If you have been following us for any length of time at all, you know that we are strong believers in being diligent about doing at least a short cool down workout after every sweat session.
Cooling down and stretching after a good workout might seem like a waste of time if your main goals are losing weight; stretching doesn't burn a wildly high number of calories, or putting on large amount of muscle mass; it's not heavy lifting. Even though a quick initial assumption might tell you that this low impact, low energy kind of activity is not beneficial in helping your reach your end goals, it is actually directly tied into your performance across the board. Between the maintenance of flexibility, the reduction in chance of injury, and improvement in overall structural integrity of the body, there is literally no fitness program that is complete without stretching.
With that said, we know it can be a very tempting part of the workout to skip, especially if you are in a time crunch. For that reason, we have mixed it up a bit by infusing Pilates exercises into this short, time effective stretching workout. When it's only 7 minutes, you have no excuse to skip it! As and added bonus, while you are stretching you will be toning your body, as many of these moves engages the abdominals, obliques, and thighs.
7 Minutes Total
Roughly 30 Seconds each
Pilates Exercises in this Routine
Leg Walk Ups; repeat on each side - Leg Walk Ups help you to slowly stretch the hamstring and lower back, without the strain of having to hold a constant position.
Pilates Roll Ups - This another good one for hamstring and back. When in the full stretch prone position, it helps to stretch out the core and ribcage. This is an excellent routine for toning the abs. If this is too advanced for you, try pulling your hands over your legs to do your crunch forward, rather than leaving them extended out over your head.
Double Pulse Side Leg Kicks; repeat on each side - Good for the outer thigh, hip flexor, hamstrings and quads in terms of both toning and stretching.
Seated Torso Rotations - Increases mobility throughout the torso, a place that often gets stiff and rigid after hours (and years) of sitting at a computer desk with poor posture.
The Saw - Good for torso mobility and stretching out the lower back and quads, as well as the obliques and hamstrings.
Cat-Camel - A great way to stretch out lower back, shoulders, and abdominals, this one is fantastic for releasing stress in the body.
Full Body Stretch - Everyone's favorite; wiggle around as you need to to hit different muscle groups, constantly focusing on pressing those hands and feet in opposite directions.
Calorie Burn Information
Obviously this one is not a hard hitter in terms of calorie burn, but the benefits of this Pilates stretching routine are abundant regardless, and we know that you guys like this information. We estimate that this workout burns 3-5 calories a minute, or 21-35 calories total.