Workout Like a Model: Pilates

One of the best things about ClassPass is that I can finally afford to do Pilates! Frequently touted by supermodels as the way to get long, lean limbs, I had always wanted to make reformer classes a part of my routine (if you don’t know what that is, check out this post for a little run down), but didn’t want to spend the extra $$$ required. Advocates of Pilates include Karlie Kloss, Candice Swanepoel, Alessandra Ambrosio, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Izabel Goulart, and countless others.

But why is this workout so great for getting that model body?

If you’re not familiar with Pilates, it is basically a series of full-body exercises developed by Joseph Pilates with the aim of improving overall strength, flexibility, and well-being while decreasing ailments like back pain. Think moves like planks, leg lifts, and suitcase sit-ups. This low-impact exercise method includes a few different variations, including mat Pilates (as demonstrated by Alessandra Ambrosio’s trainer here), the reformer, and the chair. For me, Pilates has been the single best exercise for me in terms of leaning out while not losing strength. While my personal favorite is the reformer, which gives a little resistance as well as an extra stretch, all methods of Pilates will help you to simultaneously tighten and tone while stretching to build muscle – without the bulk. (PS, not that anything is wrong with bulk! It just depends on what your personal preference is.)

As SI Swimsuit model Hannah Ferguson’s Pilates trainer says,

“It actually really lengthens your body to the point where you’re really toned and you feel really strong, but you’re not bulking.”

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If you’re looking to get that lean, toned model look, there are so many ways to add Pilates into your routine!

  1. Take a Pilates class at your gym. You’d be surprised how many gyms offer these! Usually they are mat classes, however many gyms also offer reformer classes for an extra fee.
  2. Sign up for a Pilates membership – or ClassPass! By taking classes at an actual Pilates studio, you’re more likely to get high quality instruction as well as access to different apparatus. This is the best way to improve your  technique and to see the fastest results. If you’re like me and also want to do a variety of other workouts (like kickboxing, because we also know how much models also love that), I would recommend ClassPass. If you join here, we both get $20 off!
  3. Checkout YouTube videos. Like this Victoria’s Secret-inspired video from Blogilates! While these will all be mat Pilates exercises, they are still an excellent way to start gaining strength, lengthening muscles, and increasing flexibility.
  4. Do some Googling. There are seriously so many amazing workout plans on the internet! If you’re familiar with the moves and don’t need a video tutorial, you can find some great printable resources. Here’s a week long workout and diet guide from Alessandra Ambrosio’s trainer to get you started.

“Not to sound like a broken record, but Pilates engages the whole entire body – you don’t have to worry about missing a body part and can continue to challenge each and every one, every time.  Something about Pilates that is really important for a supermodel is posture as a well-taught Pilates class can teach students perfect form.  Within this form, posture is very important in effectively executing the exercises.  A supermodel can have a great body but if she is walking down the runway with poor posture, no one is going to want her to walk again.  Pilates and supermodels are a match made in heaven – giving them long lean muscles, great posture and strong bodies.” – Heather Dorak, Alessandra Ambrosio’s Trainer

If Pilates will help me to get abs like this, I say yes please!

**Make sure to check with your physician before starting any new fitness regimen!** 


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