Exercising pilates, it’s important to remember a few rules. Look after your breath – every move is dedicated to inhale or exhale. Take your time, perform the exercise precisely and slowly. During all exercises, try to have a slightly tight stomach. Where did Pilates come from and what is more worth knowing about it? 

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Warm-up 

Stand with joined heels, set the feet in the shape of the letter V. Take a deep breath and lift your hands up above your head with a wide arc. Exhale after returning to the starting position. Make a few deep breaths, warming up your body first.
While still in this position, stretch your arms from side to side, keeping your hands straight. With the exhalation, put the right leg to the right side, while tilting the upper body to the right. Draw your right hand over your head. Then the same slope to the side with the weaning of the leg do the left side. Perform a few repetitions on both sides. 

Standing exercises 

Lifting legs 

Stand with your feet to the width of your hips and move your knee to your chest for a minute. You can hold your hands on your hips or loosely along your body. It is important to have a slightly tight stomach all the time. 

Lifting and abduction of legs 

Lift the knee up, then push the straight leg back. Exhale during the leg swing backwards. Keep your abdominal muscles balanced. Exercise after half a minute for each leg. Adjust the tempo to your fitness. Focus on the precision of moving. 

Do the same with your legs going away – left to right, right to the right. Then do it for half a minute for each leg. 

Exercises on the mat 

Cradle 

Sit down and bend your legs in your lap. Pull the knees gently to your chest, grasp your hands under your knees and point your elbows out. Lift your legs above the floor. In an inhale, roll backwards, but not enough to touch your head with the mat. With the exhalation rolling the body back to the starting position, but not putting feet on the mat. Make 6-8 such cradles. 

Raising hands and legs 

Make your kneel supported – put your hands under your shoulders with slightly bent elbows, keep your back straight, your legs bent at 90 degrees are resting on your knees, your knees are under your hips. With an exhalation, raise the right hand straight ahead and back the left leg. Hold on to this position and return to your kneeling position. Then pull out your left hand and right leg. Abdominal muscles help maintain the balance – keep them tense. Do not mess with your head during this exercise. Make 10 such moves per page. 

Lifting your hips 

Lie on your back, hold your arms along your torso and bend your legs in your lap. Keep your feet under your knees. With exhalation, lift the hips up, tightening the buttocks firmly. With an exhalation, slowly lower the hips onto the mat. Do not bend the lumbar spine. Do 15 repetitions, stopping the movement for 2-3 seconds on top. 

Shortness of the abdomen 

Still lying on your back, raise your straight legs so that they form a right angle with the ground. With exhalation, reach for your ankles with your hands, making a strong tension in the abdomen. With an inhale, lower the upper body to the mat. Each time try to reach for hands as high as possible. Do not pull this head movement, just the strength of the abdominal muscles. Make 20 such short circuits. 

Stretching 

Lying on the mat, pull out the body, moving your hands far behind your head and straightening your legs in the opposite direction. 

Pull one leg bent in the knee and pull it to your chest. Now you should feel the stretching of your buttocks. Hold half a minute in this position, then do the same to the other leg. 

Sit apart with your legs straight. Tilt gently to your left leg, stretch your arms towards your foot, your chest close to your thigh. Hold on for half a minute. 

Do the same for the other leg. Finally, lean forward, stretching your hands as far as you can. Remember to breathe steadily all the time while stopping the movement. 

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You can read also: 5 myths about strength training

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