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The beginning of spring means that the skin baring summer months are just around the corner. If you have a few extra rolls that just won’t budge, try kicking your workout routine into high gear with pilates.
Pilates: Not Just For Gwyneth and Gisele
Sure, this exercise craze was made famous by the well-heeled and fabulous, but that doesn’t mean that you have to live in Beverly Hills to rock a tight bod this summer. Pilates, an exercise routine that combines isometric exercises and flexibility, is the perfect low impact workout to add to your regular routine.
A study in Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport concludes that just three sessions of Pilates over an 8 week period has been shown to decrease body fat percentage by 1.2%, waist circumference by 2.7 cm, and arm circumference by .5 cm. The same study showed significant improvements in flexibility and core strength.
Try these 3 Pilates moves to increase strength while decreasing your waist size:
Lie on your back with your legs in the table top position. Raise your arms over your head and inhale. Exhale and scoop your abs toward the spine as you raise the back of your shoulders off the ground, reaching your hands forward with arms at your sides, and extending your legs straight with your feet toward the ceiling in one fluid movement. Inhale and hold, exhale and in short pulses, flutter your arms up and down for 100 counts.
One Leg Circles
Lie on your back with your right leg bent with the right foot on the floor, and your left leg extended straight toward the ceiling. Anchor your arms toward the mat, and scoop your abs toward your spine. Turn your hip out with your extended leg, and move the leg from the hip in sweeping circles across your body, pausing at the top of the movement. Complete 10 circles, then switch direction. Repeat the entire exercise with the opposite leg.
Open Leg Balance
Sit on the floor, balancing on your tail bone. Fold your legs toward you with knees together, and grab your calves while you scoop the abs toward the spine. Inhale, then exhale as you straighten the spine and straighten to extend and open the legs. Your upper and lower body will actively balance you in a v position resting on your sit bones just below your tail bone. Your hands should be gently holding your legs just above the ankles. Hold for 10 counts, and release.
Pilates still not your thing? Try our 45 Days to Bikini Ready Pro Training Plan for 45 days of serious toning.
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