Don't Try THIS Ultimate Workout At Home

Apr 10, 2012

Since January, the Ultimate NPR Workout Mix has been highlighting music that makes listeners move.

Today, we hear from Luci "Steel" Romberg, a professional Hollywood stuntwoman and one of the top female freerunners in the world. Don't try her workout at home.

Freerunning is a more creative cousin of parkour, the sport of getting from point A to point B by rolling, running, climbing or jumping over whatever obstacles are in your way — be they stairs, railings or walls.

"Freerunning is kind of like stunts," Romberg says. "You're doing crazy stunts, but for me they're very separate. In freerunning, the goal is not to fall. But in stunts, a lot of times you are falling down stairs; you are being hit by a car, being lit on fire."

Romberg is the only woman on her elite freerunning team and works as a stunt double in a field dominated by men.

"A lot of the time, the women don't get put in the hot spots as much as the guys do," Romberg says. "So it's refreshing when we get to do hard, grueling, ground-pounding stunts."

For Romberg, equality is when the women get to crash against walls and get lit on fire just as much as the guys do. She says the key to stunts is great precision and timing, which she honed as a college gymnast.

"While I'm tumbling down the stairs, it might look chaotic, but I know exactly where I am," Romberg says. "Gymnastics helped me with that."

Romberg's first pick for The Ultimate NPR Workout Mix is "Lights" by the British artist Ellie Goulding. The song provided the soundtrack for a video Romberg's freerunning team put on YouTube that's been viewed close to 5 million times.

Her next pick is "Jumper" by the Japanese electronica duo Capsule — and, for her final pick, an electronica song by Skrillex titled "Breathe."

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