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RAC fitness programs are under-appreciated campus resource

On a typical Wednesday evening, most UMBC students are either hurrying to the library or finishing up a study session with a few friends. However, Alex Lavery knows some of the best ways to work out the kinks of an overworked students’ mind and body with her fitness program “Core and More,” held weekly at the RAC.

Lavery usually focuses on a strictly core based workout, but today, she decided to switch it up a bit. In a blue tank and with an energetic smile, Lavery adjusted her microphone, and the class set their belongings to the side of the studio. After introducing the workout to the class of 10, the students peered from Lavery, to their workout mats then back to her.

“Alright everyone,” said Lavery, “time to start the dynamic stretches.”

With Major Lazer’s “Lean On” blasting in the RAC’s fitness studio, Lavery walked around the room, and made sure that everyone was exercising properly. Each student followed Lavery’s two minute warm-up routine, which ranged from jogging in place, to jumping jacks to toe touches.

“Make sure your spine stays neutral,” said Lavery into her microphone-headset. “No curving. Keep those heels on the ground.”

Following the dynamic stretches and warm-ups, Lavery began the first half of the workout with the students. Beginning with her medicine ball circuit, Lavery gave a step-by-step spiel of the proper and improper ways to carry out the exercises.

“Step into it!” Lavery had her medicine ball in hand while showing the class how to properly do med-ball lunges and squats. The class swiftly followed every movement and beat. It wasn’t long before everyone knew exactly what they needed to do without Lavery’s assistance, and although they were exhausted, they still managed to keep good posture and rhythm.

Taisha Bowman, a senior chemistry major and education minor, frequently comes to “Core and More,” and loves how Alex works with the class. “[Alex Lavery] is really good at making sure that if you need something modified, it can be,” said Bowman. “I have a lot of injuries, specifically in my knee.”

Following the med-ball circuit was the second half of the workout, so it was time to go back to Lavery’s usual focus: abs!
“Halfway there,” said Lavery in a gentle tone. “5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Beautiful. I love it.”

The ab circuit went only for six minutes but the work-outs were intense and quite unique. The class frantically raised their fingers to their toes while doing v-ups, and appeared to be in a marathon while kicking their knees to their chest, doing a workout known as “mountain climbers.”

Another frequent visitor, freshman undecided major Naomi Parker, loves when Alex incorporates more than just abs into the workout. Parker enjoys feeling the burn, mainly because she knows that her body is getting to where she wants it to be.
“It’s my favorite when she makes us do the circuit,” said Parker. “When I’m sore, I know it’s working.”

The class finished off the ab circuit with a few sideways “duck-walks” with elastic bands tied around their ankles. Although Lavery has only been working at UMBC for a semester, she’s been settling in well.

“I have five jobs, but this one’s definitely my favorite,” said Lavery with a smile. “So far I’ve loved my time at UMBC. I have only positive things to say.”