Skinny Mom Approved: Laura Tarbell’s Pilates for Athletes

“There’s not enough hours in the day.” | “By the time I get home, the family fed, the kids’ homework done and the house cleaned, the last thing I want to do is workout.” | “If I got my workout in before work by waking at 5 or 6 AM, I would be too tired to get through the rest of the day.” | “There’s too much to do for my family. Taking an hour for myself to workout is selfish.”

Do these excuses sound familiar? I’m sure they do, as we are all guilty of saying them before (probably even this morning!). I know misery loves company, but I’m going to give you a reality check here, one that is necessary, inspiring, and relatable to all of you busy women out there, in hopes of creating a permanent shift in mindset – one that says, if she can do, so can I! One that says, making my health a top priority is the best thing for me AND my family!

Laura Tarbell is the name of this reality check. Laura is an athlete, a fitness competitor, a Wellness and Nutrition Counselor, an internationally known Pilates instructor, and business owner. But, most importantly, she is an involved mother of 21/2 year old twins AND is five-months pregnant with another set of twins! Crazy, right?! Laura’s day-to-day personal and professional life have the clear potential to be utter chaos and exhausting, however, through organization and amazing attention to detail, she maintains her successful business, continues being an amazing wife & mommy, and even commits to prioritizing her health and fitness time DAILY!

Laura has always lived in the fitness realm. Growing up, she was a student athlete in both high school and college. After graduation, she became a runner to stay active and got involved in weight lifting, Pilates, and nutrition through entering a few fitness competitions. In 2006, she opened her own Pilates studio and taught classes 2 nights a week. Although she participated in many types of sports, she chose to create a career of practicing and teaching Pilates due to the physical pain relief (pain caused from a serious back injury) and physical strength she derived from it. Laura loves Pilates because she knows “every day will be different, everyday will be rewarding, and everyday will be great!”

Laura had many motivators urging her involvement in Pilates, and within that arena, found even more inspiration to further her business by creating a three DVD set called“Pilates for Athletes”. These DVD’s were created with the hopes of providing beneficial, time-sufficient workouts for busy people like herself. Laura hoped to help people prioritize their health and fitness aspirations, regardless of the many roles they need to fulfill.  Laura saw how much her sessions were benefitting her local clients, so she wanted to expand her passion for the sport. She claimed, “I made this set of DVDs because I wanted to share the power of Pilates with more people than I could physically meet with on a weekly basis. These DVDs are designed for the person who wants a fast-paced, intense workout. They mimic my lifestyle because I don’t have a lot of time to spend in the gym. I like to get in, get it done, and head home to be with my family.”

Sounds great, right?! Well, trust me, it is! I have tried all three of her DVD’s and they are equally amazing. I have added two tapes a week to my exercise routine, alternating DVD’s so I do all three, and I have seen results physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am toning up, stretching out, and gaining more flexibility than I have in years! Each DVD is indeed a fast-paced, high-energy workout that leaves me energized and feeling the burn all day! Her positive and encouraging teaching style will attract even the most novice Pilates members, leaving you wanting to learn more! It is clear she put the time and research in her work to create the best combination of movements to increase our quality of life over our increasingly hectic schedules. Also, like Laura, I too struggle with a spinal injury and agree with her 100% that strengthening your core through Pilates is the sure way to go for pain relief. I recommend Laura’s DVDs to runners, anyone that is interested in Pilates (no matter how experienced), looking for a new workout routine, has a back injury/needs to strengthen their core, or wants to find a fast-paced, quick workout to do at home. I have tried MANY Pilates DVDs and the set of “Pilates for Athletes” is definitely one of my favorites!

Laura created a brief synopsis of each DVD in her series and is listed below (along with my brief review of each DVD):

1. Pilates for Runners: The ‘Pilates for Runners’ program is designed to create a stronger and more flexible body by developing balance and by producing ideal body alignment. Exercises focus on stabilizing the core as the limbs move as well as improving running form. If you’re an avid runner, this program is especially helpful to prevent your body from running-related injuries.

(I am getting back into running, and will continue to use this as I train for races this year. I have let a few of my closest runner friends try this DVD and they all LOVED it!)

2. Plyo-Pilates: This unique, high-energy, and intense program was created because as a mother of twins and a business owner, I don’t have any spare time to waste at the gym. My philosophy is make every second count! I love plyometrics for its ability to improve speed and tone the legs and abs, and I love Pilates for its core work and lengthening effect. They are a great compliment to each other because one is high-intensity, one is low-intensity, and together, they are a lean muscle-building powerhouse.

(As a volleyball coach, I train my girls with a ton of plyometrics, but for some reason, didn’t focus on them as much in my own workouts (probably because they kick your butt!!), but this DVD got me focusing on the areas and movements that are so beneficial to my body for strength, flexibility, longevity, and overall health.)

 3. Ultimate Abs and Core: Pilates is known for its torso trimming and core defining power. As a Pilates instructor, if I had a penny for everyone who asked me for a great ab workout, I’d be rich! This video is full of all the best Pilates has to offer in core and ab toning. It includes 30 minutes on the mat, 20 minutes on the stability ball, and 10 minutes on the foam roller.

(This is an amazing core workout. I use muscles that I forgot I had, and feel big improvements throughout my lower back and abs, and major relief from my back injury so simple things like lifting a child or a laundry basket no longer cause pain.)

Typical of Laura’s contagiously kind spirit, she wanted to leave you Mama’s with a motivational message to help each of you achieve your health and fitness goals:

“As women, we are givers and we put our families first. This is a fabulous quality, however, taking 30-60 minutes out of 24 hours in a day can make a world of difference, not only in your physical self but in your mental outlook as well. It might seem like there isn’t time, but if you make it a priority, you can find time. Taking a little mommy-time before the rest of my family gets up or during my kids’ nap time clears my head, organizes my thoughts and my plans for the day, makes me more patient with my children, and puts me in a better mood every time! It’s not selfish, it’s healthy. And once you get in the habit, your body will crave physical movement. Remember, every achievement begins in your mind. You have the power to do it. Plan, prioritize, and make it happen!

Isn’t she amazing?! We sure think so! For more information on Laura Tarbell, click here.

To follow Laura’s blog on leading a healthy life while having twins, visit


Three Day Giveaway: It’s All About the Core

Gosh, I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already.  Today the give away is a video called, Pilates For Runners.  It is a great video to do in addition to your running.

Let me just step on my core soapbox for a second and then I will tell you how to win the video.  The core is the most important part of the body.  It is the center and helps to control all movement.  If the core is weak you are most likely going to get injured or you already are…consider this if you have a weak core; you most likely have weak hips; which leads to weak knees; which leads to weak ankles and then to weak feet. The chain is all connected.  I have a ton of clients tell me I have a strong core…really they don’t.  Doing 1000 sit ups does not give you a strong core.  The core is not only your abs but your back also; when I teach a core type class I also incorporate glut exercises…did you know that weak glutes are one of the BIGGEST reasons for bad/sore knees.  So, get your core in check and the rest will follow.

Oh so how do you get today’s prize?  Tell me right here why or why not you don’t do core and what type of core exercises you do.  Oh and if you don’t win the video, I highly recommend that you purchase it…it is great and I have been doing it 3-4 times a week and notice a difference.  Check out for all of her videos.  I can’t say enough about Laura’s professionalism and content…it’s excellent.