EricaErica Ziel, founder of Core Athletica Inc., and Knocked-Up Fitness, is a sought-after expert for fitness-infused Pilates and personal training and currently on the advisory board for Fit Pregnancy Magazine. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology & Health from Iowa State University and is a Certified Personal Trainer, Pilates Instructor, Nutritionist and “Mom of 3″.

Erica grew up on a family farm in the Midwest, working alongside her family on the farm and helping build a successful farming business. Growing up in this environment instilled a strong family focus and an incredible work ethic in Erica that she has carried with her, and is reflected today in her dedication to her family and her successful Knocked-Up Fitness business.

After leaving home to attend Iowa State University, she was introduced to mat Pilates by an amazing instructor that helped guide her into teaching big groups of Pilates mat classes. It was a natural fit, so when given a chance to continue her Pilates training in Southern California at John Garey Pilates after she graduated from college, Erica jumped on it.

She went through the entire STOTT Pilates training and has since continued to morph everything she has learned into her own personal style. Erica’s Functional Pilates infused method has proven to generate quicker and better results for her clients, whether pregnant or not! She has been personal training and teaching Pilates for 10 years now.

With vast experience in pre and post-natal fitness, Erica launched Knocked-Up Fitness to reach the busy, modern mom with real and relevant topics. It is truly an online destination for women who want to stay fit and healthy during all stages of pregnancy, including after baby is born.

Erica Ziel’s Philosophy

My fitness philosophy is based on a Pilates infused method. I’m a big believer in Pilates because the focus is really on strengthening your core and deeper muscles, which can greatly impact the strength of your entire body. I believe the stronger your deeper muscles are, the stronger the rest of your entire body is. It’s all connected so it does matter! Plus my Pilates infused fitness style of training can greatly help a mom have a stronger pregnancy and in turn could greatly impact her delivery and recovery.

I’ve always known that I wanted to do more than just train in the gym and knew that I needed to find my niche. After having my first two babies, it hit me that I have always loved training pregnant mamas, even before ever being pregnant with my first.

In college I found myself doing research papers having something to do with pregnancy. It’s fascinating what the pregnant body is capable of!

I first started Knocked Up Fitness as a blog for pregnant mamas, but when I became pregnant with my third baby, I knew I wanted to reach more moms than just the ones I trained in my studio. So it was then that my Knocked Up Fitness Prenatal Pilates-Infused Fitness DVD’s became a reality!

3 important things that I think EVERY expectant mom should know


  1. Incorporating my Pilates-Infused strengthening and stretching exercises even for as little as 10 minutes every day can greatly benefit your pregnancy. By having strong deep core muscles, your entire body functions & feels better & stronger. Not to mention you’ll have a much better chance of pushing your baby out easier & faster! Be sure you start practicing my push prep technique as soon as you can (it’s the Bonus in my Prenatal DVD’s).
  2. Talk with your doctor about your birth plan(s). I suggest having an A, B, & C plan just in case. This includes discussing episiotomies. Episiotomies are when they cut you ‘down there’ instead of allowing the natural tearing to occur as you delivery your baby. There are deliveries where an episiotomy is necessary, but it really is an old school technique they used to do on many women, even when it was not needed. Episiotomies can create awful scarring that could stay with you for a very, very long time and it can cause pain down there – I know this from my own experience!
  3. Always listen to your body! I can’t stress this enough. I get many questions about different exercises during pregnancy and the best advice I can give is this: “If it doesn’t feel good for your body, skip it.” This may sound a bit obvious, but because everyone’s pregnancies can vary greatly, this is what I continually say. What works for one may not work for another ven if it is a pregnancy-safe exercise.

The Knocked-Up Fitness Team:

Julianna Vitsentzatos, editor for Knocked-Up Fitness, received her Bachelor’s Degree in Media and Communication from University Canada West. She had started her degree in Toronto, at The University of Guelph-Humber one year before she and her husband had their first son in 2010.

photoBeginning as early as age 3 with ballet training, Julianna has always been involved in active living, sports, and fitness. As a young athlete she most enjoyed dance, aerobic gymnastics, tennis, track and field, and basketball– but she vastly enjoyed being involved in choreographing dance squads and gymnastics routines. During her first pregnancy, Julianna’s dance background guided her into the world of yoga and Pilates, which she continues to practice today, while training to instruct. Pregnancy also changed her relationship with nutrition, encouraging her to use her love of research and interest in health to better understand how the right food can fuel the body and encourage optimal physical and mental function.

Julianna has found her niche writing with Knocked-Up Fitness; sharing everything from research to Real Mom Blogs with Knocked-Up readers, to encourage other moms and moms-to-be to achieve a healthy, active lifestyle and to be happy and healthy for themselves and their families.  Julianna resides in Canada, often changing locations with her husband, who works in The Canadian Armed Forces, and their two sons.



Kimberly Farrell, art director of Knocked-Up Fitness, earned a bachelor’s degree in web design and interactive media from the Art Institute of Orange County in Santa Ana, Calif, after working in both post-production editing and advertising.

Kimberly was born and raised in Newport Beach, Calif, and always had a love for design. After graduating high school, she enrolled at the Art Institute of New York City in their web design program and began working as a finance assistant for a leading advertising agency called G2 Interactive. While finishing up her degree in Web Design and Interactive Media, she had the opportunity to be a post-production assistant for the 2009 Creative Arts Emmy Awards. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Kim began working as the Digital Media Manager for a magazine publishing company in Santa Ana, Calif.

 Early 2011 Kim announced her first pregnancy and began an online page called, There’s a Peanut in my Belly, where she designed and developed pregnancy websites, baby blogs, pregnancy announcements, invitations and party printables. While using her creativity to connect with other mamas, she met Erica of Knocked-Up Fitness and was inspired by her work. So much so that she began working after hours and weekends for the fitness company as their Art Director. Kimberly welcomed a baby boy, Jaden in August 2011.

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