It is my day off today and I did this feel good full-body Pilates flow at home. I enjoyed it so much that I thought I would share it with you all, and walk through why each move is so effective as we go. Through the power of low-impact movement and Pilates I have learned that exercise is not simply just going through the motions to try and burn calories. It is much more than that. If you focus on your breath and the muscles being worked as you exercise, you begin to realize why each movement is effective for different parts of your body and the work truly pays off.
For this workout, do 45 seconds on, 15 seconds rest. Don’t forget to repeat everything and keep your form the entire way through. In between your Pilates moves, you can add a round of 30 seconds mountain climbers, jump squats, high knees, and jumping jacks if you want to make it a Pilates/HIIT combo. Sometimes I do this and I am sore for days. Give it a go, if you never have. Each movement will contain a GIF of me demonstrating as well as a short description for how to make the most out of the movement.
We start off with a donkey kick. This is a perfect way to warm up the glutes. Glute activation is very important to ensuring your lower body is firing throughout your workout. Ensuring you do it properly every time changes the game. For this exercise, I am on my forearms for extra stability, but you can also do this on your hands. Be sure to keep your foot flexed. If you are on your hands, keep a flat back and don’t arch your spine upon each repetition. Pulse for the last 15 seconds at the top of your kick!
Next up we are going into one of my favorites. This is a bird dog variation and you will notice I am staying on my other forearm, and lifting up my arm and leg at the same time. With a booty band on, and squeezing at the top of the rep, this one is killer. It may look simple enough but it is extremely difficult…and effective. This also challenges your core strength. Same thing as above, for the last 15 seconds, keep your arm and leg lifted and pulse.
We are now going to be moving into some leg lifts for our side glute. Start off by lifting your leg fully up and down for 10 repetitions- one forearm on the ground and the other fingers sprawled on the ground in front of you for balance. After the full 10 reps, pulse it out with your other arm lifted. This is really going to burn out the side booty, and challenge your core strength. I love this exercise!
We are now lying on our side doing some leg sweeps. This exercise is great because we are lying down for a bit…but the work does not stop. Swoop your leg with your toe pointed up your lying leg, flex it on the way down. After 10 full reps, open your leg up and down ( a regular side leg lift ).
Finishing off our side, we are going to be doing 10 side plank lifts. Pulse your plank for the rest of the exercise. Tiny range of movement, big reward. Keep your arm up the entire time for extra challenge.
Next up we are moving into an arm sequence. I am using 5lb dumbbells but you can use lighter weights or wrist weights. Bring your arms out and then in front of you. Keep going for the full 45 seconds. Not pictured, I also love doing bent over rows for a full round and then push-ups ( no knees for bonus points! )
Don’t neglect your back! Let’s do 45 seconds of back bow pulses. You can also do an airplane variation, shown above with your arms fully extended. This is also amazing for your booty ( keep that band on! )
To finish off our workout, we are going to be doing downward dog lifts. I love this exercise for a good stretch and burnout. Do full downward dog lifts, and then pulse out for the last 15 seconds, as shown above. This should be burning the glutes! Repeat the sequence on the other leg. After this, come through a nice upward dog and childs pose to stretch.