Want a flat stomach and slim waist? Then Pilates exercises are just the thing. If you've been wanting to lose a few excess pounds, increase your fitness and at the same time tone the well-known problem areas of stomach, legs and buttocks, the combination of gymnastics elements, strength training and yoga is an excellent choice.
The best thing about it: Pilates can be done anywhere. All you need is a fitness or gymnastics mat and loose-fitting sportswear so that you have enough freedom of movement for the individual Pilates exercises. You are ready to go. Whether in good weather in the park, on holiday or in the living room at home - you can save yourself a trip to the gym with Pilates strength training - and with it a lot of time.
In order for the workout to be a complete success at home, it is important to know the right Pilates exercises and to perform them correctly. Especially newcomers can quickly lose track of the huge variety of different forms and positions and thus also lose motivation.
Ultimately, however, the following applies: Only those who train with discipline and the right intensity will increase their fitness in the long term and do something good for their health.
To prepare the body for the Pilates workout and mobilize the entire spine, the so-called cat hump is one of the ideal Pilates exercises to start with.
The starting position is the quadruped stand: Now slowly roll your head down so that the chin almost touches the upper chest at the end position, and at the same time push the pelvis forward. Remain in this position briefly, trying to keep the abdomen and pelvic floor under tension.
Now release the tension, roll the head back into the neck in a controlled manner and bend the spine in parallel - exhale slowly. After holding this position for a short time, return to the starting position. Repeat the Pilates exercises a total of six to eight times.
The starting position for the Double Leg Stretch is supine. The legs form a right angle, the arms lie at the sides of the body, the feet are on the floor.
Now lift the legs closed and bring the knees towards the upper body, at the same time lift the upper body slightly forward and touch the legs between the knee and middle lower leg with the hands. Hold this position briefly and tense the abdomen and pelvic floor.
Now fully extend the legs and at the same time extend the arms upwards away from the legs, exhaling as you do so.
Throughout the Pilates exercise, keep the upper body slightly elevated to maintain tension on the core. Do a total of six to eight repetitions.
The spine stretch is the ideal strength training exercise for the back. The starting position is an upright sitting position with the legs stretched out and slightly apart, the tips of the feet pointing towards the ceiling.
Now inhale deeply and, as you exhale, bend your upper body forward, vertebra by vertebra, with your arms stretched out in front of you. Try to bring the head between the arms and initiate the movement from the thoracic spine.
The lumbar spine remains straight throughout the exercise. Now gently return to the starting position, inhaling as you do so. As with most Pilates exercises, six to eight repetitions are optimal.
The arm and leg stretches not only activate the torso and buttocks, but also the back, shoulders, arms and legs - the perfect strength training for the whole body.
We start the Pilates exercise again from the quadruped position - pay special attention to a straight back and do not position your hands and feet too close to each other, because here you also need coordination and a sense of balance.
Once you have found a secure stance, extend the left arm forward and the right leg backward so that arm and leg form a line with the upper body.
Hold this position for a few seconds while tensing your abdomen and pelvic floor. It is important that the lumbar spine does not sag. When returning to the starting position, exhale and do the exercise again with the right arm and left leg - repeat the whole thing six to eight times.
Combined with a crisp endurance workout, such as Tabata, these Pilates exercises are the perfect home fitness workout and are also good for your health.