“A badass woman” is a strong, bold, and confident woman who knows her own mind. Real badass women come in all shapes and sizes. Try out these workouts inspired by women.
So here’s a question?
“How does a girl become strong? How does she enact change? Really how does she grow into a strong woman? It begins with a step that sounds simple but is not. She finds her voice.” — Melinda Gates
Real badass women are passionate when it comes to their values. They are relentless when it comes to their cause. What we admire so much about badass women is their courage. But, courage is not something you possess; it is something you DO.
Being a female athlete or fitness advocate in today’s chaotic and noisy age can be overwhelming. From distractions, to comparison, to jealousy, to social media pressure, it is hard to stay sane and prevail above the nonsense.
At Tough Mudder we want to support women’s empowerment. Here we highlight three women who are a beacon of light and have inspired women to infuse their lives with fulfilment, drive, self-love, and passion.
MEET ALLISON TAI – Inspirational Woman One
Allison Tai is a bad-ass Ultra Distance OCR athlete, former Ironman athlete and ultramarathon runner. But her real full-time (and most important) job is a proud Mom to two little girls. She’s won numerous races from Sprints to Ultra Beasts, came in second twice at World’s Toughest Mudder, was the first Western Canadian to win the Spartan Canada Point Series in 2015, and even won the CBS televised Toughest Mudder series in 2017. She amassed over 50 podiums in the sport of OCR. In 2006, she broke her back, pelvis, and arm when hit by a truck on her bicycle. While recovering, Allison turned her focus to coaching running, fitness, obstacle racing and nutrition coaching to help other athletes reach their goals. FYI—You do not have to be an ultra-distance runner to train like one.
These are a few exercises Allison Tai uses for her training.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold your dumbbells in front of your shoulders.
Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Stand up and extend your arms over your head.
Bend your arms, return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
BURPEE MULE KICKS:
Start in a squat position with your knees bent, back straight, and your feet about shoulder-width apart.
Lower your hands to the floor in front of you so they are just inside your feet.
With your weight on your hands, kick your feet back so you are on your hands and toes, and in a pushup position.
Keeping your body straight from head to heels, do one pushup. Remember not to let your back sag or to stick your butt in the air.
Do a frog kick by jumping your feet back to their starting position.
Kick or step your legs back into a plank position.
shift your weight onto your hands, and kick your feet up into the air, spreading them wide as you extend your legs.
Land softly, reset, and repeat.
Leap up and grip the bar with your hands shoulder width apart and your palms facing away from you. Hang with your arms fully extended, you can bend your legs at the knee if they are dragging on the ground.
Keep your shoulders back and your core engaged throughout. Then pull up. Focus on enlisting every upper body muscle to aid your upward endeavor’s.
Move slowly upward until your chin is above the bar, then equally slowly downward until your arms are extended again.
MEET JESSAMYN STANLEY – Inspirational Woman Two
YOGA TEACHER. WRITER. BODY POSITIVITY ADVOCATE.
Jessamyn is a Yoga teacher, body-advocate, author and creator of The Underbelly Yoga. Her new book ‘Everybody Yoga’ aims to break all the stereotypes in the yoga community and inspire all shapes and sizes to practice. Her classes use high energy vinyasa flow to move past mental and emotional barriers. She encourages her students to ask, “How do I feel?” rather than “How do I look?” when practicing yoga.
Whether you are a full out yogi or can barely touch your toes, we encourage you to add the yoga-inspired stretches below into your routine.
1. Goddess Pose is a static plié squat and is a major external hip opener that fires everything below your waist!
2. Begin standing in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) at the top of your mat with your arms at your sides. Bring your hands to rest comfortably on your hips.
3. Turn to the right and step your feet wide apart, about four feet. Turn your toes out slightly, so they point to the corners of your mat.
4. On an exhalation, bend your knees directly over your toes and lower your hips into a squat. Work toward bringing your thighs parallel to the floor, but do not force yourself into the squat.
5. Extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder-height with your palms facing down. Then, spiral your thumbs up toward the ceiling, so your palms face forward. Bend your elbows and point your fingertips toward the ceiling; your upper arms and forearms should be at a 90-degree angle.
6. Tuck your tailbone in slightly and press your hips forward as you draw your thighs back. Keep your knees in line with your toes. Soften your shoulders. Gaze softly at the horizon.
