Get a sleek body using just a chair and mat

March 1, 2010 4:53:34 PM PST
Get a sleek and toned body without running for hours on the treadmill. All you need is a chair and exercise mat. Find out about this super popular Dailey Method.


Below are five "get back on track after the holiday" exercises that can be done at home and you only would need a chair and a thick towel or exercise mat. The exercises, which are all done at The Dailey Method, use multiple body parts, which is why they produce fast physical results.

The premise is all based on improving the alignment of the spine and the postural muscles, so along with sculpting the large muscle groups, they also improve posture and core strength. These exercises could be done daily as part of an overall exercise program to help with losing those unwanted holiday pounds!

  1. Forearm Plank: Begin with your forearms on the ground and parallel. Focus on aligning the spine and then pulling every muscle in towards your center line. Hold for one minute.

    This targets almost every single muscle of the body and is considered the "power house of exercises".

  2. High C-curve (rolling back and forward into lower position): This exercise targets every muscle of the abdominal wall while stretching the full length of the spine. Sit on the floor with legs in front of you and feet flat, knees bent and inner thighs and ankles pressing together.

    Hold onto the top of your knees and with straight arms curl back into a round back spine position.

    Tip your pelvis under and lengthen the rest of the spine away, chest open. Pull every abdominal layer in towards the spine, up underneath the rib cage and the pelvis. You can do various small range of motion exercises to try and get deeper into position and then with the arms to challenge the stability. Then take your feet hips distance apart and hold behind the thighs and slowly and with control roll down and then curl up.

    You only move with the range of motion that you can completely control, ideally down to your low back. Then stay on your low back and continuing to hold behind your thighs, find an aligned position of tailbone and shoulders both lifting off the mat and spine lengthening in opposition. Hold here for one minute.

  3. Flat back center floor: This exercise is a mental focus on finding the longest spine in a proper neutral position and then engaging and holding the muscles in place, which teaches proper alignment of the spine and the deep intrinsic muscular strength needed to support it.

    To start, sit on the floor with legs in front, knees slightly bent. Place fists behind hips, open out the shoulders and lean slightly forward, and sit up as tall as possible. Focus on creating the natural curve in the lower back.

    Pull in the core muscles to stabilize that position. (There are minor movements of the legs that can be done, but the focus is on improving and holding the spine position - a healthy spine is important to overall health).

  4. Seat work with spinal extension: targets the gluteal muscles and hamstrings but also works on strengthening the spinal extensors in a very balanced manner. Lie on the ground on your abdominals with the mat or towel folded in 1/3 under your hips.

    Your arms are straight over your head with thumbs turned up and your legs are straight behind. By stabilizing the pelvis in the ground and the top of the stabilizing leg, lift up the working leg by engaging the base of your seat.

    There are different variations of lifting up with straight and bent knees and at different angles. One set includes lifting up the opposite arm as leg simultaneously.

  5. Standing single leg lift: Start with your foot up on a ballet barre or a counter top. (Best to stabilize by the ball of your foot but if necessary you can put your foot on the top). Align your hips by pressing the standing hip forward and pulling the barre hip back.

    First do a stretch by moving forward from the hips, keeping a flat back, and then elongating the torso over the leg. From here, roll up to standing and shift the leg off the barre but keep it lifted. Working on balance you do a series of leg lifts with different variations to strengthen the quadricep muscles and the core hip flexors.

    This provides flexibility of the hamstrings and lower back, both of which are pertinent to offset back pain and injuries.

    It also adds in a balance component which is imperative for individuals as they age to keep the neurological paths working correctly and targets the quadricep muscles which are one of the strongest muscles of the body and help tremendously in increasing metabolism throughout the day when strengthened.

    The single leg lift quadricep exercise is one of the best out there for proper knee stabilization and alignment.

Jill grew up in Denver, Colorado and as a child and teen studied and performed various styles of dance. In 1986, she entered college at UCLA as a Dance major.

The following year she transferred to The University of Colorado at Boulder where in 1991 she graduated with a BS degree in Kinesology and continued her training in modern, ballet and ethnic dance.

Jill moved to San Francisco in 1992 and began her fitness career. She trained extensively in Pilates, earning her certification with both the Pilates Guild, and The Physical Mind Institute. She also earned her ACSM certification and spent most of the 90's working one on one with clients using Pilates and general fitness training to help them meet their specific goals.

She opened her own personal training Studio in 1995 and was fortunate to work with an extremely diverse clientele; many that had rehabilitative needs. This experience helped hone her strong knowledge in injury prevention and rehabilitation.

In 1994 she was introduced to the Lotte Berk Method in New York and truly felt it was the best format out there. She traveled back there to take classes whenever she had the opportunity.

She began incorporating this into her own training but knew eventually she wanted to solely teach a class that followed this format. That dream began to be realized in 1999 when she received additional training by a former Lotte Berk instructor that owned similar studio in New York.

In 2000, Jill created The Dailey Method®, the first barre class on the West Coast. The result of her extensive knowledge and experience creating the most efficient mix of muscle strengthening and flexibility exercises.

The Dailey Method® is a very focused and effective class that provides quick physical results. Over the years, Jill has constantly worked to perfect and modify the class, based on experience and current knowledge, resulting in an evolution of the class that has become more precise and targeted.

The original Dailey Method Studio opened during the summer of 2000 in San Francisco Marina's District. She and her husband Doug own and operate a total of four Bay Area locations today and also run a franchise business that oversees 12 other Dailey Method studios in Arizona, California, Illinois and Canada.

Jill and Doug have three children (ages 2,5, and 8) and currently live in San Anselmo in Marin County. Both have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 20 years.


The Dailey Method's proprietary one-hour fitness classes combine ballet barre work, core conditioning, stretching, and orthopedic exercises - led by expert teachers and done to contemporary music. The classes effectively strengthen, tone, and lengthen the entire body while providing quick physical results. Right now, The Dailey Method is offering New Years Special to get people off to a good start. $140 for 10 classes.

For more information, visit

Achieve the Results You've Always Wanted: The Dailey Method combines strength training with muscle stretching at many intervals throughout the class. The result is longer and stronger muscles with greater flexibility, creating a leaner body.

Clients who regularly attend class 3 to 5 times per week can expect to see results after the first month.*

Reap the Benefits of a Personal Trainer: with expert teachers coaching every move, The Dailey Method offers clients the benefits of a personal trainer at a much lower cost per session. Class instructors actively correct students on posture and technique to ensure exercises are being done properly and with maximum benefit.

Save Money on Workouts: The Dailey Method now offers a special unlimited-class package at all four company-owned studios for $199/month**. The package requires a 6-month commitment and classes can be taken at any of TDM's four studios in San Francisco, Marin or Burlingame.

For a limited time, they are also offering an unlimited $150/month special at the Rincon Center studio only, with a 4-month commitment. No one else offers this type of highly effective class for a better price.

Building Muscle Burns Calories: Not only does increased muscles mean a better calorie burn (each pound of muscle burns 60 calories a day), it's also important for a woman to maintain muscle tone as she ages at 30, the average woman starts to naturally lose lean muscle mass.

Weight-bearing exercise is the cornerstone of The Dailey Method's workouts, which keep muscles strong and lean, and assists with overall weight management.

Workouts are Sexy: Studies show that women (and men) who exercise on a regular basis have better libidos, generate more endorphins (the "feel good" hormone) and have more strength and endurance. Beautifully toned, sleek muscles are a turn-on for everyone!