When you mix Pilates and personal training, you can get a tight, toned, beach ready body in almost no time at all. Most clients feel that Pilates is separate from a basic in home personal training program and requires an individualized focus. On the contrary, Pilates focuses on core muscles and stabilization of the midsection, which in turn, enables you to focus on all of your muscle groups and get the most of your training workout.
Pairing Pilates and personal training in the same workout can increase your muscle definition and give you a lean sculpted look. For fast, seriously fit abs, try these five quick exercises to kick off your summer beach body workout.
1. The Ball Lift – This is a classic move that will target stubborn lower abs that women mainly refer to as their “pouch”. Begin by lying on your back and put your hands under hips for support. Place a stability (Swiss) ball between your feet and extend your legs straight up in the air. Squeeze the ball tight. Lifting and lowering a stability (Swiss) ball that weighs less than 1 lb will assist your stubborn lower abs in tightening and toning. Most of the time when basic crunches are done, cheating occurs, which only can cause strain and pain. In both Pilates and personal training, you need to focus on your abs as you lift and lower the ball in a controlled motion. Take a two-second exhale to lower your legs and continue lowering it until the ball is just off the ground. Then take a two-second inhale while you lift your legs back up to the starting position. Repeat 10 times then rest.
2. The Ball Extension – This move targets the entire abs from top to bottom. While still lying on the floor, squeeze the ball tightly between your feet, inhale and bend your knees to your chest. Then exhale while extending your feet to the ceiling. Continue exhaling, remember to keep your legs straight, and then lower your legs to the point that you have almost reached the floor. Inhale, bring your knees to your chest and repeat. Take two seconds on the inhale, and four on the exhale. Keep your hands under your hips for stability. Repeat 10 times then rest.
3. The Reverse Ball Extension – This is the same move as the Ball Extension but in reverse. Start in the same position, extend your legs out first while exhaling, then lift to ceiling on the exhale. Inhale and bring your knees to your chest. Take four seconds on exhale, and four on the inhale. Repeat 10 times then rest.
4. Dinner Plate – This classic move targets all the side (oblique) muscles that extend around to the back and targets stubborn “love handles”. Again, starting on your back with your feet in the air and the ball between your feet, make small circles the size of a dinner plate in the air. The key to this exercise is to place your legs at a 45-degree angle so you are using gravity to pull down as you rotate. Do 10 times in each direction then rest.
5. The Twist – Keeping your back on the ground and your feet in the air, keep the ball tightly between your feet. Go to a 45-degree angle and twist your legs left and right focusing on the oblique muscles on each side. Repeat 10 times then rest.
It is important to pair personal training components in your weekly workout routine with a great abs stabilization workout. Joseph Pilates created the original Pilates method workout, which traditionally, included machines and pulley systems.
The advent of portable, lightweight equipment has enabled everyone to be able to workout from home, the park, or even the beach. Using Pilates exercises a few times per week and pairing it with a good personal strength training workout will increase your workout potential, decrease fat and propel your weight loss.
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