39 posts categorized " Ask The Instructor! "

BEST OF FHH 2014! 29 Dec 2014


What a great year! Thank YOU for all of your hard work and dedication: We completed 3 challenges, 2 Lithe Escapes, traveled on tour to Seoul, NYC & LA, celebrated a decade in Philly, Welcomed 11 fantastic new instructors (Meredith, Cate, Jen L., Maggie, Jenn B., Annette, Liz S., Kalika, Jonathan, Alicia, Katie B), 3 veteran instructors became Masters, debuted 7 new workouts (Rah, Lithe Beach, Hi-Top, All That, Sideline, Mercy & Lithe Lab), 2 WKND's and have seen the most killer camaraderie and results than ever before!  Here's to 2015!  Check out some of our favorite posts...

Lithe Escape Jamaica, Lithe WKND, Lithe Escape Tulum, Love Letters, Kristy's Before & After, Lithe Tour Philly, Seoul, NYC & LA, Because I'm Perfect, Lauren's Gym Bag Essentials, Beauty Tips for a tired face, 3 Days to Flat Abs, Lauren for Prevention, Breaking the Mom Cycle, Talking biz with Forbes & Jon Oringer, Fall Transformation Results, Elizabeth Tomkins x Destination Maternity, Lithe Foods x Art In The Age Skinny Heathen series, Sayeh's Living Lithe Tips, Earned in Winter Challenge, Results, T-Minus 30 Challenge, Mission: Lithe, Mama Says, Lithe Spice No.1, Meg G. & Lithe on BLDG 25, love from the Press & Eating Lithe,



lithe on location China
Lither Cristina Byce spent the summer backpacking through China and unfortunately had to take a hiatus from Lithe, but she did manage to squeeze in a few lunges on the Great Wall of China!  This is awesome, Cristina!  What a view, great form, and way to get low!


  Kim Sauer

Hi Lauren,

I've been Lithing for three months and I love it but I'm having neck pain during matwork that seems to be increasing as the weeks go by.  I'm frustrated.  What can I do?  LK 

Hi LK,

I'm so sorry that you are experiencing neck pain.  First, ask one of your instructors (or me) to check your "Lithe Ab Prep" form in the studio.  Many people go out of sequence with the cues and this will directly affect the neck (and lack of abdominal development!).  Remember that we "prep" the upper body so that we work the abs rather than the neck.  Follow our four steps in order:

1.  Inhale, and tilt the chin (remember that you want to lengthen the back of the neck and tilt the chin, rather than lift the head off the floor).

2.  Exhale, (a.) Slide the shoulders down and (b.) Contract the abs (imprint), then (c.) Flex up off the mat.

3.  Inhale and stay.

4.  Exhale to release back down (weights, shoulders, then head) to neutral.

IF you are blowing through #2. or doing (c), and then integrating (b), you are using your neck and shoulders rather than your abs!  Hope this helps!

Image of Lithe Instructor Kim Sauer wearing Lithe's Slimming Pants via Dom




Hi Lauren, 

I have been really looking forward to going on spring break; however, I’m nervous I will not be able to stay in Lithe Shape. Any suggestion on Lithe exercises I can do while on vacation? Will you be coming out with Lithe DVDs in the future?  Thanks, DK

Hi D,

Yes, we have some amazing things in the works for all of you Lithing from afar (Lithe DVD's  are one of them)!

My best advice is to workout Lithe Escape-style when you're traveling.  Take advantage of your surroundings-walk in the sand, hike and swim. Mix it up, and pepper in your Lithe and you'll be amazed at the results!  As long as you do your push-ups, plyos or cheer preps and method abs daily/every other day, you won't lose a thing. Stay active, eat fresh, whole foods, have a great time and we'll see you when you get back!

Image of Lithe Instructor Liz Galbally via Dom




Hello Lithe,

I took Waspie on Wed night in Old CIty.  It was my 2nd Waspie ever and it has been a few months since the last one.  Ever since then, I've had pain in my lower back.  It doesn't feel like "low back pain," but rather typical post-workout muscle soreness.  It's especially notable when I tuck my pelvis forward to elongate my spine or bend over.  We did a lot of "Candy Canes" and related moves and I'm wondering if those are supposed to work out your back (in the muffin-top flank region)?  Or am I doing something wrong?  Perhaps there were other moves that are working my back so much?   I don't recall feeling this after my last Waspie. 
Thanks,  J.U

Hi J.U,
The muscle soreness you are feeling in your back is completely normal and it's good news...it means that you were doing the workout correctly and with proper form.  Our Waspie Waist Rotations work into the internal obliques (which are deep core muscles that attach from the lower three ribs to the top of the hip, then to the erector spinae muscles in the lower back).  The entire "Candy Cane" sequence lengthens the lumbar and then shortens those muscles as we build on the sequence and "lean." So essentially, by the end of class, Waspie works all the way around the waist, including those back muscles.  Also, remember that you are working your entire back just by holding those blue bands the entire hour while sliding your shoulders down!

