Personal Trainer, Health Coach and Reformer Pilates Teacher Kirsty McLean from Body Clarity shows you her favourite Mat Pilates moves to get you in shape for summer!
These dynamic Pilates exercises target your bum, thighs, and abs focusing on the smaller muscle groups to sculpt and tone your body in those difficult to manage zones.
Grab a mat and do them at home in the living room or at the park! Bring it on Summer!
Super challenging but incredible for the abs and back extensors, the teaser is one of my number one Mat Pilates moves but I have added a twist with a soft ball to work also my inner thigh abductors.
Start by lying on your back, bring your knees into your chest, place the ball between your ankles then reach your legs straight at a 45 degree angle. Bring your arms over your head.
So we are ready to go.... Inhale then exhale as you scoop your belly and lift your chest, shoulders and curl your abs off the mat extending your arms up to reach your feet. Inhale at the top, maintain your focus, then start to pulse the ball between your ankles (start at 5 pulses, then try to progress to 20 pulses between each teaser) as you exhale and roll down the mat.
Repeat the teaser with the ball pulses up to 10 times.
SICK KICK VARIATION:
This exercise is all about strengthening and leaning the booty, hips, thighs, abs and back extensors!
Start by lying on your side ensuring the hips and shoulders are square and there is a straight line from your toes to top of your neck. Get comfy and support the neck with your hand and your body with your other hand. You can also bend in the bottom leg for further support or keep it straight but on a slight diagonal.
Lift up the top leg from the bottom and indent the foot and point your toe into the ground (this will really target those glutes).
Lift the leg up and down for 15 reps, then hold at the top and pulse for 15 reps. Rest, then repeat 3 times. Swap legs and do it all over again on the other leg.
Have a play around with foot positions (flexed, parallel, pointed to the sky and indented).
DOUBLE LEG EXTENSION WITH A BALL:
My number one exercise for those lower abs with an added bonus of engaging those inner thighs.
Start with lying down in a neutral position ensuing your abs are engaged (a good way to do this is pressing your naval into your spine) put the ball between your ankles. Place your knees directly in line with your hips in a 90 degree angle.
Level one (as pictured) inhale to prepare and exhale as you extend the legs forward, it’s crucial the spine stays in neutral and does not arch when legs are extended. Inhale when legs are extended and abs are working hard then exhale as you bring your legs back to the starting position.
Level Two Advancements
- When legs are extended pulse the ball (start at 5 and work your way up to 20 pulses between each leg extension)
- Add a crunch and lift the chest and shoulders off the mat supporting your neck with your hands and curling your abs. Hold the crunch as legs extend in and out.
- Straighten the legs at a 45 degree angle (like the teaser) and wave the legs from 45 degrees as low as you can to the ground without curving the spine.
INNER THIGH KICK:
This in my inner thigh secret weapon! It also targets the glutes and obliques.
Start by positing yourself on your side (like the side kick) but this time place a small ball under your thigh of the bottom leg. Cross your front leg over the bottom leg in line with your hips and support your torso with your bottom and top arms, this will help you to keep the torso and pelvis stable as the leg moves. In hale and as you exhale lift the bottom leg as far as you can off the ground, engaging those inner thighs, glutes and oblique’s, hold at the top for 5 to 10 seconds, lower the leg then rest for 10 seconds.
Repeat on the same leg for 10 times then swap legs and repeat on the other side.
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