Puppies and Pilates seem to be making Hilary Duff happy these days. Ever since her appearance in Shape Magazine, a lot of folks are getting interested in Pilates.
Luckily for us, I've gotten my hands on Hilary’s best three firm-up moves created by Viveca Jensen (V Pilates), published in the August '07 issue of Shape:
- Leg raises with a band: Tie the ends of a resistance band together to make a small circle (about 12 inches in diameter), loop it around your ankles, and lie on your right side with your legs extended; use your left arm in front of you for balance. Lift your left leg up as high as you can and lower until the band is just barely taut. Do 6 sets of 8 reps per side. “This is great for the butt and outer thighs,” says Jensen.
- Bridge with the ring: To target your inner thighs, lie face up with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and place a Pilates ring (aka Magic Circle) between your legs just above your knees (so the pads rest against your legs). Lift your hips so your body is aligned from knees to shoulders and squeeze the ring 16 times. Lower hips, then raise them again and squeeze 8 times. Finally, lift and lower pelvis 16 times while pressing legs against the ring. Repeat series 3 times.
- Leg raises with a ball: Lie face up with legs extended straight up. Place a stability ball between ankles. Without rocking, raise and lower hips. Do 3 sets of 8 reps. “Hilary loves this because it really works the lower abs,” says Jensen.
Want to see the moves in action? Then check out Shape to see Jensen doing the exercises.