One of the greatest advantages of Pilates is that it provides a full-body workout that can be done almost anywhere. You do not need any equipment for a simple practice, and even a short routine can provide an extensive and effective workout. It is well known for its ability to boost core strength and flexibility, and it can also be very beneficial for those wanting to strengthen and slim your legs. Here is our short and simple Pilates workout that will target your legs and your core:
Owing to the short nature of the workout try to push yourself to complete these back to back, without rest between, and focus on your form through the workout. You will not need any equipment other than a mat.
Start by lying your back and raise your knees into a tabletop position (with your knees at a 90-degree angle). Raise your head as well as your shoulders off of the floor and extend your arms out straight towards your feet at your sides. Move your arms up and down rapidly, not letting them touch the floor while keeping your upper body raised. Breathe deeply in for five counts and out for five counts. Repeat for 10 full breaths (in and out).
Remain on your back and rest your arms at your sides. Place your feet on the floor with your knees bent upwards. Extend your left leg out towards the end of the mat and slowly circle your leg out to the side, down towards the ground, and then up to the sky (keeping it off the ground throughout the circle). Keep your back, head, and arms on the mat throughout the move. Circle your leg for 30 seconds before repeating with the right leg.
Begin by supine on a mat, with your legs straight out, toes pointing to the sky. Squeeze your legs together tightly and flex your feet. Stretch your arms up above your head. On a deep inhale roll your body upwards into a seated position, arms stretched forward, and lean forward over your legs. Use your abs to raise your body, not your back, and remain in control of your body throughout the move. Carefully roll your body back down into the starting position. Repeat five to 10 times.
Lie on your back and then bring your knees up to your chest. Hold onto your legs under the knee and rock yourself into a sitting position with your legs bent, calves parallel to the mat, engaging your core for stability. Hold this position and carefully extend your legs until they are straight and pointing up towards the sky. Hold for a moment before bending your knees again and rolling back down to the starting position. Repeat between three and five times.
Move to your hands and knees, arms under shoulders and knees under hips. Keeping your abs engaged extend your left leg out behind you, with your toes pointed. Lift your leg as high as you easily can, keeping the rest of your body aligned. Lower your leg slowly back down. Repeat between eight and 10 times on each leg.
These moves are easy to work on and can be adjusted to make them more difficult as you improve. This routine, though short, will help to build your core and strengthen your legs, improving your overall strength, balance, and flexibility.
Pilates is a superb low-impact workout that is extremely effective. If you want to deepen your practice then you should really consider becoming a Pilates instructor. For more information on how to do this, please follow this link.