Want to know how celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Gisele Bundchen (pictured above) and Reese Witherspoon get strong, toned feminine bodies?
Their secret is in Pilates and yoga! The benefits of doing mat exercises like these include building flexibility, strength and coordination.
There are even practices that combine both methods–hello yogilates!
Yoga and Pilates are similar in that they target the core, legs, arms and back and keep them looking young and toned. Not only do both practices help you to look great, but they make you more in tune with your body and with how it operates. Techniques include learning to control muscle coordination, as well as, learning to breathe deeply through the different moves. A little time and practice and say hello to your own Gisele-like toned arms!
More fantastic news?! Both yoga and Pilates are complimentary practices that have a lot of similarities but are unique in their own ways. Here are a few exercises that yoga and Pilates share, and that will be a great addition to your weekly workout!
The Pilates push up/ Chaturanga
This is great for your arms and upper body. It’s different than a traditional pushup in that your arms and shoulders are rotated back and your chest is open. Your fingers should face forward and your arms should stay close to your sides. You’ll really feel the burn in your triceps as you push up. Start with a set of 5 and increase gradually to keep your arms toned and strong.
This is great for stretching the abdominals and strengthening your lower back. Lie face down and place you arms at your sides, keeping your elbows close to your body and placing your hands under your shoulders. Lift slowly while keeping your abs tight, and inhale while lengthening your spine. Keep your hips on the mat and repeat 3-5 times while breathing through the pose.
Open leg balance/ Boat pose
This is a core strengthener that also engages your back and legs. Your goal is to balance on your sit bones while lifting your legs to a 45 degree angle. Concentrate on keeping your spine straight and creating a “V” shape with your body (don’t let your back round out). Hold for 30 seconds and increase in time as you gain strength.
Be consistent with these and soon you’ll notice the many benefits these celebrities rave about. Aside from looking svelte and graceful, you’ll relieve stress!
Do you practice yoga or pilates? If so, how has it helped you? Improved your flexibility? Toned your shoulders?