Pilates exercises to develop your powerhouse

17 Nov, 2023 - 00:11 0 Views
Pilates exercises to develop your powerhouse Pilates exercises develop the powerhouse

The ManicaPost

 

Sidekick

Difficulty level: beginner/intermediate

Muscles worked: abdominals, hip extensors, flexors

Reps: 8–10 on each side

How to perform:

Lie on your side with your bottom arm reaching long overhead, and rest your ear on your arm.

 

Keep your knees straight and bring your feet forward, angling your legs about 30–45 degrees in front of your body.

Imagine you’re gently tightening a belt to lift and draw in your abdominals.

Lift your top leg up until it’s in line with your hip.

Without arching or flexing your back, inhale to kick your leg forward.

Exhale to kick your leg back, opening your hip and engaging your glutes and hamstrings.

As you bring your leg through the full range of motion, aim to keep your hips stacked and spine long, without arching, tucking, or rolling your pelvis out of position.

Repeat 8–10 times and switch sides.

How to modify:To make it easier, bend your bottom leg for more stability.

 

To make it harder, lift up onto your elbow and forearm to challenge your stability.

Tips: Use control instead of momentum to kick your leg, and keep your leg in line with your hip.

Side leg lifts

Difficulty level: beginner/intermediate

Muscles worked: abdominals (especially the obliques), back, inner thighs

Reps: 8–10

How to perform:

Lie on your side with your legs straight and in line with your hips.

 

Keep your bottom arm reaching long overhead, and rest your ear on your arm.

 

Use the hand of the top arm on the floor in front of your lower belly for balance.

Exhale to lengthen your legs and upper body in opposition and lift both legs off of the floor.

Inhale with control to lower your legs.

Repeat 8–10 times and switch sides.

How to modify: To challenge your balance and strength, lift your upper body away from the floor with your legs.

Tips: Aim to keep your alignment by keeping your body in a straight line.

 

Check your ribs and lower back to make sure you’re not overarching.

Swan dive:

Difficulty level: beginner/intermediate

Muscles worked: back extensors, abdominals, hip extensors

Reps: 5–8

How to perform:

Keeping your elbows parallel and bent, lie face down on the floor with your hands flat on the floor and in line with your shoulders.

Begin with your body engaged, your abs drawn in and up, and your lower back lengthened (be sure not to sink or arch into your lower back).

 

Your legs are straight and lengthened with your hamstrings and glutes engaged.

Inhale to imagine reaching through the top of your head.

 

Gently press into the floor with your hands and lift your head, chest, and ribs as far as your body will go without strain.

Exhale to lengthen your torso and return to the mat.

Repeat 5–8 times

How to modify: Go only as far as you can while maintaining connection in your abdominal muscles.

Tips: Throughout the exercise, keep all of your muscles engaged.

 

Imagine you’re lifting your rib cage away from your hips, creating more space, and getting taller.

 

Watch out for just pressing up into the position using only your arms and compressing your lower back.

Swimming preparation (aka Bird Dog)

Difficulty level: beginner/intermediate

Muscles worked: abdominals, hip extensors, back extensors

Reps: 8–10 on each side

How to perform:

Start on all fours, with your knees underneath your hips and your hands underneath your shoulders.

Aim to maintain a neutral spine, keeping your head in line with your shoulders.

Exhale to draw your abdominals in and up.

 

Without shifting weight or arching your back, lift one leg behind you and the opposite arm in front.

Breathe and hold the position for 3 slow counts.

Inhale with control to return your leg and hand to the floor.

Repeat on the other side.

How to modify: Keep your core engaged and stable and add 5 pulses of reaching your leg and arm a little higher.

 

This will fire up the area just under your butt and work deeper into your abs.

Tips: Focus on keeping your back long when you lift your arm and leg.

 

Imagine your back is a table and you’re balancing something of value on it.

Leg pull front prep (hovers)

Difficulty level: beginner/intermediate

Muscles worked: abdominals, pelvic floor, arms

Reps: 5–8

How to perform:

Start on all fours, with your hands in line with your shoulders and your knees lined up with your hips.

