Pilates is a great way to condition the whole body, and target tone muscle groups. Pilates is designed to improve strength, flexibility, posture and endurance while promoting mind/body connection.
People practice Pilates for a variety of reasons ranging from reduction of pain caused by faulty alignment, to getting a balanced and effective workout. Pilates creates recognizable physical changes and will leave you feeling mentally and physically relaxed and rejuvenated.
Here are a couple of Pilates moves you can try at home:
Lie with your legs squeezed together with your arms by your side. Without sacrificing proper form and arching your back, lift both legs a couple inches off the ground, scoop your abs, and squeeze your buttocks. Raise your arms away from your sides and start to pump your arms up and down alternating between inhaling and exhaling every five seconds. Try to work your way up to 100 pumps…hence the name the hundred.
Making a v-shape starting on your back, bend knees at a 90 degree angle, extend arms overhead, and draw abs into spine. Inhale and roll up through the spine, reaching fingertips towards feet, but keep shoulders down and extend legs straight and lower a couple inches down. This is a scooping motion, abs, buttocks, arms, and legs are all engaged throughout this exercise.
Single Leg Circles:
Lie on your back, shoulders anchored into mat, and arms extended by sides. Begin by extending one leg on the floor down and straight flexing toes up, extend the other leg up towards the ceiling. Point your toes on the leg extending up, and begin to draw small circles with your extended leg. Keep movements slow and controlled while keeping hips and spine grounded into the mat, begin to increase range of motion as your movements become stronger.
Lie on your stomach with forehead pressed into ground, with thighs pressed tightly together. Extend arms forward, point feet and lift arms, legs, chest and head up and begin an up and down motion with arms and legs mimicking swimming motion in a pool by alternating arms and legs.
These are just a couple Pilates exercises you can try at home, we also have a Pilates trainer at Balanced Fitness, Silvia Giamanco.
Read more about Silvia: http://www.balancedfitnesshealth.com/gallery/pilates/