Pilates is great because you can do it on your living room floor while you’re distracted from that sweet burn by reality TV. You don’t need to be in a gym to reap the fat-melting benefits of pilates – so try these moves at home. You’ll notice a difference and eventually, a sculpted and lean body, as well as increased flexibility.
1. Hundred Pump
Lie on your back on the floor, and raise straight legs off the ground at a 45 degree angle.
Brace your core, lift your shoulder blades off the ground, and do small but intense pumps with your hands straight by your side. Tuck your knees into your chest and then return to 45 degrees, repeating. Gets some cardio in there as well!
2. Pilates Curl
Lie facing up in a crunch position, but instead of crunching, slowly curl the chin towards the chest and bring the shoulders completely off the floor. Hold for one breath, then lower back down slowly. To engage the abs correctly, lift from the breastbone, so you don’t crunch your neck and stain instead of tone.
3. Roll Up
This is pretty much a more advanced version of the curl, which can then graduate into the rollup, where you fold over your body completely after doing a full pilates curl. You engage more muscles for longer, as well as getting a good stretch in.
4. Single Leg Stretch/Double Leg Stretch
Star with your knees drawn to the chest, then with your shins parallel in tabletop. Extend one leg to 45 degrees while drawing the other in towards your chest, holding the knee that’s drawn in with your hand. Switch legs every other exhale. This can then evolve into the double leg stretch, where both legs go out to 45.
5. Leg Circles
Start by lying on your back and lifting your legs up straight. Make circles or semi-circles with your legs – the smaller and more controlled the movement is, the tighter the burn in your glutes and thighs will be. Halfway through the exercise, reverse the circles, then do simultaneous circles with both legs.
Balancing on your forearms, stretch your body out to a push up position. Keep a neutral spine and stay as straight as possible, drawing your belly button into your spine. For more upper body work, push yourself up to a full plank and then climb back down to the forearms, mimicking an army crawl.)
Lying down face up, keep both legs glued together and make one large circles with them, reversing the direction of the circle halfway through a rep. A more advanced version of leg circles. This will really burn and tone the lower abs as well as your legs – two birds with one stone!
The ultimate belly flattener. Start lying down with your hands extended up above your head. Exhale, then tuck your chin, rolling your upper body off the FLOOR, simultaneously lifting your arms and legs until you are in a v position, balancing on the sits bones, Slowly reverse until you’re at starting position and repeat.
Lie face-up. Curl your upper body up to raise shoulders slightly off the ground. Lift left leg 1 inch above the floor and extend right leg to 90 degrees, facing the ceiling and bringing your hands to your ankle. Double-pull your right leg, then switch legs. To make this a little easier, softly bend knees and keep head down.
Lie on your back with your arms along your side, palms facing down. Press the backs of your arm into the mat, opening your chest but pressing your ribs down. Push your back into the ground as you extend both legs towards the ceiling. Use your abdominal power and your planted arms to bring your legs over your head until they’re parallel to your upper body and your feet are over and behind your head. The exhale, and propel the legs up so you can get as perpendicular as possible to the floor. Return down vertebrae by vertebrae and repeat.
11. Side Kick Ron de Jambe
An awesome butt and thigh workout. Lie on one side with your legs extended and stacked on the floor, with your feet slightly in front of the hips and heels together. Place your hands behind your head and lift the other leg straight up. Move it in a circle in front of you, then behind you, and then raise it up to starting position. Switch legs.
12. Shoulder Bridge
Lie on your back, keeping your shoulder blades and palms anchored into the floor. Place your feet close to your sits bones. Scoop deep and clench your glutes, and quickly boost up, working squeezing your abs and glutes, Roll back to the ground starting slowly with your upper back and ending with your trail bone. Repeat.
13. Open Leg Rocker
Roll into a ball and stay balanced while extending the legs. Engage your abs to scoop them and round the back. Exhale to roll back to the shoulder blades. Inhale for a pause and exhale to roll back to the beginning position. Great upper ab and general core workout.