Low Calorie Cocktails to Avoid the Heavy Holidays!

So you want to have a jolly time this holiday season, but you don’t want to pack on the pounds. Nikki Glor, aka NikkiFitness, is the author of “Slimnastics” and gives tips on working out hard and playing hard without gaining weight.

Tip 1 – if you can’t remember all this, try to drink clear or almost clear drinks.

White wine and champagne – sparking wines have 78 calories! Most types of white wine have about 120 calories. The less sweet, the better. Red wine usually has a few more calories per glass but is still a good choice.

Vodka Soda with lemon – 100 calories (this is even better than a vodka tonic which has an extra 70 calories because of the tonic) club soda is calorie free

Bloody Mary’s give you a little vegetable juice with your cocktail, at only 125 calories.

Instead of an appletini with 240 calories, try a gin martini with 3 olives for 120 calories!

Instead of a pina colada, which has around 250 calories, try a pinapple vodka with a splash of coconut water for 130 calories.

A frozen margarita has around 500 calories depending on where you get it. A skinygirl margarita with no salt has 100 calories.

And don’t forget, drink responsibly, add spritzer to cut calorie count and alcohol, and drink water between drinks to stay healthy. And even if you stick to these healthy drinks, each time you consume an extra 100 calories you have to do

* 30 mins walking
* 10 mins jogging
* 8 mins swimming
* 15 mins cycling

So three drinks = a 30 min jog/run for 3 miles…. you don’t want to be hung over! If you are traveling for the holiday season, just do my FIT TRAVEL WORKOUT DVD the day after your holiday party to burn off those festive calories!
www.nikkifitness.com

Trend Alert: Jumping Warrior? Three New Workouts Combine Yoga and Plyometrics


Ever stretched into down dog, then practiced your jump tucks? A new trend for fall and 2013 is yoga workouts with plyometric intervals.

Plyometrics, if you are new to the term, are explosive jumping and level-​​changing moves that use your body weight as resistance, and require your muscles to fire away in short, intense bursts of power.

As a former college cheerleader, and current personal trainer and yoga instructor, I didn’t want to have to chose between my “ohm” days or my jumping workouts from the squad, so I created a new book and DVD workout called Slimnastics®! It combines gymnastics-​​inspired plyometric cardio intervals — like jump tucks, split jumps, and squat thrusts — with advanced balancing yoga moves — like firefly (titibasana), wheel push ups, warrior III booty boost, rockstar, handstands, side crow and 8 angle pose (astavakrasana) — that build upper body strength, boost your booty and require a lot of breath control and mental focus. The 30 minute, no-​​equipment workout is advanced, but the book has modified moves, tips on how to “get in shape for Slimnastics®” and mantras to get you moving. These core and toning moves coupled with the major calorie burn from plyometrics helped me get my body back after having a baby.

Soon after Slimnastics, I am happy to report that two similar results-​​based classes are taking New York City and the country by storm: BUTI® and Deep EXtreme. BUTI is a high-​​intensity Crunch workout that fuses yoga and dance with circuits of plyometrics and conditioning. BUTI® dance moves taken from various styles that focus on an intense shaking of the hips including Miami Booty Dance, Brazilian Baile Funk, Hip Hop, Crunk and African Tribal. Between the heart-​​pounding cardio deep stretching and dance moves, you¹ll be in BUTI®-ful shape in no time and feel sexy doing it.

The Equinox workout Deep EXtreme mixes up cardio like tribal swinging arm moves, flexibility yoga poses and strength training like squats in intervals of rest and intensity. It is based on Robert Steinbacher’s European bodyArt technique that was all the rage last year in the United States. Like Slimnastics®, and BUTI®, Deep EXtreme is a strengthening, energizing and calming series of moves for the entire body. The rhythmic beat music playlist keeps you flowing seamlessly from one move to the next. You’ll have a cardio high and a yoga calm after this trance dance.

If you don’t live near a Crunch or Equinox, try flipping your workout on it’s head with these Slimnastics sample moves to see if the workout is for you:

L Stand:

Sit on a mat facing the wall, with your legs extended in front of you. Your feet should touch the wall with them flexed, and place your hands next to your hips. This is how you measure your distance for the L Stand. Keep one hand on that mark where your hips were, and flip yourself over to face the mat. Place both hands where you measured, shoulders width apart and get into a tight down dog with your heels against the wall. Walk one foot then the other up the wall until your legs are parallel to the floor. (It helps to have a partner spot you so that they can tell you if your feet are too high or low. Look at the wall and push your hands strongly into the floor. Your body should look like an “L” in a 90% angle. You can also play with lifting one leg away from the wall at a time.

