Pilates is all about core strength. The benefits of core strength go way beyond flat abdominals, but it is the flat ab results of doing Pilates exercises that help make Pilates as popular as it is.
Many people turn to Pilates as a way to tone their body, improve their core muscles and lose belly fat. However, many people which have taken a series of Pilates classes soon realize that although it’s successful at toning one’s overall body, it requires a great deal of effort to eliminate belly fat. How can this be? It’s because Pilates is an anaerobic method of exercise which works at strengthening the body using muscular endurance. Muscle endurance may be the rate at which your muscles work against a series of repeated actions.
Whether your goal is sculpted arms, super flat abs, stronger core, exercise variety, weight loss or simple get in to the best shape of your life, you can do it through Pilates! Pilates increases your flexibility, core strength, balance, concentration and control in order to optimize your degree of physical fitness.
Footwork on Ball
Lie faceup, arms by your sides, palms facing down. Bend your knees and put the balls of your feet on top of the ball, heels together and toes pointing slightly outward in a small V shape. Engage your core and contract your glutes to lift your hips an inch off the floor, then roll the ball from you until your heels take presctiption the ball. Pause, then bend your knees to roll the ball back towards the starting position.
Mermaid with Twist
Sit on your left hip with your left leg flat on the floor, knee bent 90 degrees, and your left palm on the floor. Bend your right knee toward the ceiling and put your right foot flat on the floor before your left foot; rest your right arm on your right knee. Shift your weight onto your left arm and straighten both legs to boost your hips toward the ceiling while extending your right arm directly over your head. Out of this position, twist your torso down and to the left, reaching your right arm underneath your body. Turn back movement to return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Finish all reps with that side, then switch sides and repeat.
Lie faceup on the floor or an exercise mat with your arms at your sides, palms down, legs straight. Lift your legs until they’re perpendicular towards the floor, feet flexed. Keeping your shoulders relaxed and legs straight, brace your core and lift your hips, slowly reaching your legs behind your head so far as you possibly can and pointing your toes behind you. Slowly turn back movement to return to start.
Coordination with Ball
Lie faceup with your hips and knees bent 90 degrees; contain the ball with both hands, arms straight. Bend your elbows and lower the ball toward your chest, pressing your hands firmly against the ball. Brace your abs, extend your arms in front of you, curl your shoulders off the floor, and straighten your legs. Hold for just one or two seconds, then reverse to return to start.
Swan on Ball
Lie facedown with your legs extended shoulder-width apart behind you. Position the ball under your chest and rest your forearms on the ground, palms down, elbows near to your body. Bring your shoulder blades back and down, press your palms lightly on the ground, and slowly lift your head and chest while you lengthen your spine. Hold for 2 or 3 seconds (imagine attempting to create as much space between your ears and toes as you possibly can), then return to the starting position.
Back Arm Rowing
Sit with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Extend your arms straight in front of you, palms up. Your back ought to be straight, your chest up. Brace your core, curl your tailbone under, and slowly lower your upper body to some 45-degree angle. At the same time, bend your arms to bring your elbows close to your body, closing your hands into fists and pulling them toward your shoulders at eye level. Pause, then turn back motion to return to start.
Roll Back and Up
Sit with your legs extended straight out in front of you, feet flexed. Hold the ball before you at shoulder level, arms straight. Keep your chest up and back straight. Contract your core and glutes, then slowly roll back until your back is flat on the floor and the ball is directly overhead. From that position, bring your chin to your chest and slowly roll back as much as the starting position.