Did you see the Met Gala 2017? What am I saying? Did you see the dresses; did you see the red carpet entrances with all those designer outfits? The point of the Met Gala is the outfits, and some of them really did go to town.
I love a great frock (or imaginative suit) as much as the next person, but, the stuff that makes me laugh it the poses. I mean, who invented this, turn your back, then coquettishly turn your head to, cheekily, acknowledge that you are turning your back? Whoa there. Look at the ladies in the photos. It’s all nonsense, but it’s all part of the fun of the fair, although, I can’t wait to see the male celebrities showing their scapula (shoulder blades) and line of their spines in backless tuxedos; after all, some of these guys really do lift.
Get ready for your red carpet moment
So, what do you do if you happen to find yourself on red carpet needing to turn your back and kinda twist your neck? Never fear, Pilates will save the day. You can train for it.
Let’s see how it’s done with these two ladies, standing in very similar poses, showing off their backs in deeply cut-away outfits.
Bella Hadid (right) is standing feet shoulder-distance apart, leaning towards her right (sticking out the left hip a bit), rotating her spine slightly to the left and twisting her neck to bring her head round to the left.
Gisele Bündchen (left) seems to have her feet hip-width distance apart, is standing with the weight evenly distributed on both feet and rotating the spine and neck to bring her face-to-face with the cameras. Notice how her shoulder is lifted and turned inwards slightly.
The muscles these ladies are activating to pull this look off are multiple, but the key ones are the obliques (running down the side of your torso from your rib cage to your hip bone) and the neck muscles of rotation). To get a sense of where the muscle is, try out Bella’s stance.
Plant your feet shoulder distance apart. Place your left hand at the front of your body, between the lowest rib and the top of your hip. Now lean to the right and twist your spine around to the left. As you twist, you’ll feel muscles underneath your hand tighten as they activate.
In a Pilates class, to prepare for this pose we would do some Pilates exercises to encourage the twist posture: mobility in the spine (such as a lovely spinal rotation in the warm up) and strengthening exercises like the spine twist, obliques and oblique roll back.
For that uplifted shoulder, it would be good to work on the muscles that counter the lift to ensure that the lift is not actually a postural fault (if you carry your handbag on the same side, all the time, we end up with a subtly lifted shoulder) so I would introduce some shoulder shrugs (giving us a good, deliberate up and down motion).
In terms of the neck, we’d have some gentle rolling the head from side to side; let’s make the turn to the camera more relaxed and natural-feeling. Obviously, creating that long, elegant line will be supported by lots of great Pilates abdominal exercises and core work.
There you go, follow these tips and you too will be able to turn your back on the press.