated drumming. You get to rock out to your favorite songs with a set of bright green drumsticks called ripstix. Aside from the fact that it’s really unique and fun, I also like it because it strengthens your legs and hips and improves balance which is really beneficial for runners. Since I started doing POUND regularly 2x/week, it’s become easier to run up hills and I’ve been able to run faster without fatiguing. If you’re in DC, you can find POUND at Balance Gym! If you’re in another city, you can find a class by searching here. I also love inventing Disney themed workouts and trying them out with my sisters for cross-training.


Squats are more fun with ripstix. Photo credit: Kori Kamradt

Do you love a fitness class that we didn’t mention here? Tweet us @runsintutus so that we can try it out!

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