Slay the Day : Mini-Band Travel Workout

Maintaining a training routine while traveling can be challenging. Throw in holiday parties, good food, and lack of gym equipment, and you can feel at a total loss. 

When training, I advise all clients to invest in two items... a foam roller & mini-band.

Whether you're traveling or find yourself with an extra 20 min at home, but not enough time to get to the gym, these two items will provide just enough of a challenge to garner a sense of accomplishment. Remember, something is always better than nothing, and no one ever regrets a workout...

While I'm big on training glutes & core (see workout here), in general, I like to target all major muscle groups within any one workout.

Below are some of my favorite mini-band exercises you can do anywhere (I actually keep a mini-band or two in my purse). It's quick, it's simple, but it gets the job done! 

Happy holidays!


See More: 5 Tips for a Healthy Holiday


Step Outs

Loop band around both legs and bring it above the knees (no pressure on knee joint). Feet hip width apart, hinge from the hip, keeping weight in the heels. Take one step out to the side to widen stance while maintaining hinge. Return to neutral stance (hip width apart), and repeat. Practice 15-20 reps on each side, then return to center for 20 pull aparts. Your glutes should be on fire!



Begin in plank position, shoulders above the hands, and feet hip width apart– band around the ankles. Carefully lower to forearm plank, and return to full arm extension. ProTip: focus on maintaining stability in your hips. As arms lower hips should follow, but they should remain parallel to the ground at all times. Repeat for 10-20 reps. 


Plank Jacks

Begin in plank (full arm extension) with band around the ankles. Maintaining stability in your shoulders, core, and hips, simultaneously bring both feet into a wide stance position, then back together. Imagine jumping jacks, except your arms remain in place ;)

30-40 seconds


High Row

In a soft stance (knees slightly bent), grip band with both hands & raise arms to shoulder hight. Keeping arms parallel to the ground and shoulders down away from the ears, pull band apart and in towards chest. Extend to straight arms and repeat for 15 reps. If you're doing this right, you should feel it in your back with each pull.


Hip Thrusts

Begin by lying down, band above the knees, and knees bent at hip width apart. Pulling thighs apart, so as to break that band, press through the heels & squeeze glutes to raise and lower the hips. Repeat 15-20 times. 




I don't know about you guys, but this week flew by! Also, it officially feels like Fall in Chicago, and I'm not loving it. Bring back summer!

Regardless, this weather change had me reminiscing on our beach bootcamps. If you follow on social, you've heard all about this (special thanks to Ali for hosting with me!). We had a such a fun crowd, probably a bit too much sun, & a lot of heart pumping core work, before indulging in celebratory bevs to kick off the weekend. Unfortunately, our window for beach workouts has likely passed, but I'm considering an indoor pilates fusion class. Any takers?... 

Would love to get your feedback and start looking at some event times this fall. Let me know what kind of workouts you'd be most interested in seeing, too!

In the meantime, enjoy this quick snapshot of our last bootcamp & hopefully we'll get a couple more beach worthy days before Fall settles in. A girl can hope, right?...



Sweater, Pants, Bra - here / Shoes - HERE


Ever see that person who works out super hard once a week, but doesn't return until next Monday? Maybe you've been that person and you're frustrated knowing the effort you give, while lacking to see results. One of the biggest questions I get, is "How often should I workout?"

Let me start by emphasizing there's no magic formula. When clients come in for their first consultation, we don't workout, instead we chat through their goals, medical and exercise history, run through a series of movement tests, then jot down some measurements to measure their progress.  Bottom line, each and every one of us is so unique that what works for one is not a guarantee for the other.

That being said, two primary factors in any & all client success stories are water consumption and consistency. Consider the first a life-tip (we should all be drinking more water), but the second is your key to seeing results. 

In general, I recommend strength training a minimum of 3 times a week, and here's why...

Supercompensation is a term in sports science describing the process your body undergoes following a workout. Eery time you workout, you're essentially breaking down tissue, creating microscopic tears in your muscle fibers, (this is how you develop new muscle). When we do this, we send our bodies into a bit of a shock– call this the "Oh Sh*t" moment, as your body quickly reacts by not only recovering back to your normal fitness level, but overcompensating in anticipation of whatever you have coming next. During this time (generally a 72hr window), you're body is prepared to perform at a higher capacity. The key is to catch your next workout, while your body is still in that overcompensating state, so as to build on what you did previously and develop that upward momentum towards your goals. Similarly, if you fail to catch your next workout within that 72hour window, your body's performance capacity will slowly drop back to your original baseline, making it difficult to see results, hence that person who only works out once or twice a week & is disappointed by their lack of progress.

Have you found yourself in one of these two categories?

While there's no magic formula to success, strength training 3x a week with added cardio on off days is a solid guide. Below is a graph I drew up to help demonstrate this process. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I tend to geek-out over this, so while I don't want to overwhelm you, I'm more than happy to help!

