For fitness freaks on the lookout for newer and more interesting forms of fitness exercises, the Pilates exercises have provided a perfect ally. Benefits of Pilates are several and they focus on strengthening the core muscles, increasing flexibility, and especially concentrate on increasing the strength of the abdomen, hips, lower back, and buttocks. Pilates exercises have become even more popular because they have variations as well.
There are the Pilates mat exercises and the Pilates reformer exercises that you do at a specialized machine that has an attachment of pulleys and strings. In the following Buzzle article that follows, we will be looking into how to do these exercises by concentrating on different body parts.
The Flat Abs
Lie on your back and extend your legs at a table-top position (as shown in the image), or at a 45-degree angle.►
Pull down the straps from the back and bring them to your abdomen.►
Curl up the head and shoulder and then pulse the arms up and down in quick succession.►
Breathe in while doing 5 reps and breathe out for 5 until you reach a score of 100 reps.
The Arm Strengthener
Sit on the reformer machine facing the arm straps, with your legs extended straight in front.►
Next, pull the straps with your arms, bringing them in front of your chest, with the elbows out.►
Keep a straight back.►
Slowly pull the straps behind your back with straight arms and lower your head as shown in the image.►
Count to 5 and come back to the starting position. Repeat 5 times.
The Back Strengthener
Place the long box on the reformer machine.►
Lie on it on your stomach with your chest just past the edge of the box and your legs spread straight (do not touch the ground).►
Next, grab onto the straps in front of you. Keep the arms straight.►
Lift your head and chest while pulling the straps down to your hips (as shown in the image).►
When you do this, the box will slide forward.►
Release the arms, come back to the starting position, and repeat 5 times.
The Muscle Builder
Stand on the reformer mat with a hip-width distance between the feet, placing the left foot forward (as shown in the image).►
Strap your hands into the straps and pull them to the height of your shoulder.►
Next, extend the arms fully while taking them above your head.►
The platform will move slightly while you do this.►
Come back to the starting position and repeat 5 times.
Kneeling Knee Stretch
This exercise works the entire lower body.►
Kneel on the reformer and place your arms on the rest and keep them straight.►
Next, round your back. This is your starting position.►
Using your butt muscles and thighs, push and pull your lower body back and forth.►
The platform will move a few inches with each movement.►
Repeat this 5 times.►
Arch your back and follow the same routine for an advanced variation.
You can get a Pilates reformer exercise chart and sketch out a schedule for yourself. These were only a few basic Pilates reformer exercises that you can use as a sample or as pilates exercises for beginners and start out with the training.