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Give me some T ‘n A

August 10th, 2015 No Comments

For such a suggestive title you would think I shot some good pics for this post.  Ahhhhh, nope.  In fact, these might be the most unattractive set of photos I’ve ever posted (that’s saying a lot after 9 years of blogging).  But they do the job to show you two great exercises to tone up you TRICEPS while strengthening your ABS….Get it now, T ‘n A ;)

The first one is a low intensity toner that also increases your heart rate while the second one is focused on using more weight and building muscle.

TRICEP SIDE STEP (cardio – low intensity)

 

Grab a light to moderate set of hand weights (1 – 8 lbs).  Start with your feet together, pull your shoulders down and squeeze your shoulder blades together.  Engage your abs and hinge into a 45 degree angle.   Keep your elbows nice and tight next to your ribs.

 

 

Step laterally to one side and extend your arms backwards, keeping your elbows in tight, squeezing your triceps.  Bring your feet back together and curl your arms back to the starting position.  Set your feet back together and repeat stepping the other direction.  Do 10 reps in each direction for a total of 20 tricep extensions.

As you move, your core stays engaged the entire time to protect your back.

This is a great move to do in between sets to get your heart rate back up.

 

 

Overhead Skull Crusher (high intensity – strength)

Sounds like fun, right?!

 

You’ll need a heavy dumbbell or plate and a moderate hand weight or ball for your legs (5-10 lbs.)  Lay flat on the ground, bring your knees up so your legs are at 90 degree angle.  Place the hand weight on your shins and you’ll feel your abs engage.  Pull them tighter so your lower back is flat on the ground.  Push the heavy plate straight over your chest.

 

Slowly lower the plate behind your head.  Your elbows will go back as well. Since the weight is big, you need more extension than a usual skull crusher.    Then press back up to the starting position.

Do 10 – 12 reps.

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Add this exercise to any routine, especially if you don’t have one

July 6th, 2015 No Comments

 

This weekend I had a lot of different conversations about exercise, most of which will fuel my posts over the next few weeks. Because it doesn’t really matter what I’m doing, I’m a fitness crazy person.  The point is for you to take the information, hopefully learn something, and be inspired to try new things.  Change comes from change, right?

The first step to getting in better shape is to exercise, which a lot of people don’t do.  That mental barrier is the hardest one for all of us to break down.  Then, once you get over saying no, you have to choose a type of exercise you will commit to.  Then, there’s the intimidation factor, the budgeting of time and money, the exhaustion that already dominates you day.  The list goes on right?!

This exercise is easy and challenging, works your whole body, you can do it anywhere, with or without weights, to start your day or end your day.

It’s a “don’t think just do it” kinda thing.

If you don’t workout at all, do this exercise to ease back into it.  You’ll see results fast if you do 20 reps, three times.

If you’re already active, throw this in between weightlifting sets to raise your heart rate, before a yoga class to warm up, after a spin class to build strength, you get the idea.

JUST DO IT. It’s too easy not to.

3 sets of 20 reps (ten on each leg).

Don’t worry about rotating, that was just to show you the move from all sides.

Off you go!

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Strength will get you a sexy back

June 8th, 2015 No Comments

When you’re wearing a bathing suit, the most exposed part of your body is your back, so we gotta get it looking good!  Plus, strength in your back body will improve your posture.

I’m a firm believer in “Repetition = Definition” but you can’t define muscles that you don’t have.

By using heavier weight in your workout, you’ll build the muscle first and then you can tone it.

In this video of an angled row, I’m using that philosophy to build back muscle.

In a normal seated row, you will usually feel tension in your neck and you pull.  By raising the angle of your arms, we take your neck out of the equation entirely!

Go for 3 sets of 10 reps.  In between, throw in some lunges to keep your heart rate up while your back and biceps are resting.

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If you set a small goal, you’ll hit it bigger.

May 19th, 2014 No Comments

In my final episode for SELF magazine’s Burn 100 Series, I use light hand weights and 5 different exercises, each work your upper body and lower body at the same time.  The weights will help you build muscle, but they also serve to bring your focus to squeezing on each rep.  If you don’t have weights, water bottles will work.

I’m the type of person that sets an easy goal (like this one 10 minute workout), and then wants to keep going.  So, I would start with this video and then hit these two:

Remember, when you’re doing these circuits, when you get winded, push for a couple more reps and then slow down.  But don’t stop.  Just modify until you catch your breath.

