Think there’s nothing more to having a sexy, sculpted physique than crunching and squatting until your big and strong? Think again.
Erika Bloom’s new workout is a modernized approach to Pilates that works your deep, intrinsic muscles (the ones you didn’t even know you had) to align, tone, and reshape your figure. This fresh take on Pilates gives you the tools to elongate and strengthen your musculature for perfect posture and a total body transformation like you’ve never imagined.
Prep: Lie on your back. Find a neutral spine, anchoring the back of your pelvis while maintaining the forward curve of your low back. Wrap your low belly around like a corset so that you draw your belly button to your spine and your spine to your belly button.
Exercise: Bring your legs into chair position. Extend one leg out to 45 degrees. Make six small circles each direction. Draw the leg back into chair position. Repeat with the opposite leg.
Works: Transversus abdominis, obliques, pelvic floor, and multifidi
Benefits: Flat belly, narrow and defined waist, great posture, and longer, narrower hips and torso.
Prep: Stand on your left leg with your arms out to the side. Energize your limbs as though you are working out in custard and have to push against the resistance.
Exercise: Bend your left leg deeply into a single-leg squat. Now reach the right leg up to the back and lift it high. Bring it back in, then through and up to a front knee lift. Repeat 10 times standing on the left leg, moving the right leg from back extension to front knee lift. Perform 10 reps on the other leg.
Works: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, abductors, adductors, triceps, deltoids, and core muscles.
Benefits: High, round rear; slimmer, toned thighs; narrower hips; no more inner thigh jiggle; slimmer, toned upper arms; flatter belly; and a narrower waist
Side Plank Twist
Prep: Lie on your right side with your knees bent so you make one long line with your body from your head to your knees. Bring your right elbow under your right shoulder so your upper torso is lifted and your right forearm is pressed into the mat.
Exercise: Press into your right forearm to lift your hips off the mat. Reach the left arm overhead. Feed it under your torso to lead you into a twist toward the mat. Reach the arm back out and up to come back center. Lower your hips to complete the rep. Perform 10 reps on each side. Tip: Think of widening your shoulder blades, narrowing your hips, and wrapping your waist long as you do the exercise.
Works: Serratus, obliques, abductors, transversus abdominis
Benefits: Narrower, longer waist and slimmer hips
Not Your Average Push-Up
Prep: Start on your hands and knees. Bring one leg straight behind you, lifted to hip height.
Exercise: Bend elbows to your sides as you shift the chest forward and reach the elbows back toward your hips. Your arms should remain close to your sides, your spine should remain in neutral, and your chest and shoulder blades should remain wide and open. Press back up to the starting position to complete one rep. Perform 10 reps with one leg lifted and then 10 with the other lifted.
Works: Serratus, triceps, rotator cuff, deep core muscles, glutes, hamstrings
Benefits: Slim, toned upper arms and shoulders, improved posture, toned butt and slimmer thighs
Prep: Begin by lying on your stomach with your arms by your sides. Reach back through your fingertips and float your upper torso up into a small arch, lengthening from head to toe. Maintain this position as you perform the following arm movements.
Exercise: Bend the elbows to reach the fingertips along the ears and out overhead. Keep the arms straight and reach them around to the side and back by your sides. Imagine you are swimming the breast stroke with your arms. Perform eight reps.
Works: Low traps, deltoids, lats, back extensors, glutes, hamstrings, deep core
Benefits: Toned, narrow back and waist; sculpted shoulders; toned butt; and slimmer thighs
Prep: Stand with your feet wide. Turn your toes out to 45 degrees.
Exercise: Bend your knees deeply. Make sure your knees are in line with your feet and not in front of them or past the ends of the toes. Feel the turn out coming from the tops of your thighs. Hold the deep knee bend for 10 breaths. Come up halfway, then bend down again for the second rep. Perform 10 reps for a total of 100 breaths.
Works: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, deep rotators, adductors, abductors, core
Benefits: High, round rear; toned, slim legs; sculpted thighs
Photo of Erika Bloom by Gino Gareza