Pilates has long been regarded as one of the most effective movement systems for increasing core strength and stability. However, it is also one of the most effective ways to tone and sculpt the abs, hips, waist, and thighs. And, with summer quickly approaching, there’s no better time to incorporate Pilates into your workout routine so you’re beach-body ready!
Here are six exercises that will target and tone the muscles you need to confidently wear a bikini.
THE ONE HUNDRED
Lift your legs 45 degrees off the mat, lengthen your arms, lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor, and look towards your toes while lying on your back. Pump your arms up and down vigorously 5 times on inhalation and 5 times on an exhalation. Repeat 10 times for a total of 100 pumps. Draw the navel in deep and squeeze the glutes and thighs. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
STRETCH YOUR LEGS TWICE
Pull your knees to your chest, lift your head and neck off the floor, and spread your elbows wide. Extend your arms overhead in line with your neck, and stretch your legs out 45 degrees, stretching in opposition, while keeping your head and neck lifted. Circulate your arms and draw your knees into your chest. Rep 10 times more. Exhale to bend in, inhale to extend out. Avoid tilting the pelvis or arching the back by drawing the navel in deep.
Lie on your stomach with your arms stretched forward and your palms and forehead down. Maintain stability by keeping the pelvis anchored to the mat, toes pointed, inner thighs pressed together, and glutes squeezed. Shoulder blades remain anchored in place down the back. Lift and hold your arms, legs, chest, and head. Lift the right arm/left leg and then the left arm/right leg without touching the mat. As you swim, slowly count from 1 to 30, lifting higher and reaching farther with each progressive count. Continue to breathe normally.
SIDE-KICKS WITH KNEELING
Kneel in the center of the mat, long-waisted, knees hip-distance apart. Place your right hand, palm down, on the mat to support your torso, and extend your left leg out to the side in line with your hip. The left hand is behind the head, the hip is on top of the knee, and the shoulder is on top of the wrist. Inhale and swing the leg forward, then exhale and swing the leg backward, then repeat. Repeat 10 times in total, or 5 times front and back. Maintain a forward pelvic tilt, navel to spine alignment, and shoulder stability. Repeat on the other side.
PULL-UP OF THE LEG
From a seated position, lift the pelvis and support position with arms extended beneath the shoulders, shoulders rotated outward, eyes forward, and body in a single long line. Lift one leg up with a quick kick, knees straight and toes pointed. Lower the leg and repeat on the other side. Repeat 10 times in a row, 5 on each leg. Exhale up and inhale down.
PULL-DOWN LEG WITH PUSH-UP
Bring yourself to a full push-up position with your hands under your shoulders and draw your navel in deep. Point the toes and lift the leg to hip height or slightly higher. Lift and lower the leg eight times, then repeat with the other leg. Extend your left leg, bend your elbows, lower your chest a few inches to the ground, elbows in, and then straighten your arms. Perform 5 push-ups with the left leg lifted, followed by 5 with the right. Exhale to lift, inhale to lower.
Do these moves three to four times per week, along with 15-20 minutes of high-intensity cardio, and you’ll be long and lean in no time. These exercises are designed to target your entire body, resulting in toned buttocks and thighs, slimmer arms, and swimsuit-ready abs!
The Content is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions about a medical condition, always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider.