Ah, Healthy Hollywood is always on the hunt for the latest and greatest way to achieve amazing abs. Recently, Healthy Hollywood discovered the ab-flattening CorePlus Reformer by Gaiam.
These lightweight resistance bands joined in an X, mimic the resistance action of a Pilates reformer (the contraption that looks like a torture apparatus), but helps create a long, lean body. I’ve always wanted to try the reformer, but sessions can cost upwards of $100 a pop – and that’s a lot of cash in these wallet-tight times.
The CorePlus Reformer promises a similar experience to the Pilates reformer – and you don’t even have to leave home. It will help you stretch, tone, and sculpt, states celebrity Pilates expert, Mari Winsor. “The CorePlus Reformer adds resistance to your workout and allows you to work deeper into the muscles for the best results in record time.” Plus, in-shape stars, like Emma Stone, Brooke Shields, and Sandra Bullock are all fans of these stretchy bands. Hey, if it’s good enough for them – it might just be the ticket to tighten my core.
“I especially like the CorePlus Reformer because it supports the Pilates concept of creating a two way stretch in all your exercises. When practicing two way stretch, all movement and stability comes from the core,” reveals Mari. “From your waist everything lengthens away from the core. We are constantly taking body weight away from your center, thus decompressing the body. When you add resistance from the CorePlus Reformer, you are sculpting and toning elongated muscles. You can develop that long lean dancer look we all love.”
Motivated to try? Healthy Hollywood is…
Mari shares 3 of her favorite core exercises to get you started.
I love doing the teaser with the CorePlus Reformer because you can use it to work deeply into the core without the aggravation of neck and back pain. Sitting, place one handle from the two stretchy cable loops around each foot. Hold on to the two other loops (close to the button) with both hands. Raise your legs to a 45-degree angle from the floor. Rotate your legs from the hips and squeeze your heels together. Keep your legs stable and walk your hands down the stretchy cable, articulating your spine and pulling in your core to support the back. Roll your back down until it is on the floor. Make sure you try and move your spine vertebra by vertebra controlling from the powerhouse. Walk your hands back up the cable to a v-sit balanced position.
2. THE ONE HUNDRED
When you perform the one hundred with resistance from the CorePlus Reformer, you get deeper into your core and work the arms as well. Lie on your back with one stretchy cable loop on each foot. Lift you legs to a 45-degree angle from the floor. Make sure the lower back is on the mat and your legs are slightly rotated at the hip. Squeeze your heels together, allowing you to target your inner thighs and buttocks as well. Open your legs for a second and thread the button with the rest of the apparatus through to the back of the legs. Hold on to the other two handles. Lift your head and shoulders off the mat. Pump your arms up and down keeping the arms close to your body and six to eight inches from the floor. Breath smoothly, inhaling for a count of five and exhaling for a count of five, until you reach one hundred. Make sure you keep you lower back on the mat. If you want to go deeper in your core lower your legs. This exercise is great for circulation.
3. DOUBLE STRAIGHT LEG
Put the handle of the stretchy cable on each foot. Legs are at a 90-degree angle from the floor. You can keep your whole torso including your head on the floor or you can raise your head and shoulders off the mat. Each hand gets the remaining handles. Make a fist and bring the hands into the chest with the elbows open to the side. Lower the legs down and up 10 to 12 times. Do slowly with control. Keep your lower back on the mat and take the legs down as far as you comfortably can - keeping the tummy pulled in. Inhale as the legs lower and exhale as you bring them up. Remember the leg position with the legs rotating from the hips and the heels squeezing together.
For more information on the CorePlus Reformer, head to www.gaiam.com.