In keeping with the theme of our previous post, let’s discuss you and your fabulous core, and how to shed those pesky winter pounds. Our solution: It’s time to kick up the cardio—and core concentration!
The Pilates Powerhouse never stops, whether you’re riding a bike, hiking the trails or even on vacation. Here are some tips for keeping it even more active while enjoying your favorite activities:
- Cycling: Find that deep Pilates curl and resist the urge to unfurl your abs. Keep them tucked in as you draft behind the dude in front of you, then pass him because you’ve efficiently used your energy from the inside out!
- Running: When you’re going the distance, it’s easy to think about your tired legs or labored breathing. So, flip the switch—when you’re chasing down that last mile, engage your abs to make your legs feel lighter and your breath more powerful, and you’ll cross the finish line in no time.
- Swimming: Feel like you’re sinking? Think about tightening a virtual belt around your waistline as you complete your laps. When you fully engage your Powerhouse, your strokes will become streamlined and your laps will be a breeze.
- Surfing: Popping up (to stand) is simple if you energize your lowest and deepest abs.
We’ve taken our two favorite topics, posture and Powerhouse, and put them together in this easy, take-it-anywhere, total-body toner, which will enhance the performance of your Pilates practice and other sports. For best results, do it three times a week.
Setup: From a standing posture (either toes touching or feet fist-distance apart), inhale as you tuck your tailbone and lift your arms overhead.
- Exhale as you lower your body into a squat. Hold for 8 breaths, inhaling in through your nose and exhaling out through your mouth.
- As you’re holding, focus on:
lower body Keeping your weight in your heels, try to sit a little deeper, feeling your quads engage.
upper body Are your arms as straight as possible? Are your shoulder blades reaching long down your back? Is your head resting on your neck in proper alignment, or are you looking down?
core Are your abs engaged? Are you popping your ribs? Is your tailbone tucked slightly?
breath Are you breathing, or are you holding your breath?
- Inhale, and rise to the standing position. Take a few deep breaths, shaking out your arms and legs.
- Do 3 repetitions of steps 1–3.
Advanced: On your 4th repetition, hinge at the waist with your arms outstretched and parallel to the floor into Half-Chair pose. Hold for 5 breaths, return to full Chair for 3 more breaths, then rise up to standing.