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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Celebrity Workouts

Do you ever catch yourself picking up that magazine in the grocery store that claims to shape or sculpt your perfect body in 5 short weeks? Did you start Pilates after Oprah had a spotlight on her program? Maybe after Madonna plugged it in her song? It always amazes me how celebrity workout regimes motivate the general public to get up off that couch and get in shape.

Today's post comes compliments of FitnessMagazine.com. Recently they posted the workouts, diets and exercise routines of 50 celebrities, including Ashlee Simpson, Demi Moore, Cameron Diaz, Halle Berry, Madonna and Niki Taylor. Further information can be found at Fitness Magazine Celebrity Workouts.

I've stressed several times before it is important to keep your workouts fresh and fun in order to avoid burnout. Variety is key! Perhaps some of these celebrity workouts will add something new or offer a different perspective to your existing routine. Isn't that why we love Pilates? Over 500 exercises in the method. In the grand scheme of things it is important to live a healthy lifestyle and live life to the fullest.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Teaser

Today let's dissect another hard to perform exercise....the fold-up teaser. Since this one falls towards the end of the matwork repetoire, we need all the mental and physical energy possible to complete it.

First start lying down on your back, legs straight out in first position (parallel is also an option) with the arms stretched over the head. The back is gently flattening down into the mat. Start by lifting the arms up to the ceiling and rolling the torso about halfway and then start to lift the legs off the mat as you continue to roll up to a seated teaser (or V sit) reaching the hands towards the toes. Hold for a second. To release to starting, slowly lift the arms up to the ceiling so that the biceps are to the ears with palms facing in. Initiate a roll back thru the spine. Once the lower part of the spine presses into the mat, the arms and feet start to fold down at the same time back to starting.

Helpful hints

Keep in mind that the legs should be strong and active the whole time. It puts a ton of strain on the back when lifting dead weight. Keep rotating your first position by wrapping the outer thighs towards the inner.

Make sure that your movements are smooth and controlled. When starting to release the fold, make sure that the arms are slowly lifting and rotating. Tossing them up in the air only throws off balance.

If lifting both legs at the same time is just a little too much, try the same exercise but only lift the right leg up while keeping the left anchored on the floor throughout the exercise. Make sure to repeat on the left leg.

Remember that there are only 3 reps total. Using the mind to control the body is key. Visualize and do!

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