Ballet Dancer Turned Fitness Trainer Gives Her Tricks for Making the Most Of An At-Home Workout

Augusta Falletta
ballet bungee class

Image Courtesy of ChaiseFitness

It doesn’t matter whether you’re working out to get in shape or simply get healthier. Either way, once you find the time to exercise more, you’ll also need to get a routine that works for you. For those of you who aren’t always able to make it to the gym — busy schedules and tight budgets can really effect this area of our lives — working out at home may be the best option.

To give you some real, fun guidance on exercising in your living room, we turned to Rachel Piskin, co-founder of ChaiseFitness and trained ballet dancer and figure skater, who gave us some of her best workout advice. While Rachel typically teaches classes like Ballet Bungee and ChaiseFitness, she’s got a few tricks up her sleeve for your at-home exercising, too!

Beauty High: How much time should you actually spend working out to get the best results? 

Rachel Piskin: It is always best to set realistic exercise goals. If you set yourself up to fail right from the beginning you will have a hard time committing to any workout plan. I would suggest starting with 3 days a week (1 hour long sessions each) to really start seeing results, and really stay committed to that schedule.

MORE: Get in Shape for Spring With These 8 YouTube Workouts

What supplies do you need for an at-home workout?

Most of the time you can perform a variety of exercises without any props at all, but I think it is great to add to your at home collection three Theraband resistance bands (light, medium, heavy).  Therabands take up virtually no room, and are perfect for traveling with you.  They offer such great resistance and can create such a terrific overall workout. Using resistance bands creates long, lean, sculpted muscles; using a variety of different levels allows you to choose the intensity of your workout based upon your fitness level and fitness goals.

What are your favorite moves for legs and arms? 

CURTSY WITH ARM EXTENSIONS: Stand on Theraband in curtsy position and hold on to each end. Pull arms out to the side as you drop back knee to deep curtsy position. Do this 20 times on each side. Add 20-30 pulses with arms and legs in low curtsy position for an extra challenge.

Tip: Keep back leg parallel to floor. As you curtsy, feel like you are crossing your legs in a chair to engage and sculpt your glutes and hamstrings.

MORE: Natural Ways to Ease Post-Workout Sore Muscles

What are your favorite moves for abdominals?

My favorite abdominal move right now is the attitude ab crunch series. This exercise works the core, inner and outer thighs, and glutes and because it doesn’t require a prop, you can do it virtually anywhere!

ATTITUDE AB CRUNCHES: Lying on the floor place both hands behind your head. Bend your right leg into attitude position then left leg into attitude underneath with the toe touching the floor. Curl your head and upper back into an ab crunch as you bring left heel upward and cross heels making a diamond shape with legs. Release your upper body and toe back to starting position. Do this 10-20 times on each side. Repeat two sets.

How would you recommend shifting diet when you’re trying to get in shape for summer? 

Staying away from food that can make you feel or look bloated is a great first step in changing your diet for summer. Be conscious about your salt and junk food intake and replace refined carbohydrates with fiber-rich carbs. A quick lunch tip: Try mixing quinoa into your salad for lunch. It will help fill you up and keep you from snacking on that junk food!

Is there a time of day that’s best for exercising (i.e. gives the body the best results)? 

I think that best time of day to workout is whatever time works best for you. If you are really not a morning person, it will be hard to continue to motivate yourself to go to morning workouts. If you pick a time of day that works perfectly for you, you will see results because you will remain committed to your workout plan, not because you worked out at a certain time of day.

Do you have any suggestions for music to listen to while doing these moves at home to really motivate you? 

I personally think music is a huge motivating factor with workouts, and it can really transform it into a fun experience that you look forward to! Just like picking the time of day to workout is personal, music is a very personal choice. Pick songs that inspire you, make you want to move, and maybe even sing along. I mostly listen to songs from the ’60s and ’70s and some of my favorites to workout to are remixes of The Beatles, The Temptations, and even Chuck Berry!  I also enjoy Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, and Rihanna.

For more information about Rachel Piskin and ChaiseFitness, visit their website

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