Wednesday, 9 July 2014

CORE STRENGTH

Building up your core strength is an important part of a well-rounded fitness program. Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work together.   This leads to better balance and stability, whether in sports or in daily activities. Core exercises are also key in helping your get your perfectly defined tummy!

Here are a few of my favourite core exercises you can practise at home….

SCISSORS
Pilates in Chelsea

  • Start lying on your back with upper body flexed off the mat, legs extended towards the ceiling, gently holding onto the sides of your legs.  
NOTE: Spine is in imprinted position with your ribs drawing down towards your hips and a light posterior tilt in your pelvis. 

  • Inhale to prepare. Exhale and reach one leg away extending at the hip.   Reach hands towards the ankle of the leg closest to you. 
  • Inhale, start to switch legs by reaching them to ceiling so they pass each other in mid-air.
  • Exhale and reach the opposite leg into extension at hip.

Repeat 10-12 repetitions.

CRISS CROSS
Pilates in Chelsea

  • Lying on your back with your legs up in a tabletop position, spine imprinted (ribs drawing down towards your hip bones and core engaged. Do not let your lower back arch)
NOTE: make sure your knees are directly above your hips and don't let them creep towards your face
  •  Hands behind your head with elbows wide. Inhale to prepare, exhale and lift your head and shoulders up and off the mat. 
NOTE: imagine you have an apple under your chin so you don't jam your chin into your chest and keep your elbows wide
  • Keeping your core tightly engaged, straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
  • Alternate sides.  Make sure every movement is slow and controlled
Repeat 10-20 reps on each side.

SIDE PLANK

  • Start sitting sideways with your legs bent.
  • Place your supporting forearm onto the mat with your elbow underneath your shoulder. Lift your top hand up towards the ceiling. 
NOTE: Before coming up into the side plank, draw your core in, squeeze your bum and draw your shoulders away from your ears.
  •  Lift into the side plank and hold for 30 seconds. Alternate sides.
  THE FULL TEASER

This an advanced exercise so make sure you have practised pilates before and listen to your body. 
  • Start lying on your back with your legs extended on the diagonal, core engaged in an imprinted spinal position.  
NOTE: keep your back flat on the floor and keep your ribs drawing down towards your belly button.
  • Inhale.  Exhale, nod your head slightly and scoop your abdominal muscles in and up so that your upper body begins to roll off the mat. Simultaneously bring your arms up so they are parallel with your legs.  

NOTE: keep your shoulders back and down.
  • Inhale as you come up to the top, lift your head up slightly and open your chest, extending from the base of your spine and lifting your arms up by your ears (see image) 
  • Exhale and slowly start to roll back down with control, initiating the movement from the lower abdominals.  
Repeat 5-10 times

No comments:

Post a comment