Sunday, July 27, 2008

6 Pilates Power Moves - part 2

6 Pilates Power Moves - part 2

4. The Breaststroke

Works back, abs, shoulders, arms, hips

Main move: Kneeling, toes curled under, place center of band around balls of feet, holding one band end in each hand. Slowly walk out on hands and lie facedown on floor, feet flexed, hands on floor directly beneath shoulders, elbows tucked in.

Contract abs and back muscles to lift head and shoulders gently; exhale and extend arms forward at shoulder level while lifting feet. Circle arms out to sides (shown), then in toward legs and down. Inhaling, circle wrists to bring hands back to floor under shoulders, lowering feet. Do 8 reps.

Make it easier: Hold chest closer to floor; don't lift feet.

Make it harder: As you circle arms to sides, open lifted legs wide and hold for 3 counts before lowering and completing arm circle.

5. Starfish Extension

Works obliques, upper back, outer thighs, shoulders

Main move: Sitting with knees bent, feet flat on floor, place band around ball of right foot, grasping both ends in right hand. Roll onto left side, legs stacked, knees slightly bent, and rest right hand on hip [a]. Aligning left elbow under shoulder (left hand forward, fingers spread for support), lift hips to make a straight line from knees to head. Exhale as you lift right leg, straightening knee and extending right arm overhead [b]. Don't sink into shoulder. Inhale on release. Complete 4 reps, then switch sides and repeat.

Make it easier:
Keep hips on floor.

Make it harder:
Straighten bottom leg to form a straight line from feet to head [c].

6. The Hundred

Works abs, triceps, shoulders
Main move: Seated with knees bent, place center of band under calves, just below knees. Crisscross band over shins and hold one end in hand, next to legs. Touching fingertips to backs of thighs, exhale and slowly roll down until back is on floor. Lift knees over hips, with lower legs parallel to floor. Curl head, neck, and shoulders up, pressing belly to spine. Grasping band in fists, reach arms straight, parallel to floor [a]. Inhaling, pump arms rapidly up and down 5 times. Exhaling, pump arms 5 times. Repeat for a total of 10 breaths (100 arm pumps).

Make it easier: Rest head and shoulders on floor during exercise [b].

Make it harder:
Grasp band closer to legs to increase resistance.

Provided by Prevention

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