We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!
If you're a novice like me, you might not realize that there are many different kinds of Pilates. And those incarnations are not defined as "hard, very hard, and nearly impossible."
Celebrity trainer Sara Kapuchinski just opened her new LA studio i heart fitness xo, where she teaches West Coast-style Pilates to a revolving A-list clientele including Khloe and Kim Kardashian, Christina Ricci, Modern Family's Sofia Vergara and Glee's Romy Rosemont.
Kapuchinski started out as a weekend trainer, whose day job was as an A & R executive in the music industry. Soon, she realized that teaching fitness felt more personally satisfying. "Music was fun, but I was more gratified training people," she recalls. "After sitting at a desk from 9 to 5 and staying up 'til all hours, I was experiencing a lot of neck and back pain. And, like most people, I was amazed that classic Pilates did the things that it was supposed to do: my posture improved, I lost inches in my waist and my neck and back pain basically disappeared."
After a bit of investigation, the trainer found that Pilates on the West Coast, which is heavier on cardio, was more her speed: "Pilates is so great for your body, for your core (that mysterious thing), but a lot of times you leave a class feeling like you need to sweat. I wanted something that was a bit more cardio-driven without having to go take a Boot Camp."
Read on for three of Kapuchinski's heart-pounding Pilates moves!
This Summer, Kapuchinski opened her own studio, where clients exercise via the mat, The Reformer, the bar and a "wall-unit version of The Cadillac" called The Spring Board. "We keep things fluid, but moving. We elevate the heart rate and bring each muscle group to failure and, at the same time, change it up for every class," she says. "I hate doing the same thing again and again. If I can get people to stay focused and not even look at the clock, then I've succeeded."
Kapuchinski is a strong believer in "multi-tasking" or, in this case, exercising the core and other body parts at once. Since, we may be able to hide that less bikini-ready body during the winter, but people will still see our arms, these at-home moves will simultaneously work your abs and upper body:
The Move: Side Triceps Dip (sans chips!)
Muscles Fired: Abs/Core/Obliques; Triceps/Shoulders.
How To: Lie on your left hip, legs extended long. Grab the top of your right shoulder with your left hand and place your right palm down on the mat with your fingers in line with your body. Press yourself up while straightening the right arm and then bend to lower down. Repeat for 10x and then hold halfway down and pulse for 10 times.
Avoid: Lower back arching (cue hips forward), core not staying engaged, chest caving in/shoulders rolling forward.
The Move: 'Yes You Can Do This Pushup!' Pushup
Muscles Fired: Shoulders/Upper & Rear Deltoid; Serratus; Core; Inner thighs/Glutes
How To: Grab a ball that is slightly deflated and position it between your thighs, above the knee. Begin down on all fours, then drop hips to find a half plank position. Squeezing the ball to activate the core, inhale pushup down and exhale squeeze back up. The ball causes the body to use more of the core and less of just shoulders.
Avoid: Lower back caving in (cue Japanese covered bridge with the lower back), soft glutes, shoulders rising up to ears.
More about Sara Kapuchinski and i heart fitness xo.
Photos of Sara Kapuchinski and i heart fitness xo courtesy of Leonardo Canneto