Olympian Chari Hawkins Makes Moves for Gold Training with MonkeyFeet

As a nearly 10-year pro heptathlete, Chari Hawkins only trains with the best of the best equipment. Now that she is on track to represent the US at the 2024 Paris Olympics, she’s using the most innovative exercise tool on the market – MonkeyFeet by Animalhouse Fitness.

A Lifelong Athlete

Chari has been competing in multi-event competitions professionally since 2015. As a current member of USA Track and Field (USATF), she has won a gold medal in the pentathlon at the 2022 USATF Indoor Championships and represented the US at multiple world championships in the heptathlon event.

Chari placed 1st in the heptathlon at the World Athletics Combined Events Tour-Gold in 2022, 3rd at the 2019 USATF Outdoor Championships, 2nd at the 2018 Pan American Combined Events, and 3rd at the 2017 Thorpe Cup. She has also finished with a bronze medal in the pentathlon event at the 2016 USATF Indoor Championships.

Chari’s success did not come out of nowhere. She had always been a competitor and athlete, having completed high school as a four-year letterwinner with a state championship under her belt and 84 Division I scholarship offers.

The Rexburg, Idaho, native attended Utah State University, where she won the Western Athletic Conference championship title in the heptathlon as a freshman in 2011 and, in 2015, took home a fourth place finish in the World University Cup Games. After a successful college career, she turned pro. Now, her eyes are set on the biggest stage: the 2024 Summer Olympics.

With the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for track and field coming up in June, Chari is training harder than ever — and she is doing it with the help of MonkeyFeet by Animalhouse Fitness.

Introducing a New Way to Train

MonkeyFeet has been on the market since 2020, but it was not until a training session in late 2022 with certified athletic trainer Marielle of Prehab in San Diego, California, that Chari was introduced to them.

She discovered the unique training and exercises she could do with MonkeyFeet that she could not do before. She was able to isolate new muscle groups, focus on stability and target specific motions she used in her events — from running to jumping and even to throwing.

Animalhouse Fitness’s MonkeyFeet transformed her strength training. While machines still offer great workouts, particularly for double-leg exercises, MonkeyFeet provides options for a wide variety of single-leg workouts, targeting specific muscle groups in each individual leg. What’s even better is that Chari can easily pack the MonkeyFeet device into her training bag and use it on and off the track. 

MonkeyFeet isn’t quite like any other product on the market – its versatile design allows you to train isolated movements, and despite its lightweight, it can support dumbbells up to 160lb, giving you much more room to grow and strengthen your legs and other muscle groups.

Using MonkeyFeet for an Olympic Berth

What Chari loves most about MonkeyFeet is that it is the perfect tool for high-level training as a future Olympian. It gives her the ability to not only strengthen the exact muscles she uses in her events, but also build muscle memory by mimicking the movements she uses in competition. While also working under trained parts of the muscle like the stability muscle fibers. A few examples of exercises she can now do with weights attached — making muscles grow stronger and more robust — include knee drives, hamstring curls and hip hikes. 

Each of these exercises translate into her events like sprints, jumps and hurdles, helping her to complete fundamental movements more quickly and efficiently. This ultimately increases her capacity to perform at a higher level with faster speeds and more powerful jumps.

Knee Drives

Chari uses MonkeyFeet for knee drives, which help build strong hip flexors for sprinting and jumping. Knee drives consist of lifting your knee up toward your chest while standing on the other leg. The foot of the leg that is performing the knee drive will have the MonkeyFeet attached to it.

This exercise not only strengthens hip flexors for higher knee lifts and more powerful launches when sprinting, but also builds single-leg stability, which allows runners to have more control over their legs to focus their power in the right place. Because this exercise mimics the way sprinters run, Chari also incorporates the hand motions she uses when running to help create that muscle memory used in her Olympic events.

Standing Hamstring Curls

Leg curls are a leg day staple, but MonkeyFeet takes this exercise one step further by isolating two different muscle groups through the hamstring curl. For this exercise, you will remain standing on one foot while curling the other foot (with the MonkeyFeet attached) back toward your butt.

The movement of the MonkeyFeet hamstring curl works the hamstring and glutes while the opposite leg strengthens the hip and increases stability throughout the entire leg, making it a perfect exercise for runners.


Hip Hikes

Another exercise Chari loves doing with the MonkeyFeet are hip hikes, which improves endurance and mobility in your gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and tensor fasciae latae muscles. For the MonkeyFeet hip hike, allowing for a full range of motion is essential to get the most muscle activation from this exercise. Use a box or step to allow clearance below the MonkeyFeet from the ground. Relax your hip down on the side with the MonkeyFeet device, and then pull that hip back up and repeat.

The hip hike is a great exercise for runners as it increases stability in the lower back and hip area. Additionally, it helps to stabilize the pelvis for running or walking activities, improving balance.

Perfect for Any Athlete

You do not have to be a future Olympian like Chari Hawkins to use MonkeyFeet. Its portable and user-friendly design allows it to be a great addition to everyone’s workout — from professional heptathlete to the average health-conscious person. You don’t have to spend valuable time setting up machines and learning how they work — you just fold the MonkeyFeet to open the claws, clamp it onto a dumbbell, unfold and ratchet your foot into place, and you are ready to go!

