October 11th, 2019
Despite what you may think, Pilates is no joke. This popular exercise involves bodyweight-only exercises generally performed on a reformer – a piece of equipment that uses pulleys to focus on range of motion instead of resistance. We love Pilates at our South Tampa gym because:
- It activates lesser-used muscles to fully work the core.
- This type of movement counteracts the tightening and stress of sports-specific, high-impact training.
More and more, pro and elite athletes are incorporating power Pilates moves into their training. Here we share some of our favorite moves that can be added to any workout or athletic training program!
Pilates for CrossFitters
Love those big, explosive CrossFit moves? Then you need to build up the core, create greater flexibility in the hips, and protect the lower back. These Pilates exercises are great to incorporate in your training:
Pilates Move: The Saw
How you do it: Sit upright with legs extended in a V (slightly wider than your hips).
Reach both arms out to the side at shoulder height. Pull the abdominal muscles in and up, lengthening both sides of your waist. Inhale and twist at the waist to your right.
As you dive forward, exhale and stretch your left hand across your right foot. Keep your head down as your other arm reaches up and back. Return to a seated position, inhale, and alternate with the other side.
Pilates Move: The Swimmer
How you do it: Lie face down with your arms stretched over your head while keeping your legs straight and together.
With your chin tucked and eyes looking down, raise your right arm and left leg about 6” off the ground, floating your head and chest up off the mat. Hold the position for 10 breaths, and alternate arms and legs.
Pilates for Endurance Athletes
Any athlete, such as a triathlete, cyclist, or runners, who constantly uses repetitive movements will benefit from Pilates. It adds core strength and stability, as well as increased mobility in the spine, hips, and shoulders.
Pilates Move: Single-Leg Kick
How you do it: Lying face down with your elbows propped, stretch your legs and press them together.
Lift your torso from the floor, creating as much space between your body and the floor as possible. Keep your pelvis and thighs down. As you exhale, bend your right knee to kick your heel towards your butt two times quickly. Then inhale as you stretch and bring the leg back to the starting position. Repeat this move 10 times on each leg.
Pilates Move: Kneeling Bicycle
How you do it: Kneel on your left knee with your right leg extended straight out to the side. Lean left and place your left hand on the floor.
Raise your right leg until your foot is just below hip height. As you exhale, swing your right leg forward and inhale as you bend your right knee (sweeping the leg back as far as possible). Repeat five times and alternate the legs.
Pilates for Lifters
These moves create pelvic stability for heavy lifts and increase flexibility and range of motion in the hamstrings, hips, and lower back.
Pilates Move: Double Leg Kick
How you do it: Lying face down, bend your knees to reach the heels towards your butt.
Reach your arms behind your back, fingers laced, elbows bent, and your head turned to the right. Inhale and kick both heels out to your butt two to three times quickly.
Exhale as you stretch your legs and arms out while lifting your head and chest. Lower your body to a starting position with your head turned to the left. Repeat six to 10 complete breath cycles.
Pilates Move: The Teaser
How you do it: With your spine, head, and shoulders anchored to the floor, lift your legs to a 90-degree angle at your hips and a 90-degree angle at the knees.
Keep arms raised slightly at chest level. Sweep your arms overhead then back down towards your sides while simultaneously extending your legs straight up and out, lifting your body into a V-sit position. Hold for a few breaths.
Roll back one vertebra at a time until you reach the starting position. Repeat three to five breathing cycles.
Pilates Pro Tip: You can make this move more challenging by holding a medicine ball.
Power Up with Pilates at DrivenFit + SWS
With Pilates, you strengthen the muscles that are closer to your bones and you’re focused on activating your core. With this type of workout, you’re always working in extension so you lengthen instead of shorten your muscles.
At our South Tampa wellness studio, we provide a fitness journey with a program built specifically for each client. For more information on our private and semi-private personal training sessions, massage therapy, and chiropractic care services –and of course our amazing Pilates classes—call or text DrivenFit + SWS today at (813) 440-3016.