Exercise Essentials for the New Year


As far as workout advice goes,  are fads and trends, and then there are tried and true trainer tips to Maximize your workout. My Exercise Essentials for 2014 are proven techniques that are here to stay. Incorporate them into your New Year’s Resolution Workouts to hit your goals.

Segment here!



1) Warm and roll with a foam roller for myofacial muscle release to work out knots.. It’s like a deep tissue massage to hit those trigger points. My free demo here!

2) Move in different planes. We move all over the place in our daily lives, so why should we only exercise in one direction? Don’t just bench press, move your weights and muscles in horizontal, sagital and frontal planes.

3) Pull more than push! We sit at desks, steering wheels and couches too much in modern life, and that causes our pectorals (chest) and hip flexors to be too tight while overstretching our upper backs. Incorporate pulling exercises like seated rows, reverse flies, and one arm lunging rows. I love using a resistance band as well as weights

4) Use different size weights. I mentioned moving in different planes earlier. But you can’t reach your arms that far from your core if you are only using heavy weights. Do more reps with light weights and reach far away from your body (I showed biceps examples in the segment). Then do medium reps with medium weights, and lower reps with heavy weights. You can focus on different weights on different days or do pyramids where you hit the same muscle with heavy, then medium then light reps in a row.

5) Stretch! You can’t work your cardio and toning exercises if you don’t have good range of motion and flexibility. I have a free video here with 14 essential stretches for 2014. These stretches, as well as a 15 minute soothing yoga stretch, are at the end of each of my DVDs at www.nikkifitness.com 

Fitness – fit it in! Nikki

SELF.com Features Nikki’s Fit Travel Workout Video and TIps!


Holiday travel season is all up in our faces (we’re still smarting from the whiplash of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah flying by). And with Christmas and New Year’s hurtling in our direction, there’s still plenty of road to drive, places to hit and skies to soar.

But during all that racing around, the old family Subaru shouldn’t be the only thing getting a workout. After all, you want to feel confident in front of family and friends you haven’t seen in a Romy and Michele minute. And if you’re lucky enough to be escaping to the beach, something’s gotta balance out all those chips and Daquiris you’re downing. That’s why we’re totally into these easy fit travel tips from trainer Nicole Glor aka, Nikki Fitness.

Pack fit gear first. Guys, there’s no need to look like a Kardashian when you deplane, so skip the extra cans of dry shampoo and pack your fave kicks. “Sneakers may be clunkier, so wear them on the plane, train, or bus and save room in your suitcase,” says Glor. “It’s also a good idea to sleep in your workout clothes so you can pop out of bed and be ready to travel comfortably.” Glor recs Astrosportswear. “Their shorts and yoga pants are as silky as PJs, and their sports bras double as bathing suits with support, comfort and tropical patterns. Just one set goes from bed to gym to swim,” she says. Not a bad way to lessen the laundry load!

Take tiny tools. Baggage fees are out of control, and there is no way we’re traveling with weights…like ever. So as a replacement, Glor suggests throwing a resistance band into your carry-on. It takes up less space than socks! Or, try the super-cool Yoga Paws. The sticky-mat-like gloves and socks mean you won’t need an actual mat to get your Om on. And here is how being a neat-freak can keep you on track: “Use mesh, zippered packing cubes to store fitness clothes so you know exactly where to find them in your suitcase,” Glor urges, “You should also pack a small travel laundry bag to separate sweaty from fresh. Tide has an adorable blue polka-dotted one that fights odor.”

Plan sessions just like you would at home. “When figuring out your game plan for the day, schedule a workout early so you don’t mess up anyone’s itineraries,” says Glor. A simple way to stay active? Find activities that inherently involve movement: hikes with your old friends, walking around your hometown, swimming or snorkeling at your vacay spot — the list could go on forever. Another Glor gem: Book a hotel room on a higher floor, and skip the elevator. Stairs = Automatic calorie burner!

Werk your laptop. Because it’s good for more than Facebook, folks. Spend screen time making a kickass playlist of cardio-blasting beats, then slip in a DVD workout that you can bang out anywhere. Glor’s got an awesome one you can nab here. “It was shot around the world in locations like China, Italy and Mexico to prove that you can fit in a workout no matter where life takes you,” she says. We’re sure you’ll prove that during the next three weeks. Get it!

–Kafi Drexel