Three things are on nearly every woman's wish list: smaller pores, a fat bank account, and a . Problem is, you don't get that enviable long, lean physique simply by showing up to class a couple of times a week. "The average Pilates session will tone muscles and improve posture, but it's probably not going to result in significant weight loss or dramatic body changes all on its own, especially if you're not watching your diet," says Kit Rich, a Pilates instructor and personal trainer in Los Angeles.
An adrenaline junkie herself, Rich cooked up a way to combine the body-sculpting benefits of Pilates with fat-melting . "It's about adding cardio intervals that pump up your heart rate, then spending the 'recovery' time doing Pilates, which means you're getting the most out of every minute," she explains. The combination keeps your heart rate up (so you blast more calories) while keeping your muscles engaged (so you're constantly strengthening and toning). Looks like that wish list just got a little smaller.
Pick a form of cardio you can do for two minutes at an all-out pace. Rich's preferred activity? Jumping rope. It's an incredibly effective cardiovascular workout that can be done almost anywhere, plus it's a killer calorie burner (according to the National Institutes of Health, jumping rope can burn up to 750 calories per hour). It also helps the routine move fluidly—it's faster and easier to drop the rope and hit the mat than wait for the treadmill to come to a complete stop, walk back over to your mat, and so on. But if jumping rope isn't your thing, feel free to sub in any heart-pumping activity (running, spinning, elliptical).
Do this workout three days a week on alternating days: Start with a two-minute cardio interval (go as fast as you can), then immediately do the first two Pilates exercises as instructed. Hop back up (no resting!) and bang out a second cardio interval. Follow with the third and fourth Pilates moves. Finish with two more minutes of an all-out cardio interval and then complete the final two Pilates exercises.
The first time you do the workout, hold your jump rope (you can also use a dog leash or a towel) as you work your way through the Pilates exercises; gripping the stretched rope encourages better posture and engages your lat muscles for even better total-body toning. After two or three workouts, you can make the routine harder by swapping the rope for light dumbbells (try three to five pounds) for extra resistance.
* Watch this video to learn how to do the exercises
* of the workout
For the back pains, experts often recommend Pilates exercises. The Pilates exercises are not only for women, men can do it also. They can also practice Pilates as well and feel its benefits. With Pilates you can encourage proper posture, increase flexibility and strengthen muscles and awareness of your own body. It is very important to pay attention to deep breathing, high head carriage and maintaining symmetry and balance. If you want to avoid any cause for feeling pain you must exercise gently and slowly.
The Pilates Reformer is a piece of fitness equipment that can take your Pilates movements to a new level. If you or your health club has a Pilate Reformer (my former club ha four Pilate Reformers), you need the Pilates Reformer Exercise Chart. Take your Pilates exercise program to the next level with the addition of new movements that will build strength of muscle, character and spirit.
When you combine Pilates, hand weights, and cardio, you get one wicked workout. And by wicked, we mean really fun and really effective. Lisa Corsello, the founder of , leads you through 30 minutes of her signature fitness routine, weaving Pilates core exercise with classic lifting moves and cardio bursts. This workout is so varied that you will never get bored. If you want more of Lisa, check out the .
With this poster, you'll learn the "Pilates Five" abdominal series, as well as over 16 other classic Pilates exercises that train all areas of your body for maximum benefit. These exercises are for developing core strength, better balance, long and lean muscles, while also improving coordination, control and focus.