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Importance of Setting Goals

It’s simply a fact that when people have goals to guide them, they are happier and achieve more than they would without having them. Goals provide focus and a measuring stick for progress. 

Eliminate Plateaus: Add intensity

Hiring a personal trainer to constantly monitor your progress and effectiveness of workouts is one way to avoid plateaus. If you don’t have that liberty, start by taking a look at my 7 tips for adding intensity to you next workout.

My love hate relationships

I have a love hate relationship with my foam roller. Reality is foam rolling is supposed to hurt, at least when you begin a regimen of regular foam rolling.

Turkish Get Up: Make it work for you

Since moving to LA I’ve been spending more time with my kettlebells because it feels so natural to train with them outdoors, and if you know me, I’m all about taking my workouts outside. There are a number of exercises I turn to when I’m through rehabbing an injury and want to strengthen my whole body so that it functions better. In my current case it’s my right shoulder that’s been feeling weak and my left ankle, which still is not a stable as my left. This is why I love the Turkish Get Up. It’s a great tool to gauge where I am (or a client is) with a recovery and has a number of amazing benefits.

  • It improves mobility throughout the whole body thus reducing general daily aches and pains
  • It improves stability of the shoulders in particular, which is key to keeping that joint strong and healthy.
  • It challenges coordination.
  • It works the deep abdominal muscles therefore strengthening your core from the inside out.

Once you’ve perfected the get up with a light weight it’s so rewarding you’ll want to see if you can perform with more weight next time.

The Turkish get up in is entirety is not a beginner exercise, but just about anyone can start with steps one and two and progress from there. You will see Get Ups also being performed with dumbbells and barbells, even sand bags! I prefer the KB because with the weight of the KB in hand, straight up over the shoulder, you will notice that the weight bears straight down over the shoulder as opposed to being spread out over a larger area as with a dumbbell or barbell making it harder to control.  If you don’t have a KB I suggest starting with a dumbbell, you can even benefit from performing the exercise with no weight at all. You could  hold onto a can of refried beans that have been sitting in your cupboards for months. -:)

The Turkish get up is not easy to perform. It can take weeks to just get from the ground to standing with proper form. Don’t give up. I can guarantee you will feel great and the reward for sticking with it will pay off. Please let me know how you are progressing.

Watch my tutorial video then follow the step-by-step photo instructions.


Here are the steps of the Get Up broken down. I’m stating the steps with the KB in the right hand since most people are right hand dominant. After completing the exercise on the right move over to the left. Continue switching sides. At the point where you think you could take on more weight, don’t. Instead progress during your next workout by completing all planned reps on one side then switch.

For surface area do not use a mat, rather choose grass or gym flooring. Wood can be slippery from moisture so do not recommend that either. I prefer to go barefoot so the muscles in my feet assist me, leaving that up to you, but consider going barefoot if you are having a hard time transitioning between steps.

Lie on back with KB next to your right shoulder. Lift KB over R shoulder with arm straight and plant R foot on ground


Engage your abs, plant L elbow on ground about 2 inches away from your L hip. Use your R foot to assist in bringing your torso upright rolling from L elbow onto L hand. Keep eyes on the KB making sure the arm is still straight and extended over the R shoulder.



Roll onto side of L foot as you drive your hips up (think glute bridge with one leg straight and one leg bent).




This is one of the harder steps, swinging the L leg behind you to prepare yourself for a lunge set up. Keep the R arms straight over the shoulder, forming a T between the two arms. Keep your hips high and swing your left leg behind you.



Use your L arm to push off the ground, shift your L foot a bit so that your hips are facing forward. You are essentially in a lunge position with your L knee on the ground and L toes tucked under you. Keep that R arm straight up over the shoulder. Make sure your hips are squared off before you lunge up.



Lunge up to standing with feet together. You made it!! Now it’s time to Get Down.



Step the L leg back into a lunge bringing the knee gently down to the ground. Make sure the knee is well behind the L hip.



Keep your eyes on the KB and plant your L hand on the ground forming a T again.


Keep maintaining that T, keep the hips up off the ground and swing the left leg underneath your body driving the heel into the ground using some of the side of your foot for support.



Lower your hips back down to the ground but keep your bodyweight a bit to the left with your L hand supporting you.



Use your abs to roll back down paying close attention to a straight arm and KB still over the shoulder.


Straighten legs and bring the KB back down to the ground.

If at anytime the arm bends or the hand starts to swing away from the shoulder, bring the weight back down to the shoulder and reset. Just to get the body positioning. I highly recommend performing quite a few Get Ups with no weight at all. Work on the maintaining the hand position and body position. When ready for weight, start with steps 1-3. Master each step before moving onto the next. Notice the different challenges you have depending on which side the weight is held. Progress by performing 5 complete Get Ups per side before adding weight. Take it slow, but once you have it down you can pick up the pace as a progression.

At what point in your workout should you perform the Get Up? I suggest either finishing with Get Ups if it was a light workout, or somewhere in the middle when you are thoroughly warmed up, but are not feeling terribly fatigued. Don’t go into your get ups if your shoulders are tired.

Send me an email with questions or a progress report.

Start Saving at Jack Rabbit on Fitness Apparel and Gear

Jack Rabbit, my go to running store, is offering my friends and clients 100 points (valued at $10) when you sign up HERE  for their rewards program.  You can immediately redeem those points when you go to one of their four NYC stores. Jack rabbit has been around for years and has knowledgeable and friendly staff to assist you with all your running gear and more.  They have the most advanced shoe fitting service in NYC.  They will find the right shoe for you by asking lots of questions, getting you on a treadmill and then using video analysis.  And these services are free!