L Stand

Cardio Interval – X jump to Split jumps:

Stepping off the mat sets the scene for cheerleading inspired moves like X and split jumps. Perform 3 squats in fast succession counting 1,2,3. On the “and,” jump into the air using your leg muscles and punching the hands to the sky. Land on “four. Repeat.” I– squat/​ stand, 2– squat/​ stand, 3– squat/​ stand, and– jump, 4– land.” Make it advanced: turn the X into a toe touch (pictured).

See a sample video of Slimnastics at www.Youtube.com/NikkiFitness

Flip Your Workout on its Head — Part 3


You read last week about how to do the Forearm Stand and the “L” Stand, and you’re already standing taller and stronger after trying them! Here are the final two moves of the blog series for better posture and upper back muscles. Want more? Check out my Slimnastics Workout book (Amazon).

Handstand (no photos, self explanatory):

For the handstand, face the wall and place our hands about a foot away from it, on the floor. Get into a tight down dog position by walking your feet close to your hands and letting your hips rise to the sky. Look between your knees at the wall on the other side of the room. Kick one leg up then the next onto the wall above you. Now that you are holding all of your weight in your arms, press firmly into the ground, engaging your back muscles, and slowly step one foot away from the wall, then the other, so that you are hovering in handstand, stabilizing your core to help support you! Gracefully float one foot down then the next and relax in child’s pose.

Wall Walk to Wheel:

This is another fun upper-​​back strengthener, heart-​​opener, and backbend. Walk up to a wall and step a foot or so away, turning so your back faces the wall. Slightly bend your back and reach the arms overhead to touch the wall. Return to standing and inch forward a few times until you feel that you could not do another backbend and touch the wall.

Wall Walk – Nikki Fitness

When you have found your position, bend your back and look overhead, reaching the hands towards the wall and this time pressing your palms into it. Keep the feet hip-​​width apart with knees slightly bent and core tight. Slowly begin to walk your hands down the wall as far as is comfortable or coming all the way to the floor into wheel pose with your hands on the floor and fingers facing your heels.

Trainer’s Tip: Push hard against the wall because gravity will be pulling you down and you need to support yourself until you can reach the floor.

Wall Walk to Wheel – Nikki Fitness

Once in wheel, proceed to Wheel Push-​​Ups or walk back up. To walk up, press the hands firmly back into the wall and walk yourself back up to standing. As a counter-​​stretch, take a forward bend and reach towards your shins or the floor. Hold for two long breaths.

Wheel Push-​​Ups:

The wheel push-​​​​up is my favorite upper back move because it requires no equipment, and I always feel the muscles getting sore and stronger afterward. Once in the wheel position with arms and legs straightening into the arch formation, start bending the elbows to just barely tap the head to the floor and then straighten the arms again. That is one push-​​​​up. Work up to doing fifteen at a time and always counter-​​​​stretch between sets.

Fitness – fit it in, upside-down!

Upside Down Moves for Strength and Posture

Turn Your Routine on It’s Head! — Part 2

Summer Olympics always inspire me to work harder, better, faster and stronger… and to switch up my routine. If you are looking for a new way to challenge yourself and those you train, why not add some gymnastics moves to your workout?

Last week I showed you the first of four moves that turn your routine on it’s head, from my “The Slimnastics Workout” book and DVD, to get you holding your own weight, strengthening your upper back and arms, and improving your posture. Below, I describe the second move, the L stand.

L Stand:

Sit on a mat facing the wall, with your legs extended in front of you. Your feet should touch the wall with them flexed, and place your hands next to your hips. This is how you measure your distance for the L Stand. Keep one hand on that mark where your hips were, and flip yourself over to face the mat. Place both hands where you measured, shoulders width apart and get into a tight down dog with your heels against the wall. Walk one foot then the other up the wall until your legs are parallel to the floor. (It helps to have a partner spot you so that they can tell you if your feet are too high or low. Look at the wall and push your hands strongly into the floor. Your body should look like an “L” in a 90% angle. You can also play with lifting one leg away from the wall at a time.

Fitness — fit it in, upside down!

Three Moves, One Complete Muscle Workout — Pt. 3


In the last week two weeks, I demonstrated the two out of three moves that, when combined together, create a perfectly-​​​​balanced, full-​​body muscle workout. The first move targets biceps, shoulders, inner thighs, glutes, calves, and quads. The second move hits your triceps, outer thighs and abs.

The final move is for your upper back, lower back chest and hamstrings. When you combine them and do 3 sets, you get a total-​​​​body muscle workout in just 15 minutes! Perform move 1-​​“Six Part Plie Squat” and 2– “Wings, Thighs and a Six Pack” as previously described.

Do move 3 — Superman Push-​​up

Start by laying flat on the ground on your stomach (what we trainers call supine position). Place your arms out away from your body extended at shoulder level, so your body forms a “T.” Keep your arms and legs straight and lift everything off the ground except your stomach, keeping your neck in line with the spine by looking at the floor and squeezing your shoulder blades together to engage your upper back muscles. Lower back to the ground and place the hands under the shoulders by bending the elbows.
Superman Pushup

Next, push the hands into the ground and keep your core tight as you push-​​up into a plank position. Lower back down and do the superman T. Repeat 20 times to complete your first set.

