Fitness Movement Videos

Roll-Up with Weights

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.

Movement Notes:

  • 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 🙂
Fitness Movement Videos

Medicine Ball Cross – Toss

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.

Life Lifestyle Videos

Welcome to Sandy Valley Ranch

Laura Dahl | TV Host
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.

Featured Fitness Movement

Aerial Silks | Part One

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 😉

Featured Fitness Movement Videos

Pole Dancing

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.


How Fashion Became a Show

Dior Haute Couture, 1954

There are, on average, 152 fashion weeks that take place throughout the world every year according to a recent New York Times report. Showing at each of the fashion weeks are anywhere from twenty to one hundred designers. It doesn’t take complicated math to calculate that these statistics make the number of individual fashion shows around the world per year a whopping 15,200. To blow your mind even more, that number doesn’t include any fringe or independent shows that are produced but not associated with an organized “Fashion Week”.

There is no doubt that fashion shows are big business. Customers spend their hard-earned money on clothing and accessories to the tune of $300 billion dollars a year, and designers are constantly competing for their share of the market. Quite simply, it is this contentious environment that breeds the fear of being overlooked that inherently demands for fashion shows to become bigger, better and more memorable with every passing season. But, it wasn’t always this way.

Designer presentations have been going on in some form since the first designer had a garment to sell. In the beginning, it was a more proper yet casual affair. The designer would invite her clients to the atelier to view their newest creations. The presentation could consist of just a handful of looks or it could consist of a wardrobe full of options. The number of looks wouldn’t really matter. What would matter was that every garment had been specially designed with the specific clients in attendance in mind.

Models would casually float around the atelier in the specially made frocks while the client admired the designer’s careful craftsmanship and romanticized about how the garment might fit into their life. If the client saw something that she fancied, she bought it. From inception, clothing was designed with an intimate knowledge of the client, their wants and needs. The system was straightforward and it worked.

Those were the couture days. As ready to wear clothing became more popular in the 1920’s and the majority of people bought their frocks off the rack from retailers, more and more designers were born, all with the goal of fulfilling their own niche within the public’s ever expanding preferences and tastes. To do that the designer has to stand out from their competition and gain the most attention, so, naturally, collection presentations became extravagant productions with a touch of healthy narcissism.

Today we call the presentation of a designer’s collection a Fashion “Show”, and that is exactly what it has become. Complete with actors slash models, directors, producers, publicists, marketing and sales people, stylists, set designers a sound track and of course – costumes. Fashion has borrowed from the theater and shares most everything in common. All but the box office, at least for now.

Until very recently, the seats in the Tents were occupied by buyers from large retailers, magazine editors from the top fashion publications, private clients, celebrity stylists and other industry critics. The shows were given by the Trade for the Trade. At a single fashion show the designer could potentially gain several editorial features, sell the collection to major retailers, sell one-of-a-kind pieces directly to their private clients, and present their message in their own vision thereby strengthening their branding. And all of this in one twelve minute spectacle.

Over the past few years the coveted and exclusive seats that were once reserved for industry mainstays have been occupied by reality stars, pop singers, child bloggers and instagram stars. It leaves me thinking that today’s fashion week is better suited for Broadway. In the theater, extravagance is a virtue. Designers could fill the front rows with tabloid celebrities and sell the rest of the seats to the public. After all, the clothing presented on the runway has been dramatized from their sellable state making them costumes anyway.

Paul Poiret, 1925

Featured Fitness Movement Videos


STRETCH from Laura Dahl on Vimeo.

I’m often asked how I got to be both, strong and flexible. The answer is, I work at it.

Without doubt, growing up as a ballet dancer made my body more supple than many, but ten minutes a day will bring measurable results, to any body.

Like everything, it takes consistency and commitment, but the benefits you’ll gain from fewer injuries to stronger muscles and the freedom felt by unfolding from the inside out, are worth every precious (and sometimes painful) second.