Inhale to breathe into the side and back of your ribs.

Exhale to lift your abdominals in and upward, and lift your knees 2 inches (5 cm) from the floor.

Hold the position for 2–3 breaths.

Inhale with control and return your knees to the floor.

Repeat 5 times.

How to modify: To make this exercise more challenging, try lifting one leg at a time from the hover position.

Tips. Keep your abdominals lifted in and up, and stop if your abdominals pop outward or dome inward when you lift your knees.

Roll down

Difficulty level: beginner/intermediate

Muscles worked: abdominals, back extensors

Reps: 5–8

How to perform: Begin sitting up tall with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

 

You may reach your arms forward, or gently place your hands on the back of your thighs.

Exhale to draw your pelvic floor and abs upward and inward and begin to tilt your pelvis to curl your lower back about halfway to the floor.

Inhale to hold the curl.

Exhale to return to the starting position.

How to modify. For an added challenge, start with your legs straight.

Tips: Try to create length in the front of your hips on the roll down to avoid over-recruiting the hip flexors.

Crisscross

Difficulty level: beginner/intermediate

Muscles worked: abdominals (especially obliques), hip extensors

Reps: 8–10 (both sides)

How to perform:

Lie on your back with both legs in tabletop and your hands behind your head.

Exhale to lift your head, neck, and shoulders by sliding your ribs toward your belly button.

Inhale to hold the position.

Exhale to rotate your upper body to the opposite knee while the same leg straightens.

Inhale to return to the previous position.

Exhale to rotate to the opposite side.

This completes one set; repeat 8–10 times.

How to modify: Keep your legs in tabletop or your feet on the floor until you’ve developed enough coordination to perform the full version.

Tips: Think of bringing the opposite side of your rib cage to your hip bone as you twist.

 

Engage the hip extensors in the back of your leg as you straighten it, so as to open the front of your hip. Keep your elbows wide throughout the exercise.

Plank

Difficulty level: intermediate

Muscles worked: abdominals, shoulder girdle stabilisers, legs

Reps: 3–5

How to perform:

Start on your forearms and knees.

Exhale to draw the abs inward and upward, taking one leg back to a straight position and then the other.

Hold for 30–60 seconds.

How to modify: Keep your knees on the floor, making a straight line from the crown of your head to your knees, to build strength before doing the full version.

Tips: Imagine you’re squeezing tennis balls at your underarms and push your forearms into the floor.

 

Engage your legs and lift your seat in the air slightly to avoid arching and sinking in your lower back.

Summary:

Pilates is whole body exercise with an emphasis on core training.

 

These exercises are deceptively challenging and zone in on the core when executed with precision and good form.

 

Benefits of Pilates:

Pilates and Pilates-based exercises have numerous benefits for a wide range of individuals.

 

Pilates can be rehabilitative and help prevent injuries, and it’s an excellent cross-training tool for athletes.

Some benefits include:

improved posture

improved balance

increased mobility and flexibility

increased muscular endurance

decreased stress levels

Important considerations

To get the most out of these exercises, aim to work at a slow to moderate pace.

 

Strive for control and refrain from holding your breath.

If you’re pregnant or postpartum, experiencing back pain, or recovering from an injury, some of these exercises are not suitable.

With the many nuances of Pilates, working with a qualified instructor is the most ideal scenario.

A qualified Pilates instructor assesses specific exercises and provides modifications for your needs and goals.

Consult your doctor before embarking on any new exercise program.

Summary:

Pilates has many benefits, and the exercises can be modified for any fitness level, age, or phase of life.

The bottom line:

Strengthening the powerhouse with Pilates is an effective way to enhance your overall health.

With a focus on breath, balance, and mind-body connection, Pilates makes you strong without making you rigid.

 

Pilates exercises promote a healthy spine and joints that are mobile, strong, and flexible.

Pilates enriches your quality of life, setting a foundation of ease in your daily activities and adventures. — Online.

 

 

Share This:

Sponsored Links

We value your opinion! Take a moment to complete our survey

This will close in 20 seconds