WE all have our favourite celebrities whose bodies we envy.
As attention has been drawn to the royals over the years, one relation has been the talk of the town.
Pippa Middleton, the sister of Catherine, Princess of Wales, first made the headlines when she was a bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding, and since then, her body has been sought after.
The 39-year-old mum of two is constantly pictured out and about with her husband James Matthews.
But how does the socialite stay in shape?
Pippa was previously quoted as saying she enjoys the Les Mills CXWORK programme.
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Speaking to Waitrose magazine, she previously said one of her secrets is a strong core.
She said she used the Les Mills class to understand core muscles and how to engage them.
With that in mind, I wanted to put the work out to the test to see how easy it is to get a body like Pippa.
But before trying the exercises, I spoke to Les Mills presenter and trainer Carla Williams to get the low-down on why this type of workout is actually good for you.
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Speaking to The Sun, Carla said it’s a great programme, as it’s made for ‘absolutely anybody’ regardless of experience, who wants to get a stronger core and to improve posture.
Carla, who recently presented at the Les Mills Live event in London said: “ It’s great to supplement any other training and can help improve performance in other sports and activities.
“This programme is particularly useful for runners as it can help to correct joint asymmetry and optimise our body and restore function.
“The movements consist of exercises designed to help align hip, knee and ankle symmetry which is great for injury prevention in the long run”, she added.
It’s a 30 minute workout which you can try for yourself on the Les Mills app anytime.
But here’s a quick rundown of the six parts of the plan.
In order to prepare yourself for the workout, it’s imperative that you warm up properly.
This includes spine work such as ab crunches, toe taps and glute bridges.
Glute bridges are simple, you lay down on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Try and bring your feet as close to your bum cheeks as possible and then raise your hips up and down.
When it comes to toe taps, you need to stand up, and separate your legs.
Try andkeep your legs straight to really get a stretch in the calves while tapping the opposite toe with the opposite hand.
Also doing a set of ab crunches will help warm your core up for the rest of the work out.
To do this lay down on your back, hands to your temples and slowly raise your head to your knees.
Each round should take just under five minutes, focusing on the exercises for 45 to 50 seconds with a 10 or 15 second rest.
Working out like Pippa Middleton: the verdict
While it’s just 30 minutes of work, it certainly leaves you with some glistening sweat.
The great thing about this workout for me is that it's accessible to all levels.
Whether you're a new starter or a gym buddy, you can tailor each exercise to work for you.
The workout can be tough on the core – but that's what helps Pippa look so toned.
I'd say it's imperative that when you're doing the exercises you make sure you back is straight and you're not straining it in order to avoid injury.
While it was tough I really did feel great at the end of the workout and the tracks included on the app help make you feel as though it's not such hard work.
CORE STRENGTH ROUND 1
This largely consists of hover and plank work, strengthening shoulders and core stabilisers through static contractions.
The exercises are extended through each round in order to intensify the workout, if you want to make it harder you can introduce weight.
One of the key exercises was a plank and hover plank.
Do to this you need to get into a plank position, which means forearms on the floor and keeping your body as straight as possible.
Then you lift alternate legs with the opposite arm – which is a real challenge – especially if you don't have much balance!
Another exercise is plank shoulder taps. Again, in your plank position, but this time with arms fully extended. Lift each hand to the opposite shoulder.
STANDING STRENGTH ROUND 1
This included dynamic functional standing work involving thoracic rotation and reactive core training testing the body’s ability to decelerate under load, Carla said.
For this you can use a resistance band – but again to make it harder you can also use a weight.
For this round we worked on diagonal presses, twists and lunges.
For the lunges, make sure your legs are hip width apart and then spring forward with one leg, lunges down, then twist one side of the body over the knee and repeat on the other side.
STANDING STRENGTH ROUND 2
Next we go for a big focus on improving stability and balance through single leg work targeting the glute medius muscles which help keep our body upright.
Improving this will help us stand taller and prouder with great alignment, Carla said.
For this round we looked at single leg pulses squats.
For this – get into your usual squat position, legs hip width apart and squat down. But as you rise up, raise one leg and pulse – this might start to feel achy after a little while.
CORE STRENGTH ROUND 2
For this round we focused on the oblique muscles. Rotational movements such as cross crawls, side hovers, fireflies or mountain climbers are usually featured.
This improves our ability to rotate and helps to specifically target our waistline, Carla said.
For the mountain climbers, get into your plank position again and you then need to raise your knees to your chest.
This can be slow or fast – depending on how energetic you feel!
CORE STRENGTH ROUND 3
The final part of the workout focuses on our posterior chain of muscles such as our glutes, back and hamstrings.
Carla explains: “These muscles tend to be weaker for a lot of us due to our lifestyles and typically need improving for everybody. Movements can include cobras, deadlifts, back extensions and hip bridges.
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Overall the outcome is to challenge our postural muscles for improved alignment, muscular balance and our longevity for back and spine health, Carla added.
After the workout, Carla recommended that you don't do any other weight training exercises that day in order to let the muscles rest.
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