Glutes & Core

I always warn my clients they'll get sick of hearing me say "glutes & core". Despite that coveted peach & chiseled six-pack, these are the two most important muscle groups to train not only individually, but in unisen.

Your glutes & core are your two largest muscle groups, providing balance, control, and power. You cannot have one without the other; a strong core will only get you so far without a strong pelvis, and when performing a movement if you lose engagement of one, the other follows suit.

Below are some of my favorite glute & core exercises, all of which are easy to progress or modify as needed... 

As for this outfit- Abercrombie is kind of my guilty pleasure, which makes me feel 15, but surprisingly my 15 year old self never shopped there. It wasn't until a few years ago while Christmas shopping that I stumbled across their store and found some gems I couldn't turn down. Now, I'm always checking in, especially because they have the best sales– this bra is only $8!



Lay flat on the mat & pull one knee in to the chest, extend that leg out at approximately 45 degree angle. Squeeze your glutes to lift the hips. Keep your neck in line with your spine & your back flat, so as to not over extend (aka. don't arch your back). At the top of the movement, you should be able to draw a straight line from head to toe. 

To modify simply keep both feet on the floor. For an added challenge ditch the mat and lean up against a bench. Line up with your back against the edge of the bench at the bra-line. Keeping your back flat, you'll pivot on the bench with each lower and lift of the hips. 



Pro Tip: Keep your weight in the heels & reach back as in sitting in a chair. Keep knees behind the toes & only lower as far as you can keep that core engaged. The moment you start to fee that core give out, squeeze your glutes and press through the heels to standing. As you strengthen, you'll be able to increase that range of motion while maintaining proper muscle engagement. If you're feeling this in your quads or knees, your likely keeping the weight towards the front of your feet & not reaching back enough. Transfer weight to the heels and lead with the hips. 


Reverse Lunge 

From standing, reach back with one leg and lower the knee one inch above the ground in the center of your stance. You should see a 90 degree angle from hip to ankle on both legs. Press into the front heel and push back up to standing. Avoid kicking off the back foot. Keeping the weight in the front heel, your back leg should float back up to standing. If you're doing this right, you'll feel on one side of your glutes at a time.


Pilates Step Down

This is a modified pilates chair exercise. To start, place one foot on top of a bench, shift all of the weight forward onto that leg. Find your balance & engage your core. Keeping your upper body in place, and your back leg light as a feather, reach back and gently tap your toe to the ground, return to bench, gently tap the toe, and repeat. If you're doing this right, by 15-20 reps your glute will be burning out. 

Pro Tip: As with the squat, if you're feeling this in your quad, transfer your weight to the heel of that front foot.  


Brick Bug

Don't underestimate this simple movement, this is one of my favorite core exercises & a great replacement for crunches, since it doesn't apply any pressure on the neck. Begin by lying flat on the mat, bring legs up to table-top, and grip a yoga brick on one side between your knee and elbow. Rather than applying pressure down through the elbow, flex your foot (toe to chin) and apply pressure through the knee up toward the chest. The more your press up through that knee, the more you'll feel those lower abdominals engage. On the opposite side, extend your arm overhead and straighten your leg at a 45 degree angle. Only extend as far as you can keep that back flat to the mat. If you feel pressure in your low back, or notice it starting to arch, limit your range of motion & focus on straightening the leg, rather than lowering it. 



If you ever feel back pain in this position, the following instructions are for you. 

Start on your hands and knees, lift the knees off the mat, make sure your back is flat- there should be a straight line from head to toe. If you struggle keeping this form & feel your low back arch, tuck your pelvis toward your ribcage. Pull your weight forward just a couple of inches making sure your shoulders are directly above your hands. To fully engage your core, squeeze your glutes and  flex your thighs. The more musclsd you can engage, the better.

To modify, either lower down to your elbows, or drop down to your knees. For an added challenge, simply practice lifting one arm off the mat at a time. The key here is control, maintaining the hips in place, while transferring weight (aka. avoid that side-to-side sway).


Pilates Single Leg Stretch

Begin by laying flat on the mat. Pull your knees into the chest, peel your neck and shoulders off the mat & engage your core. Extend your left leg forward, & slide your right hand down your ankle, using the other to gently brace the inside of your knee. Switch legs & repeat for 10-15 reps. 

Pro Tip: Keep your shoulders down away from the ears & peel up off the mat an added couple inches.


Side Plank with Hip Dips

Turn onto your side, bend your knees slightly & place your hand under your shoulder. Press into your hand & lift the hips off the mat. Stack the shoulders, stack the hips, and find your balance. You should see a straight line from head to toe. In a controlled fashion, lower and raise the hips. 

To modify, separate the feet for a wider base of support. Additionally, you can lower down to your elbow and/or knees. Bend the knees at a 90 degree angle & lift the hips– you should see a straight line from your shoulders down to your knees.