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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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Flatten your tummy by tightening it from the inside out

June 2nd, 2014 1 Comment

Abs with a yoga block

I like to think of this has my bikini season crunch because it will pull back your pull back your abdominal wall quicker than we can say, “I don’t eat carbs.”  And let’s be serious, we don’t really mean that! As a bonus, you’ll also strengthen those pesky inner thigh muscles.

The crunch is pretty technical, so pay attention.  It won’t work unless you meticulously perform it properly every time.

The Setup:

  1. Lie flat on the floor and put your hands behind your head.
  2. Raise your legs straight up so they are perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Flex your feet and push towards the ceiling with the balls of your feet, not your heels.
  4. If this is too challenging, bend your knees at a 90 degree angle.
  5. Take a yoga block or rolled up towel and place it between your upper thighs.
  6. Squeeze.  Hard!

The set up is challenging on it’s own.  So if your core is weak, start off by seeing how long you can hold this position.

Adding Movement:

  1. Continue to squeeze the block; don’t let up on it as you move.
  2. Inhale deeply as you lift you tailbone off the ground barely an inch.
  3. Pull your elbows in around your face.
  4. Exhale using your core to push the air out as you raise your shoulder blades as far as you can off the ground.
  5. Hold at the top until you have exhaled all of the air and contracted your abs completely.
  6. Lower down to your starting position and repeat 15 times.

The key points to remember: squeeze the block, lift your shoulders up all the way, and pull your navel in as far as it will go.

Now that you’ve started to pull in your waistline from the inside, get to work on the outside.  Replace complex carbs like bread with fibrous fruits and veggies.  That is, IF you want your bathing suit body.  (If I’m being honest, most days, I don’t really care :))

(I found this exercise in class at Cura Yoga that has two studios in Houston that have tons of great power yoga classes!)

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BURN100 – my circuit to burn 100 calories in 10 minutes!

February 10th, 2014 1 Comment

Last week SELF magazine launched the SELF video channel online to offer a variety of fitness web series to help you get your burn on.  I shot 4 episodes of BURN100 where I do a circuit of exercises to burn 100 calories in 10 minutes using only equipment you would have at home.  In this first episode, I created a yoga-inspired series:

  • Yoga burpee
  • Crescent lunges
  • Yoga wave (warrior 2 to reverse warrior)
  • Build a bridge

You’ll see as I go I get out of breath.  The constant movement really gets your heart rate up and builds heat in your muscles WITHOUT having to kill yourself.

It’s a great workout to wake up your body and start the day.  The flow is easy to do in a hotel room or when you’re on vacation (and know you need to do SOMETHING physical).

Every Monday I’ll be posting a new killer workout.  There were four other trainers who participated like Brett Hoebel from the Biggest Loser.  So no more excuses to NOT exercise.


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In which we grow through practice not perfection

January 13th, 2014 No Comments

Talking about yoga as a “practice” makes so much sense to me.  First of all, the notion of “practice” is comforting.  After years of going through vinyasa flows of all levels, I still feel like there is space to deepen my understanding of the discipline, the power of my breath, and my intention while doing the work.  Even in the most basic of poses. What it comes down to, for me, is that there is never a point of perfection.  Because it’s a practice, I can accept that.

(If only I could translate that perspective to other areas of my life.)

At the same time, I love that there is so much of yoga I have yet to explore!  For example: the handstand.  I know if I put my mind to it, I can do it.  Just like I did with crow, side crow, and a head stand. I just need 2 things: the physical breakdown of the pose and my fear of falling to subside.  I’ve actually tried it a handful of  times, but I’m scared to death I’m going to break something….silly, I know.

The other day I took Bianca Fearon‘s class at Hot8Yoga in Santa Monica.  She has a gift at breaking down the steps to set up and execute poses.  You’ll see that right away in this video as she explains two ways to begin to learn handstand.  If you’ve been practicing on the wall for a while, you should watch this video.

Her whole YouTube channel is very informative.  

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“But what if he grabs my ass?!”

November 18th, 2013 No Comments

My girlfriend, who shall go unnamed, asked me this question followed by, “How did yours get so much bigger…and perky?  You used to not have a butt at all and now you’re filling out your jeans!”

She’s right!  If only my answer was pizza….

The real answer to my more noticeable apple bottom is teaching SOULCYCLE classes 10 times a week.  When you put the resistance on high enough and pull your butt over the back of the saddle, you can isolate your glutes and hamstrings to do the heavy lifting.  They tighten up pretty quickly.  All the more reason for yoga, which also firms up the backside.

She then moaned that they don’t have SOULCYCLE in Houston and insisted she didn’t have time for the gym with her new job.

My response: lunges with weights in your hallway.

She looked at me like I told her to eat poo.  Seriously.

I get it, lunges aren’t fun or glamorous, so…

I’ll offer you a few variations and alternatives you can do at home to tighten up your tuchis before it gets any attention.

1. T – Dead Lift

2. Walk ‘n Squeeze

When you walk around your neighborhood (or even the grocery store), simply squeeze your glutes as your heel hits the ground. Intensify the exercise by walking up inclines or stairs.  Make sure to pull your shoulders back and keep your abs tight (this will help your posture too!)

3.  Sumo Squat Cleaning the House

Set your feet out wide around what you’re going to pick up.  Lower down, grab the item, push up through your heels, and squeeze your glutes when you get to the top.  Try not to bend over at the waist to pick up the item.  To intensify, walk around in the squat position!

5.  Watching TV Circuit

Again, weights can be optional, but it wouldn’t hurt to invest in a few if you’re going to be working out at home.

