Pilates is gaining popularity as a fitness trend, and for good reason.
Experts say the yoga-like stretching exercises help strengthen the bones and muscles and boost quality of life.
Healthista have teamed up with David Kingsbury, founder of boutique gym OPUS to create a 3-part series of 20-minute Pilates workouts for strength, posture and tone.
If you are trying to develop strength while toning in your training and looking to improve balance, posture and flexibility all at the same time, then Pilates is a low impact workout that could be missing in your fitness program.
Founder of London gym, OPUS, David Kingsbury has put together three selective workouts that don’t require equipment and can be done at home.
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Pilates is a perfect fit for working out the many muscles involved in good posture
Improving posture isn’t an easy task, but a Pilates-based exercises are often the most effective tools in your box.
You often require no equipment and the exercises can be done anywhere with very little space and only a shorty commitment.
The aim here is to stretch out the large muscles in the legs and back using movements that extend the legs and straighten and strengthen the back.
Because we are enforcing stretches with these big muscle groups we can also expect to improve our flexibility.
1. Cat-cow stretch strengthens the spine and neck in two steps
With your hands and knees on the ground, arch your back while inhaling
As you exhale, flatten your back, extending your neck and spine
2. Stretching out your shoulder blades improves posture and flexibility
On all fours, extend your arm under your chest while exhaling and putting space between your shoulder blades
3. Engage the core muscles that support your back with Pilates abs exercises
Keep your back flat to the mat. Raise one leg at a 90 degree angle, then hover the other above the ground. Then, switch legs.
Kick it up a notch by raising one leg straight up while hovering the other above the ground
4. Bridges and reverse planks work your lower back and help stabilize your core
Make a bridge by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor, then raise your hips and bring one leg up. Then switch and do the same with the other leg
To do a reverse plank, sit on the mat with your hands flat. Raise yourself up on your hands and heels, keeping your body straight to engage as many muscles as possible. Exhale as you raise
Follow along to David’s full Pilates workout for Healthista
Reproduced with permission of Healthista