Pilates is a great way to get in shape and strengthen your body, but it can be expensive to go to a pilates class regularly. Here are 7 simple exercises from Peak Motion Physiotherapy to help you get started with pilates at home. These exercises will help you tone your abs, glutes, and thighs. Pilates is a great way to improve your posture and flexibility as well. So let’s get started!
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Single Leg Stretch
The Single Leg Stretch is a basic move in Pilates. Though it may look simple, this exercise can help to tone your abs and improve your flexibility. To do the Single Leg Stretch, start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Then, lift one leg off the ground and bring your knee toward your chest. Next, reach for your ankle and pull your leg toward you as you exhale. Hold for a few counts, then slowly release back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. Over time, you can increase the intensity of the Single Leg Stretch by bringing your leg closer to your chest and holding it for longer periods of time.
The Roll Down exercise is a great way to improve flexibility and strength in the spine. It is also a very gentle way to massage the spine, which can help to relieve tension and pain. To do the exercise, start by sitting on the mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands on your thighs, and then slowly roll your body down towards the mat, letting your head drop last. Once you are lying down, extend your arms out to the sides and hold for a few breaths. Then, roll back up to sitting, moving one vertebra at a time. This exercise can be repeated several times, and it is a great way to loosen up the spine before doing more challenging pilates exercises.
Plank Leg Lift
The Plank Leg Lift is a simple yet effective exercise that can be performed with minimal equipment. The exercise targets the core muscles, specifically the rectus abdominis, and can be done either with the legs extended or with the knees bent. To perform the plank leg lift, start in a push-up position with your hands placed shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your back straight and your core engaged, lift one leg off the ground and hold for a few seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Perform 10-12 repetitions on each side. For an added challenge, you can try doing the plank leg lift with a stability ball between your legs. This will help to engage your glutes and hamstrings while also providing a balance challenge.
Slow Motion Mountain Climber
The Slow Motion Mountain Climber is a great way to get your heart rate up while toning your legs, arms, and core. Here’s how it works: start in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. keeping your back straight, raise your right knee to your chest, then return to the starting position. Repeat with your left leg, and continue alternating for 60 seconds. Remember to keep your abs engaged throughout the exercise to protect your lower back. This is a great move to add to any workout, whether you’re just starting out or looking to intensify your routine.
The Bird-Dog Crunch is a great exercise for people who want to improve their balance and coordination. The move is relatively simple: you start in a push-up position, with your palms flat on the ground and your legs extended straight behind you. Then, you raise one arm and the opposite leg, keeping your back and hips level. Finally, you bring your elbow and knee together in a crunching motion. The key to this exercise is to maintain a strong plank throughout the entire movement. This move can be challenging at first, but it’s a great way to build core strength and stability.
The Toe Tap is a simple yet effective exercise that can be performed as part of a pilates routine. The exercise helps to strengthen the muscles in the feet and lower legs, and can also help to improve balance and coordination. To perform the toe tap, start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Lift your left leg and tap your toes on the ground, then return to the starting position. Repeat with your right leg. For an added challenge, try tapping your toes on an elevated surface such as a step or platform. The toe tap is a great way to get started with pilates, and can be performed by people of all fitness levels.
The Hundreds helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles. To do the Hundreds, you start by lying on your back with your legs in the air and your arms by your sides. You then pump your arms up and down while simultaneously breathing in and out through pursed lips. The pumping action should be smooth and steady, and you should aim to do 100 pumps in total. This may seem like a lot, but it’s actually not as difficult as it sounds. The Hundreds is a great exercise for beginners, as it helps to build stamina and develop core strength. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can move on to more advanced exercises such as the Rolling Like a Ball or the Pilates Scissor.
What are you waiting for?
Pilates is a great way to get in shape and strengthen your body without having to go to the gym. These seven exercises can be done at home with no equipment required, so there’s no excuse not to get started today. Give them a try and let us know how you feel after completing them!
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