These are my top 5 body strengthening Pilates moves you need in your life! The combination workout is designed to activate your core, move your joints and get your system running so you move with greater ease and fluidity throughout your day. Activating the core with the correct form will reduce back pain and muscle tension.
Follow these five core-activating moves at home and if you want to work harder, simply add additional reps! I always advise setting yourself a goal to stick you so you can track your improvement and it’s a great way to stay motivated too…
1. Downton Abbey’s
x 20 each side
TARGETS: Thighs, bum & legs, activates core
- 1) Standing straight, lift the left leg up behind you, point the toe and sweep it across and behind the body, placing the toe on the floor like an extended curtsey. Squeeze the bum and keep that leg straight!
- 2) Bend both knees lining the back knee up with the back of the front heel and hinge your upper body down over the thigh, Don’t let the knee come beyond the toe and keep that belly pulled in.
- 3) Now stand up, Squeeze the inner thighs for a beat and reach your leg back to starting position. Repeat on the other side
2. Dancing plank
x 5 reps each side
TARGETS: Upper arms, shoulder girdle, activates core
Get into a plank position resting the weight on your hands and balls of feet, pull your belly in and engage the abs.
- 1) Release the left leg, exhale and move the knee forward into your body towards your forehead (don’t let the back fall down), stretching it as far in to your chest as you can. Inhale, push it back out to your starting plank position.
- 2) Exhale, Sweep the leg around to towards the same shoulder (as if your polishing a table) Inhale, push it back out to your starting plank position.
- 3) Sweep it diagonally across the body and touch the opposite elbow. Inhale, push it back out to your starting plank position.
- 4) That’s 1 rep, now to the other side.
3. Corset Twists
TARGETS: Hamstrings, inner thighs, activates core.
- 1) Sit on the floor and bend your knees in front of you
- 2) Inhale and ab curl down about a third of the way
3) Bend the arms towards the chest, knuckles pressed together, elbows high and pull the pelvic floor up.
4) Exhale, twist the whole body to one side, then twist to the other side exhaling through the mouth with each twist. Twist through the upper body but keep the pelvis still to really work your abs!
4. Tricep lunges
x 10 dips x 3
TARGETS: Hamstrings, triceps, activates core.
- 1) Sitting on the floor with your feet grounded and hip width apart. Hands are 8 inches away from your bum with fingers faced forward.
- 2) Now lift the bum up and push the hands away from the ground without locking the arms. Keep that neck long!
- 3) Keep the connection between the elbows and don’t let them open up as the body dips down
slightly towards the floor while the elbows bend. Imagine the elbows are tied together!
- 4) Now back up to position 2 by straightening the arms.
x 10 each side
TARGETS: Arms, side body, activates core.
- 1) Start in a plank position but with wide feet.
- 2) Stack the wrists, elbows and shoulders in 1 line, and release the right hand.
- 3) Inhale, sweep the right hand straight past the chest as you twist through the rib cage and pelvis, pushing the right arm towards the sky.
- 4) Exhale, reverse and bring the hand back to the start position.
- 5) Repeat on the other side! (add small hand weight for an extra challenge!)
Compiled by celebrity trainer, Sam Eastwood. Find out more about Sam here