Pilates is the perfect in-between when you want a full-body workout along with the mental benefits that come from focus and concentration. But if your schedule is hectic and gym memberships pricey, it’s not always easy to make it to a class.
Luckily, you don’t have to drop hundreds of dollars in gym fees or buy your own reformer just to get an amazing core workout. In the video above, Karen Lord, a pilates instructor and founder of Karen Lord Pilates Movement in Venice, California, demonstrates five pilates moves that you can do anywhere, even if you’re a pilates newbie.
In push-up position, align your shoulders over your wrists and your heels over your toes, while pulling your abdominals in and squeezing your butt—so you feel one long line of energy from your heels to the top of your head. Lean slightly forward with every breath, launching the floor away underneath you. Hold for 10 seconds.
Lie on your back with your legs together and bring them to a 90 degree angle, your feet pointing to the ceiling. Raise your shoulders off the ground slightly, like you would in a crunch. Keep your arms by your sides and begin to pump them up and down, with five pumps for every inhale and five for every exhale. For a challenge, lower your legs slightly to engage your core more. From there, hold this position while slowly beating your heels together for 10 seconds.
Lie on your back, bringing your legs into a table top position and your arms behind your head like you would for a crunch. Raise your shoulders off the ground slightly, while twisting your right elbow to your left knee and bringing your left leg to a 45 degree angle. Relax your head back to the ground, and repeat the motion on your left: bring your left elbow to your right knee. Continue to switch back and forth.
Lie on your back with your head, neck, and shoulders raised slightly off of the ground. Straighten your legs and bring them to a 90 degree angle, toes pointed toward the ceiling. From there, lower one leg at a time, alternating between your right and left leg. As you lower, gently grab the leg closest to your body for support. Repeat.
Side Leg Series
Start by lying on your left side, bending your left knee and keeping your right leg long. Engage your abdominals while you lift and lower your right leg. Repeat 10 times.
Begin to draw little circles with your right leg in a counterclockwise motion. Repeat 10 times, then reverse directions and repeat 10 times.
To finish the side leg series on the left, make an arch with your leg, tapping your foot in front then behind you. Repeat 10 times. Once you are finished on the left side, complete the entire side leg series on your right.
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