7. Hold for up to 10 breaths. To release, slowly return your hands to your hips. Keeping your spine upright, inhale as you press firmly into your feet and straighten your legs. Step your feet together and come back to the top of your mat in Mountain Pose.
1. Start in an all-fours position, with your hips above your knees and shoulders above your wrists.
2. Bring your hands slightly forwards of your shoulders, with your middle finger pointing forward, spread your fingers.
3. Think about creating a suction cup in the middle of your palm by pressing through the outer edges of the palm, the base of the fingers and the fingertips.
4. Create a spiral action in your arms by rolling your upper arms away from you and your forearms spiraling inwards
5. Tuck your toes under, and on an exhalation, engage your lower belly drawing the navel back to the spine. Press through your hands and lift your hips back and up to bring yourself into an upside-down V pose.
6. Keep your knees bent at first as you find length in your spine.
7. Slide your shoulder blades down along the spine, collar bones spread. The base of the neck relaxed.
8. Maintaining length in the spine, ‘walk your dog’ by alternately bending and straightening your legs. Eventually bringing both heels towards the floor. They do not have to touch the floor.
9. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly. Stay for 5 breaths.
1. Begin kneeling with your thighs perpendicular to the floor and your knees and feet hip-distance apart.
2. Extend your big toes straight back, pressing down with all 10 toenails and firming your outer ankles into your midline.
3. Spin your inner thighs back, and gently release the flesh of your buttocks toward the backs of your knees.
4. Your pelvis is neutral, neither spilling forward nor spilling back, and stacks directly over your knees.
5. Root down from the tops of your feet to your knees; rebound up with your chest.
6. Bring your palms together in front of your sternum and drop your chin toward your sternum.
7. Take an inhalation to emphasize the lift of your chest, (palms facing forward).
8. With the next exhalation, keeping your chin dropping and your pelvis over your knees, take your hands to your heels.
9. Immediately press your shoulder blades forward and up and coil your thoracic spine to lift your chest any amount more. Having created more space/extension in your upper back, your head can now drop back and hang freely. Continue pressing down with your feet and lower legs in order to lift with your thoracic spine and chest.
10. Hold for 5–10 breaths, then, leading with your sternum, use an inhalation to come up (head is the last part of the body to exit).
FINALLY, MEET DR. STEFI COHEN – Inspirational Woman Three
Dr. Cohen is a 25x world-record-holding powerlifter and the first woman in history to deadlift 4.4x her body weight. Among her exceptionally long list of accomplishments, she has the all-time world record in the squat, deadlift, and total in two weight classes. Not only is she a multiple world record holding powerlifter, but she is also an exercise physiologist and Doctor of Physical Therapy. She is also leading the Hybrid Performance Method, a coaching company aimed to help you look like a bodybuilder, lift like a powerlifter and move like a weightlifter. We broke down a few of the exercises she performs along with her powerlifting.
These are a few exercises Stefi uses for her training.
MED BALL SLAMS:
1. To start, stand tall with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart, your knees and hips slightly bent, holding a medicine ball in both hands at your torso. Engage your core, drawing your abs toward your spine and rolling your shoulders back to start with perfect posture.
2. Squat down slightly to load the spring. Then, in one powerful motion, inhale and press through your heels before rising on the balls of your feet. Extend your knees and hips as you rise to power the upward swing of your arms and lift the medicine ball overhead. The ball should be almost straight overhead with your arms extended at the height of the movement. Keep your arms straight, not leaning back so the ball is behind you.
3. Use your core and your arms to slam the medicine ball straight down between your feet with as much force as you can. Press your hips back and bend your knees to further power the slam. Exhale as you slam the ball down.
4. Squat down to pick up the ball from the floor, then immediately move into the next slam by powerfully using your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes to rise to standing. Come up on the balls of your feet again as you lift the medicine ball overhead.
5. Continue for a full set of slams (either several reps or a time interval).
1. Run your intervals. Mark off a distance where you are running that is 40 to 50 yards long. After doing your warm-up, come to this location and sprint as hard as you can for the whole distance. Jog back to your starting point and sprint again. Repeat this sequence five to six times.
DUMBBELL LATERAL TO FRONT RAISES
1. Start standing with dumbbells in hand and a slight bend in the elbows. Inhale. Raise your arms out laterally to shoulder height. Move the dumbbells horizontally as you end in a front raise. With control lower the dumbbells down in front and return them to your side. Repeat.
All of these women embody being tough and living life with passion and courage. They are powerful, unique, and fearless. Give these workout movements a try.