Written by Karina Smirnoff
I want to start this blog by sending my prayers to all the innocent people directly affected by the senseless violence in Boston. My condolences to the families who lost loved ones. It is devastating to hear the stories and see the pictures. Through all the horrific stories I found inspiration in several others and was reminded of how strong the human spirit is. Martin Richard’s message of spreading love and not hate or violence is one I will continue to be inspired by.
Going into Monday’s show on the heels of such an unfathomable situation was extremely hard. I’m thankful ABC and DWTS decided to move forward with the episode, as all of the dancers and celebrity partners wanted to dedicate the night to each and every one of you. We are extremely blessed to do what we love and hopefully by putting our passion to work, we were able to transmit that love into your homes.
Given that Jacoby and I had the Jive we needed to channel that inspiration and positivity into our performance. We had such a great week of preparation that I knew he was going to deliver. However, he never ceases to amaze me! His musicality, timing, strength, charm and commitment are incredible. When he said he was going to jump over my head without touching me, I thought he was nuts! After he did it, I was shocked. When he did it over and over I was convinced that what I was starting to realize was true – the sky is truly the limit for Jacoby Jones! Read more
With his search for true love officially–and successfully–over, The Bachelor‘s Sean Lowe is ready to take on different challenges. Not only is the former football player putting on his dancing shoes every Monday and Tuesday on Dancing With the Stars, he also put on his running shoes last Saturday for the Warrior Dash, the world’s largest obstacle race series. We chatted with the busy ex-Bachelor last week about getting ready for the race and his DWTS training.
Do you feel ready for the race?
I hope I’m ready. I’ve been keeping up my cardio with dancing, so hopefully that helps.
How long have you been running?
I’m actually not a runner, I’ve never run before in my life. Usually I do the stairclimber or elliptical at the gym. Right now a 5k is the most I can go. A couple of years ago I heard about Warrior Dash and that it’s an amazing race so I signed up with friends and had a blast. People dress up and have fun. We had the time of our lives. Afterwards you can eat, listen to music and hang out with your fellow competitors. I told myself I’d do it every year. I wasn’t able to do it last year because of filming The Bachelorette so I’m happy to be able do it this year.
How do you train for an obstacle race like this?
I don’t know if you can train for it, that’s the cool aspect. I think we had to jump over cars last time, which is something you can’t really train for. I’m just hoping I’ve built up enough endurance.
When you’re not training for a race like this, what’s your typical fitness routine like?
I go to the gym 5 days a week, hitting a different body part each day. I typically do cardio for 30 minutes and hit the weights for 45 minutes.
You’re a pretty fit guy already, but Dancing With the Stars is a whole ‘nother challenge. How is training for DWTS going?
It’s challenging but I feel like I’m in extremely good shape now from all the cardio. But I haven’t been doing as much weights as I usually do. We have about 6-8 hours of rehearsal a day. I have fun performing and feel comfortable . The Cha-Cha was really fun and high-energy. Next is the Viennese waltz which is slower. I’m excited to do something different. I love the challenge of learning a new routine. The tougher the better. Read more
Think dancing’s not a workout? Think again. This week, celebrity guest blogger Karina Smirnoff talks about the added perks of the Fox Trot, and pushing past mental blocks.
Written by Karina Smirnoff
After last week’s sexy, emotionally charged Rumba I was eager to tackle the Fox Trot. We had a really special theme, which was “My Most Memorable Year” and Jacoby’s couldn’t have been more incredible! As most of you now know, Jacoby has a beautiful baby boy, Jacoby Jones Jr. and despite winning the Super Bowl, he was the obvious highlight of 2012.
The song we danced to was Rodney Atkins “Watching You”, which is extremely sentimental for JJ. Never knowing his own father, he has vowed to do all the things he never got to experience with his own dad. It was so fun to watch Jacoby with his son! He’s so sweet and gentle yet can make his little boy laugh with ease. It was great to spend time with them and really helped to inspire this week’s dance. Read more
Jacoby Jones admitted getting kicked out of his actual high school prom last night on Dancing with the Stars, and hopefully he won’t get kicked out of a second one tonight! Read on as Karina Smirnoff gives us the scoop on how they prepared for their dance and how the team is doing so far.
Written by Karina Smirnoff
What a week it has been! Unlike previous weeks Jacoby and I stayed in LA, which I think was beneficial since he had to learn both the rumba and the group dance. I was so excited to have rumba and knew that Jacoby would be able to pull off the moves; however I was really impressed by his depth of character and his gracefulness. On our first day of rehearsal for the week, I couldn’t believe how well he picked up the movement. We worked hard on the fluidity and rhythm of our hips and on his extensions. We were also really looking forward to going to the DWTS Prom and couldn’t wait to share our work with all of you! It’s funny, normally I get really nervous before I perform and last night I was extremely calm. I think it’s because I trusted that Jacoby would be there to catch me, turn me and move with me. It was certainly a special moment for us.
