Pilates Routines 101
Pilates workouts are a great way to shape up, strengthen your core and lose weight too. Finding a Pilates routine that works for you can help you avoid getting gym burnout and can up your game when it comes to toning up. Pilates routines vary greatly, but there are a few essential moves that can help you get started.
100s. This abdominal intense move is a favourite among Pilates’ enthusiasts. Begin by lying down on your back with your legs up and together. Lift up your head and shoulders. Make sure that your abs are engaged without allowing them to bulge out in front of you. Now lower your legs as low as you can without touching the floor. With palms pressed against the top of your thighs move them up and down counting to one hundred. Make sure that your feet don’t touch the ground and that you breath out on the upwards motion.
Forward Plank. The forward plank is a yoga and Pilates favourite. It basically amounts to getting your body in a push up position, but with your forearms on the floor at a ninety degree bend from your elbows. Keep your body straight with your abs engaged and hold this for as long as you can, at least sixty seconds if possible. Beginner’s can opt to start on their knees rather than with their legs fully extended.
Side Leg Extensions. A classic aerobics move, begin by lying on your side with your head gently supported in your lower hand. With your legs straight but set out about thirty degrees in front of your body for balance, begin raising your upper leg feeling the flex in your quads and thighs. Keep your foot flexed and repeat for fifty leg raises. Then switch sides and use your other leg.
Shoulder Bridge. Begin this exercise by lying flat on the floor on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Slowly, one vertebra at a time, raise your lower back off the floor. Keep your core engaged. Once your buttocks and lower back are off the floor continue to extend until only your shoulders remain touching the floor. Hold for thirty seconds and slowly come down and repeat.
Pilates routines can be a great way to strengthen your core and to mix up your usual workout moves. Taking a beginners class will help familiarize you with the range of movements. From here you can move to a more advanced class or simply continue to incorporate what you’ve learned into your usual routine.
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