Many of you know the story of Vlad and me; we met in college while we were on swimming scholarships for The Ohio State University and started PurseBlog and PurseForum then. Athletics was a huge part of our lives and though our competitive swimming days are over, we still like to keep in shape. Truth is, Vlad loves working out and for many years after I stopped swimming I begrudgingly would go to a workout here or there, but never seemed to get back into the routine.

That all changed when I met Rachel Robinson, a fitness instructor in Miami. Being a reality tv junkie, I immediately recognized Rachel from being on MTV Real World/Road Rules Challenges but Vlad was blissfully unaware. He only knew Rachel as a trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp in Miami Beach. Vlad was already working out multiple times a week at Barry’s Bootcamp and had gotten to know Rachel, I was still not sure about embarking on the bootcamp journey.

I told Rachel I wasn’t feeling it but Rachel told me, ‘Hey, come to my class on Tuesday, I’ll take care of you‘. It’s been a few months and I’ve become a regular, going to Barry’s multiple times a week to workout with Rachel. Her class is tough but it’s incredibly rewarding. As a trainer, Rachel is confident, motivational, challenging, and funny – a combo that I need when I am working out.

I reached out to Rachel about doing a series for PurseBlog called Bagercise, where she would show us exercises to do with a handbag to help tone our bodies. Sure, you can always go to the gym or class, but if you are standing in your office or at home and haven’t made it to the gym, just grab your designer handbag, load it to add weight and do these five moves to tone your body.

Below are the five moves and Rachel’s instructions on how to get them done, don’t tell me your bags don’t do anything for you!

1. Oblique Side Bend

Focus on chest up, shoulder back and remember the opposite side is the side getting worked! So go down as low as you can while keeping your chest upright and then use that oblique to really pull that bag up!

You will definitely feel this the next day, and they are great for creating those tight curves on your obliques.

2. Deadlift

For a proper deadlift, focus on chest up, shoulders back, your knees can be slightly bent, and your back stays flat. Think about sticking your butt out and bend forward keeping that bag close by. Let the bag trace your body as you come up and be sure to squeeze your butt for that extra butt lift.

I am known to build butts, so don’t think, just do it! This is another move that is sure to get those hamstrings and glutes on fire.

3. Squat

When squatting you always want to keep your chest up and your weight on your heels. Using your bag to lift your arms up as you go down creates separation from your body and not only gets the shoulders you want but also those abs.

Do this every time you have a break in your day and you will see full body results from this one. Speed it up and you can even get that heart rate up!

4. Windmill

This move, unlike the last, also involves the shoulder. Keeping your arm straight up over your head the whole time engages your shoulder. As you drop down sideways, think about touching the inside of your heel with that other arm while keeping your body inline and upright. Focus on your core as you go down and look up at that hand that’s holding the bag just to make sure your chest stays up!

This one is another great exercise. I love it for getting those tight sexy curves in the obliques.

5. Row + Tricep Kickback

For this move, focus on keeping your back in and butt out for that sexy curve in your back. Remember, in order to get the sexy body lines you want you must create them! Hold the bag out in front you, think about pulling your elbow back towards your hip while getting your elbow past your back, then pause there and extend the arm back using that tricep.

This move gets that sexy back and that works the back of the arm we all want a little tighter! Do this a bunch of times till you feel that burn on each side. This one is another favorite of mine!

Thank you Rachel for helping us prove our bags are multi-functional.

If you are ever in Miami and want a great workout, be sure to take one of Rachel’s classes at Barry’s Bootcamp. She also trains at Fast Twitch and offers private sessions.

Follow Rachel on Instagram for more of her fitness advice and inspiration!

P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!

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