FOUNDATION flow- Inner Thighs and CORE!

Building the right foundation is key to any workout program. It is important to understand your body by knowing when to push further to fatigue and when to modify as your body gains strength and range of motion.

Here is an exercise from our FOUNDATION FLOW  class showing three different modifications for inner thighs and core!

Seated knee tap 

muscles worked: inner thighs, core, triceps

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Fitness Fashion Divas are made by….. Grandmothers!

I’m super excited to be in this months issue of Women’s Health for Street Style! My fashion diva grandmother would be proud!

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Growing up fashion and femininity was a staple in our family. I had my first custom dress made at age five for my uncles wedding by my fashion designer grandmother Delia.  I grew up thinking it was incredibly normal to draw a picture of what you wanted to wear and then have it made for you after of course carefully picking out the fabrics you wanted and being fitted over and over again. At age five my grandmother and I felt fabric together running our fingers against it to see if we liked the touch  and feel, layered pieces over pieces to get the right look and held different colors against my skin.

It was at age five I also knew that high heels were amazing and I could stand up and fight for what I wanted to wear. The custom dress came to right at my heels so my mother wanted me to wear a very flat ballet slipper shoe whereas I wanted to wear a slightly lifted shoe like my sister. This was not my first hysterical tantrum by any means but it was my first fashion tantrum as my grandmother fought with my father over if it was ok if I wore a little heel and I sobbed and sobbed as if my life was over.

Over the years my grandmother made many outfits and fought with my father over how fitted they were. Our bible study group leaders insisted young ladies wear long skirts so my grandmother and I designed a long skirt with a high slit and pom-pom tassels covering the slit so the sexiness was hinted at but not shown. When low cut shirts were not an option my grandmother and I designed the most perfectly tailored halter top with a crisp collar cut sharply to show lots of shoulders but no cleavage and fabulous gold buttons all the way from the neck to the bottom of the top.

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With a career in fitness and living in workout clothes I have found a Delia Diva way to sass up my style with fun tops that I can wear to the gym, dinner or salsa dancing. Most of my gym outfits can be transformed into going out wear with a pair of heels!

So for my Diva Delia Abuela, here is the                         Street Style outfit with heels!

                         muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!

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Outdoor Workouts

DSC01491Changing up workouts with  the season is a great way to keep your body challenged and avoid stagnation!

Here are some outdoor workout sequences using a wall for resistance and alignment!

Side plank and stretch with wall 

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  • Stand parallel to wall and extend arm shoulder height to press into wall
  • Feet together come on toes and squeeze thighs tight while extending other arms up for side stretch
  • Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides

Plank pose on elbows

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  • Facing wall extend arms out arms length pressing hands into wall
  • Lower to elbows tucking pelvis under and tightening abs
  • Come on toes and squeeze glutes

Plank pose  alternating legs up  

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  • Facing wall extend arms forward shoulder height pressing hands into wall
  • Come up on toes tucking pelvis under and squeezing glutes
  • Lift on leg up holding for two counts and then switch sides

Breakfast treats!

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When I sampled a sip of my friends delicioso, cold Avena shake last night at Irazu Costa Rican restaurant, I knew I just had to try to make it for breakfast!  Avena beverage is a tasty drink made with Oatmeal, milk and cinnamon that can be served cold or caliente-hot! Yum-yum-yum!

After looking up recipes for Avena drink- it was no surprise that my sweet tooth loved this fabulous treat. Some key ingredients were: sweetened condensed milk ,whole milk and lots of brown sugar. Hmmmm. So the fiber in Oatmeal still counted-yes. And the cinnamon stick was a healthy ingredient too.

So I made a few healthy swaps and my morning breakfast takers didn’t seem to mind!

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I decided to swap out the whole milk and sweetened condensed milk for 2 percent milk. My grandmother use to add sweetened condensed milk to coffee which is such a delightful treat that I save for  special occasions as I can very easily go through a couple jars a week!

Instead of using brown sugar I used packets of instant oatmeal with brown sugar flavor- 13 grams of sugar per serving.

After all, it was the simmering cinnamon stick that gave the warm beverage flavor!

Ingredients

2 cups water

1 cinnamon stick

Brown sugar

*swap options- maple brown sugar flavored oatmeal as the oats

1 1/2 cups oats

Pinch of salt

3 cups of whole milk

*swap options: Soy milk, almond milk, skim or 2 % milk

  1. Add water and cinnamon stick to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Lower heat and simmer for about 4 minutes
  3. Add oats stirring frequently. When oats have absorbed add milk and continue to stir.
  4. Simmer until reaches desired consistency. Add more milk if you prefer thinner.
  5. Remove cinnamon stick and serve

Enjoy!!!!

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Stay in Shape over Summer!