Plus, with MonkeyFeet, you no longer have to feel obligated to work out at a specific location. Whether you are working out on the field, in the gym or on your living room floor, MonkeyFeet can be used anywhere you exercise. That is one of the things Chari loves about the product — she can take it anywhere! She has used it on the track as she prepares for sprints, at home for a quick workout and even brings it to physical therapy to help rehab muscles.

MonkeyFeet’s versatility allows it to work a variety of muscle groups, not just in the legs but in your core, back and glutes too. With MonkeyFeet, you can train and strengthen your muscles in ways you never could before. It truly is a revolutionary way to work out for any stage in the fitness journey.

The Professional, College or High School Athlete

Any athlete can attest to the importance of strength training to their sport, particularly in the legs and core. While MonkeyFeet attaches to the foot, it can be used for exercises that strengthen everything from back muscles to the ankle and everything in between.

Particularly for athletes who require running or sprinting for their sport — like basketball, football or baseball — MonkeyFeet can help them isolate individual hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes, all of which play a huge role in speed and acceleration. MonkeyFeet is the perfect training companion to increase athletic performance in any athlete for any sport. 

Even Joe Rogan — comedian, MMA enthusiast and host of the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast — says he is “obsessed” with the device because of its ability to develop knee strength and stability, both of which are crucial for boxing and mixed martial arts. In fact, by combining MonkeyFeet with the Knees Over Toes method from Athletic Truth Group CEO Ben Patrick, Joe Rogan told his listeners that he had not only built a strength in his knee that he’s never really had before, but he has also been able to continue to do movements like spinning back kicks at an age that he never thought he’d be able to. The MonkeyFeet transformed his workout, and it can for you too.

The Fitness Junkie

Maybe you are not a professional athlete, but you fully appreciate staying fit and hanging out at the local gym regularly. MonkeyFeet is a must for your fitness equipment collection. The device is perfect for knee raises, leg curls, leg extensions, glute kickbacks, abductor raises and much more.

You and all your gym buddies will be impressed with the results of your training using this revolutionary tool. After your first MonkeyFeet workout, you’ll never want to work out without them. Whether you want to tone up your glutes or build powerful quads, the MonkeyFeet allows you to target muscles to achieve any fitness goal. 

Even better, MonkeyFeet’s versatility allows you to work each of these muscles from different angles and motions. For example, you can do leg curls sitting, standing or lying down — each of which needs a slightly different angle of movement, allowing you to work your entire full range of motion.

This forces you to use under-utilized muscles and stretch them just enough to strengthen them in ways you couldn’t before. Just remember to always lift under the pain threshold.

The Health-Conscious Person

Even if you are not an athlete training for a particular sport or a guru trying to keep up with all the fitness trends, you may still like strength-training to look and feel good. MonkeyFeet can help with that! It is a great tool to have around — you can incorporate it into your regular gym workout routine or have it on hand to use at home while watching your favorite TV show.

The great thing about MonkeyFeet is it does not just have to be for building muscle — you can also use it just to stay fit and keep your muscles active. While many people fret about over-stretching their muscles, which does cause injury, many people do not realize that not stretching them enough can also be detrimental. Muscle inactivity leads to muscle atrophy, which can cause decreased mobility, reduced bone density and increased weakness. MonkeyFeet can actually be a tool for injury prevention. By working hard-to-reach muscles, the device can help you strengthen inactive muscles, improve balance and increase stability.

And if you do get an injury, MonkeyFeet is a great tool for physical therapy and rehabilitation. Because of its unique, lightweight design, it allows you to work targeted muscle, tendon, ligament and joint areas without putting as much stress on them as traditional machines might. Isolating these specific problem areas help you to focus on strengthening the particular areas around the injury, helping you to achieve overall balance and cohesion throughout your body once again.

The Average “Joe”

If you aren’t into fitness at all, you may think MonkeyFeet is not for you. However, even everyday “Joes” need to keep active to reduce the risk of muscle atrophy, injury and weakness, and MonkeyFeet is an easy way to do that.

For example, the average person spends a lot of time scrunched up in a car or at a desk, which weakens the back, causing all the back problems so many people complain about. Using MonkeyFeet for exercises like elevated knee raises, you can stretch those muscles to keep them warm and intact, preventing lower and even upper back pain.

And even if you are just beginning your fitness journey, you don’t have to feel intimidated by this contraption. MonkeyFeet is super simple and easy to use — just fold, clamp and ratchet! Working out has never been quicker and more accessible than with MonkeyFeet.

Add MonkeyFeet to Your Workout

Whether you are training for an Olympic gold medal like heptathlete Chari Hawkins or looking for a new way to level up your everyday workouts, MonkeyFeet is a must for all athletes. It can be used to train for sporting events, strengthen muscles, prevent injuries and recover from them.

With MonkeyFeet, you will never want to skip leg day again. Order your own MonkeyFeet to start revolutionizing the way you train today!