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It has been about six months since the world came to a standstill due to the pandemic. We quarantined ourselves at home for months on end to protect ourselves, our family, and friends. During this period, we found various ways to stay healthy. Many of us got highly creative in the kitchen,baking and cooking all kinds of delicacies while a lot of us got around to finally checking off our fitness goals. We know we did. From finding the right home workout routine to mindful eating, we are doing it all.
If you have not tried it already, Pilates is one of the most effective ways to stay fit. Pilates is a technique of exercise that involves flexibility, strength, stability, and endurance movements. Pilates focuses on your core strength and muscle endurance while also enhancing your posture. If you have a strong core, you can become fit from head to toe.Working on your core strength is one of the best ways for your overall body fitness. A strong core includes your abs, your obliques, and your lower back muscles. Strengthening these muscles will help maintain your balance and posture. It also helps you to move around more efficiently. These exercises also work on your core, legs, abdomen, and your back. These exercises focus on your glutes. Your glutes involve your abs, lower back, pelvic floor and hips,and your butt as well. Adding a Pilates exercise routine in your workout plan can help you stay healthy. The best part is that you do not require any equipment to do these exercises, making them the best workout to do at home.
Fun fact, Pilates is named after its creator, Joseph Pilates, who created the exercises in the 1920s!
Before we dive into how you can reach your peak bodygoals, there are a few things you would require to make the best out of your Pilates exercises. You should have a Pilates –friendly exercise mat and a band as well. The Pilates band helps you with various stretch movements, which you will learn all about in this article. Spending 20-30 minutes of your day doing Pilates can help you achieve your goals.
Pilates consists of many exercises that lift, tone, and work on sculpting your body. These muscles support each other, this means that if you work on one part of your body, it will affect the other indirectly. Here are 4 best Pilates exercises you can practice from the comfort of your homes.
A pelvic curl is a very basic exercise. So, if you are a beginner, you do not need to worry about doing it the wrong way. This classic warm-up Pilates exercise stretches your spine and abdominal muscles and engages your glutes and hamstrings at the same time.
· Lie on your back with your knees slightly bent and your feet flat on the floor.
· Now, as you exhale, tilt your pelvic muscles by engaging your abdominal muscles and pull your navel down towards your spine.
· Next, when you inhale, press down through your heels to bring your tailbone up.
· Then slowly raise your hips, then the lower spine, and finally the middle spine.
· Make sure you are creating a straight line from your hips to your shoulder.
· Hold the position for 5-10 seconds,maintaining your breathing pattern. Inhale one last time before going back.
· As you exhale, use your abdomen to bring your back down to the mat.
· Repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times.
Side-lying Leg Lift
This exercise encourages a better range of motion in your hips, promotes body stabilization, and uses muscles that aren't used actively throughout the day.
· Lie on the right side, align your shoulders with your hips
· Bend your right leg sp that your heel is in line with your butt as it rests on the floor,
· Extend your left leg, raise it straight in the air
· Make sure it is parallel to the floor
· Slowly lift the leg higher
· Return into position.
· Repeat the exercise 10 times on each side.
Leg Kick Back
Leg kickbacks,target your glutes. It also works as a hamstring stretch. To enhance the effectiveness of it, you can use a Pilates band as well.
· Get down on all fours with the center of the exercise band around your right instep. Hold it under your hands.
· Then, lift your abdominal muscles.
· Keep your right knee bent and lift your right hip with your thigh so parallel to the floor.
· Slowly kick your heel back until the leg is straight.
· Next, Bend your heel back toward your butt. Stay in position. Do not let the knee fall.
· Repeat 8 to 10 times, alternating legs.
The clam can help strengthen your glutes. It can also help you achieve a balance between your inner, outer thighs, and your pelvic muscles as well.
· Start by lying on one side
· Bend your knees at a 90-degree phase
· Align your heels with your butt
· Prop up your upper arm on the right forearm and,
· put your left hand on the hip
· Next, squeeze your heels in, lift your left knee towards the ceiling, without moving the rest of your body
· Lower the knee back slowly, do not break the connection with the heels
· Do this 10 times on each side
Now that you know the basics of Pilates roll out that mat and get going!