Summer is not the time to throw in the towel with workouts! Yes-we may have more outdoor festivals with drinking and barbecues so it might seem easier to enjoy the summer and start up again in the fall. Fitting in  30-45 minute total body toning workouts are efficient and will actually GIVE you more energy to have fun!

Here is a super set sequence we will be using this week for our  STAY IN SHAPE OVER SUMMER 3 week program!

(Developed with Christina Fischer)

1. Activate the CORE

Activating the core is a great way to start workout to be sure you are using the core while doing total body moves for the rest of your workout!

Plank

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Push back through heels while lengthening ribcage forward to create a tug if war sensation allowing center to kick in and work!

Side Plank

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Adding variations such as one leg up will activate the hips with the core.

2.Stretching with Movement and Motion

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Side lunge with opposite arm reach will stretch the body with range of motion while getting heart rate up and fire the glute and hip muscles.

3. Burn it out!

Target one body part and burn it out!

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Tricep dip with one leg up.

4. Sleek-Sculpt-Stretch

Total body moves using balance and high repetition will lengthen body and create sleek muscles while staying in fat burning zone!

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Balancing on leg with arms to side (can be done without bar) lengthen other leg to 10 O’clock position, return to start and lengthen leg to 2 O’clock position.

Recover!

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Enjoy a good recovery stretch and thank your body for taking the time energize and STAY IN SHAPE OVER SUMMER!

RELAX AND RELEASE OFFICE WORKOUT!

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Yes you can workout at the office without sweating- and even get a laugh or two in with your co-workers! We had so much fun today teaching our new class RELAX AND RELEASE with the Student Services department at Truman College.  RELAX AND RELEASE uses various size balls such as tennis, golf and lacrosse,to apply the right amount of pressure releasing tension in the feet, hamstrings, glutes, upper back and shoulders. We then use range of motion exercises to unlock stiff joints followed by breathing techniques to destress and encourage relaxation.

Christina Fischer and I designed the program very organically after many long brainstorm ,exchange sessions trying to find the right program to help clients activate muscles, release knots and feel good. What better place than the office to take a break and energize!

Christina demonstrates applying pressure to tight hamstrings and allowing the muscles to release

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Paola Peleaz refreshed and ready to return back to work

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To schedule a RELAX AND RELEASE class at your office contact:

rebekah.marcanosierra@gmail.com

christina.m.fischer1@gmail.com

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Hot Mama Hips!

Pregnancy is one of the most amazing, miraculous, powerful times of life. I love being able share in the joy of pregnancy by fitness training my clients before, during and after pregnancy!

The hips are very important to keep strong and stable during pregnancy. Here are some great hip exercises I did with Danica (shown below). Great to do even if you are not pregnant! ; ))

                             Figure 4 on leg press machine

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  • Adjust leg press machine to 90 degree depth
  • Very light weight
  • Cross one leg over the in figure 4 position
  • Slowly lower leg to 90 degrees or wherever body allows
  • Hold for 10-20 seconds and switch sides

Outer thigh machine with light arm weights

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Adding upper body weight while on outer thigh machine is efficient way to get heart rate up, encourage focus and stability and tone arms!

Wall Stretch “Secret Sore”

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This is one of my fave “secret sore” workouts that look easy yet is actually challenging the entire body.

  • Standing close to wall lift leg closest to wall up and bent 90 degrees
  • Gently press Hip into wall
  • Spider crawl fingers up wall encouraging a side stretch
  • Slightly bend supporting leg being sure foot is pressing into ground (inside of foot, outside of foot, heel, big toe, pinky toe)

A-B-C Results!

Results as simple as…….A-B-C!

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Above is a client who lost 21 lbs in four months following a balanced, consistent, workout plan making mindful eating choices. She was still able to indulge in weekend fun with friends and stayed on track during the holidays!

Here are some tips in choosing and sticking to a fitness program that will give you long term results!

A

AWARENESS

Take an honest account of your current health and fitness state.

Do you have any injuries? Are you getting enough sleep? What lifestyle choices, patterns and habits would you like to improve on? Do certain food choices give you energy or make you feel sluggish? Do you have any food cravings and if so what time of day?

Start being aware of how your body feels while eating certain foods and before, during, and after exercise. Make choices that make you feel strong and energized! Listen to your body!

ACCOUNTABILITY

How will you hold yourself accountable to a program? For some signing up for a month unlimited of a group class or personal training session is enough to stay motivated. Others motivated by socializing might invite a friend to do a workout video or attend a gym class. Many fitness apps also have communities of friends to help motivate.

B

BALANCE

The best program is a balanced one. Does it fit into your schedule and allow for a balanced lifestyle including sleep, work, socializing?

Does the program include a well rounded repertoire of cardio,strength, stretch and recovery? Does it work all body parts and correct imbalances or does it work only certain body parts over and over again?

