Meet Kelly MacDonald, Sweat’s New Mobility Trainer

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November 20, 2023

Meet Kelly MacDonald, Sweat’s New Mobility Trainer - Hero image

When it comes to moving beyond limitations, there’s no one who knows this better than Kelly MacDonald, the trainer behind Sweat’s first-ever mobility program.

So many of you in the Sweat Community have been crying out for a mobility training program, and we’ve been on a mission behind the scenes to bring this training style to life in the Sweat app. We set out to create a program that would be designed to increase your range of motion, flexibility, strength, posture and body alignment and that’s exactly what we’ve made. 

Mobility & Strength in Motion with Kelly MacDonald is available exclusively in the Sweat app now - a 6-week program to help you move every day with more freedom and confidence. You can expect 30-45 minute full-body workouts that include a wide variety of mobility and strength exercises. If you're looking for a collection of individual mobility sessions to complement your existing workout routine rather than committing to an entire program, you can also find Kelly's Mobility Series in the On Demand section of the Sweat app. Get ready to move beyond your limitations. 

We loved this program from the start, but the backstory behind Kelly’s passion for mobility made us love it even more. From competing on the world stage to creating a program that will have a global impact, get to know our newest trainer.

Bendy beginnings

Before we get to the career-ending injury that got in the way of Kelly’s Olympic dreams, we’re going back to the childhood of a girl nicknamed “Floppy”. 

With hyperactive energy and a hypermobile body to match, Kelly’s mother couldn’t think of anything more well-suited than to send her off to gymnastics classes. Unsurprisingly a natural, Kelly was selected for the New Zealand squad and went on to represent her country at competitions around the world.

Years later, yearning for the normal life of a teenager that she was missing, Kelly stepped away from her sporting career and began her university studies. But not even one semester in, she received some devastating news - her mother had been diagnosed with cancer. By the time her first year of study had wrapped, Kelly’s perspective on life had flipped.

“I made the decision to move back to Auckland, care for my mum and throw myself into training 35-40 hours a week. It got me thinking about how I always wanted to bring pride to my family and be the best version of myself for them. I missed the sacrifice and the honour of representing your country and striving to be your very best self, in all aspects of life.”

“What I didn’t know was that my mum would pass away just over a year later. I am very proud of the decision I made to come back and be there for her, and in her last years she got to see me at my very best - mentally and physically. No one can take that away from me.”

Meet Kelly MacDonald, Sweat’s New Mobility Trainer - Picture Panel 2 - Desktop

From world stage to world impact

Kelly blazed ahead with her gymnastics career and represented New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games, before setting her sights on the 2016 Olympics. With the trials approaching, the opportunity was snatched right out of her hands when she suffered a devastating hip injury. 

At Sweat, we’re always celebrating the women who get knocked down and choose to rise higher, and Kelly showed the world what that truly means. Following her injury, Kelly quit gymnastics and made the life-changing decision to dive into strength and mobility training instead. 

“Today, my relationship with my body is so positive and I’m very grateful to be able to move and bend into positions with confidence and without pain.”

Moving into the world of personal training from gymnastics was a no-brainer (she laughs about not being able to sit still long enough for a desk job), and Kelly quickly became a specialist in rehabilitation, mobility, balance and strength training. 

“Clients would rave about their progress, how their pain had gone, or how following my training programs had their bodies feeling 10 years younger,” she says. And it wasn’t just her clients taking notice - she was nominated for New Zealand’s personal trainer of the year, and soon after created the first ever stretching classes for Les Mills International.

One thing Kelly wants to make clear - mobility training isn’t stretching, Pilates, calisthenics or functional strength training. It’s a unique training style that’s all about finding your range, then extending it and strengthening it to improve how you move - both in your workouts and in everyday life.

The power of mobility training

When Kelly isn’t working out or coaching, life for her looks like long walks in nature, saunas and ice baths for recovery, and grabbing brunch with friends, but she’s a big fan of chasing dreams that feel almost impossible. Mobility training has changed Kelly’s life for the better, and now she’s on a mission to bring the power of mobility training to the entire Sweat Community. 

“I have always wanted to inspire people. As a trainer, I want to practice what I preach and leave an honorable legacy that is all about empathy, kindness and relieving pain - with a touch of sass. I want everyone I reach to walk away from an experience with me, whether it be a private session, class or online program,  feeling much better than they did before.”

Her Mobility & Strength in Motion program is a deep-dive into building your mind-muscle connection, and she believes it can also give you an amazing purpose to fuel your training other than aesthetics, and think about your fitness journey more holistically.

“Mobility training is often thought of as just stretching, but it truly is so much more than that. It gives you the freedom to confidently walk through life knowing your body is capable of whatever challenge you throw at it.”

Work out anywhere, anytime with Sweat

Ready for your first workout?

Ready to begin your mobility journey? Find out more about Mobility & Strength in Motion here, or get started with a 7-day free trial if you’re new to the Sweat app!

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A more empowered you starts with Sweat, and our editorial team is here to bring you the latest fitness tips, trainer recommendations, wellbeing news, nutritional advice, nourishing recipes and free workouts.

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


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