Move of the Day: Développé 

  
|| DÉVELOPPÉ || This ballet inspired variation of the Pilates side kicks is a great exercise to tone the booty!

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1 — Begin lying on your side with your shoulders and hips stacked and legs slightly forward on angle, one or both hands behind the head. Have the heels together and toes apart in a Pilates “V.”

2 — Bend the top knee dragging the toes up the inside of the bottom leg and be sure that the knee is pointing up, keeping the turnout of the hips.

3 — Extend the top leg up towards the ceiling and lower it to meet the bottom leg in the starting position. Repeat 4-10x and perform this exercise on the other side.

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Tips: Keep the torso still while moving the legs by pulling the belly button in towards the spine. If having both hands behind the head feels too challenging to keep the body still, place the top hand on the mat in front of you for support.

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Tights: BodyLanguage Sportswear

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Move of the Day: Heel Grab aka Double Leg Stretch

  
|| HEEL GRAB || aka Double Leg Stretch!

Robert Brace of D28 For Life, taught me one of his dance inspired core workout moves called the Heel Grab. In Pilates, we call this exercise Double Leg Stretch, that is part of the abdominal series also known as the Series of 5. This is a go-to move for toned abs!

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1 — Start by lying supine with the knees into the chest and arms along sides. Curl the head and shoulders off of the mat and engage the abdominal muscles by pulling the belly button in towards the spine.

2 — Inhale to extend the arms back and legs forward on a diagonal, keeping the head and shoulders lifted. Exhale to bend the knees in towards the chest as you grab the heels (or hug the knees).

  
3 — Repeat 8-12 repetitions, 1-3 sets.

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Modifications: If this exercise causes any lower back pain, modify the movement by shortening the range of motion. Have the arms and legs extend towards the ceiling rather than having the legs low and arms behind the head. You can also modify by keeping the legs in a tabletop position or having the knees bent with feet flat on the floor as you move the arms back and forward.

If you have any neck issues, rest your head on a pillow rather than having it lifted or place the hands behind the head for support and just perform the movement of the legs.

Chaturanga Tights by Athleta & Free-to-Be Bra by Lululemon

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Move of the Day: Plank

  
|| PLANK || Plank is one of my top moves of the day, everyday! It is one of the best exercises for strengthening the core and entire body, and improving balance and posture. 

There are many variations of the plank using a stability ball, adding push-ups, mountains climbers, and lowering onto the forearms. The basic plank however is sufficient for toning your abs. Try doing a plank everyday for about 1 minute and you will feel and see a significant improvement in your core strength.

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1 — Start on all fours, hands and knees, with hands directly under the shoulders and knees under the hips. Extend both legs behind you, toes tucked under, creating a straight line from head to heels.

2 — Hold the plank position for 15-60sec. Repeat 2-3x.

3 — Rest in a child’s pose, lower knees to mat and open them wide, sit back onto heels, lower chest and forehead to mat with arms extended forward by ears.

Tips: Spread fingers wide and push through fingertips to avoid wrist pain or modify by performing a forearm plank with elbows directly under the shoulders. Pull belly button in and avoid letting the head and pelvis sink so there will be no pain in the lower back.

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Photo by Sherry Dubash

Tights by Splits59

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Move of the Day: Standing Side Bend

  
|| SIDE BEND || The Standing Side Bend is a great exercise to stretch the side body as well as to strengthen the side abdominal muscles. This movement feels especially good first thing in the morning to energize the body at the start of the day.

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1 — Begin standing tall in mountain pose with feet together or feet can be hip width apart if that position feels more comfortable.

2 — Inhale to reach the right arm up towards the ceiling and exhale to take a side bend up and over to the left, as the left arm reaches down the side of the left leg.

3 — Hold stretch for 1-5 breaths and repeat on the left side.

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Move of the Day: Wall Straddle

  
|| WALL STRADDLE || Post morning yoga I practiced my wall straddle, a static stretch used to increase flexibility of the inner thighs and hips!

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1 — Start in a seated position sideways so the body is touching the wall. Lie on your back and get your booty to touch the wall.

2 — Extend legs straight up against the wall with feet pointed up towards the ceiling. Slide legs open to a straddle position and hold for several minutes if possible.

______________________________________________ *Place a blanket or bolster under your tailbone if you need more support for the lower back.

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Follow Pilates Angel on Pinterest!

  

Follow me on Pinterest @imyourangil for fitness inspiration including Pilates, yoga, dance, exercises, fitness and weightloss tips, fitness fashion, healthy recipes and more!

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Monday Moves: Front Splits

  

(Photo by Audrey Lackey)

Front Splits performed on the Pilates reformer is an exercise that stretches the hip flexors, hamstrings, and challenges balance.

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