Here is a Pilates-inspired workout with benefits that include strengthening your abdominals, strengthening your spinal muscles and enhancing your breathing.
- Start in a tabletop position with your hands on the ground directly under your shoulders and your knees on the ground under your hips. Relax your feet so the tops of your feet are on the ground.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose for three seconds. Your belly should move toward the ground. Hold for a count of two.
- Then breathe out, also through your nose. Your belly should move back in toward your spine. Hold for a count of three.
- Repeat for 10 repetitions.
- Begin in a tabletop position with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.
- In one move, bring your right hand out in front of your shoulder so your arm points straight in front of you as you extend your left leg behind you, pointing your left toes away from you.
- Keep your core braced to keep your spine long and back flat as you hold for a count of two, breathing in and out through your nose.
- Release and repeat with your opposite arm and leg.
- Breathe in as you reach and out as you return. Continue this while alternating limb reaches for a total of 60 seconds.
- Lie on your back in the supine position.
- Lift both legs off the ground and lift your shoulder blades off the ground. Cycle your legs in and out, and at the same time, punch your opposite hand toward your opposite knee.
- Continue this for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Lie on your stomach with your hands at shoulder height.
- Lift your head and shoulders off the mat and extend your arms in front of you. Lift your feet and arms off the ground.
- Flutter your feet slowly using your legs only. Move only a few inches at a time. Continue holding this position and kicking for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Start in a seated position on the sitting bones of your pelvis.
- Lean back with your torso and lift your feet off the ground. Practice balancing in that position. If you can, grab your legs with your arms.
- Lower yourself toward the supine position without letting your hands or feet touch the ground. Roll over onto your stomach and then roll onto your back.
- Lift yourself back into the seated V position. Hold to balance.
- Then lower to the ground and roll back in the same direction. Continue for a total of 60 seconds.
- Start lying on your back.
- Try to keep your feet on the ground as you lift your upper body off the ground into a seated L position by rolling up one vertebra at a time.
- Hold that position and then slowly roll your body down to the ground one vertebra at a time. Repeat for 60 seconds.
- Start in a prone plank position on your hands and toes. Your hands will be shoulder-width apart, and your feet should be hip-width apart.
- Lower your body until the back of your arms are parallel with the ground. Hold your spine long. Imagine keeping your body like a strong piece of steel.
- From here, alternate reaching your feet from side to side as far as you can while maintaining that static hold position with your arms. Reach with your left foot, then return to the start. Then reach with your right foot.
- Continue alternating reaches for 60 seconds.
Photo credit: Tom Casey, box24studio.com; fizkes, Getty Images
Model: Sherri Swann, 24 Hour Fitness