Posts Tagged ‘santa monica’:

Holiday season is quickly approaching. That means it’s time to pull out those cocktail dresses and festive tops. This 10-minute workout will help you get those cocktail party arms that you’ve always wanted, while also working your abs, butt, and legs. You only need a mat or towel and 3-5 pound hand weights. If you don’t have hand weights, grab some canned vegetables or bottled water. Go through the series two times, aiming for 3 non-consecutive days, a week.


1. Forearm Plank

To do:

a. Start by getting onto your forearms and knees

b. Make a fist with one hand, and clasp the other hand around it

c. Extend your legs back to get yourself into a plank, keep legs together, shoulders over elbows, and heels over toes (as shown in photo)

Hold 30 seconds to 1 minute


Press into your forearms to prevent yourself from sinking towards the floor, and simultaneously pull your heart towards the wall in front of you

Work your pubic bone towards your forehead to engage your abs and protect your lower back

Press backs of thighs together, and make sure they don’t sink to the floor

Think of your body being pulled in two directions with your head going one way and your heels the other


Do with your knees down


Hover one leg off mat for 15 seconds, then switch to other leg for 15 seconds


2. Bridge with tricep extension

To do:

a. Lie on mat, knees bent, legs shoulder-width apart and feet flat

b. With a weight in each hand and palms facing one another, extend your arms to the ceiling

c. Lift hips to create a straight line from knees to chest (as shown in photo)

d. Bend and straighten elbows

Repeat 8-10 times


Keep chest open

Imagine holding a little beach ball between the inner thighs to keep energy there

Make sure elbows are reaching up to the ceiling when the arms are bent

Reach the tailbone towards the heels and pubic bone towards the head to keep the core active


Keep butt down


After last rep bend elbows to 90 degrees (forearms parallel to ceiling), with butt still lifted, hold for 30 seconds


3. Bicep curl

To do:

a. Stand with legs shoulder-width apart, while holding a weight in each hand, arms long by your side, shoulders down and back, and palms facing out (as shown in photo)

b. Bend elbows to bring the weights to your shoulders, then slowly lower to start position

Repeat 8-10 times


Keep elbows glued into ribs

Keep shoulders on your back to isolate the biceps

Imagine a corset around your waist to engage the abs

Gaze forward and stand tall


After you complete your reps, hold the forearms parallel to the floor for 10 seconds


4. Tricep and shoulder swing

To do:

a. Stand with legs together, a weight in each hand, raise arms to shoulder height, palms face one another

b. Bend knees in to a squat, hinge forward, and press arms back so that palms face the ceiling, pulse arms up 3 times (as shown in photo)

c. Return to standing bringing arms to start position

Repeat 8-10 times


Keep shoulders down and back

Keep spine long when you hinge forward

Picture a corset around your waist to keep your abs engaged

Make sure palms face up to ceiling when pulsing


As you return to standing bringing your arms to start position, as draw one knee into your chest


5. Lunge with twist and bicep curl

To do:

a. Stand tall with a weight in each hand, raise arms to shoulder height, palms face one another

b. Lunge forward with right leg, twist torso to the right, bend elbows (as shown in photo without the bent elbows)

c. Extend arms, untwist torso, step back to meet left leg while keeping arms raised

Repeat 8-10 times, switch sides and repeat


Keep shoulders down and back

Press through the heel of the forward lunging leg to step back

Twist from ribcage, making sure to keep arms in line with shoulders


Lower arms a little if shoulders are tight

Take out the twist

flye-26. Bent Over Flye

To do:

a. Stand with legs shoulder-width apart and a weight in each hand

b. Bend knees and hinge torso forward from the hips, keeping weight in heels

c. With a slight bend in your arms, lift them up to shoulder height, lower with control (as shown in photo)

Repeat 8-10 times


Focus on the back-side of arms and mid-upper back when doing the work

Keep shoulders on back

Picture a corset around your waist to remind you to keep

abs engaged

Make sure you can see your toes and watch that the knees track over second toe


Add an extra set of 10 pulses at the top of the last repetition before you lower arms back down



FALL 2015 CLASS SCHEDULE at UpRise Classical Pilates


1:30-2:25 Tower class level 2

6:30-7:25 Tower class open level


8:30-9:25 Reformer/Barre

UpRise Classical Pilates is located at 929 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. You can call Kristen to schedule at 917-887-3836 or book online.



I recently had the chance to speak with Mika Street, owner of Uptown Pilates in NYC and Sag Harbor.  She filled me in on why she loves Pilates, what brought her from New York City to the Hamptons, and why Sag Harbor should be your next vacation spot.  Now I wish I had planned a trip there this summer!

How long have you had your studio in Sag Harbor and what made you choose opening a studio there?

