West Village Gyms in Women's Day: Slim Body, Strong Heart

Slim pilates body, strong heart: Resistance training is surprisingly good for your ticker, so work your muscles with these easy sweat-free moves.

Equipment Free-Exercises

Use your own body weight to stretch and strengthen muscles for a pilates body. Complete the combo 3 times per week.



A) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your right leg behind you, knee bent, balancing on your left leg. Extend your left arm up by your head and grapst right foot with right hand.

B) Gently pull up on your right leg and hinge forward. Go as far as you can while staying balanced, then straighten back up. Lower your foot; repeat with your left leg. Repat cycle 5 times.



A) Stand Tall with your shoulder pressed down. Bend forward at the hips, keeping your legs as straight as possible, and reach your hands to floor.

B) Walk your hands forward a couple of feet. Then walk your legs toward your hands until your knees bend. Push your heels into the floor and walk hands forward again. Do this 10 times.

Source: Will Torres, certified trainer, founder of Willspace Personal Training Studio


Do calf raises while you chat

Whenever you’re on the phone, press up onto the balls of your feet-use your free hand to hold the edge of a table for balance. Stay there for a few seconds tighten glutes and abs then lower down.


Rethink commercials

During your favorite TV show, stand with your back against a wall and bend knees to lower yourself until they reach a 90-degree angle (keep ankles aligned under knees). Try to get through at least two commercials before standing up.


Bag it

Instead of throwing down your purse immediately when you get home, lift it up a few times instead. Holding the bag, curl your right arm toward right shoulder, then straighten arm. Repeat 10 times on each time.


Take the stairs two at a time

Whether you’re climbing steps during a jog or heading to the laundry room, skipping a step will engage more of your hamstring and glute muscles and help tone your backside. Make sure to lean forward slightly and push through your heel.


Stand taller

While you’re waiting for your coffee to brew or in line at the grocery store, stand with your weight as evenly distributed as possible. Squeeze your abs (pull your belly button in toward your spine) and your glutes. Hold his position for 20 seconds, rest and repeat.


Do counter push-ups

Try 10 to 15 push-ups while you’re cooking. Stand about an arm’s length away from the counter, place your hands on the end and then take a few steps back. Tighten stomach with spine straight and bend your elbows as you bring your chest toward the counter, then push back up. Tip: Don’t rush. Take it slowly to build more muscle.

Sources: C. Noel Merz, MD, director, Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Los Angeles. Will Torres, certified trainer, founder of willspace, New York City. 


By Alyssa Shaffer