Pilates is a great way to build strength in your upper body, legs, and core, all while toning and slimming and this routine is no different. This Core Series Workout is built to accommodate not only the beginners to Pilates but also those who are veterans and are looking for even more of a challenge. This is accomplished by the progressive design of this routine.
As you move through these groups of exercises (abs, back, and core) each one is harder than the last. If you are a beginner you may want to stay on the first or second exercise of the abdominal series if the later movements are too hard and you cannot keep proper form. Just repeat the exercises you are comfortable with again instead of progressing to the more advanced movements. As your strength grows, add the next motion in the series.
However if you can keep proper form and you are looking for a challenge, you will want to follow along with every exercise as they increase in difficulty, or you may even want to jump right into the harder exercises and double up on the repetitions of that motion.
Either way this routine can easily be modified to suit your individual ability level.
In the first round we focus primarily on the abdominal muscles though you will also feel this quite a lot in your quadriceps (top of thigh) and hip flexors (front of hip). These motions are all done from the imprint position (aka footprint), so they do not use a range of motion around your abdominals but rather train them to hold one position, which in turn teaches your stomach not only to stay constantly tensed but also to pull in, giving you the appearance of a smaller waist line.
The second round consists of movements that target the lower back but also hit the shoulders, butt, and thighs. A lot of my clients have expressed their hatred for these back exercises (because they are difficult, a bit awkward and my clients are a bunch of pansies; ha! Kidding.) I can’t say that I blame them but keep this in mind; you can not have a flat stomach and strong abs without having a strong back. Also, doing motions to strengthen your back will always be integral in protecting your back from injury and for supporting good trunk mobility.
The third section is shorter than the rest but heavily targets the obliques. This round also focuses on the other core muscles, and the thighs, as well as challenging your balance and bodily control. Moving through this exercise more slowly will help you maintain your balance but will also make the movement more difficult, increasing its benefit. Just be sure to keep your body in a straight line and your hips perpendicular to the ground, as your legs will try to swing forward, tipping your hips back, causing your abdominal muscles to take over.
Whatever your skill level, just keep your motions slow and under control, and a trim, toned core will not be far off.
135 lb Woman: 65 Calories
185 lb Man: 95 Calories