It’s officially swimsuit season and I’m not quite ready to sport those cute cut-offs, sleeveless tops and itty bitty bikinis that are lurking in my closet. The past few weeks, I’ve tried to ditch my poor eating habits (goodbye french fries) and kick up my workouts, but it’s tough to maintain with all the end of the school year parties, barbecues and summer soirees.
I had to ask Mora Babineau, mother of two and co-owner of Studio47 Pilates (and who has one of the best bods out there), on how she gets herself ready for swimsuit season. Even though she teaches multiple sculpting and Pilates classes weekly, she still has to make time to work out and eat right. Here she shares quick calorie-torching exercises that you can do anywhere, and her diet that gets you lean and toned fast in time for bikini season:
How do you amp your workouts this time of year?
As an instructor people automatically assume you are working out all day, but in truth I need to plan my workouts just like everybody else. When I’m at the studio, I tend to favor using the [Pilates] equipment. I will hop on the reformer for a 10-30 minute workout (depending on my time allowance ) followed by exercises on the Cadillac and the chair. Pilates is an efficient workout and you can get great results in a short amount of time. I’m also a huge runner and will try to log between 10-15 miles per week. I have noticed an improvement in my running form since regularly doing Pilates.
What three exercises should one incorporate to get their body more sculpted for summer?
Summer means bare shoulders, bikini waistlines and short rompers. My top three exercises for summer preparation are planks for full body, squats for the booty and the Pilates stomach Series of Five (single leg stretch, double leg stretch, criss-cross, single straight leg stretch and double straight leg stretch). It’s great to add in a plank at the end of your run or wake up and do the stomach series. I also recommend investing in light set of weights and do the Pilates upper body toning series (front rays, upright rows, overhead press, shave the head front and triceps kick-backs). Arms will be toned and firm in no time.
What do you eat to get your body summer ready?
Tons of vegetables! I try to reduce carbohydrates and dairy this time of year, which helps limit sluggishness and bloating. Homemade green smoothies are a go-to for me and I drink tons of water daily. I’m a huge breakfast fan and always start my day with a green smoothie (frozen blueberries, banana, kale, chia seeds, protein powder and almond milk), followed by a huge batch of steel-cut oats. For lunch and dinner, I try to stick with a salad and protein. When I need to snack, I keep a bag filled with a green apple, cheese stick and nuts to fight hunger and keep my energy levels up.
Do you feel it’s important to incorporate a variety of exercises to tone up and burn fat quickly?
I believe a combination of workouts is what helps change your body and maintain your fitness level. So mix it up — try paddle boarding, spinning, running — and of course, Pilates. Pilates is a foundational exercise method that will compliment any other activity you do by strengthening your core, increasing flexibility and improving your balance. A barre workout is fantastic for hitting the smaller muscles that are hard to tone during cardio classes. Keep in mind, consistency yields results. The form of exercise that you stick with is the best one for you.
If someone is traveling, what can they do to maintain their workout schedule?
Plan ahead and pack your sneakers. Walking and running are great way to get out and explore a new area while getting in some exercise. It’s easy to fit in a 10-minute Pilates workout — all you need is a mat (or a beach towel). Even a short amount of time keeps you on track and feeling motivated. The hardest thing to do in exercise is to return when you have stopped. So keep going all summer. On the road, we encourage people to do a class through our virtual studio each class can be done without any equipment and are only 25 minutes long.
Photo of Mora Babineau taken at Studio47.