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Supermodel Workouts

Anne V :: Yu Tsai/SI

Anne V :: Yu Tsai/SI

SwimDaily is back with sore triceps, aching hip flexors, and another round of Supermodel Workouts to discuss. Why you ask? Why are the sides of our hips screaming with every step? Why is lifting this coffee cup most likely the most arduous thing we'll do today?

Well, because Julie Henderson and Anne V kindly pointed us in the direction of their fitness guru and her studio, Rachel Piskin at Chaise23.

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Rachel is the co-founder (along with her mother, Lauren Piskin) of Chaise23 in New York City's Flatiron District. She fell in love with fitness young, while attending the School of American Ballet. Pilates was her workout of choice and remained so through her tenure with New York City Ballet. During her career, she was named to Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2009, and appeared in  numerous television programs, films, and books.

When she stopped dancing, she began looking for a new passion: 'I quickly realized that I needed to move. I needed to be creative and fuel that creativity in a movement-based environment. In Chaise23, which my mother founded, I found that perfect balance of business, creativity, and movement.' 

rachel leg lift

Rachel credits The Reinvention Method for keeping her in peak shape (I mean...look at those photos!) since ending her ballet career and is thrilled to be teaching the method to models, athletes, and all her Chaise devotees. She has been featured on camera for Shape Magazine, Fox News, and Oxygen demonstrating The Reinvention Method (and now, on SwimDaily!).

Even Julie couldn't keep herself from gushing, when asked: 'Rachel's background as a New York City Ballerina is very evident, you think it's going to be all sweet and easy, but she works you harder than you think is possible! Every time I workout with her, I feel improvements to my body and posture, and that's why I keep going back!'

When we went to gather all this information, with questions, notepads, and cameras in hand, Rachel countered with a better idea -- 'Come to a class!', she said.

group photo

(that's not us fyi...)

And so we went. We still brought our questions and got you some answers, but we sweated and struggled for an hour as well.

It was amazing in a gloriously, exhausting, kind of painful way. Let's talk about it.


The classes are small, giving everyone the personal attention they deserve. Everyone gets their own little stool/chair/thing and their own two bungee cords.

There's multiple sorts of classes offered at the studio -- Reinvention Chair (which we took), Cardio Chair (which looks hard as h-e-double-hockey-sticks), Chair Challenge (for those looking for a...challenge?), Long & Lean (which explains why Anne and Julie are long & lean), and Ballet Bungee (which obviously plays into Rachel's lifelong training).

leg lifts back

Reinvention chair was an awesome workout. It follows a very decided, methodically laid out progression. It starts with big muscle groups (i.e. legs), warms up the bodily region, and then fires into all the smaller groups (i.e. every, minute, acute angle of your hamstring) and you feel a burn. A holy, holy burn.

We asked Rachel a few questions about the method, and how she focuses her training for our girls before their big shoots.

Here are her answers:

What is your favorite exercise move?Pikes! Pikes are very unique to our method and are an incredible full body exercise that targets all the trouble areas. The beauty of pikes is that there are many variations that can be done and the pedal resistance can be changed so your body is constantly challenged.  (if I had to describe a pike...I would say you place your feet on the pedal of the chair, hands on the far corners of the bench, and then your lift your hips straight up into the air with every, shaking ounce of power your abs hopefully have, and then lower slowly back down to the hurts.)

What is your least favorite move?I have a love hate relationship with the Side Leg Series. It is the miracle waist cincher, but is very challenging for me. Balancing on the chair while laying on your side challenges your core in a whole new way, the addition of the bungees really requires your entire body to be present and connected. (what? you want another description? alright well, lay on the side of your hip, on the bench, grasp for dear life onto your bungee cord hanging from the ceiling as Rachel cheers you on to lif your leg, pulse your arms, and cinch that waist! It's amazing.)

As I was working/struggling/sweating through both series, as well as all the others...I kept picturing our girls.

Anne V. :: Derek Kettella/SI

anne v


Julie Henderson :: Alex Cayley/SI


They look amazing. Which means I'll look amazing, right? Right? Right?! Just to double check...we asked Rachel about what she does specifically for Anne and Julie, to get them (us?) bikini ready...

When I work with Anne V and Julie Henderson I combine the chair and Ballet Bungee exercises to create a program that focuses on creating long, sculpted muscles. Working one on one enables me to really tailor each workout to their body and specific needs, and I constantly challenge their already strong physiques by pushing them to plié lower, and pike higher. They are often traveling, so I have created a specialized theraband workout, that takes all the exercises that are usually performed in the studio with the overhead bungees and the fitness chair, and allows them to fit in a great workout anywhere, anytime! 

Rachel would love to do something similar for you! So take a class, go say hello, whatever!

Follow Rachel and Chaise23 here:

Twitter:@Chaise23 | Rachel:@rachiepiskin |