Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love the Daily Mail’s sidebar of shame? I’m addicted to it and particularly enjoyed yesterday’s story that claimed pilates has made Andy Murray… wait for it, a better person.
Apparently, sources from within Team Murray now describe Andy as “a delightful, sensitive, happy, funny young man”. What’s so weird is that’s exactly how I’d describe my full-time employer too, if asked. Guess how many sessions the report said Andy’d been to? “Up to four”. What? Delightful, sensitive, happy and funny in just four hours? He should be up to Miss World levels of sugary do-goodery by Wimbledon.
But really who cares if pilates makes you nicer, what’s that compared to firmer and thinner? And while the below exercise won’t actually make you slimmer, it’ll stop you from looking fat and old because it improves your posture and bad posture is the most ageing and unflattering thing around, other than Joan Rivers. I got this tip from Lynne Robinson (above, who Sophie Dahl describes at the high priestess of pilates) when I had a private lesson with her at Chiva Som in Thailand. It’s called the Dumb Waiter and is stupidly easy but supremely effective.
Stand straight, hands by your sides. Roll your shoulders back and down, raise your forearms in front of you, parallel to the floor, palms skywards and then slowly rotate your hands to the sides, keeping elbows tucked in to your waist (well, okay, just go for approximately where your waist would be if you didn’t eat cakes). Repeat until you feel delightful, sensitive, happy and funny.