Kate Middleton is the epitome of chic and fit. After two kids and a third baby on the way, the Duchess of Cambridge maintains a slim waistline and toned arms and legs by working out regularly. While she has previously hired a trainer to help get rid of post baby weight, she usually works out on her own. Having grown up playing sports, she has a naturally competitive nature. The Duchess has been known to do intense workouts with her sister, Pippa, who was once a sports scholar at Marlborough College. A royal insider revealed that one of Kate’s favorite exercises to tighten her muscles is the plank. To get a slender and toned physique like Kate, follow this workout that she did at the gym in Kensington Palace.
1. Hip Raises: Strengthens the glutes and hamstrings. Lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your feet hip distance apart and your palms down on the ground. Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips up to the ceiling as high as you can. Pull your navel in to prevent arching your back. Focus on lifting straight up using your glutes and hamstrings instead of your lower back. Lower back down and repeat. Do 2 sets of 20 reps. For an added challenge, lift one leg up to the ceiling and repeat the same exercise for 10 reps before switching sides.
2. Diagonal Lunges: Strengthens the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Doing a diagonal lunge instead of a traditional straight forward lunge hits the muscles from a slightly different angle. Doing these activate more of the outer and inner thigh area as well. Stand with your feet hip distance apart in parallel. Keep your hands on your hips. Step your right foot forward and out to the side as if you were aiming for one o’clock. Lunge onto the right leg making sure not to let your knee pass your toes. Keep most of your weight on the front leg and be sure to soften the back knee as you drop the hips down. Press off of the front heel to come back to center and repeat on the other side to complete one rep. Do 2 sets of 15 reps.
3. Calf Raises: Strengthens the calf muscles and ankles. Stand with your feet in parallel hip distance apart. You may lightly hold onto something stable if you need help with balance, otherwise hands can be on your hips. Squeeze your glutes and keep your abs tight as you flex the feet, lifting the heels off the ground as high as possible. Take three seconds to go up and three seconds to slowly come back down. Do 25 reps. Turn the feet out by bringing your heels together and toes apart. This will target a different angle of the calves. Repeat another 25 reps. For more of a challenge, repeat both sets on one leg at a time, 15 reps on each side.
4. Planks: Strengthens the abs, back, and shoulders. Place both hands on the floor shoulder-width apart in a push-up position. Keep your abs pulled in. Lift one leg up about 6 inches and hold for a second before switching legs. Continue alternating single leg planks for 30 seconds. Transition right into a side plank by lowering your right forearm onto the floor and rotating your body to the left. Your weight will now be on your right arm and your feet will be stacked. Place your opposite hand on your hip and hold for another 30 seconds. Make sure that your elbow is directly under your shoulder in your side plank. Place your left hand on the floor as you transition back into your high plank for another 30 seconds. Then repeat the side plank on the other side for another 30 seconds.
5. Prone Skydiver: Strengthens the back muscles and opens up the shoulders and chest. Lie face down on the floor with your arms straight out at a low V by your sides. Your palms should be facing down on the ground. Squeeze your glutes and engage your back muscles to lift your chest head and arms off the ground as high as you can. Lengthen your back in this position by pulling in your abs and pressing your hips into the ground. Squeeze the shoulder blades together to open up the chest and shoulders. Hold for several seconds before lowering back down. Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps. Finish off in a child’s pose to release any lower back tension.
Aim for doing this royal workout 3-5 times a week for the best results. Don’t forget to do some form of cardio. Kate always makes sure to get in her cardio, preferably by running or rowing outdoors. What’s your favorite form of cardio?
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Photo: Skeezix1000 via Wikipedia Commons