On top of how well Jacoby danced, I was honored to be able to pay tribute to his high school destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and to all the victims of these tragic natural disasters. I always say that when you dance for something bigger than yourself the connection the audience feels is that much greater. It is definitely a dance I will never forget and we hope it touched all of you. Read more
This week on Dancing with the Stars the contestants stepped up their fancy feet to perform a jazz routine. Below, our guest blogger and dancing pro Karina Smirnoff dishes on the week of training leading up to last night’s performances, plus a hilarious Harlem Shake video you need to watch to bust your midday slump.
Written by Karina Smirnoff
There is never a dull moment with Jacoby Jones! This week we traveled to Houston, TX to train. It’s been really cool to experience the various places around the country that mean so much to him. I love learning more about where he’s come from and what he’s gone through, it all helps when putting together the vision for each of the dances.
This week, we had Jazz, which is one of the new styles DWTS has added this season. I was really excited about incorporating the roots of jazz into this piece. However, I also realized that this week we needed to put more time into rehearsals, since Jacoby’s recovery from knee surgery had kept us back a bit leading up to the premiere. Jacoby and I are both competitors and want to improve from week to week. We also wanted the judges to see us improve in areas they had previously critiqued. Read more
Last night, a new batch of stars put on their dancing shoes to do the Cha Cha and Foxtrot on Dancing With the Stars, Season 16. We can’t get enough of the glittery costumes and fancy footwork, so we’re even more excited to have pro Karina Smirnoff recap each episode here on The Fit Stop every Tuesday! Check out her thoughts on last night’s show and get behind-the-scenes info and her fitness tips below.
Written by Karina Smirnoff
Hey guys! Thank you for tuning in last night and for reading my new Fitness blog! I can’t wait to share all the behind the scenes fun as well as give you some of my favorite health/fitness and nutrition tips!
I am extremely excited to have such an athletic, charming and hardworking partner in Jacoby. I can’t wait to dance more with him this season! As most of you know, training and rehearsing for a dance is extremely challenging both physically and mentally. This coupled with the fact we only had a solid week to prep made us have to fast track what is normally 3+ weeks to rehearse. Jacoby had to get knee surgery after winning the Super Bowl and his team of doctors had to clear him to dance. You can imagine my anticipation when we finally got the good news! PHEW! Even though time wasn’t on our side, we dug in and gave it our all.
I was thrilled to see how well Jacoby moved his body and especially those hips! Wow those hips can move! I had been doing a lot of visual “training”, where he watched me marking the dance and showing him what was to be expected. I think that really helped because once we finally started dancing Jacoby’s Cha Cha was pretty impressive. I have to admit, I got excited!
Rehearsals and training for this show and/or any competitive dance is a lot like training for a marathon, you need a good amount of stamina and you have to be focused, so this week in rehearsals I wanted to not only focus on stamina, but also his movement, lines and getting his footwork right. Even though we didn’t have the same amount of time as everyone, I knew we had to stay on track and focus, which helped us to get quite a bit accomplished. Read more
Anyone who knows anything about ice skating knows about Kristi Yamaguchi and her gold-medal victory at the 1992 Olympics. Since then, the figure skater has been actively involved in the sport, created a foundation that supports children’s education and inspiration, and won the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars. Yep, it’s safe to call her a rock star.
These days, Yamaguchi’s joined Team Kellogg’s, where she’ll be mentoring athletes hoping to make the journey to Sochi in 2014. While some may think it’s a bit early to be chatting about the Winter Games, we think the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Catch up on what else Yamaguchi is up to, then get a head start on meeting the athletes she’s hoping to coach all the way to the Olympic podium. While all your friends are in the dark, you’ll be the fountain of knowledge they turn to. Look at you, smarty pants.
Tell me a bit about Team Kellogg’s. Whose faces can we expect to see?
I’m the co-captain of the team, along with Jim Craig, the goalie from the 1980 Miracle team. The other athletes are all Olympic hopefuls, who will probably be competing and representing Team USA in the Sochi Games next winter.
It really is. Team Kellogg’s is all about following these athletes as they start their journey for getting ready for Sochi. I mean, of course they’ve been getting ready for years, but now fans can follow along. Kellogg’s Facebook page will have video clips of their stories, training tips and nutrition advice straight from the pros.
That will definitely be fun. Any other fun features?
You can find out how these athletes got their start – who was the coach who first got them going, which people gave them inspiration and, of course, what breakfast does to fuel their start.
So are you and Jim mentors, then, as accomplished athletes yourself?
Yeah, in a sense. Jim and I have been there, we’ve experienced the Olympics and know what they’re going through. We hope to encourage them to keep dreaming big, and we want to be there to give whatever advice we can to help prepare them for what lies ahead.
