Sorry, ladies, no python heels. They'll puncture the equipment.
Sarah Jessica Parker de-fanged her feet to do this workout-which is why we asked her trainer to give us a few killer-body moves. He calls it Powerball. I prefer Flex and the City. Either way, you needn't be urban to try it; like SATC 2, it travels nicely to the beach.
"I worked with SJP once or twice a week during the summer before the first movie," says Marc Santa Maria, regional director of group fitness for Crunch gyms. "Sometimes she'd bring a couple of girlfriends with her. That was fun, because I'd have them work out with each other and I could see how she really was with them." (No, she didn't train with her on-screen GFs, but Santa Maria says, "One Saturday, I was teaching another class. For some reason, nobody is listening to me. And all of a sudden, I realize there's Mr. Big at the back of the room. It was a totally random thing.")
SJP worked out with a Bosu Ballast ball, which has sand-like material inside so it weighs 6-1/2 pounds and amps up the challenge. (You can buy one here, or check out your local Crunch gym to take a class). But Santa Maria says you can also do these moves with a regular fitness ball or even a beach ball-in fact, some of the moves will be harder. "The point is, it's all fluid motion, so you'll lengthen and tone the muscles, rather and crunch and pump them. I think that's why SJP liked it."
How was she to train? "Frankly I was a little nervous when I first got the call," he says. "But she was great. If one of her girlfriends finished a set before her, she'd keep going, even if it meant taking a break and then picking the ball back up. That told me a lot about ther."
For you, Santa Maria has three amazing moves that work the entire body. You can do them at home or at the beach, where Santa Maria suggests going through the whole routine, taking a swim, doing a second set, and cooling off back in the water. Whichever way you go, have a ball!
Flex and the City
Do the recommended reps for each move and go right into the next. Complete the whole routine twice, with a swim or a little cardio in between. If you want a real burn, go for three sets.
* This will work your whole leg-quads, shin, and calf muscles. * Do 10 reps on each leg.
1. Stand and squeeze the ball between your left foot and shin (Santa Maria demos at left). You can use one finger, or your whole hand to help stabilize the ball.
2. Now lift the ball using your left leg (below). And then lower back down. That's one rep. Do 10, and switch legs.
Pike & Glutes
* This move double-targets both your abs and your glutes. * Do 10 reps of the PIke. * Do 15 glute lifts.
1. Start in a pushup position by placing your shins on the top of the ball (your feet will help hold it steady). Spread your fingers and press the palms into the floor, arms straight, under your shoulders.
2. Pushing your tush straight up into the air, come up into an upside down V, like a downward dog. The ball will roll in toward your arms, until you're only touching it with your toes, as you use your abs to keep from falling off. Hold for 4 seconds (below). Then lower and lengthen back into the starting pushup position. If this is too difficult, try bending your knees as you roll the ball in, or even just holding in the starting pushup position for 4 counts.
3. After you do 10 pikes, go back into the starting pushup. In that position, raise one leg (below), hold or pulse for 4 seconds. And switch legs (Do 15 on each side.)
* This move gets your whole upper body-core and arms * Do 10 reps. * It's even better with a friend.
1. Sitting, with knees bent, heels on the floor, take the ball in your hands.
2. Lower your back onto the ground, taking your arms overhead.
Tap the ball on the floor.
3. Now round up, pulling your abs in, until you're upright enough to straighten into the starting position, arms overhead. Do this roll back and sit-up 10 times. You can make it harder by tossing and catching the ball when you're in the upright position (below).
To make it even harder? Instead of tossing the ball to yourself, throw it to a friend, who's sitting facing you. She'll catch, lay back, tap on the ground, roll up, and then throw it back to you. The idea is that you and she are alternating the exercise, each 10 times. "This is what SJP and her friend would do," says Santa Maria. "The kicker was, they couldn't let the ball touch the floor. Otherwise, I'd make them do extra pikes."
What's your favorite workout?
For other workouts the stars love...
For Gwyneth Paltrow Abs
For Jennifer Aniston's Legs
Scarlett Johansson's shape up
[photo credit: (SJP) Getty Images]
[photo credit: (Marc Santa Maria) Liz Brody]
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