Image of Lithe Instructors, Lauren Boggi Goldenberg and Bari Rosenthal in Waspie via Dom


meaning of lithe

Hi Lauren,

I know you probably get this question a lot, but how did you come up with the name “Lithe”? What is the origin/history behind the name? Does the name have any significance from your past? Would love to hear more about it?  Thanks, A.L.


Hi A.L.,

Good question!  Long story short:  I first heard the word when was 10 years old.  My mom took me to see the Nutcracker at the NYC Ballet.  An older man who was sitting next to me turned to me and said, "Aren't they lithe?" (referring to the powerful dancers).  In the moment I didn't know what the word meant, but when I got home I looked it up.  When I saw the meaning, I instantly got a pit of fire in my belly.  I fell in love with the word and all that it stands for.

Fast-forward to 16 years later (post Lithe Pilates & my Pilates career) and everything came full-circle.  I developed Lithe's Cardio-Cheer-Sculpting® technique and Lithe's Higher Power Band System® in 2007.  Lithe is heavily influenced from my collegiate cheerleading, gymnastics, cheer-dance and partner stunting background.  This technique is what gives you all the coveted lean, strong and 'lithe' physique that I had as a Division 1 athlete.  Here's a little more about Lithe's origins!


Alison L
Hi Lauren,

I have somewhat of an embarrassing question. Ever since I had my daughter 4 years ago, when I do jumping jacks in class I can't even get through a full set. I have this urge to urinate, even if I just recently used the restroom. It has improved a little over time, but it's still somewhat of an issue at times. Is this normal? Should I be doing exercises to strengthen those muscles (but I don't have this issue with running or other exercises). Or should I sub with a different exercise? Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

Thanks! K

Hey K, it's actually really common. It happens to all of us who've had a baby! Rebounder classes or any lateral movement (like jumping jacks) will do it. It usually wont happen while running, since everything is kinda closed, momentum is low to the ground and you are traveling forward.

Here is a visual: When you do your ab work (especially method abs) or anything at lithe, think of incorporating your pelvic floor/PC muscles on that exhale. Imagine that there is an elevator sitting on the first floor right above your pubic bone. On the exhale, you want to pull it up/make it (the elevator) rise 3 floors to your navel. It will seem difficult at first but, within a few weeks, you won't even realize that those muscles are engaged and are a lot stronger!

If thinking of the elevator is just too much to think about while you are working out, just try to contract those vaginal muscles on the exhale...just like your holding the flow of urine.

Image of Lither, Alison Lubert, via Dom


Lithe Abs

It looks like I'll be having hernia surgery in October, something that was a result of my two c-sections/pregnancies. The surgeon says no exercise for 6 weeks. Did you feel you got back into things quicker? I recovered from both c-sections in a snap, in part, because I went into them in top shape.

Any advice, insights or tips about getting back to lithe after surgery? Are there any classes you might recommend for me to ease into at 4 weeks? Of course, I'll consult my doctor on anything but I need "insider" lithe advice & encouragement.

Ugh, so sorry to hear about your hernia! I feel your pain. Just know that hernias are really common, and it will be long gone soon enough! I’m not sure how large your hernia was, but mine was BIG. It stretched from my pubic bone all the way up to my belly button. My gastroentologist (hernia surgeon) wanted to cut me vertically, which I refused, so I actually had two surgeons during the operation. The gastroentologist applied the mesh and a plastic surgeon sewed me up (horizontally) at my C-section scar. Both doctors also told me two very different healing/no-exercise time ranges. 

My hernia surgeon said that I would be back at full-force at 4-5 weeks and the plastic surgeon told me to wait 8-12 weeks.  Both doctors said that I could do cardio, but advised me to not do any direct "crunching" ab-work.  The plastic surgeon's fear was that I would blow out the mesh. I waited about 10 weeks and I’m so glad that I listened to him! I was feeling great at 4-6 weeks; I could run, do cardio at Lithe (even classes like Waspie were fine), but Push-ups, See-Saws, plank work and any abdominal work on the floor did NOT feel good. I would stay away from our AB focused classes during your 6 week healing period. I promise that you will not fall apart. 

