Pilates Workouts Strengthen and Tone Your Core

pilates-curl

Pilates workouts get a bad rap as an easy exercise favored by upper middle class middle aged soccer moms. However, the reality is that Pilates has helped people from all walks of life tone and strengthen their cores while increasing flexibility and overall strength. While Pilates at a fitness studio usually makes use of contraptions and equipment such as “the reformer” and exercise balls, there are many Pilates moves that you can do at home without spending a dime.

Pilates Curl

Curls are somewhat similar to crunches. To start, lie on a mat face up. Exhale and curl your chin to your chest, bringing your shoulders up off your mat. Focus on lifting your breastbone to engage the correct muscles and keep form. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds, and then lower back down. Perform several repetitions.

Rolling Ball

Sit in good posture on a mat. Draw the knees up to your chest and wrap your arms around your knees. Lean back so that your tailbone touches the mat and your feet hover a few inches off the ground. Inhale and roll back further, so that the base of your shoulder blades touch the ground. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds. Exhale and roll back up to the original balanced position. Perform several reps.

Crisscross

Start laying flat on your back on the mat. Bend the right knee with the right foot flat on the ground. Place the left foot on the right knee. Extend the left arm out to the side, with the palm down for stability. Bend the right arm and place the fingers near the ear. Lift up and bring the right elbow to the left knee, then lower back down. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat for 30 seconds on the opposite side.

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