In the market for a Pilates-toned physique minus the medieval looking machines and exorbitant price tag? Instructor Alycea Ungaro’s new book and CD set, “Portable Pilates,” might be the answer. As the founder and owner of Tribeca Bodyworks — the city’s largest studio devoted exclusively to Pilates training — she recorded a 45-minute mat class to accompany a spiral-bound guide that illustrates the workout’s various positions with cute, girly drawings.
“Most people don’t have the disposable income to hire a trainer,” says Ungaro, who is not related to the designer Emanuel Ungaro and has trained such famously toned stars as Madonna and Uma Thurman. “My students develop their listening skills. I didn’t think watching a video and craning your neck to see the screen is what Pilates is about.”
But isn’t the secret in those torturous-looking machines with names like Cadillac and Reformer? Not so, according to Ungaro. “With the machines, you add resistance training, which builds muscles and sculpts,” she says. “But with the mat workout, you get that long lean look.”
And it’s not too late to shape up for bikini season, either, which is just around the corner. “The workout gets rid of the love handles,” Ungaro promises, recommending a daily regimen. “No back fat.”