Strengthening the core is the best you can do to maintain your fitness. A strong core is essential for the balance, posture and stability of your body. It also keeps the spine flexible and helps you to have more control over your movements.
The core includes the abdomen, chest and back muscles that support the upper body and its movement. Pilates exercises are the best to strengthen all the parts of your core and develop flexibility in the back. The workouts also help you deal with various problems like lower back pain and sports injuries.
Pilates promotes the balanced development of the whole body by strengthening the core and developing flexibility in the body. Let us check some of the best pilates workouts to strengthen your core.
Single leg stretches
Leg stretches are good for strengthening the core and lower abs. To perform the single leg stretch, lie down on a mat and keep your legs straight and arms on the sides along with your body. Then raise your legs in a way to bring both the knees towards chest.
Place your hand on your shins and raise your head and shoulders off the floor. Extend the left leg out holding the right one with the hands on your shin. Bring it back and extend the right leg. Stretch both the legs alternatively one at a time holding the other.
Double leg stretches
Lie on a mat with face upward, arms on the sides and legs stretched. Bring both knees towards your chest and hold them by placing your hands on shins. Raise your head and shoulders, and stretch both the legs simultaneously. Keep your legs stretched without touching the floor for a few seconds and bring them back to the chest. Repeat the stretching of legs for 8 to 10 repetitions and notice the stretch on your abdomen and core.
Leg circles are also amazing workouts for the core, and they are easy to perform by any person. To perform the leg circles, you need to lie on the mat with facing upwards. Fold your left leg on the knee until you foot lays flat on the floor. Then raise the right leg straight until it makes a right angle with the floor.
Now circle your leg towards the floor and back to the starting position moving in a circular movement. You should make the circle as large as you can and then reverse the circular motion. Make 8 to 10 reps for one leg and then repeat the same for another leg.
This is an easy workout for people with some experience in pilates but it might be difficult for beginners. You need to lie down on the mat with face upward and legs extended. Then raise both legs towards the ceiling. Then bring them back half the way so that they make an angle with the floor.
Now raise your head and raise your arms along the sides of your body. Move your hands up and down with a vertical movement of about 5 to 6 inches. Move your hands up as you inhale and move down while you exhale. Repeat the pattern of breathing and hand movements ten times holding this position.
Pilates curl is an excellent workout to strengthen the core and burn the abdominal fat. You need to lie on the mat with knees bent and face upward. Keep the arms on sides and raise your head to curl up to bring your chin towards the chest. Hold for a breath and then lower your head back to the floor steadily.
Criss Cross is also a core blasting workout. The beginners might find difficult, but it is best if you want to shed off pounds form the abdominal area. To do the criss-cross pilates, lie down on the floor and fold your legs to bring the knees towards your chest. Place the hands on the back of your head for support.
Now curl up your head and bring your left knee toward your right shoulder and extend your right leg. Then pull your right knee to your left shoulder extending the left leg. Repeat alternatively for both the legs and do 10 to 12 repetitions.
Plank leg lift
Planks are also a form of Pilates exercise, and they become more effective when you engage your legs too. The workout is known as plank leg lift that targets your core as well as hips. Start by engaging yourself in the plank position and keep your hands under the shoulders.
Lift one leg to shoulder height and bring it back steadily. Repeat with another leg and do it alternatively for both the legs. You can perform 2 sets of 12 to 15 reps.
The teaser workout engages not only your core but the entire body. Lie straight on the mat and bend your knees and raise your feet. Now lift your upper body and extend your arms and legs so that they become parallel. Your legs and upper body should create a V shape. Hold for five breaths and lower your legs and upper body to the floor. Repeat for 5 to 8 repetitions.
These exercises are the best pilates workouts for your core. You can also do other workouts for your body using pilates reformer machines. The Pilates reformer Brisbane machines are excellent for the full body workouts. Performing these pilates exercises in this post can help any person to strengthen the core and have a perfect balance of the entire body.