5 Pilates Exercises to Reduce Waist and Hips
Pilates exercises are gentle on the joints and spine, and really effective when it comes to strengthening and toning those feminine areas that tend to need a little more focused attention to keep in shape. Try these five, and incorporate your favourites into your exercise routine!
All you’ll need to do these exercises is motivation and an exercise mat! Focus on your abs throughout the sequence, imagining that you have a corset on, pulling your abs in towards the midline as if you were tightening that corset.
The leg lift works on your love handles beautifully, and it’s great for toning them, and eliminating a muffin top completely. Your hamstrings will get a workout, as will your quads, abs, glutes and obliques!
To do the standing leg lift, stand with your legs together, then shift your weight to one leg. Put your other leg out towards the back a little. With your arms vertical, out in front of you, soften the front knee. Lift your back leg off the ground, holding it up and then flexing your foot in short burst. Do this for one minute, then change to the other leg.
This is classed as an advanced exercise, but most able-bodied people who have exercised recently shouldn’t have a problem with it! It’ll work your abs and your glutes.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Breathe deeply for a moment, and lightly press the backs of your arms into the mat. Bring your knees up to your chest, and roll your hips up and off the mat, so you’re in an upside down ball! Your weight should be on your shoulders. Put your elbows down and your hands on your mid-back for stability.
Now the exercise starts. So imagine there is a vertical line between your legs, running from the floor to the ceiling. From that line, separate the legs: one moving towards your head, and the other towards the back of your body. Once they have travelled apart an equal distance each, exhale twice, gently bouncing the legs apart just a little more, then have them change places, with the other leg moving towards your head or to the back of your body. Do this for two minutes, then slowly come down and rest on your mat, one vertebra at a time.
For best results…
…do these exercises every day, or every other day. Try doing them for a month and seeing how you go. If you feel like you want to get a better feel for how to do the exercises really well, but can’t afford to go to a local studio for classes, or simply don’t have the time, try looking for videos of each exercise online. The most critical part of Pilates is how you use your core, and most teachers with videos online explain this really well.