Travel Workout

Wondering how to exercise while on vacation? Try this full body workout anywhere there is space available, and mix up the exercises to keep your body challenged! One day try all exercises back to back and repeat the circuit 1-3x. You can also pick 2 or 3 exercises and repeat them back to back before moving on to another set of exercises. Have fun!

Warm up by jogging, doing jumping jacks, or jumping rope in place (5 minutes)

1. Fire Pushups: Complete pushups in regular plank position or on your knees for 20 seconds; then hold in pushup position for 20 seconds. Aim for 4 sets back to back with no rest.

2. Front kick to lunge: Thrust your right leg forward into a front kick and immediately drop it into a back lunge with the right knee down to the ground. That's one rep. Complete 20 reps and switch to left leg.

3. 180 degree Squat Jumps: Start in squat position. Jump into the air landing back in your squat. Immediately jump rotating 90 degrees to the left, then back to center, then to the right. Make sure you always land with your feet in parallel position and hip distance apart. Repeat this explosive movement for 20 reps.

4. Plank Walk with Tricep Pushup: Start in regular pushup position. Keeping your abs and hips tight, move across the room maintaining your high plank. Once you get there, complete 2 tricep pushups so that there is no space between your elbows and your ribcage. That's one rep. Continue back and forth across the room like this 4-6 x.

5. Side Kick Jack: Start standing with your feet hip distance apart. Leading with your right leg, kick out to your right side and immediately come back to starting position to complete a jumping jack. Repeat on the left. This should be a continuous movement...i.e. right kick- jumping jack-left kick-jumping jack. Repeat for 1 minute. 

6. Jumping jacks with overhead press: Aim for 100 reps. If you have water bottles, hold them in your hands and raise over head as you jump.

Interested in your own customized take-home workouts? Click below:

Create Your Own Transformation


Killer Kettle Bell Routine...and More

If you only have 10 to 15 minutes to workout and want to burn some serious calories, this fat scorching routine will  work your body from head to toe. If you don't have access to kettle bells you can use dumbbells. Complete 15 reps of each exercise and Repeat 2 sets

1. Kettle Dead-lifts

2. Tactical  Lunges- start by holding a 15-30 lb kettle bell next to your left side. Lunge back with your right leg. At the same time circle the kettle bell behind your left leg switching from your left hand to your right. Return to a standing position. Complete 15 of your tactical lunges, each time stepping back with your right leg, and then stay in your lunge position with your right leg back..continue to next exercise.

3. One Arm Row- Continuing from your tactical lunge, shift forward slightly so that you are leaning into your front left leg and extending through your right leg. Your back should be flat and angled forward at a 45 degrees. Hold your kettle bell with your left hand. Complete 15 one arm rows. You should feel the left glut burning. Once completed lean forward to set the kettle bell on the floor, and straighten back up to your lunge position (right leg still back). Go into the next exercise.

4. Split Lunges- complete 15 split lunges. Then drop down into pushup position

5. Pushups and Mountain Climbers- complete 15 pushups and immediately go into 15 Mountain Climbers.

Pre Wedding (or Event) Arm Tone-up

It's been so much fun working with all of my beautiful brides-to-be this summer, and seeing their amazing results! Even though these ladies started months in advanced, there still are some tricks of the trade you can do days or hours before an event to make your arms feel tighter and more toned in your sleeveless dress. Here are a few of my favorite arm focused exercises you can you can do in the comfort of your living room, and require no workout equipment!

Double push-up to side plank hold

Start in a high plank position (or on knees to modify) with hands directly under the shoulders, and slightly past shoulder distance apart. Make sure your spine is neutral and abdominals are engaged. Complete two slow push-ups, ending in your high plank. From there,  pivot your feet to the right, stabilize your left shoulder, and rotate your torso to the right allowing your right hand to reach toward the ceiling. Hold the side plank position for 8 counts and return to your high plank. Complete 2 push-ups as before, and rotate to your side plank on the left. Think of this whole sequence as 1 rep, and complete 4-6 reps.

