BY BETSY PARKER
Here's the deal...you can bypass the crazy "waist cincher" fad and still look cinched!
The obliques are such wonderful muscles and a girl's best friend...but too often these guys are misunderstood! Some exercises actually build a thicker muscle over that natural curve, and with Pilates the opposite happens!
When working those sides, be very focused on keeping length and NEVER crunching into them...no matter what Pilates move you choose to do!
My favorite move in the studio is a basic "side lift" to trim that waist and create a natural curve. These are done by leaning your side over a ladder barrel (an integral piece of pilates equipment) and then "fanning" the top ribs open as you scoop the bottom waist up. You keep this position steady as you stand back up straight. You can do a version of this same move at home by putting your hands behind your head and leaning over to either the right or left, and then bringing yourself back up to a straight stand by lifting the upper ribs straight up! (Use that top elbow as a guide by keeping it pointing straight up as you're returning to your stand! ) NEVER crunch into the waist as you come up, rather keep those upper ribs fanned and lift them straight up!
With this basic move in mind, move through all of your workouts by remembering to always "fan the ribs" up and never just crunch onto that side...
Those obliques are everything, and you'll never need to wear another uncomfortable under garment again! You'll have your own "built in" corset! A longer leaner looking waist! Who could ask for more???