This last few weeks it has been great to get back in the studio and do some filming (new home workouts coming soon!), but this post was inspired by a recent Skype chat with Glenn Withers (creator of the APPI pilates method) who asked me what my ultimate favourite pilates exercises were! Funnily enough his favourite exercise is the same as mine and I’ve added it in as the bottom row in the above picture!
So from the top:
Top row: CRISS CROSS. Begin as per picture 1 with your hips and knees up to 90 degrees (double table top) and your hands interlinked behind your head. Raise your head enough to feel your core fully engage and inhale to prepare. Then move on to picture 2 as you exhale, where you bring the left elbow towards the right knee and simultaneously extend the left leg away.Return to the starting position (picture 1) and then repeat to the other side. Aim for 2 x 10 repetitions!
Middle row: EXTENDED OBLIQUE PREPARATIONS. Begin as per picture 1 with your left arm behind your head and right leg fully extended. Engage your core here so that it is fully active and no extra space under your lower back. As you exhale bring your left elbow towards your right knee- the right leg lifts upwards staying straight (picture 2). Return to picture 1 on the inhale and continue for 2 x 10 repetitions. Make sure when you lie back down that you don’t arch your lower back, keep it engaged throughout.
Bottom row: LEG PULL IN PRONE WITH KNEE TO ELBOW. Begin as per picture 1 in a high plank position. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and engage your core. Hold your body really still. As you exhale move to picture 2 where you bring one knee round to touch the elbow. Back to picture 1, and then repeat with the opposite knee to the other side. Continue for 2 x 10 repetitions!
Phew! That’s an intense workout but some of my favourite moves at the moment for getting a strong, toned core! Their all very challenging and you feel the muscles working instantly. Try them all one after each other and see how many sets you need to fatigue! But always, always keep your technique and as soon as it is slipping, it’s time to stop!