Reverse plank with tricep dip

Start sitting with legs extended, heels planted on the floor, and knees just slightly bent. Lean back so that your torso is at a slight incline. Place your hands directly under your shoulders with fingers facing forward. Elbows should be bent. In one motion lift your hips off the floor and straighten your arms to come into a reverse high plank. Hold here for a pause, then similataniously bend your elbows and lower your hips back to the floor.   That's 1 rep. Think about lowering down for a slow count of 3 or 4 in order to challenge your muscles. Complete 8 reps. Modified handstand push-up

Start in a downward dog position. Lift on your tiptoes and start to walk your feet out wider than hip distance and up towards your hands (only as far as you can go without bending your knees). Make sure your shoulders are stabilized. Lift higher on your toes and simaltaniously bend your elbows, allowing your head to reach closer to the floor. Then straighten your arms to press back up. You should feel most of the work in your shoulders and upper back. Keep the movements slow and controlled, and repeat 10-15 reps.


Sonja’s Killer Core Workout with Stability Ball

There is so much you can do to keep your body in shape and strong, even when you’re stuck inside your house for yet another snow day! A great portable and inexpensive piece of equipment to have around the house is a stability ball. Below is one of my favorite routines to challenge my core and get me sweating. Make sure you can hold a basic plank on the floor before you attempt these and then give it a try! Complete 2 sets of 10-20 reps with no more than 10-20 second rest between each movement. All movements should be executed with slow control.

Stability Ball Plank Variations:

1. Start in Plank position with your forearms on the stability ball, elbows positioned under the shoulders. Make sure you are lifting your chest off the ball and engaging your abs. Hold for 10-20 counts. 2. Still in your plank, stabilize the lower half of your body, and shift your forearms forward and back so that the ball moves forward and back simultaneously. 3. Still holding your plank, stabilize your upper body and pivot back and forth on your toes (heel lifts) so that the ball moves forward and back. 4. Get into a pushup position plank with your feet on the ball, hands on the floor. Your hands should be directly under shoulders, and slightly wider than shoulder distance apart. Engage your abs and tuck knees into your chest. Slowly extend back to your plank and repeat.

And More...

5. Ball Hamstring Curl-Transition so you are lying on your back with your feet propped up on the stability ball. Your legs should be straight and arms down by your side. Slowly peel your hips off the floor so you are holding a reverse plank position. Keep your hips lifted and bend your knees to pull the stability ball towards your gluts. Keeping your hips high slowly extend your legs back out to your reverse plank. Repeat

6.Ball Leg lowers-Next, squeeze the ball between your ankles and lift the ball so that your legs are straight up in the air directly over your hips. With the ball still between your ankles, tighten your abdominal muscles and lower your legs to about 45 degrees. Pause, then return back to 90. Make the movement as small as necessary in order to stabilize your pelvis and not strain your lower back. Repeat

7. Ball Pass-off-Continuing from the last movement...your ankles are squeezing the ball and your legs are straight in the air above your hips. Engaging your abs, tuck your chin and round up in a crunch position to grab the ball. Round back so your legs lower to 45 degrees, and your arms reach behind. Draw your navel in and round back up to place the ball back between your ankles. Repeat.


Desk Job Booty

Chances are, if you live and work in the DMV, your booty is stuck in a chair for HOURS every day.  If you’re a normal human being, by 3pm you are either going completely stir crazy, convincing your co-workers to hit up the McDonald’s for a mini ice cream cone (I mean, they’re only 140 calories…) – or both.  If that’s a once-every-few-months occurrence, not a big deal.  If you’re hitting up McD’s for some McFlurry action on the regular, that’s bad news bears. It doesn’t matter if you dare jump up and down in front of your co-workers or do standing crunches in the bathroom stall. Here are some tricks for breaking up the monotony of a desk job and keeping your blood pumping throughout the day. Challenge yourself with how many repetitions you can do for all exercises below:

Desk chair squats- Sit on the edge of your chair with feet hip distance apart and your arms either in front of you or above your head. Pull your body up to standing position and slowly  lower your buns toward the chair. Make sure you can still see your toes. Gently touch the seat with your rear and stand back up. Repeat several times. Bonus move: Hover your butt just over your chair for 30 seconds and feel the burn in your glutes and thighs.

Desk push-ups- Stand up facing your desk, place your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and slowly lower your torso toward the desk; then slowly push back up, and repeat several times.

Seated oblique rotation- Sit at the edge of your chair. Engage your abs and lean back slightly to create a C shape with your back. Holding this position, exhale and rotate to the right, inhale back to the starting position, and exhale to the left. With each exhalation, tighten your abs deeply. Repeat 20 reps or more.

