It’s A Stretch
A TV news reporter’s Pilates-fueled recovery
By Frank Sabatini Jr. / Photos by Paul Body
Clothing by Lorna Jane
Hair by Roxy Garvan
Makeup by Rachel Gallenberger
When the cameras cut away from her morning weather and traffic reports, Kimi Evans prefers indulging in planks and squats rather than coffee and donuts. She’s been seen by co-workers at SanDiego 6 – The CW breaking into arm curls during commercial breaks, using as dumbbells the sandbags that stabilize studio equipment.
Evans’ penchant for exercising whenever possible goes beyond a desire to stay fit. Prior to becoming a TV meteorologist in her native Hawaii, and then Los Angeles and San Diego, she endured a series of car accidents while working in the pharmaceutical industry.
“I was driving all over L.A. and Honolulu for trade shows. I was in a four-car pileup and got rear-ended,” she says. “It took a toll on my body, and I needed to stop the constant traveling and walking around in heels all the time.”
With her transition into television came a focused regimen in Pilates, which led Evans to open two local studios, Pilates Plus Pacific Beach and pushHouse in Encinitas.
“It’s not your grandmother’s Pilates,” she says, referring to the high-intensity workouts her clients undergo in 40-minute group sessions, which combine weight and cardio training on Pilates machines. “People are shaking and sweating when they leave.”
The resistance and counter-resistance workout, known otherwise as Lagree Fitness, was developed 10 years ago by French body builder Sebastien Lagree. It’s lauded for quickly and safely tightening muscle tone while strengthening core abdominal muscles. For Evans, the routines have helped her regain flexibility in spite of a couple bulging disks and soft tissue damage caused by the car accidents.
“My body actually moves now as if I’m not injured.”
Evans’ studios also offer barre classes, which mash together exercise techniques used in Pilates, ballet and yoga. In 2014, she wants to introduce exercise sessions modified specifically for cancer patients. A humanitarian at heart, she volunteers for the Junior League and mentors young, aspiring meteorologists.
In her off-time, the “single-and-ready-to-mingle” Evans (her words) summons her inner-foodie by partaking in culinary and wine events and dinner parties with friends. She admits to dietary weaknesses as well: “French fries for sure, chips with guacamole, ice cream, et cetera. The list can go on forever.”
Kimi Evans’ fitness tips
Multitask when working out, such as lifting dumbbells on the treadmill or while engaging in other lower-body exercises.
Intensify planks by raising one palm at a time, and then dropping to your forearms. Alternate stretching one arm to the ceiling and/ or lifting a leg while maintaining the plank position.
On non-gym days, do squats while blow-drying your hair and leg lifts when brushing your teeth.
Wall squats/sits can be done anywhere. Lean your back against a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then lower your hips until your knees are at a 45-degree angle. Maintain for one minute;intensify by squatting closer to 90 degrees.
For firmer glutes (buttocks), stand in front of a bed or chair and squat until your butt barely taps their surface. Then slowly move back up and down again until fatigued.
For lengthening and toning muscles rather than bulking them up, use a Pilates machine to work one muscle group at a time, in a slow and controlled method.
Use stairs instead of elevators. Always.