The Middle Age Cometh
The midriff, I am sorry to report, is in. The thought occurred to me again as I perused Prada‘s Spring 2009 lookbook the other day, just as it had occurred to me back in September, when I watched bra tops and bandeaux cross the runways at Michael Kors and Alexander Wang. Back then, I put the idea out of mind—winter’s pudge-concealing clothes had just arrived in stores, and who wants to embark on a program of low carbs and crunches when the holidays are around the corner? But the Spring deliveries are upon us now, and I must admit that Prada’s cropped tops have a certain brazen appeal. Perhaps lean times call for a lean and hungry look? Or maybe less fabric = lower prices? Wishful thinking, I know. I’ll leave aside those questions, because the matter that must be addressed is: How does one flatten abs, and fast? According to Elisabeth Halfpapp, co-creator of Exhale’s Core Fusion class (and the teacher featured on Exhale’s new series of workout DVDs), the trick to tummy toning lies in tilting your pelvis. “If you only do one thing, do a 30-second isometric hold on the floor, with your knees bent and your back long and rounded,” she explained as she demonstrated the Pilates-inspired move. (See the image here.) “You have to make sure that pelvis is tucked under,” Halfpapp adds. “Otherwise, you’ll wind up cheating the move. And the tilted pelvis digs the exercise deep into your core.” Halfpapp insists that a few sets of these each day will do more for your core than numberless crunches. (Though it goes without saying that eating right and adding a few other exercises into your weekly routine will help out, too.) If you can’t spare time for toning up, there is one other option: Pretend you never noticed that the bare midriff isn’t having a moment, and wait for fall.