Go back and do move 1, move 2 and move 3 twice more for a total of three sets.

Pack these three moves into your gym bag or file them with your home fitness equipment. Any time you need to squeeze in a quick, 15 minute workout without thinking too hard, do my full-​​body Triple Threat routine!

Fitness – fit it in! Nikki

Three Moves, One Complete Muscle Workout — Pt. 2


Last week I demonstrated the first of three moves that, when combined together, create a perfectly-​​balanced full body workout. The first move targeted inner thighs, glutes, calves, quads, biceps and shoulders.

The next move (move #2) hits your triceps, outer thighs and abs.

Lay on the floor on your left elbow and forearm. balancing on your hip, and bend your bottom leg under you. Hold a 5–8 pound weight in your right hand and lift it above your shoulder with the elbow pointing to the sky. Lift your hips off the floor along with your top leg. and right hand. Lower the right leg to the floor and the weight behind your neck, all the while keeping your elbow pointing to the sky and keeping the hips off the ground. Do 15–20 reps for one set.

Three Moves One Workout

Next week I will demonstrate the final move for your glutes, upper back and lower back. When you combine them and do 3 sets, you get a total-​​body muscle workout in just 15 minutes!

Fitness – Fit it in! Nikki

NikkiFitness 100 Push-​​up Boot Camp


I have helped a lot of people with push-​​ups. Some needed to pass a physical fitness test, some wanted to be able to do push-​​ups off their knees, and some just wanted to have smoking arms.

My plan to get anyone to do 100 push-​​ups in a single training session is this:

Get in shape:

If you can’t do 10 push-​​ups on your toes in a plank position, then start doing this routine on your knees, with hands wider than shoulders, so that as you lower, your elbows line up over your wrists like a field goal post formation. Then work up to doing 2 on your toes, and 8 on your knees, then 5 and 5 until finally you are strong enough to do 10 push-​​ups at a time on your toes.

THEN.…

Do 10 full plank push-​​ups on your toes with wide hand stance.

Turn over onto your back and do 1 minute of crunches (any crunches will do, if you want to mix it up, steal some moves from my Hard Core Abs video.)

Repeat this for 10 sets (100 push-​​ups). It should take about half an hour. You can finish here, or do some plyometric cardio moves, or go for a 30 minute jog before or after this routine. Then shower and go brag to your friends.

Next week I will write about push-​​up variations for when you have mastered the NikkiFitness Push-​​Up Boot Camp.
Fitness – fit it in! Nikki

NikkiFitness, Nicole Glor, is 34 year-old fitness expert on Fox and Friends, and the star of 7 fitness DVDs including new Hard Core Abs DVD, Fit Travel Workout DVD, Booty Camp, Red Carpet Runway Workout, Military Wife Workout, Baby Bootie Camp, and the Beach Bride Destination Wedding Workout (Amazon). Nikki’s workouts have been featured in over 100 national media outlets. She is also an AFAA certified NYC personal trainer, group fitness instructor at Crunch in Manhattan, a 200 RYT YogaFit/Yoga Alliance trained yoga instructor, author of the upcoming book “Slimnastics”, a fitness columnist for Military.com and a spokesperson for SilverSport antibacterial fitness products. Her “Slimnastics” workouts focus on multitasking toning and cardio intervals to cut workout time in half and boost metabolism. Get her newsletters, music playlists, video demos and DVDs at www.nikkifitness.com Search for “NikkiFitness” on Facebook and Twitter!

Thanksgiving Fit Travel Booty Camp

You’ll be perched at the dinner table, and maybe slouching in a car, plane, train or bus to travel for your Thanksgiving meal next week. Your booty will need a break from all that sitting, and instead of packing weights or finding an open gym, there is an easy way to pack some boot camp toning for the backside while you’re on the road.

1) Glute rainbows: On all fours, straighten your right leg and lift it in a half circle (or rainbow) at hip level, and lower to left side to arch over your left heel. Tap the floor, lift back to hip level and tap toe back on the right side. Repeat the rainbow 15 times per leg before changing sides.

2)Floor kicks: Remain in all fours position and with your weight distributed on both hands and your left knee. Bend right knee in towards the belly and then straighten it to kick it back diagonally to the ceiling/​wall behind you.Return the bent knee towards the floor for one rep and repeat 15 times on the right leg. Do another set of 15 on the left.

3) Front thigh lifts. Lay on your side, supported on your right elbow and right hip. Bend the right knee to 90 degrees under you. Bend your left leg on top so that your flexed foot drops in front of the right knee (if you do this move in front of a mirror you should see the reflection of the sole of your left sneaker, not your shoelaces). Lift the leg so the knee is close to your chest and left shoulder, and lower the bent left leg 15 times.

