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pilates exercises

Skip the Studio: 4 Pilates Moves to Do At Home

Written on July 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm , by

Pilates is a perfect way to add muscle without bulking up. (Photo courtesy Brooke Siler)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

Want to know the secret to staying long and lean in Hollywood? It’s not tons of cardio, it’s Pilates.  Celebs like Emma Stone, Mila Kunis and Reese Witherspoon credit the method as a way to sculpt muscles and improve flexibility.

Most of us, however, don’t have the luxury of daily sessions, so we turned to Pilates guru Brooke Siler to see how we could modify some of the core Pilates moves into at-home versions. Siler, a certified Pilates instructor and owner of NYC’s re:AB Pilates studio, shows us how to tone the entire body while using items you can find around the house.

Just make sure to follow these three rules to really reap the better body benefits:

1. Abs remain drawn inward and upward (like zipping up tight jeans) throughout all movements.
2. Inhale on exertion, exhale on release (abs remain ‘hollow’ throughout).
3. Make movements as long as possible, as if stretching further with each move, so that the focus is on the eccentric muscular contraction.

Read on to get Siler’s at-home Pilates routine.

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3 Moves to Help Moms-to-Be Cruise Through Delivery

Written on May 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm , by

Hollywood seems to be in the middle of a full-fledged baby boom. From Maxwell Drew (Jessica Simpson’s new little girl) to the upcoming film What to Expect When You’re Expecting (in which Cameron Diaz plays a pregnant personal trainer!), bumps are certainly trending in the pop culture world.

Are you or is someone you love expecting too? If so, practicing Pilates now may help make your delivery easier and help you get your pre-baby body back faster, says Mariska Breland, founder of Fuse Pilates in Washington, D.C. Breland explains that you don’t try to correct bodily changes during pregnancy, as many of these are necessary to help with delivery (like the pelvis tilting slightly back). The goal is to adjust the body and your exercises based on these changes, so that it will be primed for delivery and will have strong muscles—especially in areas that are often utilized by new moms.

For a taste of Breland’s Push Prep class, try out these three moves. They’re great for those who are expecting and those who just want to tone up!

Clam Reach

Targets shoulders, upper back, hips, legs

  • Lie on side and prop upper-body up on your forearm.
  • Bend knees, right leg stacked on top of left, and bring them to a 45° angle from hip. Place hand on hip.
  • Lift right knee toward ceiling.
  • Extend right leg straight back and left leg straight forward.
  • Return to start. Do 10 reps, switch sides and repeat.

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Your Post-Thanksgiving Tune Up

Written on November 30, 2011 at 4:54 pm , by

Cassey Ho launched oGorgeous when she couldn't find a cute yoga bag. What a chic solution! (Photo courtesy of Cassey Ho)

We know, Thanksgiving was so last week. But chances are, you’re still blaming your tryptophan coma for not getting kicking your workout back into full swing yet.

Slack no more! We got Cassey Ho, a Pilates, fitness instructor, and founder of oGorgeous yoga bags (featured in our gift guide and a perfect gift for your friend!) to give our readers an exclusive routine to help you beat turkey bloat and get back on track to burning some serious fat this season.

Cassey is participating in the YouTube Next Trainer program—an initiative to find the world’s next biggest trainer, helping them launch their fit YouTube career. Check back for more exclusive routines from a few of the Next Trainer participants but until then sculpt, strengthen and tone with this 10-minute session from Cassey that targets your arms, abs, legs and butt below. Don’t worry, she does it with you so you’re not suffering alone!


You can print this workout here! And for more information and moves from Cassey, visit blogilates.com.