Saturday Special Edition: SKINS A200 Tights!

Skins review

Happy Saturday, guys! This week I’m featuring a review of some compression tights I received from SKINS over the holidays. You may have seen the long version of these tights featuring the Doughnuts and Deadlifts  logo around the CrossFit or Olympic lifting world. Been eyeing these for a while and wanted to give them a whirl during some running and CrossFit workouts. They certainly did not disappoint!

I chose to try out the women’s A200 3/4 length tights. With our crazy weather here in Texas, I figured that length would be appropriate for most of the year. When placing my order it was easy to determine the size needed, as they provide a sizing chart based on your height and weight on the website. The A200’s out of the box looked even better in person! The come in several different color selections, but I chose to go with the basic black pair. I was impressed with the stitching on all the seams as well as the quality of the reflective accents and logos. If you’ve seen my closet, you know I’m all about some flashy colors, patterns, cool branding, or something like that, so I was pretty pleased with the overall look of these. Truly a compression fit, I found that the sizing was definitely spot on, but not so compressing to the point of discomfort. Score! My usual complaint on compression fit is how overly tight they feel while still refusing to stay put after I start moving around. Length was also perfect, I’m roughly 5’3, and these stop at about mid-calf. A couple other features include a small hidden key pocket and drawstring inside the waistband.

 

During my first outdoor run in these I was happy to discover they did not roll down, move or slide. Stayed breathable, almost like cooler air entering them as I ran, while keeping my muscles warm at the same time. I cannot say enough about the support! Right amount of compression during the entire run. Definite score! In addition, I went through several CrossFit workouts in them. Lots of squatting, bending, jumping, and they still stayed put without any waistband roll! No tugging or adjusting during the workout, it was fantastic! I felt like they were able to stretch and move with me in all the right places. I’m a pretty sweaty creature when I workout, so I definitely encounter issues with tights working themselves down. Normally I catch myself tugging and pulling them up between sets of burpees and such. Not with these!

Because of the fact I’m a sweaty mess after any workout, I knew that these would have to withstand lots of laundry time. After washing, logos and seaming stayed intact, no hint of sweat odor at all! They came out of the wash looking brand new and ready for the next workout.

Ok, so what sets these tights apart from all the rest? I know there are tons of options out there to choose from, so I’ll say this. These A200s truly provide support during a variety of activities, keeping your muscles fresh during the entire workout….while looking good too! I’ll definitely be wearing these through most of this year during all my indoor and outdoor workouts. -m

Disclaimer: The awesome folks at Skins sent me a set of these tights at no charge to me for review. However all opinions contained in the this review are completely mine and based on my personal use of this product alone.

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Tuesday Top Five…..Workouts for Anywhere!

We are right smack in the season of busy-ness. Holiday shopping, cooking, events, and travel. Regular schedules are nearly out the window at times. School break may be coming, kidhome workoutss will be home…also a big schedule changer! So what do you do when you’ve got limited time, maybe unable to leave home, or little to no equipment…..but the day is drawing to a close and you haven’t gotten a workout in? What to do? No home gym, no worries! Here’s my top 5 totally-at-home-doable workouts!

Before you dive right into one of these, I’d suggest a brief warmup and some stretching. Both of these are key to preventing injury or strain during a workout. And ALWAYS listen to your body, if something hurts, don’t do it!

  1. “Deck o’ cards”– find a set of playing cards. Pick four exercises that you can do in your house or in the yard. Some good examples would be squats, lunges, pushups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, burpees, chair dips…you get the idea). Assign each card suit (diamonds, clubs, hearts, spades) an exercise. Designate all aces to serve as a one minute rest period. Set a timer for an allotted time (8-10 minutes is a good start). Once your timer starts, you’ll flip over your first card and do the number displayed of the exercises designated by the card’s suit, with 15 reps assigned to face cards. For example, if I flip over a 9 of clubs, and I had chosen burpees for clubs, then I would do 9 burpees. Immediately flip the next card, continuing through this until the allowed time has expired.
  2. 2. “Death by…..”-all you need here is a timer or stopwatch to count up. Choose 2 exercises like burpees and squats. Set the timer. Start with 2 of each exercise to complete during the first minute, resting until the clock reads one minute. Then begin the exercises again, increasing by 2 reps each round, resting until the clock reads two minutes. Continue this way until you can no longer complete the designated reps in one minute.
  3. “Annie”– This happens to be one of my very favorite workouts and is also one of the famous CrossFit girls. You’ll need a jump rope for this one and a timer. Goal is to compete 50, 40, 30, 20, then 10 of both double unders and sit-ups. If you don’t have the hang of double unders (which is passing the rope under your feet twice instead of once when jumping) then just do two times the number of single unders. You can also toughen this one by adding a 400m or 1/4 mile run in between each round. This one is always fun!
  4. “Tabata Style”-this is a type of interval workout. Objective here is to work for 20 seconds at max effort, then rest for 10, repeating the work and rest for a minimum of 8 rounds. Once again, you can pick from a variety of movements according to what muscle groups you’d like to work. Keep count, score your reps so you can track how you are doing. There’s also some fun tabata music out there that will count out loud for you in the song! These are always a favorite at my box!
  5. “Maximum rounds”– pick 2-3 exercises and designate how many reps you want to do of each. Than set a timer for 10-12 minutes. Objective here is to complete as many rounds as possible during the allotted time. I might pick 5 squats, 10 pushups, and 15 sit-ups as the movements I’d like to do in each round. So then its just going back through those three exercises as many times as I can until time runs out.

Once you finish, give yourself some time to cool down. Walk around for a few minutes, then stretch or do some mobility work. This is the most optimal time for foam rolling or release techniques because your muscles are still warm!

The key to staying on track during this busy time is being prepared. Keep some workouts like these handy so that if you just can’t make it to the gym or out on that trail to run, you’ve got a backup plan. I know that fitness is always more fun with friends, but sometimes we just can’t keep to those normal schedules. Having a few go-to workouts you can do almost anywhere will make you feel much better by still putting some work in! -m