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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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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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Bare leg season is upon us. Here’s a quick toning tip!

March 10th, 2014 No Comments

Mary Rambin legs on the beach 2014

 If you’re like me and live in California, “bare leg” season is all year long.  But for those of you on the east coast, you’re finally getting a chance to dethaw.  Now get excited to bust out shorts, skirts, and bathing suits.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  Before I go out to somewhere…important (like an event or date), I like to tone up whatever area of my body is exposed.  If it’s my arms and back, I’ll do some quick pushups.  If it’s my legs, I hit this one-legged lunge.

Usually, I bust out a few rounds in my bedroom before I shower, but for demonstration purposes, I had Owen take some pics after our workout on the Santa Monica Stairs.

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The key here is to find something you can rest your back foot on so your foot is above your knee.  The tricky part is to get your front foot out far enough so your knee is right over your ankle.

When you’re in position, simply lower down and push up through your heel.  Keep your core engaged so your torso stays upright and you’re not leaning forward. Do whatever you need to with your hands to stay balanced.

I do as many as I can on each leg and then switch.  Depending on how much time I have, I’ll do one or two sets.

Easy and effective!

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10 minute lower body cardio circuit to #BURN100 calories

March 3rd, 2014 No Comments

Lacey Stone is one bad ass chick.  I hung out with her on set, and she is a killer trainer.  In her episode of Burn100 she takes you through a series of fairly simple moves that combined as a circuit will get your heart rate sky-high.

There’s no equipment involved so you can do this ANYWHERE.

At this moment in my fitness regimen, any cardio that isn’t SOULCYCLE is always a challenge. I’m starting to sweat just watching the video.




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5 ways to a better butt

February 19th, 2014 No Comments

Here’s why I love these videos:

  • We (the trainers) take extra care to explain form during the entire video
  • The circuits are short.  No excuse not to do them.
  • You can replicate the series on your own without the video after you do it a couple of times.

This circuit for a better butt is pretty easy (but effective) and would be a great addition to any workout or after a run.


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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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Time to get your butt in bikini shape

April 1st, 2013 3 Comments

If you haven’t already been sunbathing over spring break :)

In this video I show you 4 exercises other than your basic squats and lunges that you can do to tone up your glutes.  Reader Anne wrote in and said that squats and lunges cause pain in her knees, and she would love to know glute exercises that didn’t.  Between my trainers and a physical therapist, we came up with these 4 that are great at isolating your glutes.

You can do them with or without weights.  As I am trying to build up a little muscle back there, I use heavier weights:  10-20 lbs.  I also have to be mindful of my lower back which inhibits me from going heavier, but you can!

Also check out this squat-row combo  and this video for more ways to tone up your glutes.

Finally, I have to apologize for the production value of this video. The girl who helped me was so sweet to shoot it, but it didn’t come out the way I had hoped.  As the years pass somehow it’s getting harder to find people to help me shoot these things…..

(Video head to toe: bead head hair, Nike top, Lululemon pants, Reebok shoes)

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Angles and Reps: Toning Your Inner Thighs Edition

March 12th, 2012 6 Comments

This round of exercises from Cederick my trainer proved to tighten my inner thighs in 2 weeks!  Remember, I also spin, do yoga, and lift regularly, as well as eat with a healthy conscious so that all helps too :)

You’ll notice most of the movements are the same as what you would do to work your glues.  The difference is the positioning of your feet and your focus. The challenge here is to NOT use your glutes as much as your inner thighs to control the movement.

Remember the principle:  lighter weight + lots of reps + multiple angles that target same muscle group.  For each exercise,  you’re going to do a set of 20.  I’ll complete one round on a day when I’m lifting chest or back.  See those angle and rep exercises here.

Wide Leg LOW Incline Squats


Put the same amount of weight on the machine as you would with a normal squat.  Place your feet low on the platform with your feet turned out wide as I have above.  Lower your legs down farther than feels comfortable and then push up through your heels.

Side Lunges with Weights

*Click for a bigger picture*

Let me break this one down for you:

  1. Stand tall with the weights in hand (Grab moderately heavy weights.  I have 8 lbs here.  Due to my sensitive lower back, I keep it light in this exercise.)
  2. Lunge far out to one side, allowing your lower body to come down to your knee and the weights to go on either side of your foot.
  3. Pressing on the inside of your foot and squeezing your inner thigh, push back up to standing tall.
  4. Repeat for the other side.

Adductor Squeezes

Yeah, I hate this one.  I dislike it first because it’s just tedious and mechanical.  Then of course, it sucks to spread your legs wide open for the gym to see.  But, whatever, it’s necessary.

I do 80 lbs, squeezing for 1 minute.


Sumo Squats

I’m sure you’ve done these before.  Instead of pushing with your glutes, squeeze with your inner thighs to push you up.  Also focus on keeping your shoulder blades pulled together and chest high. I use a 20 lb weight.


Leg Raises


Your thighs should be engaged and getting tired at this point.  This simple leg lift will help you tone and rest.  Lay down as I have above and raise your leg with your inner thigh trying not to use your glutes.  Do 20 reps then turn your toe out and do 20 more.  Repeat for the other leg.


Side Leg Raises with Weights

The positioning on this one is awkward so just find something that feels comfortable. Move your bottom leg forward and steady a light weight with your hand.  Honestly, you might not even need the weight.  Straighten your leg, relax your foot, and use your heel to lead your leg up.  Do as many as you can, 20 being the minimum.

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