I think that you'll be fine in Twiggy, Hot Legs, Waspie, Barlesque, Higher Power (except for the last 5 minutes of abs at the end), Skinny Mini (modify push ups, or rest in shell), Hipster, Wings, Sweet Cheeks, Hot-stepper, Walk-Star, Thigh High and Sleeveless.   I would stay away from:  A-List Abs, Cinch, Waist Not, Skinny Jeans, High Mini,  Fabu-Legs, Spirit, Thinny, Fat Free, Arm-istice and Action-Figure.  You’ll know what you can and can’t do for sure ; ) 

Image of retired Lithe Instructor, Anne Falasco, wearing Lithe via Dom


Lithing while pregnant

Hi Lauren,

I'm 15 weeks pregnant with my second (I did not lithe through my first) and have been sticking with my 5 day Lithe routine with minimal modifications. I was away this weekend and took a pilates class and the instructor insisted that I should not be doing any "standing up waist twisting" motions as it is bad for the fetus. I had never heard this before. I previously thought that the band classes would be best for me (e.g. waspie) but am now concerned that much of this waist rotation is not safe. Have you heard this before? Any thoughts? Any other modifications that I should be making (other than getting off of my back after week 20).

Thanks so much! MR

Hi MR!

Did you ask your instructor why?  Many of these pregnancy rules re: exercise are pretty outdated, including the old heart rate rule.  Everyone is different, but I safely and happily took Waspie throughout my pregnancy.  In fact, it was the last class that I taught at 38 weeks.  I loved it and it always felt really good. We do recommed taking it (and doing the waist rotations).

My answer is to listen to your body and your doctor, but it also helps to have a clear understanding of the physiology of pregnancy and the effects of different Lithe workouts so you can make the right choice on which classes that YOU should take during your second and third trimester.

You may have heard that twisting/waist rotations are completely off-limits but, as with most things pregnancy-related, it’s really not that black-and-white. In Waspie, we do a waist rotation series for the first 15 minutes of class. You’ll be slowly rotating slightly from side to side to engage your obliques, rather than than twisting rapidly and forcefully.

Keep in mind, that you want to practice mild, open twists, which don’t compress your abdomen rather than closed, compressed rotations that you would do when you’re not pregnant. You’re in wide second during this section of the class, so it’s really beneficial for opening the hips.  Keep your chest lifted, slide your shoulders down and move the entire spine into rotation, allow your hips and your belly to come with you a bit more than if you were not pregnant.

I find that twists were great for releasing the muscles around my spine, which really became overstretched and stressed from carrying my growing belly around. Done gently and appropriately they can actually help to relieve some of the back pain often associated with pregnancy.  

One more tip for all you mamas is that when you’re Lithing while pregnant, think about creating a little more space for your baby by relaxing that tuck. Hope this helps!

Image of Lithe Instructors, Tif Nork, Lauren Boggi Goldenberg & Heather Burt (retired) via Dom




Hi Lauren,

I Lithe about 5 - 6 times a week, and have been since April. My body has completely changed in all kinds of ways I never thought possible, and I'm in better shape than ever. I do a pretty good mix of band, barre, cardio, and sculpting classes. However, on my recent vacation my boyfriend and I went for a run on flat terrain and I could barely keep up. I literally had trouble running for longer than a minute at a time. Is this common? Is there something wrong with me? Should I be adding a couple of runs in addition to my Lithe schedule? I have never been able to run easily, especially not outside. I'm the opposite of athletic, so it's always been a challenge.

Any advice you have is greatly appreciated. Thanks!  M 

Hi M! 

Yes, this can be a common experience if you don't run regularly.  Most runners who come to Lithe feel really weak when Lithing, but over time, they also always say that Lithe has made them a stronger, faster runner. In a nutshell, you're Lithe-strong, but you're not running-strong simply because Lithe is not running.  

Comparing Lithe to running is like comparing Lithe to Yoga. They are two very different animals!  Regarding movement and the way that the body responds cardiovascularly, running is like highway driving and Lithing is like city driving. Lithing is actually more difficult for the body to do, but there are also so many variables that we really don't know about that day that you went for a test drive. Like our band classes.  Are you taking Waspie and Split or Higher Power and Pom?  How fast was your boyfriend running?  Was it really hot that day? 

Nope, there's nothing wrong with you, but if you feel like you are missing something, you would only need to supplement with one 30-40 minute run a week or a Hot-stepper.  I hope this helps!

Image of Lithe Instructor, Tiffany Nork via Dom


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