Kate Middleton may treat herself to several blowouts a week, but when it comes to her workout regimen, she's no girlie girl. The slim, 30-year-old duchess is entirely committed to exercising, which includes running and Pilates.
Even though genetics may play into her great body (her younger sister, Pippa Middleton, has as enviable of a figure), admirers can still achieve her lean shape by incorporating the right kind of moves into their get-fit routines. Below, Pure Yoga instructor KayKay Clivio guides Us Weekly through the best body-lengthening poses.
Pose: Cresent Moon Pose (Anjaneyasana)
"This pose is fantastic for lengthening the external obliques, shaping the waistline and strengthening the legs, butt and abdominals," says Clivio.
- Stand with toes and heels together and stretch arms overhead, interlacing your fingers, and straighten arms.
- Keep body in a straight line (as if you're between two panes of glass), stretch over to the right while simultaneously moving hips over to the left, creating a crescent moon shape with body.
- Keep legs and buttocks strong, draw belly in and up, and breath slowly.
- On inhale, reach and lengthen; on exhale, go a little deeper into the pose.
Hold for eight slow breaths on each side.
Pose: Warrior 2 Pose (Virabadrasana 2)
According to Clivio, this posture is great for legs and the torsos, but helps firm up triceps (a common problem area for women) too.
- Stand with feet one leg-length apart. Turn right toes out and the left toes in slightly. Bend right knee so it is directly over right ankle. Keep back leg straight and strong.
- Stretch arms in a straight line from fingertip to fingertip. Keep spine straight and centered. Belly is in and up.
- Gaze over right middle finger.
Hold for eight slow, deep breaths before switching sides.
Pose: Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
Why Clivio loves this pose: "It's great for lengthening the abdominals and quadriceps while strengthening the glutes and hamstrings. It lengthens and strengthens the muscles along the spine, especially the low back and opens the chest and shoulders."
- Lie on back and bring feet flat on the floor, heels in close to buttocks, heels directly below knees, arms by side.
- Press down through feet and arms and lift hips up as high as possible. Interlace fingers under body, straighten arms and wiggle shoulders as far under body as possible to open chest.
- To release, suck the belly in and roll down slowly through the spine as follows: Upper spine, middle spine, then the lower spine.
Hold for 10 slow, deep breaths before releasing.
Pose: Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana)
"This pose helps firm and tone the entire body," says Clivio, " and especially firms the arm muscles and abdominal muscles."
- Come into a high push-up position with arms straight, shoulders over the wrists, legs strongly together. Body should be one straight line from the top of the head out through the heels.
- Shift onto the outside edge of the right foot stacking feet, hips and shoulders on top of each other. Bring left arm in line with right arm to the sky. Take your gaze to left thumb if possible.
- Keep pressing into the floor with the right hand, drawing the belly in and up
Breathe slowly and deeply for five breaths, then repeat on the left.