Kate Hudson has a history of inspiring some serious sweat envy on social media, whether she's doing a suspended plank pose or pushing a sled like it's NBD. The actress recently showed off her impressive Pilates skills in a video on TikTok, low key defying the laws of gravity and making a tough core move look downright easy. (Remember that booty-burning workout she did in Greece? Yeah, exactly.)
Hudson shared a video of herself nailing a dynamic move — transitioning from a plank into a pike pose — on a Pilates reformer machine during a recent session at Heartcore in London. In the quick clip, the Knives Out 2 star holds a plank pose, gripping the flat stationary base with a hand on either side at the top of the machine. Next, she engages her core and lifts her hips to bring her straight legs into a pike position, pausing for a brief hold before lowering back into a plank on the reformer's moving carriage — all while moving at a slow, steady pace.
Based on Hudson's audible "ugh!" at the end of the clip, the move is clearly intense. It's actually a reformer-based Pilates move that requires tons of control to prevent injury, says Helen O'Leary, physiotherapist and Pilates instructor and director at London-based Complete Pilates. It "challenges shoulder stability and core control, using the whole body to move smoothly from one position to the other," she notes.
"It's quite an advanced and challenging exercise," adds Ana Stefan, a Dublin-based strength and mobility coach and Pilates instructor. "[Hudson] makes it look easy," says Stefan.
ICYDK, Pilates involves movements designed to strengthen, stretch, and balance the body based on the corrective exercise system invented by Joseph Hubertus Pilates in the 1920s. Exercises focus on stability and control, working teeny tiny muscles other workout methods might not target. Nowadays, you can practice mat Pilates with props, such as dumbbells and resistance bands, or reformer-based Pilates, which involves using a machine as Hudson did in her recent TikTok. (Read more: How to Use a Pilates Reformer for Beginners)
Wondering how the massive machine actually works? "The reformer's moving carriage and variable spring settings create a lot of opportunities for challenging the body," notes O'Leary. "For example, movements performed on the unstable surface of the carriage in combination with a light [resistance] spring are great for strengthening the body's deep stabilizing muscles," she explains, adding that reformer Pilates exercises promote better balance and coordination.
"Other important features of the reformer, such as the straps and pulleys, are designed to help improve mobility, flexibility and range of motion, and they are particularly effective at doing so," she adds. "Elements like the adjustable spring tension also mean that Pilates on the reformer can be made to work for everyone. This includes beginners, pregnant women, and people with injuries."
Along with improving mobility and flexibility, Pilates also benefits coordination and breathing, explains Stefan. Not to mention, it's a serious muscle builder. "You'll feel muscles you did not know you had," she says. Related: Jennifer Aniston's Favorite Workout Is Low-Impact and Boasts Major Benefits
Curious to reap the benefits of Pilates for yourself? If you don't have access to a Pilates studio or at-home reformer, don't fret. You can mimic the move Hudson demonstrated at home with a few key pieces of equipment you likely already have on hand.
"Someone could recreate this move at home by placing a yoga ball under their feet in a plank position, pressing down through their hands and feet, lifting their hips up, keeping their legs straight, creating a pike," says O'Leary. "This can also be done with a foam roller instead of a yoga ball or something like a small towel under your toes on a smooth surface."
Stefan recommends wearing socks and using sliding disks on a wood floor or another surface you can slide on to challenge the same muscles as Hudson. "Come into a plank position, stabilize the shoulders, and use your core to slide the legs in and out," she says.
Feeling inspired? Give the move a try at home if you're already experienced in these Pilates exercises, or sign up for a class to begin learning the foundations from a pro. (Next up: Check out this all-inclusive guide to Pilates.)