Pilates has been all the rage for a while now, but now the younger generation of Hollywood hipsters is getting hip to working their core. Could Pilates be how Hilary Duff went from being self described as too skinny to being in the best shape of her life? She credits her long and lean body to doing Pilates 3 times a week.
It is no secret that I love Pilates too, and here's why:
- Flat Belly: The most fundamental move in Pilates is pulling your navel to your spine with every exhale to engage your deep abs. You keep the deep abs engaged while you inhale too. Working your deep abs flattens your belly and decreases the diameter of your waist. When you work the tops layer of abs, the 6 pack muscles, they bulge out. Not only is that not too attractive, it doesn't support your spine or pelvis. Every breath you take is another opportunity to work your abs.
- Long and Lean Muscles: Pilates is all about controlling motion, this way you work the muscles as they shorten and lengthen. This way when new muscle is formed it is long, not bulky.
There are more reasons and more pics of Hilary, so
- Springs: It is the spring resistance on all the Pilates equipment that makes them unique. The play in the springs forces you to control your motion in every exercise. Plus as the spring becomes taut it provides more resistance, challenging your muscles even more.
- Flexibility: You work all your joints through their entire range of motion, so your muscles get stretched in almost every exercise. This also helps those muscles lengthen as they strengthen.
My only word of caution: If you find an instructor you love, don't tell everyone you know about her. Hilary's only complaint about Pilates, as she told Self magazine, is her teacher is so over booked since she raved about her to all her friends; she has trouble getting an appointment.