Pilates is a full body workout and is effective at improving overall strength and flexibility. However, at the heart of your Pilates practice is the focus on the core and all of your core muscles will be targeted during your regular classes. As your core strength improves, you’ll notice improved body alignment, better posture, reduced back pain and easier movement. All great reasons to work your core!
Today, we’ll be sharing some easy Pilates core exercises that you can try at home to improve your core strength.
1. Single leg stretch
Lie on your back and hug both of knees into your chest. Engage you core muscles and gently lift you head and shoulders off the floor with you gaze directed at your stomach. While hugging one of your legs, gently stretch out the other leg in front of you. As you draw it back in, extend the opposite leg out. Keep your core engaged and your body still – there should be no rocking. Repeat 8 to 12 times on each leg.
As something different from doing core exercises on your back, try the saw exercise. Sit up and spread your legs out. Engage your core muscles and place your arms out to the side. Rotate your torso to the left so your right arm is reaching for your left foot. Rotate slowly without jerking the body. Pulse three times. Return to the centre and repeat on the other side. Repeat twice one each side.
3. Single leg teaser
The Pilates teaser is a common exercise but requires a lot of strength. To work your way up to it, give the single leg teaser a try. Lie on your back and bring your knees up so your feet are flat on the ground. Extend one of your legs and engage your leg and thigh muscles. Reach your fingers towards the toes of the extended leg, engage your core muscles and slowly round your body up while reaching for your toes. Round back down without resting your head and repeat four times before switching to the other side.
4. Double leg reach
Lie on your back and bring your legs up in tabletop position with your calves parallel with the ground. Engage your core and curl your head and shoulders off the ground, reaching your arms down your sides. Slowly push your legs out in front of you as your exhale and draw them back up into tabletop as you inhale. Repeat 8 to 12 times. The lower down your legs go, the more challenging it will be.
It’s important to remember that any Pilates exercise you try at home need to be carried out correctly to avoid injury. Focus on correct technique and speak with your Pilates instructor if you need some extra guidance.
At Kaya Health Clubs, we’re passionate about providing an authentic Pilates experience to our members. We offer genuine Pilates for beginners all the way up to advanced and our experienced teachers can demonstrate a range of modifications so you work to your own level. Come along to a class and experience the benefits for yourself.
For authentic Pilates classes, contact Kaya today on (03) 9090 1000 or visit us at our Emporium Melbourne CBD or Prahran locations.