Pilates Exercises – 10 Pilates Workouts You Should Try

Bored of working with the same equipment at the gym? Just pull out the mat. No, we aren’t asking you to do yoga. Try some Pilates exercises instead to add some zing to your daily workout routine. This form of workout was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. And now it’s become popular in India too with B-town hotties like Alia Bhatt, Malaika Arora Khan and Bipasha Basu swearing by it. Here’s why you should try it out too:

1. Pilates curl

Lie on your back on the mat. The knees should be bent and the feet flat on the floor, the arms should be at the sides. Breathe out, curl the chin to the chest and lift shoulders from the mat. Hold for one second and then slowly lower your back.
Benefits: They work the core muscles and also reduce back pain.

2. The Hundred

Lie on your back and bring the knees towards the chest. Lift your head, neck and shoulders and stretch your arms on the sides. The palms should face the floor. Extend your legs forward with your heels together. Pump your arms up and down while breathing in and out through the nose.
Benefits:They increase your blood circulation and improve metabolism.

3. Roll up

Lie on your back with the arms extended towards the ceiling. Breathe out and curl the chin to your chest. Roll up to sitting position with the arms reaching towards the toes. Reverse and roll down slowly.
Benefits: They promote deep breathing and increase blood flow and circulation. These exercises also strengthen the spine, and increase its flexibility.

4. Rolling like a bal

Sit on the mat with the knees drawn towards the chest and arms wrapped around the legs. Roll back to your tailbone with the feet hanging a few inches above the mat. Breathe in and roll back to the shoulder blades. Breathe out and roll back to starting position.
Benefits: Apart from increasing blood flow and circulation and strengthening the spine, they stretch the calf, neck, underarm muscles and hamstrings.

5. Single-leg stretch

Lie on the mat with the knees drawn towards the chest and shins parallel to the floor. Breathe out and lift the head, neck and shoulders off the mat. At the same time, extend your left leg straight and pull the right knee towards the chest. Grab the right knee with the left hand and the right ankle with the right hand. Inhale and switch legs. Keep the shoulders off the mat throughout.
Benefits: The single-leg stretches help strengthen the torso against movement of legs and also aid in developing coordination, besides building endurance.

6. Double-leg stretch

Lie on your back. Lift the head, neck and shoulders and bring the knees to the chest and let your arms hug the shins. Inhale and straighten legs while simultaneously extend the arms along the ears. Breathe out and circle the arms to hug the shins as your return to starting position. The shoulders should not touch the mat throughout.
Benefits: Double-leg stretches improve coordination, stability of movement, strengthen the abdominals and coordinate breathing and movement.

7. Single straight-leg stretch

Lie on the mat with the legs extended straight up, perpendicular to the floor. Lift your head, neck and shoulders off the mat and bring the right leg as close to your face as you can, lightly holding the right calf with both hands. The left leg should be off the mat. Repeat with the other leg.
Benefits: They stretch the hamstrings and work the deep abdominals at the same time.

8. Crisscross

Lie on the mat with your hands behind the neck and the elbows wide. Lift the head, neck and shoulders off the mat. Twist the left armpit towards the right and extend the left leg high. Twist to the other side and switch legs.
Benefits: Crisscross movements work the core muscles, especially the obliques and lower abs.

9. Teaser

Lie on the mat and hug the knees close to the chest. Extend your arms straight up overhead and extend both legs off the ground. Stretch arms back towards the ears and then move them towards the toes as you roll up to a V position. Now hold this position and lower and raise the legs.
Benefits: These strengthen the entire body, especially the abs and back extensors. They also engage and strengthen the hip flexors, stretch the hamstrings and hips, increase abdominal strength and develop balance. 

10. Shoulder bridge

Lie on the mat with your knees bent, feet flat on the mat and arms along the sides. Breathe out and lift the hips off the mat. Holding this position, extend the right leg and try to aim a kick at the ceiling. Flex the right heel and lower the leg to the level of the left knee. Repeat and place the right foot on the mat. Extend left leg and repeat on the other side.
Benefits:They help improve mobility in the spine and work the core muscles.

Orignal Source : https://www.femina.in

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