I opened Uptown Pilates Sag Harbor in the summer of 2010. It was in response to years of clients requesting that the studio have a presence in the Hamptons. Sag Harbor was a natural choice because it is the most conveniently located and I personally love the town!

How is running a studio there different than the studios you run in NYC?  And is the clientele different between the two places?

The studio out east has a very casual vibe. Although clients can expect the same level of service, there is a fresh off the beach feel. Clients often come straight from swimming in the ocean with sand still in their hair and mellow music can often be heard when clients request it.

How many teachers do you have on staff, and what kind of Pilates do they teach?

During season we have four full time instructors. They are all classically trained either from Romana’s or from the Boulder Center. Out of season we have one full time instructor.

What makes your studio stand out among other studios in the area?

Uptown Pilates worked hard to earn our clients vote of Best Pilates Studio in NYC for four years in a row! The same dedication to the clients that earned us that reputation is what sets us apart from our competition in Sag Harbor as well.

Why do you love Pilates so much?  What about it do you think draws people towards it?

I love Pilates because you can never conquer it! The stronger you get the harder the practice gets – so you can never get bored with it. I also love the way my body feels after a session!

What advice do you have for someone looking to get into Pilates?

Research the studio and instructor. There is a tremendous difference today in teaching styles and you want to be sure that you work with someone who went through an apprentice program that was at least 600 hours. I also advise committing to at least three lessons. It is hard to wrap your brain around the potential benefits of Pilates in just one session.

Do you have any stories about clients who have transformed either physically or mentally, in a positive way, because of Pilates?

Oh for sure. Countless! One of the best parts of my job is listening to clients share their many stories of how Pilates has transformed their bodies and minds. I wouldn’t know where to start in terms of sharing them!

If someone is trying to decide on a vacation spot, why would you recommend Sag Harbor, besides the amazing Pilates of course?

Ha, of course the Pilates! Sag Harbor is a gem in the Hamptons! It is such a charming, casual and centrally located town with the best restaurants, farmers market and Main Street in all of the Hamptons!

If you could open another studio anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Bali – winter 2013! Jokes aside, probably Santa Monica.

What is the best way for someone to contact you and schedule an appointment?

For Sag Harbor bookings – 631-725-5994 or Or directly through our website



I think I had been living in LA for a moment, when I had one of those only in LA things happen to me. Or at least in my world it was only in LA. I was walking down the promenade in Santa Monica, on my way to my car after work, when this guy and girl asked me if I wouldn’t mind answering some questions. I figured they wanted money, as most people on the promenade who talk to you do, so I tried to politely get away.

But the girl begged for me to stay by saying I was exactly what they were looking for. Which by the way, was someone dressed in yoga apparel. Not too hard to find in Santa Monica, as I’m pretty sure it’s the yoga capital of America. I was still the one they picked none-the-less. And they quickly told me they were doing one of those people on the street things for Glamour. That seemed pretty harmless, so I stayed.

They asked me a few questions, all forgotten except for one, “What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?” I didn’t even have to think twice about that one. It’s hands down going to my aunt and uncle’s place in Connecticut. My aunt’s an amazing cook, and it’s like walking into Martha Stewart’s house, but possibly even better. My mouth is watering just thinking about her mashed potatoes, stuffing, and apple pie.

The other part of the tradition, and the second part of my answer, is that I still love sitting at the kids’ table-even though I’m 33 (which I was at the time). I sometimes wonder “when do I get to make the jump to the adult table?” But my sister, cousin, and I always have fun catching up, gossiping, and being kids, which I feel like we would have to leave behind if we moved those two feet to the dining room table from our beautifully set folding table.

Seeing as how I haven’t been able to make it home the past 3 Thanksgivings, choosing to fly back for Christmas instead, it’s very possible that the jump has been made without me. I however will always picture Thanksgiving in Connecticut, at the kids’ table. I like the simplicity that goes along with the memory, but just the memory is enough (most of the time). I’m extremely grateful for where I am today, and lucky I have such great friends willing to take me in every year. Of course I miss my aunt’s cooking, and more importantly my family, but they are with me in spirit as I trust I am with them.



Enjoy a stimulating workout, good company, and beautiful ocean views in my weekly group Pilates classes.  From Pilates first-timer to expert, all levels are welcome!



Location: Palisades Park in Santa Monica.  Ocean Avenue at Palisades Avenue (just north of Montana)

Cost: $10/class (a steal!)

Details: If you don’t have your own mat, please let me know.  Wear layers (especially socks) for any evening class as it can get chilly.

To sign up for class announcements, please contact me.

Please feel free to bring friends!

Giving Back: A few times a year I choose an organization to donate either a portion or all of the money I make during a class.  Thanks to my wonderful clients, I’ve been able to donate to Stand Up 2 Cancer and the Red Cross.