Finding Your Rhythm and Alignment

With Nina Marchione from Solace New York fitness center
By NIna Marchione
NIna Marchione
NIna Marchione
May 4, 2016 Updated: May 6, 2016

While putting together the Sculpt fitness program for Solace New York, I realized cardio was a huge missing element from the traditional barre or Pilates classes. I wanted to create a total body hybrid workout that mixed in body weight training and cardio conditioning as well.

There is a natural rhythm inside of everyone—the heartbeat that drives us and connects us all. I love to translate that rhythm and energy through my classes and music. Before I got into fitness, I trained in ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance. 

These exercises place strong emphasis on alignment, fluidity, and breath. Be ready to sweat and feel accomplished.

(infographic by Marie He; Photos by Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
(infographic by Marie He; Photos by Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

Mountain Climber

Mountain Climbers start position with Nina Marchione from SOLACE. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
The Mountain Climber start position with Nina Marchione. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

Start in plank position with arms straight, shoulders lined directly above wrists, and toes on the floor. Keep abs lifted to the back of the body so that the spine is neutral, and the core is engaged.

Drive your knees to the chest alternating right to left as if you’re running.

Mountain Climbers with Nina Marchione from SOLACE. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Mountain Climbers with Nina Marchione. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

Do this for 60 seconds.

Bird Dogs

Bird Dog Nina Marchione from SOLACE. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Bird Dogs start position with Nina Marchione. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

Start in table-top position on all fours with the shoulders lined over the wrists and the knees under the hips.
 
Extend the right leg back and reach the left arm forward until the arm and leg are straight. Then drive the knee to the opposite elbow, lifting the navel to the spine before extending the arm and leg back out. Remember to keep the core engaged and squeeze your buttocks when you extend the leg.
 
Bird Dogs with Nina Marchione from SOLACE. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Bird Dogs with Nina Marchione. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

Repeat 20 times on each side. 

Donkey Kicks

Donkey Kicks start position with Nina Marchione from SOLACE. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Donkey Kicks start position with Nina Marchione. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

From the table-top position, drop the left forearm to the floor while keeping the right arm boxed out to the side with the elbow bent at a 90-degree angle.
 
Open the hips slightly to the right and extend the right leg back into the air.
 
Drive the right knee to the right elbow, and then kick the right leg back out. Squeeze your buttocks to extend the leg, and focus on the obliques when driving the knee to the elbow.
 
Donkey Kicks with Nina Marchione from SOLACE. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Donkey Kicks with Nina Marchione. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

Repeat 30 times on each leg. 

Down-Dog Split

Downward Dog Split  with Nina Marchione.(Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Downward Dog Split with Nina Marchione.(Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

Out of your downward-dog position, raise your right leg into the air and open your right hip to lift higher than your left hip.
 
Stretch your right leg high, and then bend it and let the weight of your leg gently open and stretch the hip.
 
Downward Dog Split with Nina Marchione.(Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Downward Dog Split with Nina Marchione.(Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

You can shake the leg gently or do what feels good. Just try to keep your shoulders squared to the floor. Hold for seven deep breaths and repeat on the other leg.
 
Nina Marchione is the program director of Sculpt by Solace, the newest fitness program offered by Solace New York.
NIna Marchione
NIna Marchione