V-Up | With Weights from Laura Dahl on Vimeo.
Joseph Pilates couldn’t have been in his right mind when he named his fundamental move, the Teaser. Anyone who’s ever attempted it knows that a Teaser does anything but tease you, it slaps you right in the core. So, for this exercise, I’m using the training term, V-Up.
As with everything, form is crucial, so here are a few tips to get you the best results.
- Keep your lower back curved by pressing against the floor with your lower abdominals. You should not be able to fit a finger between your lumbar and the floor.
- Keeping your arms straight and pointing directly to the ceiling the entire time, lift your head and shoulders off the ground and pause. Then, slowly peel off the mat, one vertebra at a time.
- Keeping your legs straight and squeezing them tightly together, lift them to a ‘v’ position, syncing the movement with your torso.
- Return to the mat with the same control, gently unfolding vertebra by vertebra. Momentum is not your friend here. Stability is.
- Once you have mastered the form, add weights. You’ll immediately notice any instability in your core when amplified under pressure, so start light and work your way up. In this video, I’m using a 15 lb. weight.
Stability Ball | Pike Prep from Laura Dahl on Vimeo.
This is a powerhouse movement and it’s the one I go to when I’m pressed for time but I want to get a solid ab workout in.
- The point of this exercise is a strong core, so you’ll probably guess that you need to keep it engaged the entire time.
- Begin in a plank position, with the tops of your feet on the stability ball.
- Slowly bring your knees to your chest, rolling the ball to the front of your toes, while lifting your seat directly over your shoulders.
- Pause and return to the starting point, not allowing your core to relax or your lower back to sway when you are fully extended.
- Repeat 15 times.
- Once you perfect this version, you can progress it by keeping your legs straight the entire time, effectively, rolling up into a handstand prep position.
Roll Up | With Weights from Laura Dahl on Vimeo.
When my trainer introduced me to this exercise, my inner Pilates nerd got excited and my core got schooled. As far as I’m concerned, form is everything in fitness and to get the most out of this movement, technique is crucial.
- Perfect the form first and once you are able to execute the movement slowly and with control, add the weight.
- Begin laying on your back. Engage your lower abdominals so your sacrum and lumbar are grounded. You should not be able to squeeze a finger between your lower back and the floor.
- With feet flexed, legs should remain flat on the ground throughout the exercise by pressing your hamstrings firmly into the floor.
- Arms should remain directly above you the entire time.
- Slowly curl your head and shoulders off the ground, pause, then one vertebra at a time curl all the way up to sitting. Momentum is not the goal here, the slower the better.
- Descend with the same control, one vertebra at a time.
- Give thanks to your body for its strength, and for becoming stronger
The cameras follow as I reconnect with an old friend, Ryan Pardey, over a glass of Templeton Rye. We reminisce about growing up in Las Vegas and compare our favorite local spots to gamble, eat, drink and listen to live music.
Ryan shares stories of historic Las Vegas, tales of being raised by a professional poker player, and the strange road that lead to his becoming the dark and disturbed Santa Claus staring in all of The Killers’ christmas videos.
Ryan has made music his life and is credited with helping grow the local scene. A Las Vegas mainstay, you can find him playing and producing shows all over town. For now though, please pour yourself a cocktail and join us for Happy Hour.
View Ryan’s Live Performance of ‘A Faster Bullet’ here.
Laura Dahl | Happy Hour with Ryan Pardey from Laura Dahl on Vimeo.
Following my Happy Hour chat with Ryan Pardey, he entertains us with a live performance of his single, A Faster Bullet.
View the interview here.
Ryan Pardey | A Faster Bullet from Laura Dahl on Vimeo.
Medicine Ball Cross Toss from Laura Dahl on Vimeo.
Making your workout fun and challenging is the best way to stay committed to your goals – and throwing big balls is most certainly both fun and challenging.
Be sure to keep your core and glutes engaged to avoid straining your back, and when done right, this exercise will give you a full upper body workout – with an extra dose of love for the obliques.
Sandy Valley Ranch is a place that’s close to my heart. A product of my mother’s dreams, she created it for family and friends (old and new) as a retreat from city life. Here are a few videos I hosted that will give you a taste for some of the fun, and funny, things we do at the ranch. Enjoy!
Cowboy for a Day at Sandy Valley Ranch from Sandy Valley Ranch on Vimeo.
Play Cowboy Games at Sandy Valley Ranch from Sandy Valley Ranch on Vimeo.
Goat Dressing at Sandy Valley Ranch from Sandy Valley Ranch on Vimeo.
Spend the Night in a Historic Plains Teepee from Sandy Valley Ranch on Vimeo.
When a friend invited me to join her for an afternoon of aerial silks, naturally I accepted. Spending a weekend on the Santa Monica Pier, dangling from yards of fabric suspended from the sky for the amusement of tourists passing by sounded like good entertainment.
At the worst, I would challenge my body in ways I had never done before and laugh more than ever as I made a complete fool of myself. At best, I would be able to muscle myself into a few poses reminiscent of the incredible Cirque du Soleil performances that always leave me in awe, and I would walk away fulfilled and invigorated.
Since I have a few photos to share you can probably figure out that I was able to fake my way through the class. And, from the title of this entry, ‘Aerial Silks | Part One’ you can also probably deduct that I will be going back for more. No exercise in my current repertoire demands as much from my body as aerial silks and I’m on a mission to become the strongest, most efficient version of myself. Better late than never, right? It also feels really good to fly 😉
Pole Dancing | Take One from Laura Dahl on Vimeo.
As a Las Vegas native, I’ve seen my share of athletes on poles and I’ve always been in awe of their strength, grace and femininity. Now that pole fitness studios are popping up everywhere (and you don’t have to be a lady of the night to do tricks) I finally quenched my curiosity and signed up for an introduction class.
I have a long way to go before I make my hometown proud, on a pole at least, but the empowerment I felt as I draped myself around that shiny metal cylinder is addicting. The true beauty of the pole is its innate power to grant the freedom to explore an often suppressed side of ourselves. I came out of that class a richer person, and my body got a darn good workout too.