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Meet the Mind-Body-Focused Trainer Who Swears By Kegels

Juan Algarin

Voting is now open for our Next Fitness Star competition, and the search for the fittest female personal trainer is heating up! Check out the finalists’ bios and videos all this week on WomensHealthMag.com, and head over to thenextfitnessstar.com to vote for your favorite until August 3rd (you can vote once a day). 

RACHEL NICKS
Age: 31
City: New York, NY

Catch Phrase: “Engage your Kegels!”
Spirit Animal: Lioness

About Me: I’m a mind-body-focused trainer (yoga! barre! TRX!) and a born-and-raised athlete (gymnastics! soccer! basketball! volleyball!); I’m also an actor and a trained doula. I’m proof that women aren’t just one thing. We don’t fit into molds. We are complicated, emotional, and beautifully different. When you’re training with me, there are no labels, no judgment. I don’t have any expectations of what you should be. Wherever you’re starting from, I’ll meet you there. You won’t always love me while I’m kicking your butt—but you will always be safe and supported. That’s my kind of tough love.

1. Favorite female athlete? Misty Copeland. I admire her strength, power, and grace. She empowers women.

2. What’s the most crucial thing about barre? Form and alignment are evvverything. Problem is, once you’re properly aligned, things heat up, get really intense, and pretty soon that great body position goes out the window. To be successful during a class, you constantly have to ask yourself, “What am I feeling? And what am I supposed to be feeling?” If those answers are different, you need to fix your form. Your muscles may burn, but your joints—think back, neck, knees, hips—should never hurt.

3. Basic exercise most often botched? Pushups and planks. Done right, they’re two of the best, sometimes underappreciated moves. But many women make them less effective by arching their backs or placing their hands too close together. They’re also not fully engaging their core, which includes their glutes and pelvic floor. You should be squeezing your butt and Kegels (yes, Kegels!) the entire time. Just try it—you’ll feel a world of difference.

4. Unconventional tip for busy women trying to fit in workouts? Simplify your post-workout beauty routine! With my hectic schedule, squeezing in my workouts and all my other commitments usually means I have zero time to primp. I stash a few key products in my gym bag so I can freshen up fast and join friends for dinner. My go-tos: Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Jelly, L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black, Kelley Baker Barbie Lip Glaze, and one of my perfume oils—I collect them when I travel. Boom, done.

5. Easy way to pump up a workout? Ask someone else to make you a playlist. My boyfriend actually makes most of mine. He knows the type of music I like and always finds me fresh new songs I love. Not knowing exactly what I’m going to hear makes me more engaged and excited during my sweat session.

Check out Rachel’s video below:

Most used player for workouts, articles, and cover models

Check back for more Next Fitness Star finalists, and head on over to thenextfitnessstar.com to vote for your favorite!

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