Laura Lawson Visconti Keeps You Strong

30 Minute Workout to Prep For Your Winter Season. 

What’s happenin’ NIKITA Nation! My name is Laura Lawson Visconti, and I am privileged to be one of the ambassadors repping Nikita! A little about me: I currently live in Portland, Oregon (just a hop skip and a jump from Nikita headquarters!) with my husband Nick Visconti, former professional snowboarder and quintessential mountain man. I am your classic right-brained jack-of-all-trades: personal trainer, artist, author, photographer, social media influencer and overall life lover. I work full-time in downtown Portland as a trainer, helping inspire others to live a healthier, more fulfilling life. My interest in fitness originally spawned out of my love for the outdoors. Moving to the Pacific Northwest a few years ago prompted a lifestyle change, one I know you are familiar with: embracing the outdoors and all the “ings” that come with it: trail running, hiking, bicycling, snowboarding, you name it; I can’t get enough. I always tell my clients that investing in a little time in the gym ensures spending a lifetime outside. And that’s really what it’s all about.

Now that the sun’s out and we’re all hurriedly slapping on some suntan lotion and trying to cover up our white legs (or is that just me…?!) it’s more important than ever to stay fit in these off-season months. If you’re a snowboarder, your summer workouts should emphasize squats, core strength and stability. I went ahead and put together a little routine for you focusing on just that – do this workout 1-2 times per week, and you’ll be progressing next winter faster than you can say handplant. Ready to kill it?

30 Minute Core/Leg Workout

Muscles Engaged: Core, Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, Calves

Materials Needed: 1 heavier dumbbell (I use 20 lbs), 1 medium weight kettlebell (I use 25 lbs), 1 step or bench, BOSU ball, mat, 2 medium weight dumbbells (I use 15 lbs)

Note: When choosing weights, don’t opt for the lightest one you see, but you also don’t want to choose the one you can barely lift. You should be able to lift the weight for 10 reps without straining your back; it should start feeling super challenging about halfway through. Make sure to keep your core engaged at all times – navel in and back straight; imagine tucking your tailbone under your hips.

  • Spend at least 5-10 minutes on a killer cardio warmup before you get started. For bonus points, run or bike to the gym instead of hopping on the elliptical and watching Paula Deen. #daytimeTV
  • Start with 30 seconds of bicycle crunches immediately followed by 30 seconds of mountain climbers. Rest briefly, then repeat.

You’ll want to perform the following strength exercises in a circuit: one immediately followed by the other with minimal rest. This ensures you’re burning fat while simultaneously building muscle. After you’ve completed one set of all three exercises, rest and repeat the circuit two more times.

  •  Perform 24 dips (12 each side) holding your medium weight dumbbells in either hand, one foot on your step with the other straight in front of you on the ground. Make sure to dip nice and low, while keeping your back straight. Don’t let your front knee pass over your ankle (watch yourself in a mirror if necessary to ensure proper form). Don’t lock your knees when you come up; the movements should be fluid and controlled without resting.

  • Next, grab your kettlebell and hold it with both hands in front of you, allowing it to hang. Get into sumo squat position: your feet should be wider than hip distance apart with your toes pointed out on either side. Slowly, lower your torso down to the ground, holding the kettlebell with your elbows locked, until it almost touches the floor and you’re sitting in an invisible chair. Raise back up, without locking your knees out, and lower back down without resting. Complete 20 reps in total. Make sure your core stays tight the whole time. For an extra challenge, hold your squat at the bottom for 5 seconds after every 5 reps.


  • Now let’s challenge those stabilizer muscles and work on your balance. Hop onto a BOSU ball (flat side up) while holding your heavy dumbbell (if you’ve never stepped onto a BOSU before, practice first without the weight). Your feet should be pointing straight ahead on the outer edges of the ball. Hold the weight with both hands and slowly squat down, keeping your chest up and hips down. Make sure you’re squatting through your heels. Get down as low as you can without compromising form, and come up without locking your knees. Complete 20 reps in total.


  • Rest, then repeat circuit. Aim for three sets total with minimal rest in between. Make sure to have plenty of water on hand!

When you’re done, hop on your mat and make time for some yoga and stretch it out. Try a balancing pose or two. The more you work on your balance, strength, and cardio, the more prepared you’ll be when that first pow day hits. Now let’s get out of the gym and start our summer adventures! Yeewwww!!

For more fitness tips and inspiration from Laura Lawson Visconti, check out her blog at or follow her on Instagram @lauralawsonvisconti

Pictured, I am wearing the ­­­­­­­­­­­­Agave bra top. I love it for hot days in the gym, or a bikram yoga class!

April 27, 2015 — Jenna Kuklinski