Somehow, Kate Hudson has managed to do what most of us only dream of doing. She’s an actress, mom of two, and businesswoman (she owns her own line of workout clothes, Fabletics.) But despite her busy, on-the-go lifestyle, she is also able to stay in fantastic shape. Her secrets? Pilates, calorie counting, and maintaining a positive attitude. Lucky for us, Hudson’s willing to share some of her diet and workout secrets. If someone as busy as Hudson can stay in great shape, we should also be able to as well!
Workout Hudson Style
Hudson is a huge advocate of Pilates. In fact, she credits her Pilates workouts for the fantastic abs she always seems to have. Her long-time Pilates trainer, Nicole Stuart, has worked with Hudson for years, helping to perfect her to-die-for body. Why is Pilates such a great workout? It focuses on your core, but also works the entire body — front, sides, back, midsection, and trunk — and pulls everything in and together, Stuart told Shape. It’s really an all-over workout that will create a tighter, more toned and stronger body. You’ll stand taller, feel more confident, lose inches, and get a leaner, longer look. Stuart says you’ll feel different after 10 sessions, and you’ll begin to look different after 20.
Per a Shape interview, Stuart reveals a few of Hudson’s key workout secrets. “We do Pilates for an hour, three times a week. If she’s prepping for something, it will be more. We always combine cardio — like a mile run — before a Pilates class. On off days, she’ll meet me for yoga or a spin class.”
Ready to give Pilates a try? Stuart recommends the following workout, per Shape. All you need is a Pilates mat (and lots of water.)
100s: Lie on your back with your legs bent in a tabletop position with your shins and ankles parallel to the floor. Inhale. Now exhale and bring your head up with your chin down. You should be looking straight at your belly button. Curl your upper spine off the floor and inhale. Extend your arms and legs out directly in front of you and exhale, lowering your legs slightly. Hold your arms about a half-inch off the floor. While holding this position, pump your arms up-and-down in a repetitive movement. Take five short breaths in through your nose and five short breaths out through your mouth. One cycle is five short in-breaths and five short out-breaths. When you finish, slowly pull your legs into your stomach. Wrap your arms around them and drop your head and shoulders to the floor.
Roll-Ups: Lay on your back on a yoga mat. Your legs should be straight. Inhale and reach your arms above your head so that you are stretching your entire body. Exhale and lift your arms toward the sky. When your arms become perpendicular to the sky, begin to lift your head and shoulders off the mat. Scoop your abs in to begin rolling up, while simultaneously squeezing your inner thigh and butt muscles — keep your legs on the floor. Inhale once you’ve reached the top and are in a sitting position. Stretch forward over your toes. Begin to roll back down, keeping your spine in a C shape. Slowly roll down, and reach your arms back over your head once you have completed your roll down. When you’ve reached the beginning position, repeat the process for another roll up. Do this five times.
Single-Leg Pull: Begin lying on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Rest your arms along your sides with your palms facing down. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and let your belly drop toward the floor. Inhale as you pull your abs in, sinking your navel in toward your spine. Curl your head forward until your chin touches your chest as you simultaneously bend both of your knees and pull both legs in toward your chest. Point your toes and clasp your hands around your shins. Now, extend your right leg straight up to the ceiling, and hold onto your right ankle with both hands. Extend your left leg in front of you, fully straightening the leg.
Let your left heel hover about two inches above the mat. Keep your ab muscles scooped, your back flat, and your upper body curved throughout the movements. Inhale and press your spine deeply into the mat. Exhale as you pull your right leg closer toward your head with two short pulses. Exhale twice, once with each pulse. Inhale again, and on your exhale quickly switch the position of your legs by “scissoring” them past each other. Hold onto your left ankle and repeat the movement. Inhale as you press your spine and exhale as you pull your leg close with two short pulses — repeat 10 to 20 times.
Criss Cross: Begin by lying on your back. Bend your knees and bring your shins up so that they are parallel to the floor. Place your hands behind your head, supporting the base of the skull. Exhale and pull your abs into a deep scoop. Leaving the pelvis in a neutral position, curl the chin and shoulders off the mat up to the base of the shoulder blades. First inhale — your upper body is in a full curve, your abs are pulling your bellybutton down to your spine, and your legs are in tabletop position. Now, exhale — reach your left leg out long, and as you keep the elbows wide, rotate your torso toward the bent right knee so that your left armpit is reaching toward the knee. Inhale as you switch legs and bring the trunk through the center, and extend the right leg as you exhale. Rotate your upper body toward the left knee. Keep your chest open and elbows wide the whole time. Do this 10 times.
That workout is the complete package. But, if you’re looking for a move that will focus on your arms similar to Hudson’s well-defined arms, try this exercise, as shown in InStyle. All you’ll need is 2-pound hand weights.
Hold your arms in front of your body in a V-shape with 2-pound weights in each hand. Do 10 small circles in each direction, and focus on keeping your arms long and stretched out. Make sure there’s a little bend in your elbow. If you’re hoping for a full arm workout, make sure to do more than one set. Continue to open your arms wider and repeat until you’re at the edge of your peripheral vision then work your way back in. It should be a total of no more than 60 circles out and 60 circles in.
Hudson has also become a pro at finding creative ways to incorporate workouts. Her main goal? Work up a sweat each and every day. “I’ll go on a hike or I’ll play football with the kids. The goal for me is to just get in a good sweat,” Hudson told E!
Make sure when you’re working out, it’s not just for vanity’s sake, Hudson tells Self. Sometimes with your workouts, you’re going to hit walls. If you’re doing workouts strictly to see results on your scale, you can quickly feel discouraged. Instead, find a workout that’s important to you. Focus on one that makes you feel good, and make sure your fitness ambition is internal, Hudson advises.
While she is a dedicated exercise junkie, Hudson is the first to admit she struggles when it comes to her diet. Rather than deprive herself or struggle with dieting, Hudson follows one important rule: be realistic. Don’t avoid food or deprive yourself, she tells E! “I watch what I’m doing. If there’s a couple too many cocktails or pizzas or things like that, I’ll just say ‘Whoops! I want to be healthy, but also not have to starve myself of the things I love … like wine!”
Having said that, Hudson’s main diet trick is really quite simple. She is a firm believer in counting calories and sticking with moderation. There are no tricks or complicated rules to follow. She monitors her calorie intake and adjusts it depending on whether she’s trying to lose or maintain weight.
She tells Self that she aims for 1,800 calories a day and will also allow herself to indulge in the foods she loves about three times a week. Hudson uses MyFitnessPal, an app recommended to her by fellow actress Ginnifer Goodwin. How it works: Hudson puts in everything she eats during the day, and the app keeps track of how many calories are in everything, as well as how many calories she has left for the day. Hudson makes sure she’s aware of how many calories are in everything she’s eating. “The greatest day of my life was when I realized a small piece of pizza was only 150 calories. I was like, that means I can have three slices for a meal!” Hudson told Self.
Looking for a Hudson-approved snack? Try So Delicious Dairy Free Minis, she tells Shape. Its chocolate, coconut, and almonds, but there’s no dairy.