At first glance, Pilates looks like a form of torture explicitly designed to hurt you. Still, when you look into it, it’s a relatively new form of exercise that is designed to improve your posture, mobility, core strength, and balance.
Here are five simple Pilates moves you can include in your workouts:
Double leg stretch
Start by lying on your back. Then lift your head, neck, and shoulders and bring your knees to your chest. Inhale, then straighten your legs to a 45-degree angle while extending your arms up.
Return to starting position by exhaling and circling arms down to hug shins. It’s best to keep shoulders off the mat and focus on your breathing.
Crisscross is very simple. Lie on your back once again, hands behind your neck and elbows wide. And lift your head and shoulders off the mat.
Bring your left armpit to your right knee and extend your left leg to a high diagonal. Twist to the other side and switch legs, bringing the right armpit to the left knee and extending the right leg.
Still lying on your back, hug your knees to your chest and then reach your arms directly over your head while extending both legs to a high diagonal. Stretch your arms back, then swing them toward your toes, rolling up to a seated V position. Repeat for 3 to 5 reps.
Plank to push-up
Start by standing on your mat. As you exhale, round your chin toward your chest, then roll your body down to a “rag doll” position. Walk your hands forward into a high plank position.
Lower your body halfway to the mat with elbows tucked close to ribs. Straighten arms to hold still. Repeat for 3-5 reps.
The roll-up starts with your arms extended upwards. Take a deep breath and start rolling down, starting with your chin touching your chest, and roll up to a sitting position with your arms reaching towards your feet. Exhale and roll down very slowly. Move smoothly with no sudden lunging or moving.