Pilates are useful exercises that help improve flexibility and build body strength. However, that’s not all they have to offer. A good Pilate workout will help improve posture and also influence the way a person looks, feels and performs throughout the day. The reasons this exercise program is widely popular are because it targets different muscles at the same time and also helps you lose weight.
The techniques serve to push the movement from the core outward towards the limbs, providing you with a refreshing and energizing workout. If you want to try your hand at these exercises, here are some exercises that you can start with.
1. Being vital in all Pilate exercises, you need to get the Pilates breathing technique right. Inhale through the nostrils and exhale very slowly through the mouth. While inhaling, press your lower ab and feel the ribs expanding to the sides. The expansion should be lateral during inhalation. Keep your spine straight. Continue this breathing as you lie down, but as you exhale, do a slight pelvic tilt. Next, lift your arms up while inhaling and circle them back to the original position as you exhale. Do this for 10 counts. Once you are done, begin with hip rolls. Lift your tail bone up as you inhale, pressing your glute muscles hard and place yourself back down as you exhale. Hold your abdomen tight while doing this so that you don’t arch your spine. For the next exercise, inhale and lift your arms up and as you exhale get your shoulders forward almost like crunches.
2. Now sit down and keep your arms forward to strengthen your shoulders. Stretch your arms forward as you inhale. Exhale and bring them back, pushing your shoulder blades behind. From here you go into the roll over exercise where you need to sit down comfortably with your legs folded and feet anchored on the floor. Ensure your spine is completely straight. Stretch your hands forward and lengthen your spine. As you inhale, lengthen and as you exhale, go back, tightening up your abs and your spine ensuring that there is no curling of the spine. Make sure your inner thighs are well engaged so that your knees do not fall apart. Inhale through your nostrils and exhale through your mouth. Repeat this exercise for 20 counts. This workout will also help you lose weight. To see the insights how to do it, Check out these Pilates for Beginners and try them.
3. Next, lie down on your back, keeping it properly supported. Lift your legs up keeping them parallel to each other. Then bend them at the knees. Lift your shoulders a little up and keep them well-supported. Then start a rapid movement of your arms. At the same time, keep the lower and upper abs firm. Inhale and exhale for 5 counts each. Slowly flatten your back and rest it back on the floor. This exercise will strengthen your core and make you strong from within.
4. After that, you move on to the single leg circle as this will help tone your thigh muscles while teaching better body coordination and balance. Bend you knee and get it up toward the ceiling and as you inhale, circle your leg and exhale get it back. Then bend you knee to relax those muscles and place it down. Now, repeat the exercise with the other leg, inhaling as you circle and exhaling as you come back. The glute muscles, inner thigh muscles, and lower thigh muscles will be strengthened in this exercise. Next move into the hundreds position, keeping no arch in your back. Lift your shoulders a little off the ground and when exhaling, lift the shoulders up and down. Keep your body, legs and elbows firm while doing this.
5. Next get into a prone position, place your elbows on the floor, keeping your legs and hands parallel to each other. This exercise will activate all the muscles in your thighs, hamstrings and glutes. As you exhale, take your leg and press it to your butt. Do this three times for each leg and then inhale and place your leg back onto the floor. Since this is a core strengthening exercise, make sure your core is working hard. Keep your chest expanding sideways during inhalation and squeeze your glute muscles really hard as you are doing this exercise. It is good for swimmers as it strengthens your calves as well as your glute muscles and your core. Despite being a simple exercise, it works very well on the body. Follow this up with a breast stroke to increase the strength of your shoulders and arms. Next, lie on your belly, stretching your legs outward. As you inhale, lift the shoulder up and as you exhale lift the legs up, making a see-saw position. Tightening your abdomen and core will help keep your back from arching.
6. Lie on your side with your legs together. Inhale and lift your right leg up and exhale as you get your leg back down again. If you want you can also move your toes, by lifting them toward the ceiling as you inhale and bring them down as you exhale. Repeat the exercise 10 times. Next, make circles with your foot while lifted. Inhale and circle up and exhale as you circle down. Then fold the top leg and place the sole of the foot near your hip. Inhale as you lift the other leg and exhale as you keep it down. Do this for 10 counts too. Turn to the other side and do the exercises again. Start with the leg lifts then the kicks and end with the leg circles. For visual assistance, you can check out our video.
7. Sleep flat on your back again and try the single leg lift. Lift your leg to 90 degrees as you inhale and bring it down to 20 degrees as you exhale. No lifting of the back or torso as you do this exercise. Get into the cat position for the next exercise. Make sure your abdomen is strong and active. Keep your spine straight and firm. As you inhale, stay in the neutral position and as you exhale, curl your spine, your chin and lower ab in. Repeat this for 10 counts.
So if you are looking to increase the strength and tone of your muscles and improve your flexibility, these simple exercises will certainly help you out.