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6 Pilates Actions You Can Execute Without Rising From The Ground

Even during moments of exhaustion, there are times when it can still be satisfying to mobilize your physique… even though engaging in a full workout might sound like the final thing you desire. Pilates instructor Chloe de Winter is familiar with this sentiment. She adores what she refers to as ‘easygoing’ Pilates (as illustrated in this video).

“Laying down is crucial for a laid-back individual,” de Winter remarks. This served as the inspiration for her floor-based, six-step Pilates sequence. These movements help in fortifying and enhancing the glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles, she explains. By regularly rehearsing them, you’ll perceive an increase in your back’s strength, postural improvement, enhanced walking and running abilities, and a diminished susceptibility to injuries.

And the best part? You don’t even need to stand up to reap these rewards! Now that’s a minimal entry requirement: The hurdle is—quite literally—on the ground. “These maneuvers help me feel empowered, properly aligned, and steady,” states de Winter. “Moreover, they are crafted for those days when you lack the motivation for a full workout, permitting you to still enjoy those post-workout endorphins. It’s always a triumph!”

Here are the half-dozen effortless moves she frequently opts for, accompanied by suggestions on how to heighten their effectiveness. Attempt each action for 30 seconds (unless specified otherwise), and complete three sets to finalize the routine and trigger those endorphins into action.

1. Glute elevations

“To fortify your glute and hamstring muscles, ensure your tailbone is tucked in to support the lower back, maintain a grounding through the heels, and contract those glute muscles!” advises de Winter.

The procedure for a glute elevation is simple:

  • Recline on your back, with knees bent, feet planted firmly on the ground, and arms resting by your sides.
  • Activate your core, ensuring your knees are directly above your ankles.
  • Raise your hips toward the sky, engaging your core and clenching your glutes.
  • Return to the initial position and repeat.

2. Chest curl in a tabletop position

This technique is “rewarding for strengthening your core and abdominal muscles,” notes de Winter. She recommends to “sustain a neutral spine (keeping a slight gap between your lower back and the mat), relax your head and neck onto your hands, and visualize the center of your chest moving towards your thighs.”

  • Lie on your back.
  • Bring your legs into a tabletop stance: thighs perpendicular to the ground, with knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • With your hands supporting your neck from behind, execute an upward curl using your abdominal muscles.
  • Revert to the beginning stance and repeat.

3. Invigorating circles

“Excellent for the knee joints!” she declares. “Attempt to remain on your side completely and experience the movement stemming from the hip joint—you should sense the intense activation!”

  • Position yourself on your side, cradling your head with your lower arm; rest your upper arm atop your hip.
  • Bend your legs—imagining a seated position, with knees bent at a 90-degree angle, and thighs perpendicular to your torso.
  • Maintain flexed feet, and utilizing your glute and outer hip muscles, rotate your top leg in circular motions (initially clockwise, then counterclockwise) for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the entire process on the opposite side.

4. Body marches during a bridge pose

This activity will definitely present a challenge to your glutes, asserts de Winter. “Body marches during a bridge pose are advantageous for pelvic stability and also beneficial for your lower back.” She suggests a modification tip: “If this maneuver proves too demanding, simply raise your heel rather than lifting the entire foot.” Noted!

  • Commence in the glute elevation stance as previously explained, and lift your hips upwards.
  • With core engagement and hip stability, elevate your right foot off the ground.
  • Lower your right foot back down to the ground.
  • Repeat the same sequence on your left side.

5. Single-leg elevations

“Another test for the glutes and hamstrings!” she exclaims. “Make an effort to sustain level hips and pelvis while executing this—that is where the challenge lies. If a single-leg elevation proves too formidable, stick with the twosome glute elevations.” A classic always triumphs.

  • Lay flat on your back, with knees bent, feet grounded on the floor, and arms positioned beside your body.
  • Engage your core, ensuring your knees align precisely above your ankles.
  • Propel your hips upwards towards the sky and raise one leg into the air, contracting your core and squeezing your glutes.
  • Revert to the starting stance and repeat on the alternate side.

6. Stretch adopting a figure four position

Concluding your sequence with a figure-four stretch “is marvelous for releasing tight hips,” comments de Winter. “Attempt to maintain the position for a full minute on each side if possible, and remember to inhale deeply and slowly as well.”

  • Recline on your back, bracing your core.
  • Overlap your right ankle over your left thigh just above the knee, forming a “figure four.”
  • Embrace your legs towards your chest by clasping your hands around your left hamstring or shin.
  • Retain the pose for a minute, and redo on the contrary side.

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