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5 Pilates Exercises You’ll Love!

Hitting a new workout class in one of your brand new workout outfits will give you enough motivation to try anything! Maybe, even the moves on those Pilates reformer YouTube videos you’ve been watching recently? Well, if that’s too ambitious, you can still rock your new workout wear while doing these five Pilates poses that you’ll absolutely fall in love with!

Roll up

pilates exercises

The roll up is an intermediate Pilates mat exercise.  The key to roll ups is engaging lower abdominals, knitting the ribs and drawing the lower ribs towards the hip bones. Practice rolling up one vertebrae at a time, then lowering down one vertebrae at a time.  With practice, you will gain more and more control.

The idea of the exercise is to strengthen abdominal muscles while giving a wide range of motion. Keep it slow and modify by grabbing behind your thighs to help you up. 

Single leg circles

pilates exercises

The single leg circle is considered to be a beginner classical Pilates mat exercise. However, I have found that is is quite challenging to learn how to keep your pelvis stable and your torso/core engaged at the same time. Keep your core tight and centered without rocking despite the fact that your leg is moving in a circular motion.

What I really love about single leg circles is that it promotes healthy hip joints, focuses on hamstrings, quadriceps, and abdominal muscles. Much like other fitness classes, body awareness intensifies this movement.

Quadruped

pilates exercises

Often called bird-dog, this Pilates movement brings awareness to the abdominals, glutes, lower back, shoulders, and thigh muscles. It works both balance and breath.  

Starting in table top, straighten one leg back while keeping your pelvis squared. With a flat back, draw your belly towards the spine. Lift one leg to an extended table top position while simultaneously reaching your opposite arm forward. Focus on stability while lengthening your spine and working the erector spinae muscle which runs from the base of the skull to the sacrum.

Swimmering

pilates exercises

Back muscles are often forgotten in our workouts, which can make the swimmering position super challenging as we start on the stomach.  But, with challenge, we create coordination by working the mind-muscle connection!  

Start this exercise face down on mat with your forehead on the back of the hands. Point your toes and lift your legs using your glutes and back muscles. Lower your legs and extend your arms forward while drawing your shoulders down your back and lift the chest. Lower your chest, then lift one leg and the opposite arm. Continue to alternate between opposite legs and arms, like a swimming motion. Be sure to keep your pelvis from rocking!

Rolling like a ball

pilates exercises

This movement looks like loads of fun, yet is great work for the abdominal muscles. Remember to smile once in awhile in your Pilates workout!

When rolling like a ball, draw your lower belly in and up. Move with your breath and learn how to control the roll to find balance. Practicing rolling like a ball helps to give strength in other Pilates exercises such as Open Leg Rocker, Teaser, Boomerang and Seal. Plus, rounding the back in this rolling motion stimulates the spine. 

Each day of movement grows you. Remember to smile and enjoy yourself, inside and outside. Find yoga apparel that moves with you. Go, breath, move. Be authentic. Be you!


About the Author:

yoga outfit

Christina discovered yoga in 2009 after a broken ankle and months of rehab led her to her first hot yoga class. Wanting to encourage others to find their own healing in mind, body and soul, she became a yoga teacher in 2012 and now teaches a faith based Hatha instruction using affirmations from the Bible. Christina’s style is filled with energy as she combines body awareness, strength and freedom, and instructs based on sound biblical principles. 

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