Aside from running shoes they sell gear for running, swimming, cycling and yoga.  They have technical apparel, wetsuits, training electronics, and a collection of general fitness aids.

With locations in Park Slope, W 14th street, Lex and 85th, and West 72nd street, there are multiple locations to choose from.  Sign up here and start shopping!  To redeem points simply just give them your phone number along with valid ID and you are good to go!

My favorite 6 miler: Brooklyn waterfront pier to pier

Carla.LIC.PepsiFollow me along my favorite 6 mile route for running or biking. I’ll take you from Williamsburg through Greenpoint and LIC past restaurants and bars all the way to the historic Pepsi-cola sign.Starting out at Williamsburg N 5th street ferry,  head over to Kent ave and stick to the left side sidewalk and go north. As Kent becomes Franklin keep an eye out for shops, restaurants and bars to return to on another day. Every couple of months I’ll see something new! Stay on Franklin and look out for the bike signs to the Pulaski bridge making a right on Eagle. Eagle will dead-end onto the Pulaski overpass. It’s quite narrow, check over your shoulder for cyclists when you pass someone. This is your only hill, so put some work into it and enjoy the view over our lovely Newton creek watershed as well as the midtown tunnel traffic. As urban, smelly and congested as this part is, it’s worth the reward on the other side. The bridge descends on to Jackson Ave where you turn left (this is the 2 mile mark) and then a right onto 51st ave. 51st ave takes you directly to the waterfront park and the LIC ferry terminal. There are concessions there, water, and I believe bathrooms. From here just explore the multiple paths along the water. There are places to stop, recline on a lounger, sit in the grass and enjoy the Manhattan views. If you make it the old Pepsi sign you have gone 3 miles. Let me know if you find anything worth returning to and I’ll join you!

10 Reasons for incorporating stretching into your daily activities

These 10 reasons for incorporating stretching into your daily activities should inspire you to keep reading and watch my video at the end.

  1. Helps improve flexibility and increases your range of motion through the joint.
  2. Improves mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance.  If the muscles surrounding a joint are flexible the body can move through a wider range of motion with less energy, allowing for better performance overall.
  3. May slow the degeneration of joints.  By reducing stiffness you improve the range of motion around a joint
  4. Has the potential to decrease injury by preparing muscles for work prior to activity.
  5. Increases blood and nutrient supply to muscles, as a result generally reducing muscle soreness post exercise.
  6. May reduce the risk of injury, as a flexible muscle is less likely to become injured.
  7. Calms the mind by providing a mental break.
  8. Helps reduce stress as a well-stretched muscle holds less tension therefore leaving you feeling less stressed.
  9. By lengthening tight muscles you are assisting in correcting postural imbalances.  By focusing on the muscles that are tight due to daily activities, or inactivity you can counteract poor posture and allow the joint to function normally.
  10. Decreases the risk of low back pain when you focus on the muscles attached to the pelvis.

With the last two points in mind I have put together 4 simple stretches you can do just about anywhere.

Hamstrings are tight on just about everyone, whether its from sitting too much, doing lunges, deadlifts, step ups or sports like running and cycling.

Hip Flexors are tight on most people who sit for long periods of time.  Often you don’t feel this tightness until you go to do something, for instance a lunge.  Often I cue a client for a lunge and ask them to focus on the glute activation but instead they feel tightness in the hip flexors on the front of the opposing leg.  Often the overactive hip flexor prevents the gluteus complex from doing its job fully. 

Chest and anterior deltoids are tight from the shoulder being internally rotated while driving, sitting, and typing.  Also an area that is often overlooked because it doesn’t feel tight until you go and stretch the area.  A simple test is to just stand with your arms by your side.  If your palms face more toward the back of the room then you are internally rotated and need to focus on stretching this area.  If your fingertips face inward or even a little forward you are doing something right. 

Spine and muscles along the spine like the multifidi and erector spinae need regular movement to stay mobile.  Any position that gets held for long periods of time is not good for the spine.  This could be sitting at a desk, standing with poor posture, leaning over on a bike. 

There are many stretches that work well for these four areas but I have given you actions that can easily be done in sequence throughout your workday or at home.   I’ve chosen to show you a video where all you need is a chair.  Check out my 4 chair stretches video.


Spring has Sprung in Brooklyn

It's time to take some of the hard work you've been doing indoors and see how it translates outside.  Having taught many outdoor classes, I see how participants push themselves even harder when workouts are taken outdoors.  Regardless of your fitness level I have some ideas for you to get in some exercises while enjoying the outdoors.

  • A walk or jog over the Williamsburg Bridge, which is 4 miles total from NSP.
  • Wander over to McCarren Park and do a segment of walking/jogging and body weight exercises.  Remember all those killer jump squats, jack squats, push-ups with rotations from tabata class and cardio class?  Simply set a phone timer with intervals and get to it. 
  • At the track combine bodyweight and cardio on your own.  Run/speed walk one lap (1/4 mile) followed by 5 minutes of a circuit of three exercises like lunges, push-ups, and side planks.
  •  Get your bike tuned up now, and take advantage of all the bike paths that get you over the bridges and to the west side Hudson River Park or Prospect Park. 
  • Bike a 6-mile waterfront course all the way to Red Hook, stop at Fairway and picnic at the park at pier 44.
  • See Apps map my run and map my bike for ideas on courses and to log your activities.

I'm looking forward to biking and running without so many layers in preparation for my return to triathlon in June.  Hope to see some familiar faces out there.

Killer Ball Technique

Last month I wrote about sitting too much with suggestions for moving throughout the day and keeping your body aligned properly.  You can make great progress with maintaining proper posture with a simple hard ball.