Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that strengthening your core is crucial to your overall fitness. But what exactly is your core? And what are the best moves and exercises to help you achieve your goals?
The core is your midsection, and it involves all your muscles in that area including the front, back and sides or your abs, obliques, and lower back muscles.
There are many ways to strengthen these sections of your bodies, but we think adding Pilate moves into your workout is a fun and straightforward way to do it! Here are five of our favourite Pilate moves that will help you target your core and reach your fitness goals.
How to: To get into this position, you need to lie with your back against the mat and place your head facing upwards, and your arms faced down beside you. Bend your left knee and put your feet flat on the floor. Then extend your right leg up as if your toes were trying to reach the ceiling. Then circle your right let out to the side, down toward the ground and back up in your starting position.
This sequence will mean your leg creates a circle position, hence the name of the move! It’s important to keep your lower back flat on the floor as you make your circle. Reverse the loop when you’ve done enough reps and then repeat it on the other side for a full work out.
The benefits: This move is one of the best exercises for challenging your core, as your abdominal muscles must work hard to keep your body stabilised. The Single Leg Circle also strengthens the quads and hamstrings at the same time and promotes a healthy hip joint.
How to: Get into this move by lying with your back against the mat and your head facing up. Bring both your knees in toward your chest. Place your hands on the back of your head, with both your elbows spread out wide. Curl your head up, making sure to lift from your chest and not putting a strain on your neck or shoulders. Bring your left should toward your right knee and extend out your left leg, parallel to the ground. Then do the opposite side, by bringing your right shoulder toward your left knee and extending your right leg out. Continue alternating at a controlled pace.
The Benefits: Adding Criss Cross Crunches to your workout routine helps to increase core strength and stability, but it will also improve flexibility and coordination, sculpt and trim down your waist.
How to: Lie with your back against the mat and your head facing up. Extend your right leg up with your toes reaching towards the ceiling. Bring your hands behind your right leg, pulling it gently toward your face, and curl your head up as you do so. Lift your left leg off the floor and let it hover. Switch legs, pulling your left leg in toward you with your right leg hovering above the floor. Continue switching your legs.
The Benefits: The Scissor Kick will not only work your core but also tone your legs.
How to: For this move, you need to start in a high plank with your hands directly under your shoulders. Start by lifting one leg off the floor, remaining below shoulder height. It’s important to keep your core, butt, and quads engaged and try and stay as balanced as possible. Alternate the legs and see how many you can do!
The Benefits: This move will not only work your core but also work all the muscles needed for an excellent posture. Including your back, chest, shoulders, abs, and neck.
How to: Again start in a high plank, making sure your hands are placed directly under your shoulders. Bring one knee in toward your chest and then put it back. Next, bring the other knee into your chest. Keep repeating without rocking your hips and maintaining a tightened core, butt, and quads.
The Benefits: Despite the intimidating name this an excellent move for your core and getting that heart rate up, making you sweat and burning those calories.
So, there you have it five great Pilate moves to help strengthen your core and have you achieving your health and fitness goals in no time. Come down to Cook and Phillip Park where we offer incredible Pilates classes that will demonstrate all these moves and more.
Your core is crucial to your overall fitness. But what exactly is your core? And what are the best moves and exercises to help you achieve your goals?
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