This Morning: Phillip Schofield takes part in a pilates class
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Kate Middleton is in fabulous shape at 40, but how does she do it? Pilates teacher Abby McLachlan spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about what exercise the Duchess of Cambridge likely does to stay slim.
Abby McLachlan told Express.co.uk: “Regular pilates classes could be how Kate achieves her great posture, muscle tone and shape.
“To achieve Kate Middleton’s slim physique, I’d recommend an anti-ageing pilates workout.”
Those who want to look like the royal can kill two birds with one stone, as this workout not only promises Kate’s physique but her youthful looks too, the expert claimed.
Abby explained: “When you exercise and have good muscle tone, circulation and blood flow, it’s going to positively impact your skin, helping you look healthier and more youthful.
“Exercise is the ultimate stem cell stimulater, and keeps your cells young and full of vitality.
“Pilates concentrates on strengthening the deep postural muscles, raising awareness of how one stands and the general alignment of hips, spine and head.
“This awareness alone can go a long way to improving posture, but the strength built with highly targeted, specific exercises will support the spinal column, in effect future-proofing your body.”
The expert told Express.co.uk readers four key pilates exercises to achieve to achieve Kates “toned, slender physique”.
1. Glute bridges
This strengthens your bum and stretches your lower spine at the same time.
Abby said: “Think of your spine as a pearl necklace, you must pick your spine up, bone by bone, by curling your pelvis and pressing up with your bum until your body is in a straight line at the top.
“Then melt back down, ribcage first, still squeezing your glutes until you have landed your pelvis.”
A top tip is to do this exercise just after waking up, when the spine is “relaxed and malleable”.
2. Hip twist
This is another great one for back health.
Abby instructed: “Lay flat on the floor with your arms out wide, palms down.
“Stabilise your core and bring your legs into table top.
“Keep your back as flat as you can and twist your hips up and over to one side, then up and over to the other side, keeping your knees together.”
“Many women will have heard about the importance of keeping their pelvic floor strong but perhaps questioned why.
“It is normal as part of the ageing process for the pelvic floor muscles to ‘relax’ but as these muscles are responsible for the stabilisation of the pelvis and its organs it’s important to keep the area strong in order to maintain control over the bladder, bowels and, in women, uterus.
“Reduced pelvic floor strength can lead to a number of different issues including incontinence, lower back pain and reduced sexual pleasure.”
If you think you may have any issues with this area it is best to consult a physio first.
One “simple yet effective” way to engage the pelvic floor is a Pilates exercise known as Toe Taps.
Abby explained: “Lying on your back, take a deep inhale breath and on the exhale gently draw one leg at a time to a table top position (90 degree angle) focusing on engaging your pelvic floor and puling your belly button towards your spine. Repeat 10 times with each leg.”
Bone Density & Low impact exercise
For those who aren’t – understandably – fans of “gruelling HIIT workouts”, regular low impact workouts such as barre and pilates are very effective in the improvement of cardiovascular health.
This contributes to a healthy metabolism.
Low impact workouts also allow the body to remain supple and the joints safe and stable, which is incredibly important as the body ages.
Low impact workouts are especially beneficial for increasing bone density which can work to prevent osteoporosis.
Abby said: “Static lunges are my favourite way to get a quick fix workout in; lunges require you to focus on the alignment of the shoulders, engaging your abdominal wall and strengthening your quadriceps and glutes.”
And Kate Middleton isn’t the only royal who may benefit from a pilates session – the extremely toned Meghan Markle is also a fan of the exercise.
Abby McLachlan is the founder of East of Eden.
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