The beauty of Pilates is that you can tailor your practice to meet your needs, goals and your schedule. Although I do my best to make it to Club Pilates at least six days a week, you technically don’t need a membership or any equipment to reap the benefits of this muscle-strengthening and lengthening workout. On days when I’m just too jammed to squeeze in a class, all I need is my yoga mat (and possibly a YouTube video) to get my fix—and you can, too!
With summer (and bathing suit season) right around the corner, here are three easy yet effective exercises from Club Pilates’ VP of Education,Tianna Strateman, that will help tone up your abs, back and butt before you step foot on the beach.
This is a full-body variation masked in ab work. The upper and lower half of the body are meant to stay in flexion while they cross back and forth and the center stays glued to the mat. Being careful not to wobble in the belly as you move back and forth five times on each side.
- Start with knees to your chest, head lifted, and hands behind your head, with your upper back off the mat.
- Engage your abs, and use them to draw your right shoulder towards your left knee as you twist slightly to the left.
- As you twist, extend your right leg out at an angle.Switch sides as you breathe, reaching your left shoulder toward your right knee as you twist to the right and extend your left leg.
- Repeat for 60 seconds.
Swimming is good for you on land, too! This is a tried-and-true exercise for keeping strength in the backside of the body.
- Start on your stomach, with your arms extended overhead in front of you
- Keep the arms and legs long as they hover over the ground and lift up and down. Be sure to keep your core engaged to protect your back.
- Start slow for 10 seconds, then speed up for 10 seconds, and finish off by going as fast as you can for the final 10 seconds. This completes one 30-second rep. Do two reps to complete a set, with a brief break in between reps.
Kneeling Side Kick
Great for toning your lower body while strengthening your upper body, this move creates a great booty burn. Make sure to maintain the stable position of the upper half of your body while the leg follows a precise path, sweeping forward and back, never letting any bumps or dips take over the precise path that leg your travels.
- From a kneeling position, tip yourself to the left and allow your left hand to securely land on the floor, directly under the shoulder.
- Extend your right leg to hip height, ensuring that the leg is parallel to the floor. Sweep the leg forward and back 10 times, up and down 10 times, and circle 10 times in each direction. This is one cycle.
- Repeat for three cycles. Switch legs, and repeat for three cycles on the other side.