You've probably read about celebs extolling the virtues of Pilates (lean legs, a supertaut tummy!), or maybe even heard the hype from mat-class-obsessed friends. If you're still skeptical, keep reading: "Pilates puts your muscles-especially the smaller, stabilizing ones-under constant tension over a large range of motion to create that enviable long, lean look," says Lauren Piskin, owner of Physicalmind Studio in New York City.
What's more, one study found that women who swapped their usual routines for two 60-minute Pilates sessions a week saw significant increases in abdominal endurance, hamstring flexibility, and upper-body muscular endurance.
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The thing is, these Pilates perks often come with a hefty price tag: A few sessions a week (typically using a bed-size contraption called a Reformer) can set you back hundreds of dollars. So Piskin created this at-home total-body workout, which gives your abs some extra love without damaging your bottom line. All you need is a Pilates ball (which are inexpensive and add versatility to plenty of exercises). "The ball mimics the resistance of the machine to challenge your muscles as you move through fluid movements," says Piskin.
Do the following sequence two or three times a week. Starting with the first move, do eight to 10 reps of each exercise with little to no rest between exercises. The video below will show you how to do the moves with perfect form.
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