4) Side lunge and twist. Start in a standing position and lunge to the right side, facing forward. Your right knee should bend at 90 degrees, while your hands support you on your right quad (above the knee) and your toe points diagonally to the right. Your left leg is straight, with the foot on the floor, toe pointing diagonally left. From here, push off the right leg to transfer to a standing position with your weight now on the straight left leg. Your hands should reach diagonally up and to the left, creating a twist for the abs. Your right straight leg will lift up for a glute raise of the floor. Transfer the weight back on the right to a side lunge for one rep. Repeat 15 times on the right and then switch legs.

Do two-​​minute cardio intervals between the moves to complete your 30 minute routine. Good cardio moves for travel include jacks, mountain climbers, simulated jump rope, squat thrusts, plie squats, and jumping lunges (or get the moves in real time on my DVDs).

After your workout and dinner you can be thankful that these Fit Travel Booty Camp moves will help make sure that the turkey, potatoes, gravy and pies don’t spend forever on your hips.

Big Ball, Little Belly: Stability Ball Abdominal Workout, Part 2

If you’re looking for a way to challenge your abs more than crunches and planks on the floor, the key is instability! A stability ball will put you off balance to add an extra level of toning to each move. I have many abdominal ball workout moves, and these pictured below place you on the floor, next to and on top of the ball. Next week I will list other ways to work your abs (along with arms and legs) with a stability ball.

Elbow plank (works abdominals, chest and arms)

Start in a kneeling position with the ball in front of you. Roll up onto the ball on your stomach and place your forearms and elbows on the ball and clasp your hands together beneath your chest. Straighten your legs to balance on your toes and slowly push into the ball with forearms to raise the belly off the ball. Hold the plank for 30 seconds at a time for 3 sets, and work up to 60 seconds per set.

Hip Crunch (works obliques)
Kneel on the right side of the ball and straighten your right leg out to the right side of your body, with your foot on the floor. With your left hand hug the ball in close to your hip and then push your weight into the ball so the left hip is anchoring the ball down. Start with your left hand still on the ball and put your right hand behind your head. Lower your left side ribs onto the top of the ball and engage your right side obliques to bring you back upright. Once comfortable with the move you can put the left hand behind the head as well because your hip is anchoring the ball. Do 15 repeat on the other side for one set. Do 3 sets.

Jackknife (Works abs, quads and hip flexors)
Lay face-​​up on the floor with the ball between your feet and arms extended overhead. Lift the legs off the floor as you raise the arms and shoulders by “crunching” and engaging the abs. Transfer the ball into the hands and lower the legs and arms back to the floor slowly. Crunch and transfer the ball back to the feet, keeping the arms and legs straight, to complete one rep. Do 10 reps for 3 sets.

Big Ball, Little Belly pt 1

Stability Ball Workout for Abdominals

If you’re looking for a way to challenge your abs more than crunches and planks on the floor, the key is instability! A stability ball will put you off balance to add an extra level of toning to each move. I have many abdominal ball workout moves, and these pictured below place you on top of the ball. Next week I will list other ways to work your abs with a stability ball or a power ball (power balls have 7–8 pounds of sand inside).

Here are some of my favorites:

Ball Plank/​Pike

If just starting out, chose the plank, if you’re looking for a challenge, add the pike to the plank. Start kneeling with your stomach on the ball push forward to roll onto your feet and hands and continue walking your hands out so that the ball rolls from your stomach to your shins/​shoelaces and you are facing the ground. Hold here for 30 seconds for the plank. Make it harder by contracting the abs and pulling your feet and the ball in closer to your hands while raising your hips up to the sky. Repeat 15 times.

Oblique Twist

Start sitting on the ball and walk your feet away so that your slide down to a bridge position, with your head and shoulders comfortably resting on the ball. Your head should be in line with your hips while you contract your glutes and quads to hold you up. Place the hands in prayer position extended directly above your neck. To perform the move, roll up onto your left shoulder and bring your gaze and your hands directly to the left as pictured. (Be sure to roll onto the shoulder and not just move your hands! our head will come off of the ball.) Return to center and repeat on the other side for one rep. Perform 15 repetitions.

Oblique Crunch

Start in a seated position on the ball with your hands behind your head and lay down, then return to sitting by engaging the abs. That is a normal crunch. Start there if you are a beginner. If comfortable with the regular crunch, then lay back and engage your abs while sitting up and twisting your shoulders, head and torso to the right. Lay back down and twist to the left for one rep. Perform 20 reps. (Make it even more difficult by crunching up half way, pausing there, then twisting to the right without coming completely up to a sitting position, so your abs engage throughout the entire move.)

Check back in next week for more moves and have a ball working those abs!