Red Carpet Runway Workout: Five Fast Trouble-Spot Toners

Whether it’s awards season, wedding season, the hubby is just home from the field, there is a military ball, or just time for a big night out, your big red carpet moment is here!

You need to look perfect in that dress and the photos afterwards, and a tight pair of Spanx can’t suck everything in. With that in mind, I’ve created the NikkiFitness Red Carpet Runway Workout to give you 5 quick moves that target the areas that must be chiseled for your close-up: triceps, biceps, and shoulder firmers for sleeveless dresses, chest lifters for strapless, backless dress upper-back toners and calf lifts for those short dress styles and high heels.Included is a cardio fat-melting move to slim all over. Grab a pair of 10 pound weights and get started.

Move 1: Cardio Squat Trusts (melts fat, increases metabolism, lifts chest, firms shoulders, tightens abs and tones quads, glutes and calves.) Perform this move to an 8 count with your favorite up-temp music. Do 2 jumping jacks (counts 1,2) touch the floor with your hands and jump back to a plank (counts 3,4), do a pushup (counts 5,6) jump back to standing (counts 7,8.) Repeat 10 times.

Move 2:French Press Calf Raises (tones back of the arms for sleeveless dresses, and calves for short skirts.)Begin standing up with one heavy weight (10 pounds, like an Oscar trophy), and hold it overhead in both hands. Lower the weights behind your head, keeping elbows and triceps close to your face. Press back up for one rep and as you lift the weight, rise up onto the balls of your feet. Lower on to our heels as you lower the weight each time.

Move 3:Reach For The Stars (sculpts shoulders and strengthens obliques). Stand with a 10 pound weight in each hand. Raise right hand to shoulder level. Bend to your left, sliding left hand and weight down your leg as you push the right hand weight to the sky. Return to standing and lower right hand weight to the shoulder. Focus on tightening abs (obliques on our right) in order to lift the body back to an upright position.Repeat 10 times and perform on the opposite side.

Move 4: Martini Shaker (works biceps and obliques for an hourglass photo pose). Sit on a mat with one 10 pound weight and lean back at a 45 degree angle. Lift both legs off the ground. Place the fat ends of the weight in each palm. Drop the weight into the palm of the right hand and turn your body to the right. Return to center with legs lifted and then drop the weight into the left palm and turn to your left.Pretend the weight is a drink shaker and create your concoction with 20 reps.

Move 5: Plank Rows (works upper back, for backless and halter dresses, shoulders and abdominals for a tight tummy pose).Put a 10 pound weight in each hand and support yourself on top of them in a plank position, hands directly under shoulders and toes on the ground, knees lifted. Your heels, hips and shoulders should form a straight line, like a plank or a board. From here, lift the right weight off the ground to your ribcage and push your elbow to the sky. Repeat on the other side for one rep. Perform 10 repetitions.

Do moves 1-5 three times for a complete 30-minute multitasking workout sure to mold your body into model shape wherever your dress style shows skin. Maybe you can even leave the Spanx at home! For a great stretch and more multitasking workouts on DVD, visit

Fitness, Fit it in. Nikki


Get Your Abs Back After Childbirth

I recently had a “c-section” and thought that I will never have my abs back. However, while planning my next video, “Hard Core Abs,” I found that these moves, combined with healthy diet and cardio, can take anyone from C-to-6-pack!Try them now to harden your core and work your arms as well.

1.) Thread the needle: Lie in a side plank on your left elbow and hip, legs extended. Lift the hips off the floor to balance on the elbow and forearm and outside of your left foot (you can also stagger the feet so one is in front of the other for balance). Extend your right arm to the ceiling and then bring it down to the floor and reach it toward the back of your mat, threading the needle underneath your left armpit. Bring right arm back up toward the sky to complete one rep. (Trainers tip: Try not to sink in your left shoulder by keeping the core and left arm strong and dynamic.) Do 15 reps and repeat on the other side. Total of three sets.

2.) Hip Dip: Assume the same starting position as threat the needle – side plank on your left elbow and forearm but with right hand on your right hip. Simply stack feet and lift hips off the floor and then tap the mat with left hip by bringing them back down without collapsing. Tap and lift hips for 15 reps and repeat on the other side. Do three sets.

3. Weighted oblique reach : Lay on your back with a 10-pound weight in your hands. Knees should be bent and feet flat on the floor. Lower the weight behind your head to the floor, and then bring it back up while crunching and twisting the weight to your right side. Repeat from the ground up and then crunch and twist to your left for one rep. Repeat for 15 reps. Do three sets total in your workout. Finish any ab workout with some lower back toning, because the back is an essential part of a hard core.

Snow Got You S.A.D?

Seasonal Affective Disorder has many people wondering this time of year just how to shed the winter woes. With the snowstorms hitting much of the country back to back this week, SAD seems darker when electricity goes out and shoveling chores loom.

Winter Blues by Norman Rosenthal sheds light on the causes and effects of this disease. Among its cures, is exercise and diet.

If you are feeling the effects of SAD, here are some things you can do from Winter Blues:

  • exercise doing cardio 20 minutes or more several times a week -do muscle building exercises to raise metabolic rate, making muscles “calorie burning factories”
  • resist being a couch potato and move as much as you can each day while doing regular tasks, errands and chores -regulating your mood with sugar and refined carbs, fast food, etc is only a short term upper that will crash you even worse. “Satisfaction is short-lived.” Instead, focus on eggs, fish, fruits, vegetables, hydration from water and many small, healthy meals and snacks a day.
  • avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • investigate psycoanalysis and light therapy
  • move somewhere warmer (I am not making that up, its in the book!)

For more tips and exercise routines to get a hot, healthy and happy body in time for the sun-filled days, visit my website

Fitness, Fit it in. Nikki


Workout from Hell

My lungs are on fire. I can’t even tell if my legs are getting tired because I am breathing so hard I can’t even close my mouth. I am suddenly working above my target rate and would fail the talk test… and if I did talk, it would be to curse the treadmill! I had to cool down and do some muscle machines and yoga with the rest of my hour at the gym.

This is a personal trainer after three months away from running. Because of medical issues, I had to stop my normal 5 mile runs several times a week and start from scratch. The scenario above was after only 15 minutes on the treadmill.

It made me think about how I always advise clients and readers to just get started with your daily workout and you will feel so good during and afterward that you will be more than happy you made the effort. But yesterday on the treadmill I was anything but happy.

I took home two lessons with my sweat drenched self…

1. For those struggling to get in shape for the first time: I know that, as a workout addict, it WILL get better and be worth the effort. But that is because I have seen the promise land of working out when you are in shape. I can’t wait to get back on the treadmill “horse” and get to an hour of running and feeling more energized, not less. But if you have never been athletic, and don’t really know how truly great it can make you feel, I sympathize. I finally remembered why so many people quit after just 2 weeks of trying to get into shape. It doesn’t feel good at first. For those of you struggling to get into shape for the first time, trust me, it does get better and won’t feel like lung and muscle torture forever!

2. Lets say you are in shape, but getting bored and lazy with your workout, and you think that a week or two off won’t matter. IT DOES. I still worked out in the end of my pregnancy and after 6 weeks even with my medical complications. The only thing I could not do was endurance cardio because of a numb foot from the epidural. Upon recovering, I was back at almost square-one after 3 months away. So DON’T take that vacation from healthy workouts, just challenge yourself and cross train. Find a way so that you won’t have an uphill battle gasping for air to fight bulge.

Soon you will turn the workout from hell into a hell of a workout!

Fitness, Fit it in. Nikki