Dana Meltzer Zepeda, SELF magazine
In a recent episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim jokingly called herself "fat" standing next to little sister Kendall for a family photo opp. But, in reality, ask any man (or woman, for that matter) what's sexier--a skinny 16-year-old kid or a sexy, voluptuous woman--and odds are you'll get the same answer every time.
"Kim Kardashian and J. Lo are perfect examples of ladies who look fit but play up sexy curves rather than fighting their body type," says Bambi Martin, owner and instructor at Cyclelates, a Hollywood spinning and Pilates studio.
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Want to tone up fast without losing your curves? Look no further than this cardio-based Pilates routine. "Pilates lengthens and tones in all the right places," says Martin. "This toning will lift and accentuate your natural curves without developing bulky muscle mass. With more muscle mass, you will naturally burn more calories."
Incorporate these 3 moves into your regular routine twice a week to for firm, flat abs and a round, lifted backside.
Lie facedown on a mat, lifting your chest and neck and resting on your elbows. Place your palms together in prayer pose. Push off the floor raising up onto your toes and resting on your elbows. Keep your back flat in a straight line from head to heels. Engage your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air. Hold for 30 seconds in this plank position. After 30 seconds have passed, bring your right knee out to the side of your body to squeeze your obliques. Return your foot to the floor and repeat with your left knee alternating sides for 30 seconds. Repeat this entire sequence 4 times. Do 100 jumping jacks then immediately segue into the next exercise.
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Lie on your side with your body in a straight line. Bend your bottom arm so your head is resting in your palm. Align your hip over hips, knees over knees and ankles over ankles with knees slightly bent (top). Place the top hand on the mat in front of you for support. With your hips planted into the mat, slowly open your top knee, gently squeezing the heels together (bottom). Imagine you are an oyster! Your pelvis should remain still. As you open the knee, think of lengthening through the knee while anchoring the thigh into the hip socket. Breathe out to open. Breathe in to close. Repeat 15 times on both sides. Do 100 jumping jacks then immediately segue into the next exercise.
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Pulsing Single-Leg Bridge
Lie on your back on a mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your feet hips-width apart with your toes facing away from you. Gently exhale and keep your abdominals engaged as you lift your hips off the floor (top). Press your heels into the floor for stability, making sure both feet are planted down on the mat and your palms are facing down. Bring your left knee into your chest and extend your left leg up towards the ceiling (middle). Bending your left knee to a 90-degree angle, pulse your left leg up to the ceiling 15 times, imagining your toes are trying to touch the ceiling each time (bottom). Return the knee to your chest and plant the left leg back down on the floor. Slowly roll back down one vertebra at a time. Switch sides. Repeat the entire sequence 3 times on each leg.
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