Standing side leg extensions- Stand behind your chair and hold on to the back for support if needed. Engage your core and slowly staring balancing on your left leg. Laterally lift your right leg, pause, and return leg so it’s hovering off the ground next to your left leg. Repeat  20 reps and switch sides. Bonus: after repeating 20 reps, continue to hold your leg in lateral position, stabilize your pelvis by engaging your abs and gluts, and circle your leg clockwise for 10 reps and counterclockwise for 10 reps.

Desk chair tricep dips-Place palms, fingers facing forward, on the edge of a bench or chair. Sit up tall with straight arms, eyes forward, shoulders down and back, chest out, elbows squeezed in tightly and glutes off of the chair. Slowly bend arms (no more than 90 degrees) Slowly press up to straight arm position and repeat several times.

Bathroom break jumping jacks- complete 50 to 100 jumping jacks any chance you get to sneak out.

Arm circles (standing or sitting)-Sit or stand and extend your arms out to your sides, parallel to the floor. Rotate clockwise 20 times in each direction, and then circle your wrists 20 times in each direction.

Standing roll down stretch- stand with your feet hip distance apart. Engage your abs and start to roll down one vertebrae at a time. Reach down towards the floor and allow your arms and neck to relax while keeping the back of your legs and abs strong. Exhale and round back up the same way you came down.

Tabata What?

For this workout, perform each movement for 20 seconds, followed by a 10 second rest. Repeat this "round" 8 times, for a total of 4 minutes. Rest 1 minute between exercises to catch your breath. For example, to start this workout, you will perform 8 rounds of burpees (20 seconds of work, 10 seconds rest), rest 1 minute, then move right into 8 rounds of jump squats. Remember to go all out for those 20 seconds, pushing yourself to get the highest number of reps possible. Full Body Burpee - Start this exercise standing up. Crouch down into a squat position and drive your feet behind you. Land in a plank position, drop your chest to the floor, and push back up with your arms. Jump your feet back into the squat position and stand up with a jump, clapping your hands over your head.

Lower Body Jump Squats - Stand with your feet hip width apart and sit back, lowering your butt parallel to the ground. If you can't go all the way down without your knees caving in or coming over your toes, decrease depth and only sit back slightly. After squatting to a comfortable depth, spring up through your heels, jumping so that your hips are fully extended. Land back into a squat and repeat this jumping movement.

Upper Body Push Ups - Get into a plank position with your hands under yours shoulders and back flat. Bend your elbows, keeping them close to your body and lowering yourself to the floor. Once your chest touches the ground, push back up keeping the body in a straight line and engaging your core the entire time.

Core Sit Ups - Lay flat on your back with your knees bent. Bring your chin to your knees, lifting one vertebrae off the ground at a time. Once you reach your knees, lower back down while keeping your core tight.

Still not tired? Sprints - Run as fast as you can for 20 seconds. Keep your abs tight and be sure to land mid-foot rather than on your heels.

Test Your Core strength and Balance

How in control of your body are you? A great way to test this is by practicing standing on one leg for balance, and holding a plank for core. Standing on one leg: Start by standing on your right leg, with your left leg hovering an inch or two off the ground.  Extend your left leg forward slowly, pause, and bring it back to starting position without touching the ground. Repeat 5 times. If you’re ok, try extending the leg 5x to the side, and then backwards, all without touching down. Switch to standing on the left. Holding a plank: Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.

If this is easy for you, you’re in good shape. If this is really challenging, and  you can’t balance easily, or your lower back hurts when trying to hold a plank, it is important to strengthen your internal core muscles. Doing this will help prevent injury and increase your functional ability.

Breathing tip for strengthening internal core muscles:

1. Begin on all fours, with your weight evenly distributed. Take a deep breath in, then draw your belly toward your spine. Hold the contraction for 10 seconds, then relax, and repeat for 10 repetitions. Next try this same technique lying on your back with your feet on the floor, knees to the ceiling. Inhale through your nose feeling the air expand through your rib cage. Then exhale, contracting the belly button back to the spine. Think of vacuum suction pulling everything in, or tightening the strings of a corset. You can also try this breathing technique sitting in an office chair, or really anywhere. You may not feel these internal core muscles at first, but the more you practice, the more this will make sense. The idea is for this breathing technique to become subconscious and natural, and before you know it, you will have better posture, and more control of your body.