Hayden Panettiere may rock Daisy Dukes, high heels, and sequin dresses on her hit ABC show Nashville, but in real life she’s the ultimate tomboy. The fresh-faced actress is a former gymnast and grew up playing volleyball, softball, and baseball.
These days the petite 24-year-old keeps her figure in tip-top shape with hiking, swimming, Bikram yoga, and Pilates. “I’d love to be in a bikini and not worry about sucking it in!” she has said. “Pilates is good for the core. My favorite abs move is the bicycle crunch.”
To celebrate tonight's return of Nashville, we went to Heather Dorak of Pilates Platinum, whom Panettiere has trained with, to steal some of her red-carpet-ready moves. “With women like Hayden, it is important to focus a little longer on the muscles that achieve the small waistline, perky butt, and elegant arms,” Dorak says. “Our technique addresses all five fitness components in every exercise—flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardio-respiratory endurance, and body composition—to achieve ultimate results.”
Training with Dorak usually means to two to three one-hour sessions a week—in the 90210 zip code. But lucky for us, the Pilates guru shared an exclusive fat-burning, body-toning, 3-minute plank routine that anyone can do at home or at the gym. The workout will keep your body guessing and challenged while targeting your upper back, chest, glutes, thighs, and core.
How it works: Perform the exercises back to back with no rest. Depending on your fitness level, complete the entire circuit one to three times, resting between circuits.
You will need: A yoga mat
Lie face-down with elbows aligned under shoulders and forearms on the ground. Initiate the movement by tucking toes under, activating quads to straighten knees, and tucking butt under. Simultaneously pull belly button toward chin and butt toward heels before lifting yourself. Once up, gently pull elbows and feet toward one another without moving them to keep the body engaged and in alignment. Keep head gazing straight at ground and abs pulled in the entire time.
From forearm plank, place right hand on the floor, then place left hand on the floor, coming to plank. Return to start position, lowering arms one at a time (right, then left) to forearms. Continue raising and lowering, alternating right and left arms. Finish on hands.
From plank, bring right knee into left elbow, tucking hips with abs engaged. As right leg returns to start position, lift it up to the ceiling. Slowly lower leg and repeat on left side. Continue for 20 seconds. Immediately place right foot on top of left and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on left side for 20 seconds.
From forearm plank, drop right hip toward the ground. Return to start position and drop left hip toward the ground. Continue alternating. End by stretching into child's pose.