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Angela Rauter, AP, DOM, LMT, Pilates View Entire Blog

Pilates Conditioning for Weight Loss

4/12/2013
A one-hour Pilates session can burn up to 430 calories, according to the Health Status website. Additional Pilates benefits that may increase your weight loss include improved alignment and posture, increased energy and deeper breathing, according to Lynne Robinson, author of "Pilates for Weight Loss." Perform five repetitions of each exercise in this weight-loss circuit, and then repeat until you reach 30 minutes of exercise. Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Half Rolldowns
Sit upright on your mat with your knees bent and feet flat. Place a 9-inch inflated ball between your knees and hold it behind your thighs. Scoop your navel in as you round your spine back into a "C" shape. Squeeze the ball with your knees to activate your inner thighs and your lower abdominal muscles, according to Robinson. As you round your back, walk your hands down your legs to bring your torso halfway to the mat. Scoop your belly in a little deeper as you return to upright.

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Bridge Curls
Lie on your mat with your feet flat and knees bent. Hold the small ball between your knees and reach your fingertips toward your hips. Press in to your feet and lift your tailbone off the mat. Scoop your navel in as you peel your lower back off the mat. Continue lifting until you reach your ribcage, but leave your ribcage on the mat. Squeeze the small ball and pulse your hips up and down in 1-inch increments. Perform five pulses, then lower down one vertebra at a time.
Bridge Squeezes
Lie on your mat with your feet flat and knees bent. Hold the small ball between your knees and extend your arms along your sides. Tilt your pelvis to lift your tailbone, then your lower back and then your ribcage off the mat. Your torso and thighs should create one long line. Squeeze the small ball five times, and then roll your spine down to the mat.
Criss Cross
Lie on your mat with your feet flat and knees bent. Hold the small ball between your knees and place your hands behind your head with your elbows wide. Twist to the right, lifting your left elbow and shoulder blade off the mat. Twist so far that you can see your right elbow. Hold this position for three slow breaths, and then slowly roll down. Repeat to the other side. Keep your elbows wide and initiate your movements from your ribcage. Do not pull on your neck.


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