You don't have to devote hours to a grueling workout to build strength or burn calories. "[People] think that you need to feel beat up in order to have gotten a good workout," says Amy Jordan, founder of Wundabar Pilates. "I couldn't disagree more."
Although you may love the feeling of sore muscles or shaky limbs, that doesn't mean either is necessary. This total-body strengthening Pilates routine is proof: You'll leave the mat feeling accomplished, not run down.
"We're going to do moves that don't look like a whole lot of effort from the outside, but I promise, it will really burn from the inside out," Jordan says. Better still: It takes less than 10 minutes!
Give your HIIT routine a rest, grab a mat or rug and get ready to feel good from head to toe.
Before you start, prep your body with a few Pilates warm-up exercises, like spinal twists and shoulder shrugs.
Jordan will take you through 10 exercises for 30 seconds each. Although this Pilates routine works best as a sequence, don't hesitate to pause and rest as needed.
- Roll Down: Imagine your head and toes being opposite ends of a hammock as you curl, Jordan says.
- Plank Hold: Keep your arms straight, but don't lock out your elbows.
- Lunge Hover (Right): Focus on using the upper thigh to lift you about an inch off the floor, she says.
- Side Plank Lift (Left): With each pulse, lengthen and reach toward the ceiling before returning to the starting position.
- Bridge Hold: "Think about the glutes lifting the pelvis up," Jordan says. "The hamstrings are absolutely working, but recruit the glutes for that little lift."
- Archetypal Squat: The goal with this exercise is to improve functionality of your ankles, knees and hips. But if this low squat doesn't feel good for you, come up to a higher position.
- Side Plank Lift (Right): As you raise your hips, think about lifting the body up and out of the wrist and shoulder.
- Lunge Hover (Left): "See if you can find connection to all four corners under the left foot, rather than just the heel," she says. "That's going to help you access the inner thigh, pelvic floor and deep abdominals."
- Bear Crawl: To fire up your core, keep your pelvis and shoulders stable as you lift and lower the opposite arm and leg at the same time.
- Plank Flossing: Keep your heels and hips steady as you micro-bend your knees.
After you finish, spend a few minutes cooling down with exercises like the runner's lunge or Triangle pose.
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