The key to changing your body is the purpose you put into each rep/muscle contraction.

The ab workout should let your heart rate recover, so, KEEP GOING!!! Finish strong with Lacey’s cardio circuit.

As I always tell you:

Find your limit and then push it.  Because YOU CAN. Then you’ll feel your strength and you’ll see you are stronger than you thought. That burn in your body is change in your life.

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“I always think about the cupcakes I’m going to eat at this moment”

April 14th, 2014 No Comments

It’s true…and I actually say that in the video…

My latest video for the SELF magazine #Burn100 series: a total body workout circuit without equipment.

It’s funny, the other day I was telling my friend that during my recent travels I have yet to do one of these workouts. Even though I plead with you to stay focused while you’re away from your routine. She then reminded me I also encourage you to rest your body when your muscles are tired. After 10 SoulCycle classes this week, tired is a bit of an understatement.

This circuit is probably the hardiest to complete but the easiest to execute because you know most of the moves. You just refuse to do them. (Burpees, ehem.)  The challenge is to maintain your form when you get winded, as you will see I am for most of the video.

See my other favorite SELF workouts here.  All are great to do alone or incorporate into your normal workout routine.

P.S. I’m back on the blog this week.  Apologies for being MIA.

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1 bench, 10 minutes, 100 calories.

March 17th, 2014 No Comments

In my second episode of #BURN100 for SELF Magazine, I put together a dynamic circuit workout to hit every muscle group in your body.  All you need to do it?  A bench, step, or high curb.  And of course the ability to overcome  your unwillingness to workout.  I’ll admit, this weekend, I drowned out any voice of reason with sauvignon blanc.  Oops!

Burn100 is a new web series in which every workout is 10 minutes long and guarantees you’ll burn 100 calories.  The key to hitting the calorie count is to keep moving.  You’ll see how I modify at times to catch my breath.  Push yourself to your breaking point and then take it down a level.  The important part is that you get your heart rate up to its max.  If you simply go through the motions, you might burn about 50 calories.

I’m posting the SELF episodes I think you’ll find the most useful, so check in every Monday for a new one.

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Because his hands are all over your….

February 24th, 2014 No Comments

 

Recently I’ve been going on my fair share of first dates.  Clearly there are plenty of patterns I can discuss on this topic, but only a couple that revolve around fitness.

If you think about it, on a first date, there are TWO places  your date touches.  First, probably your hand when your getting out of the car or at the table.  Then at the end of the date, what happens.  There’s usually a hug, if it went well, a kiss then a hug. But always a hug, right? Which means, his or her hands are ALL OVER your back!

So, I contend, as I tell my SOULCYCLE classes during the 7 minutes weight section of class, that those of us who are single need to focus on toning our backs, just as much as our fronts.  Now, obviously there are plenty of other good reasons to strengthening your back (posture being the big one), but my date stories are better for distraction when the burn settles into your lats, rear delts, and rhomboids.

I’m happy to report that several of my recent dates have made very nice comments about my back.  I must be doing something right :)

So, what do I do?  

  • Light weights lots of reps pulling: this would be during my classes, but you can do the same thing ANYWHERE at any time.  The point is that you focus on squeezing when you reach the farthest point of you pull, whether that is backwards in a row, or down in a pull down.
  • Heavy weights less reps.  Pulling until you’re muscles are fatigued.
  • Yoga, downward and upward dogs are great for toning your back.

Click here to see my favorite back workout in the gym. 

Vanessa Hudges, an avid SC rider, is a great example of a lovely backside :)

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Stop crunching! Try this 1 minute KILLER Ab Workout.

October 21st, 2013 No Comments

Besides Manhattan Beach being a great escape from Los Angeles, it’s also home to one of my favorite trainers: Meredith Miller.  She owns Level 10 Fitness, an awesome little gym on Highland where she holds one hour circuit training classes for professional athletes and her die-hard clients.  These people are some of the strongest, most capable people I’ve ever met.

What I love about her workouts is that she uses exercises I would never dream of or do on my own.  The ab circuit you see here I’ve used several times at the gym because I get so bored doing crunches.  Plus, it’s a great upper body workout as well.  You’ll see right away she’s going to use a TRX, so, she’ll review set up before we get started with the torture, I mean, routine.

Please excuse the production value.  We were at the gym before anyone else so I had to make do with a bench as my DP :)

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