My butt is sore. So are the backs of my thighs and my hamstrings. It’s not that “Holy moly I didn’t even know I had those muscles!” kind of pain. I know I have glutes. Frankly, I can’t miss them. This is a brand new kind of ache emanating from deep inside my butt cheeks and my legs and my calves. It’s as if I’ve discovered that these muscles also have their own fitness g-spot, because it hurts in good way.
I didn’t ramp up my workout or switch to a new trainer, I just changed my shoes. I’ve been testing out Reebok’s new EasyTone running shoes, which were designed by a former NASA engineer in an attempt to tone my butt, thighs and hamstrings up to 28 percent more efficiently than my plain old running shoes.
Like MBT’s the sneakers have a funky sole. But unlike MBTs that look like an orthopedic Birkenstock, the EasyTone’s look like a regular sneaker, albeit, a big puffy one from the ‘80s.
Walking in the EasyTones makes me feel like a Weeble. The sole consists of two rounded pods, one on the ball of my foot and one on the heel to make my stride unstable which forces my muscles to work harder while I’m walking, jogging or just standing on street corner waiting for the light to change. Once I put them on, I didn’t want to take them off, I even wanted to wear them even while I was posting to my blog motherblogger.net but they are so curvy I felt compelled to keep moving and it’s hard to type and walk at the same time.
During my first walk I was afraid of making any sudden moves and trip over my feet. The novelty of the wobble didn’t wear off but I adapted quickly, even though I was voted “Clumsiest camper” six years in a row. The shoes made my feet feel like around they were enveloped in their personal bouncy castles—and that’s just plain fun.
But it was during my weekly bootcamp class where the EasyTones really shined. I’m not much of a runner and compared to the other women in my class I tend to lag behind. So when our trainer kicked off the session with a ¼ mile jog, mostly uphill, I was filled with dread. Yet, I found myself able to run faster, harder and further without exerting more energy than normal. The pod-designed sole kept me rolling forward—almost against my own will and I was able to run the full ¼ mile without stopping. My trainer called out, “Nice work Castagnoli!” but inside I knew it wasn’t really me, it was my EasyTones.
After the run we moved our workout into the studio to use the circuit machines. While standing at the bicep curl machine my feet started to feel like they had pins-and-needles. I jogged in place and the tingly went away. But as soon as I had to stand still to do the bicep curl the tingly returned. I decided to kick off my superhuman shoes and go barefoot. It was as if the EasyTones were designed to keep me moving, and while I was grateful for their motivation, I needed to pace myself.
Francesca Castagnoli blogs at motherblogger.net.
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