4 CORE WORKOUTS

Keep in mind that Pilates is supposed to be done very slowly and deliberately, so don’t rush through these moves. It’s all about control, not muscle exhaustion or speed of reps, so take your time and connect to your breath. “One of the most important Pilates principles is the idea that the breath is coordinated with core engagement,” Bloom says. “Breathe into the diaphragm, then on the exhale, wrap the lower abs around the body like there’s a magnet between the spine and belly button.” Think of it like cinching up a corset around your midsection—you know, like that scene in Titanic but less painful.

Pilates is designed to have a warm-up built in, so simply grab a mat to get started. To mimic some parts of a reformer and make some moves more challenging, you can opt for a light resistance band and a set of 1- to 3-pound weights. (No weights? Two water bottles work well too!)

Core

1. Toe Tap
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Lie faceup with a neutral spine (there should be a small gap between your lower back and the mat), knees bent, feet flat, heels in line with sit bones. On an exhale, float legs one at a time up to chair position (with knees bent 90 degrees). On each exhale, alternate tapping one toe to mat, going as low as you can while maintaining a neutral spine. Inhale to float the leg back to chair position. Do 10 reps on each leg.


2. Press and Point (a.k.a. Coordination)
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Start faceup with arms by side, knees bent, feet on mat. Lift legs to a floating chair position one at a time. Bend elbows 90 degrees. On an exhale, curl head, neck and shoulders up from your lower ribs while simultaneously stretching your arms and legs long. Inhale as you press legs open slightly wider than hip width then draw them back closed. Exhale to bring the legs back to starting position while keeping the body curled up. Inhale to release head, neck, and shoulders back down. Repeat 8 times.


3. Side Plank Twist

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Lie on your side, right forearm against the mat under right shoulder, left arm reaching up to the ceiling. Float your hip and waist up to a side plank. Focus on pressing up from hip and side waist instead of shoulder. Thread left arm through the space below torso to twist. Return to starting position. Lower hips to mat. Do 8 reps on each side.


4. Knees Off
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Start on all fours, toes tucked under, spine reaching long, and shoulder blades wide across back. Exhale, deepen your abdominals to spine, and float your knees off the mat a few inches. Make sure to keep spine neutral as you lift. Hold the knee lift for two breaths, deepening the belly on each exhale, then lower knees back to mat. Do 5 reps.
Source : www.greatist.com

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