BUILD

Does the program allow you to incrementally build a strong foundation or does it expect you to go from sedentary to jump squats?

When it gets too easy, does the program build and  progress or does it remain the same?

C

CONSISTENCY

Your body loves you but can also act like a tantrum- throwing- toddler if you are not CONSISTENT. If you are not currently following a consistent workout program it is better to work out 15 minutes every day than an hour here and there. The best way to speed up your metabolism and lose weight is to be consistent with eating, sleeping, and exercising!

CHOICES

We are so lucky to live in a culture with so many choices. However if we don’t make a choice we won’t get results. Weigh your options and pick a program!

Here are my favorite choices to stay on track!

Class Pass is a great way to sample local classes and decide if you would like to join a workout studio.

http://classpass.com/

My Fitness Pal is a great app to take an honest look at how many calories and fat grams you are consuming on a daily basis.

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/

The Firm workout videos are great for a well rounded, balanced, approachable workout showing different modifications for all levels.

http://www.gaiamtv.com/collection/firm-workouts

Listen to your body. Follow a balanced program. Be consistent.

                       Smile at your hard earned results!!!

Countdown to 40!

have been talking about my countdown to 40 for a few years now. I talk about it so frequently that my youngest sister thought I was already forty and my niece called me FIFTY the other day.

by then time I’m forty, when I’m forty, for my fortieth birthday…on and on and on I go!

Today I turn 39 wooohoooooo!!!!! Which means I officially start my countdown to 40 year! My countdown goal for the year is to live each day on purpose reflecting on the wonderful gifts I have picked up along the way from the people and experiences who have shaped me so I can be my best self.

When I think of forty I think of the women in my life that I admire and pieces of them that I hope to be like.

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snippets of some ladies in mi vida……

My aunt Neyda aka“disco auntie”  moved to New York .When I turned 21 I went to visit her-and she out danced me in the Boogie Down Bronx sweeping me off to concerts and VIP parties with Tito Puentes and Celia Cruz. From that day I wanted to be a classy, dancing rock star!

My aunt Zulma the original fitness and fashion queen would wake me up at 5am to do workout videos before school. She had so much determination and strength. She also had a flair for fashion and would sketch stylish dresses for me for my grandmother to make. Zulma had a huge part in boosting my confidence, self esteem and sparking what would be my career path.

My auntie Myrna the sage with a laugh would have me in stitches sitting around the kitchen table as we talked about life -between massaging hands, filing nails, and combing hair. Any time I would worry about life Myrna would fret worries away with a laugh and a joke putting everything in perspective. No crying over boys with Tia Myrna!

Of course my mother  I can only hope to emulate her absolute unconditional love and pure spirit raising six kids. My mom would put Martha Stewart and Betty Crocker to shame and on top of it never aging a day in her life and having more energy than all of us put together.

So here is my mini list of things I would like to accomplish my #countdowntoforty year!

Bachelor Pad to Cozy Home

True story- my son and I have glass water jugs in our fridge with our initials that we drink out of straight from the fridge. My mom would be completely ecstatic if she came over and we drank out of glasses and had enough silverware for all guests!

Finish projects

I have bins of unfinished writing projects: novels, sitcoms, screen plays, short stories.  Time to dust off the 15 years of work in progress- and complete one at a time.

Push myself athletically

While fitness is my job I can get a bit complacent and not challenge myself. Wouldn’t it be fun if I could do a back-walkover on the balance beam like when I was 15?

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Family First

Time goes by so fast. Often people talk about no regrets pursuing dreams. As my son gets older and my nieces and nephews are finding their talents-I would regret not spending more time with them to watch them experience life.

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Embrace my diva

Always in workout clothes, my adorable niece has requested I not pick her up from school in pajamas even if I don’t care what other people think and I am the least narcissistic person she knows. While I try not to be overly superficial there is nothing wrong with embracing my diva!This year I think it is time to update my wardrobe, look like a grown up and maybe dab on a little lipstick from time to time!

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I am looking forward to a great year of positive improvements as I approach my BIG 4-0!!!!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

How to get a dancers body

A dancer who dances from the soul doesn’t say:

I want a dancers body.

A dancer who dances from the soul says thank you body for allowing me to dance as an unexplainable force channels through the body connecting with the music and the body follows along with a euphoric mysticism.

The feet point and flex and anchor to the earth to allow balance, strength, grace using the body as an artist uses a paintbrush knowing that the body is just a home for the spirit.

The arms paint a story, the thighs jump to express passion to release and express emotion.

So if you want a dancers body:

DANCE!

Dance from the soul. Tell your body thank you from head to toe. Thank you feet. Thank you thighs. Thank you heart.

Move! Release! Jump! Soar!