Mi Cuerpo, a Winter Wonderland
After Lindsay Lopez, a professional dancer who worked in feature films, injured her back, she discovered Pilates and rehabilitated herself to start a whole new beginning. In time, Lindsay became intrigued by how dramatically the discipline could change bodies. So she studied it and became a certified Pilates instructor.
Today, Lopez is committed to helping Latinas stay positive, healthy and fit, especially during the colder months. Here, she shares easy-to-follow exercise tips -- plus ways to stay motivated.
It’s la llave to staying fit, according to Lopez. "Even a little bit of Pilates is better than none," she says. “Sometimes I find myself bagging a workout when I don't have a full hour. While the traditional Pilates session should be 55 minutes, even a good 10 to 15 minutes can make a difference.
“Next time you're strapped for time, just get down on the floor and do these three simple Pilates moves,” Lopez suggests. “You'll stand taller, feel better and be more motivated to work out the next time!"
Lopez recommends these three Pilates moves for getting a leaner, longer body pronto.
- The Hundred: Lie flat on your back on your mat. Draw your knees to your chest and curl your head, neck and shoulders off the mat. Bring your legs into a 90 degree angle and reach your arms long by your side. With your arms very straight, begin pumping them up and down like wings. Inhale for five pumps, then exhale for five pumps. Ten sets of 10 make the 100 from this move’s name. The whole time pull your abs in and up. Want even more of a challenge? Extend your legs 45 degrees or lower.
- The Spine Stretch Forward: Sit with your legs extended out in front of you just wider than the width of your mat. Flex your feet and bend your knees until you can feel your Sitz bones on the mat. Reach your arms out in front of you and inhale to sit tall. Then exhale as you articulate your spine forward one vertebrae at a time until your head reaches between your knees and your arms reach toward your toes. Then inhale to return your spine upright and repeat four more times.
- Standing Chest Expansion: Standing upright, bring your feet together (either parallel or with your heels together and your toes two fingers apart). Make sure your shoulders are stacked over your ribs, and ribs over hips. Reach your arms out front and, as you inhale, reach them behind your back, fingertips pointing towards the floor behind your heels. Look to the right, to the left, then center, exhaling as you return your arms out front. Repeat, looking left first then right. Do two sets total. Remember to keep your abs pulled in and up and open your collarbone wide.
Photo: Corbis Images