Last week, the Season 16 Dancing With The Stars cast was revealed and to our excitement, two-time champ Cheryl Burke will be back March 18 for another year of gracefully stiff competition—this time with comedian D. L. Hughley. We cha-chatted with Cheryl before the big announcement about leading a FITNESS-approved lifestyle. Read on to find out how she stays fueled and fit every quickstep of the way—plus why she’s thanking all the haters out there.
You’re a force to be reckoned with as DWTS’ only professional to appear in the finals four times…plus you’ve taken home the Mirror Ball trophy twice, back-to-back! Spill your tactics.
During the show, it’s all about showcasing my partner. I feel like sometimes people think their partner’s going to be a professional dancer at the end of the day and for me, it’s just about making my partner look comfortable and not awkward and really developing a great chemistry with whoever I dance with. Dancing is a hard sport to do, especially when you have no experience coming into a show like ours. It’s just important that I showcase my partner and not showcase myself. I feel like the people at home want to see the progress of these celebrities and how they progress each and every week.
So how will you bring that experience to Season 16?
Every celebrity I dance with always brings something new to the table. Everyone has their own personality and their own way of learning so I feel like every season is a challenge for me regardless. It’s even more challenging now that I’ve done it for so long because I put pressure on myself to make sure that every season that I do is better than the last one I did. Read more
Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney might have been less than impressed with her vault silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, but her attitude these days is straight gold. I got the chance to chat with Maroney as she helped launch TEN, a line of 10 calorie sodas from the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group on the lessons she learned in London, recovering from injury and what she thinks about teammate Aly Raisman’s Dancing with the Stars announcement.
I love that the tagline for the TEN campaign is “McKayla is finally impressed.” Are you so sick of hearing about and seeing your not impressed face all over the Internet?
I wouldn’t say I am sick of it, but it definitely comes up in every topic with every person I talk to. It’s great that now I can turn it into something positive, and be impressed with TEN. My favorite out of the line is the Sunkist TEN; I have always loved orange soda so now I can enjoy it without all the sugar.
What are some of the lessons you learned from your time in London at the 2012 Summer Olympics?
The first thing I learned was how to deal with the media. I came to the Games and I had no media experience and I didn’t know how to take it all with a grain of salt. All of us on the team had our media issues, Gabby with her hair and then my face – so we had to learn how to let it roll off our backs. At the beginning it was hard, because I was just a gymnast. I was never famous, I was used to being in the gym eight hours a day and I never had anyone judging me because of my face, they were judging me on my gymnastics! Now I handle life way better and I’m actually happy that it happened because nothing hurts my feelings anymore. And since I want to get into acting I have to be ready for a lot more of that kind of attention. Read more
Shawn Johnson has had us on the edge of our seats long before Dancing With The Stars. Like most of America, we were glued to our TVs during the 2008 Beijing Olympics when she took home a gold and three silver medals. A ski injury shortly after, though, forced the bubbly gymnast into announcing an her early retirement. Johnson may have been sidelined from defending her title last summer in London, but this optimist has yet to lose that infectious grin or love for fitness.
Two seasons of DWTS as a Season 8 winner and All-Stars runner-up introduced the Olympian to a new type of exercise, sparking an interest in other athletic ventures and a healthy lifestyle revamp. Now, at 21-years old, Johnson is stronger than ever. We talked to her about transitioning into the new gymnastics-less phase of her life, going Paleo and body love. Here’s what we landed:
What is the hardest part about being an Olympic athlete?
For me, the hardest part changes all the time, looking back on it. I feel the hardest part of being an Olympic athlete is just the discipline, especially in gymnastics—we’re so young. We start training when we’re three years old. We start living in the gym 40 hours a week when we’re eight. Just kind of taking that whole normal childhood experience away and being an Olympic athlete—I mean it takes a lot of mental and physical power and being able to be 16 and stand on the Olympic podium and have the mental strength to handle that pressure. I don’t honestly even know how I did it back then because I feel like now I’m like, ‘I could never do that!’
Favorite Olympic moment—spill!
I would say outside of the competition, my favorite moment was in the Olympic Village. Everybody was lining up to walk through opening ceremonies—the gymnasts aren’t really allowed because we compete the next day—I saw towering over everybody was Yao Ming. I was starstruck, no joke. I ran from my team, who was headed back to their dorms. I wanted a picture so bad and I remember I literally was tapping on his thigh like looking up at him and he never paid attention. He probably thought I was a fly on him or something!
How has your workout changed since the Olympics and DWTS?
My workouts have changed drastically. I’m no longer in the gymnastics gym. Honestly, it’s kind of a big goal and new learning experience for me. I feel like as soon as gymnastics was over, I made it a point to not go back into the gym so I could learn how to do workouts and train and stay healthy outside of it. It’s kind of a therapeutic thing almost. It’s closure almost. But I work with one of the best trainers ever—she’s like my best friend—Jeanette Jenkins.