Crop Tops: exercise for the midriff
Dolce & Gabbana channeled Sophia Loren, and Emilio Pucci’s Peter Dundas conjured a latter-day Brigitte Bardot. The key is to keep the belly button under wraps, exposing just a tasteful flash of skin below the bandeau.
The exercise: Single leg extension.
Lying on your back, slowly raise one leg at a time into a double tabletop position (knees above hips, shins parallel to the floor).
As you raise the second leg, be sure to keep your ribcage pressed towards the floor and your deeper abdominals engaged (draw the area between your hip bones towards your spine; imagine you are trying to tighten a belt around your hips as you do this).
Now, keeping your ribs down and internal abs switched on, breathe out and extend one leg away from you, then return it back to tabletop as you breathe in. Repeat the movement slowly, stopping to reset if you feel your ribs and/or abdomen doming up towards the ceiling (the idea is to keep your midriff area flat, using the rib placement and internal abdominal contraction; the leg movement challenges this.)
Luke Meessmann is a trainer at TenPilates; www.tenpilates.com; email@example.com; 020 8969 9677