Whenever I don’t feel like doing an intensive exercise, I like to do Pilates to get some movement in my day. What I like most about Pilates is the burn. By moving in a slow and controlled manner, it can kinda mimic working out with weights. Just think of that burning sensation as burning calories to help get through a workout! It’s a great way to tone your core and legs. I thought I’d share a selection of Pilates-inspired workouts. When doing these, remember to keep these two tips in mind:
- Keep your core engaged to stabilize your body.
- Move slowly and controlled. Don’t throw your body around or you won’t properly work out the muscles you want to.
With those tips in mind, try these exercises!
OUTER LEG RAISE
Lay down on one side. Raise the outside leg as high as possible. Maintain control as you raise and lower your legs. Keep the pointy edges of your pelvis stacked. I recommend keeping the forearm of the side of the leg you are raising in front of your pelvis to help keep it in place.
INNER LEG RAISE
Just like the outer leg raise, lay on one side. Point the knee of your outer leg up towards the ceiling. Raise your inner leg (the leg of the side you are laying on) as high as possible. The range of motion won’t be as large as the outer leg raise, but the burn can be even more intense.
Again, laying on one side, bend your legs at the knees behind you in a 90 degree angle. Squeeze your glutes to lift the outer leg as high as you can. Keep your feet together as much as you can to enhance the movement of the outer leg.
Start at tabletop position. Lift one leg back behind you and the opposite arm out straight in front of you. So when you lift your left leg, raise your right arm and vice-versa.
Also starting in tabletop position, squeeze the glute of one side to raise the leg of that side It looks like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant, hence the silly name!
This is a great exercise for your obliques. From tabletop, reach one arm under the other arm. Contract the oblique of the side you’re reaching with, and use that oblique to pull that arm back to starting position.
Lay flat on your back. Have your knees pointing u and your feet as close to your glutes as possible Keep all four corners of your feet pressed to the ground. Use your hips to bring your core up as high as possible. When you lower down, try to hover your lower back above the ground for more of a burn. You can also keep one leg raised in the air to focus on one side at a time.
BRIDGE + CLAM SHELL
At the top of a bridge, move your knees away from each other and back in. It’s like the clam shell exercise from above, but the addition of the bridge uses more core muscles to keep your body in the bridge position.
Instead of pointing your knees up, point them out to the sides of the room. Your range of motion will be limited compared to a normal bridge, but it will work your buns in a different way.
Laying on your back, you’ll simply march one leg up at a time so that your shin is parallel with the ground. Make sure your thighs don’t move past your hip points. Focus on pulling up your legs with your core. Alternatively, start with your legs already bent and your shins parallel to the ground. In a controlled manner, lower one leg to the ground at a time and pull it back up using your core.
To add difficulty to these exercises, pulse at the top of the exercise for a few seconds. That intensifies the burn! These exercises are simple enough not to make you break out in sweat, but burn enough to strengthen your core and legs. Reach out if you have any questions!
Disclaimer: Always consult a physician before starting an exercise routine. Nash In Tune is not responsible for any injuries. Stay smart and stay safe!
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