While there are no specific exercises that should or shouldn’t be performed depending on whether you have an apple, pear, hourglass or athletic figure, there certainly are some that can help to make your workouts more effective.
‘Pilates can really help you to focus on specific exercises in order to enhance your particular shape,’ says Nadine McCann, instructor at Bootcamp Pilates (bootcamppilates.com). ‘All bodies are different and it pays to know what works for you.’
That’s not to say all women with the same body shape have the same goals, but certain moves can help apple shapes to define their curves, for example, and athletic figures to focus on their glutes. What’s more, everyone can benefit from the postural power of Pilates! ‘Pilates is great for sculpting as it focuses on the stabilising muscles deep in the body,’ Nadine adds. ‘This allows each muscle and to work with minimal stress and maximum effort in order to increase strength, flexibility and length.’ The workout as a whole is suitable for all body types, but if you’re short on time, just pick the exercises for your body type.
How to do it
Complete the allotted reps and sets of each exercise before moving on to the next. Perform these exercises in the order they appear.
1. Toe taps
Best for: apple, pear, hourglass
Areas trained: stomach, core, hips
Start lying on your back with legs lifted and knees bent above your hips, shins parallel to the floor and arms relaxed at your sides, palms down. Keep your lower abs engaged and your back flat on the mat.
Inhale, then exhale as you hinge at your hip, lowering your right leg toward the mat.
Inhale to return the leg to start position and change sides.
Alternate legs repeating 10-12 reps on each side, bring feet to the floor to rest. Repeat for 2 sets.
Best for: apple, hourglass, athletic, pear
Areas trained: core, sides
Lying on your back, interlace your hands behind your head to support your head. Lift your knees and feet off the ground with your knees bent at 90 degrees.
Inhale as you twist your ribcage to the left and extend your right leg forward.
Exhale as you take your body through the centre, twisting your ribcage to the right while extending your left leg to complete the exercise on the opposite side.
Do 6 twists alternating sides. Do 3 sets in total.
3. Glute bridge
Best for: hourglass, athletic
Areas trained: core, bottom, hips, lower back
Lie on your back, with your knees bent. Place your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, with your arms at your side.
Exhale as you lift your hips off the floor until your ribcage is in line with your hips and knees. Press down evenly through both feet.
Inhale as you squeeze your glutes for three seconds and then exhale as you lower your hips slowly back down to the mat. Do 15-20 reps, then rest pulling your knees to chest, then repeat once more.