6.  This Alternative Vinyasa Yoga Flow

I think you’ll find this flow to be different from what you do at your local studio. Stacey has a way of making the flow different each class and super strengthening. Just watching this video your glutes will start to burn!

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This week’s challenge: Sweat x2

October 14th, 2013 No Comments



Yesterday, 57 minutes through a 90 minute power yoga class, totally worked over already, I laid down in a pool of my own sweat that covered my mat from end to end.  Not exaggerating.

It felt AWESOME.

I’ve been on a yoga kick for the last two weeks so I welcomed the challenge to deepen my practice. What ended up happening was the stretching of my patience to stay not just focused, but in the room. I made it through, and stumbled out of there with a great senses of satisfaction!

When I teach at SoulCycle, I sweat a lot.  In fact, I find it fun to watch it fling around as I ride or move the weights.  But my body is so accustomed to the work that the exercise isn’t mentally challenging for me.  On the other hand, the ride is absolutely provocative and spiritual when I put my issues on the wheel and grind them out.

This week I’m challenging you to do a workout to the point you are TOTALLY drenched.  Push your mind to the limit.  So I’m not talking pit sweat or a little circle on the middle of your t-shirt.  Drenched as in I-can’t-leave-the building-with-these-wet-clothes-on situation.

What workouts are going to get to that point?  Mostly cardio and high intensity interval training.

  • Spinning
  • Kickboxing
  • Running
  • Stairmaster
  • Rowing
  • Step (do gyms still offer this?!)
  • Crossfit
  • Circuit training (BLAST900 in Atlanta, Level10 in Manhattan beach are my faves)
  • Yoga (Hot8 in Santa Monica, Equinox in WeHo, Joy Yoga in Houston, Atlanta Hot Yoga)

And I want you to do it twice.  In one week.  See if you can distinguish a change in the first and second time.  How do you feel about the workout and effort you put forth?  Take the time to sit with your accomplishment and feel the power it can have over your body and mind.

There are so many benefits to sweating and getting your heart rate up.

  1. Ignites endorphins 
  2. Revs up your metabolism
  3. Detoxes your organs quickly
  4. Controls your body’s chemical balance
  5. Burns more calories
  6. Allows fat to become water soluble and leave body
  7. Opens pores and helps get rid of acne
  8. Prevents kidney stones
  9. Strengthens your heart

In doing research for this post (also see this article), I ran across this familiar face on FitnessMagazine.com:

Charlee in Fitness Magazine


That’s my girl Charlee (SAMO, BWOOD, BVHL studios).  She’s a killer instructor and obviously stunning.

(High On Sweet via SoulCycle Instagram)


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My workout regimen is based on location, location, location.

April 15th, 2013 6 Comments

Mary Rambin exercise 2013

@JaclynDayBlog tweet

As a matter of fact I have!  But that could have been 3 years ago…after so many years of blogging I lose track :)

If you’ve been following me through those years, you know I’ve moved a handful of times – New York, LA, Houston, Mexico, Atlanta.  As much as I would like to take my workout with me as I bounce around, I can’t because of the facilities and studios specific to each city.   In some ways that’s good so I don’t get burned out and my body doesn’t become accustomed to a routine.  As we all know, one of the most important parts of changing our bodies and getting stronger is challenging your body.

The basis of my workout is always the same:  cardio, weights/strength, aerobic/zone 3 heart rate/fat burning days, yoga.  How I accomplish those things is based on where I am and my heart rate goal for the day (cardio = zone 4-5 for 1 hour, fat burn = zone 3 1 hour).  Here is an approximate breakdown of what I do where.  If you click the links, you’ll get more details on what my workouts entail.

New York

  • SoulCycle – 3 days a week = cardio
  • Blink/Equinox – 2 days a week = weights + zone 3
  • Yoga – 1 day a week (haven’t found a studio here yet)

To answer Jaclyn’s question, SoulCycle isn’t enough FOR ME because it misses 2 major muscle groups (chest and back) during the arm segment and doesn’t allow for building muscle with heavy weights.  However, the arm section is amazing to tone your shoulders, biceps, and triceps.

Los Angeles

  • SoulCycle – 2 days a week= cardio
  • Runyon Canyon – 2 days a week = 1 day cardio, 1 day zone 3
  • Equinox – weights or group fitness classes (they have THE BEST!), 1 day yoga

**I still haven’t figured out my scheduling of these yet.




  • My beach workouts – 3 days a week = 1 day cardio, 2 day zone 3
  • Gym – 2-3 days a week = weights + cardio
  • P90x – weights, resistance bands, 1 days a week = weights
  • Yoga DVD (haven’t found a favorite yet)


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Stretching is kinda like eating vegetables….

February 11th, 2013 No Comments

You know you should do it often; you know it feels good when you do it.  But you make excuses not to do it.

Are we really in too big of a hurry to stretch?  Come on…be honest!

By my calculations, we only need 7 minutes to stretch. 

According to Rich at BLAST900 and Fitness Magazine (yep, I went and double checked!), unless you hold a stretch for 30 seconds, you aren’t getting the full benefit of it. 

So, for a bare minimum, you can do 30 seconds each side for a total of 1 minute per stretch to knock out:

  1. Quads
  2. Hamstrings
  3. Hip Flexor (shown above)
  4. Glutes
  5. Chest
  6. Triceps
  7. Back twist

The time we spend stretching will pay dividends in the long run.  Tony Horton (the face of P90x) says, “if your flexibility is bad now, it’s only going to get worse as time passes.”  That’s his pitch for EVERYONE to do yoga, and you can’t really argue with it.  The least we can do is stretch, right?!

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