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Fab Frugal Fitness Series – Chi Chi Life Pilates

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chi chi life yoga nyc

Fab Frugal Fitness Series – Week #1 by Lauren Chiarello 

Boutique fitness classes are tons of fun but at sometimes up to $37 per class, the expense can really add up. With the beautiful summer weather, we can take advantage of some awesome workouts in the sunshine or even in the privacy of our own home.


We chatted with some fabulous fitness experts to give us the moves to make us sweat, look good and feel great while keeping our wallets full.


Every Thursday this summer, we’ll feature a free (or inexpensive) workout from a fitness guru. Sign up here to get the weekly workout.


Our first workout is Chi Chi Life Pilates by Lauren Chiarello of Chi Chi Life. We can’t wait to hear what you think!


Message from Lauren:

I adore moving + grooving outside! Here’s a 10 minute core circuit you can add on after a run or walk while soaking in the sunshine. You’ll need a mat / towel underneath you to give you a bit of padding. Follow Exercises #1 – #5. Then repeat!


Exercise 1: Straight arm plank – 1 minute (see photo)

Make sure your wrists are underneath your shoulders. Take a deep breath in + exhale all the air out of the belly + feel a deep brace in your abdominal wall. Knit your ribs together. Your Transverse Abdominals are the deepest layer of your abdominal wall + are thick bands that protect your spine. Strengthening these muscles are the foundation for your plank.

== 2nd time through: Around the World Straight Arm Plank: Add movement to your strong plank by lifting your right arm (shoulder level), then left arm, then left foot (hip level), then right foot and cycle through again throughout the entire minute.


chi chi life nyc yoga


Exercise 2: Side Plank on your Forearm – 30 seconds each side

Place your elbow underneath your shoulder, stack your hips + shoulders. Pull your abdominals in. Reach your top arm up to the sky + lengthen your spine. Hold stillness. Feel lifted in your side body activating your obliques (side waist).

== 2nd time through: Add pulse of your hips.


Exercise 3: Criss Cross – 1 minute

Lay on your back, bring your hands behind the nape of your neck. Keep your elbows high + wide. Take your right arm pit toward your left knee – as you bend that knee in. Alternate sides and feel your spine rotate through the middle part of your back (your thoracic spine). Exhale to hollow the belly each time you rotate. This exercise targets your internal + external obliques.

== 2nd time through: Add 4 curls up to each side.


Exercise 4: Roll Ups – 1 minute

Lay all the way down. Stretch your legs long, root your thighs + hips down. Bring your arms over your head + take a deep breath in. As you exhale, curl your head, neck and shoulders off the ground + bring your arms in line with your shoulders, picking up each piece of your spine – bone by bone. Arc up and over your front legs + pull your navel to your spine. Sit up tall ands carefully tuck your pelvis, feel your low back touch the ground + lower yourself all the way down. Repeat.

== 2nd time through: Add a 8 second hold each time you pass through up + down.


Exercise 5: Toe Taps – 1 minute 

Lay on your back, palms press down by your side. Bring your legs into tabletop (knees above hips. Tuck your pelvis under to give your low back more support (as you progress you can keep a neutral spine – meaning the natural curvature of your spine – there’s an air pocket behind the small of your back). From here slowly lower the whole shape of your right leg down, tapping your toe like it’s dipping into a pool. Repeat left leg. This exercise targets your lower abdominals.

== 2nd time through: Lower both legs together.



chi chi life nyc yoga

Chiarello is the founder of NYC-based Chi Chi Life which melds her three passions: fitness, fundraising + events + cancer advocacy. She is a lover of life, health + wellness + is energized to build community through connection of shared experiences. Connect with Lauren on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.




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