With Kelly Keesler.
(Kelly is an instructor at Plank Pilates)
Top 5 things we should know about you?
1. I am a graphic designer.
In college I got my degree in graphic design (North Eastern) and I never thought I would use it. Now, I spend half of my time doing free lance work for various clients. I sometimes pull out my laptop and work between classes. It’s actually kind of exhausting!!!
2. I love travel.
I LOVE COSTA RICA. I fell in love when I went there a couple of years ago. One of my dreams would be to open a Pilates Studio in a place like that: near the water, in the sun, palm trees…you get the picture.
3. I surf.
I went to Costa Rica to learn to surf and spent two months there. I recently went back and I got right back on the board…catching waves left and right. I was even stronger in the water than I had been. Thanks Pilates!
4. My older sister used to dress me up as a model
When I was three years old, my sister would dress me up in full make up and “big girl” clothes and then make me do a photo shoot. At the time I found it annoying but now we have an entire Kelly album. It’s a super happy book of memories.
5. I was a gymnast in high school
I taught myself how to do gymnastics. I would copy my older sister when she was doing cartwheels and such. I can actually still do flips. It’s a handy skill to pull out of my pocket!
How long have you been practicing and/or teaching Pilates?
I have practicing Pilates for four years, teaching for the last two.
What brought you to Pilates?
My best friend took a class in college as part of her curriculum. She showed me some of the exercises and I got hooked. Now I’m the one introducing her to all the studios in the city. It was the only exercise I had ever tried that actually changed my body. I had no idea it was possible to tone my muscles like you do in Pilates. I became sculpted in a way that I never knew was possible.
Top 5 exercises to do between classes?
Super Nutso Fetal Five thigh/glut series. Start lying on your side with your legs in a ‘table top’ position in front of you. Knees in line with hips, ankles in line with knees. Shoulders and hips stacked. Abdominals drawing in and up for entire sequence.
1…Lift top leg up, feeling the work in your top booty cheek, and lower it down. Repeat 10 times. Be sure to keep the ankle in line with the knee the whole time.
2…Lift top leg up, keeping the leg bent, circle your leg around 10 times, being sure to circle your thigh bone in it’s socket (keeping your leg bent). Get into the booty more by making sure you have a full circular movement going on, really engaging the glut to circle the leg. Reverse circles for 10 more reps.
3….Keeping the leg lifted after your circles, extend the leg up to the ceiling (almost like a karate kick) and bend it back in. 10 reps, reaching long through the heel with every kick. Try to keep hips stacked.
4…Extend the leg out in front of you, heel reaching forward and hip reaching out. Your leg should be parallel to the ground to start. Lift the leg up and lower back to the starting position. 10 reps. Then hold the leg for 10 seconds in that spot, finish with 10 small pulses up to the ceiling.
WHEWWWWWWW. Pound the booty out for a quick muscle massage.
And 5…Stay lying on the same side, just extend your legs out in line with your body, so you are one straight line. Flex the heels. Engage the core to lift both legs off the ground. Hold the legs off the ground and simply bend your knees into your chest, using your low abdominals to pull the knees in. Then extend the legs back out, keeping them lifted off the ground. Repeat 10 times.
And Voila! Killer booty and core. Turn over and repeat on the other leg.
What do you always have in your refrigerator?
To be honest, I don’t really keep much in my fridge. I always have fruit, like strawberries, and also avocados. I love avocados. I am obsessed with chunky peanut butter so you’ll always find some in my cupboard. Usually a bar of chocolate too (the organic good for you kind, of course.)
What’s Your Guilty Pleasure?
I have a serious addiction to ice cream. It’s a problem…I can’t go bed without eating a pint (GULP.) For realsies. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get over this, please let me know!
Be sure to check out Kelly’s classes on Monday nights at 5, 6 and 7 pm and Friday mornings at 7, 8, 9, and Plank 360 at noon. Her classes are focused and fun, with a fantastic vibe of positivity. She is also available for private sessions by request.