Frenetic HIIT workouts that increase your heart rate and burn a ton of calories may be all the rage right now, but when it comes to building core strength, slowing down your sessions is worth it.
Anyone who has done Pilates will know this. The slower pace of exercise allows for long periods of time where you can hold positions under tension, strengthen your stabilizer muscles, and improve your core strength significantly.
That is exactly what the following session does. It was put together by Pilates instructor and founder of Pilates PT, Hollie Grant, who also created a video that walks you through the movements. Remember, control is key, so don’t rush.
1 toe dip
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms up. Print on your lower back ̵
2 para prep
Lie on your back with your fingers at your temples, elbows wide, knees bent, and feet hip-width apart on the floor. Inhale and gently tilt your chin toward your chest. Exhale and lift your head and shoulders to bring your upper back into flexion. Inhale and then exhale at the top, lowering your back to the starting position with control.
3 Flexion with toe tip
Start with your legs in the table position, a printed back, fingers on your temples, and wide elbows. Inhale and gently tilt your chin toward your chest. Exhale and lift your head and shoulders to bring your upper back into flexion. Hold this position as you inhale and lower your left foot towards the end of your mat. Exhale and lift back up. Repeat, switching legs each time. To make this more difficult, bring your legs together and lower both feet to the floor.
4 oblique rotation
time 60sec on each side
Start with your legs in the table position, your left hand behind your left knee, and your right hand behind your head for support. Inhale to prepare, then as you exhale lift your head and shoulders and rotate your torso towards your left knee. Keep your hips straight on the floor and focus on bringing your right ribs to your left hip. Inhale and return to the starting position. Do 60 seconds on one side and then swap.
5 hip rotation
Lie on your back and support yourself on your forearms with your elbows under your shoulders. Bring one leg at a time on the tabletop, then straighten your legs so that they are diagonal. Imagine a clock on the wall in front of you – you will be pulling your feet around that clock. Inhale and start circling your legs to the right and down. Then exhale to bring them to the left and draw a circle. This is a clockwise repetition. Now repeat counterclockwise. Switch every time. The aim is to keep your hips still and not let your back arch.
6 roll up
Lie on your back as far as you can, with your legs straight, ankles bent, and arms outstretched without lifting your chest. Inhale and raise your arms, then exhale and start pulling your spine off the floor, rolling yourself all the way up and grasping your toes. Inhale and begin rolling back and exhaling as you roll your spine toward the floor. Move slowly and in a controlled manner.