For the final week of our six-week sweat series with One Hot Yoga & Pilates instructor, Tahlia Ware, our workout will be based on the Pilates principle: flow. It’s designed to target your whole body, specifically the abs, so get ready to feel the burn. Concentrate on your movement and breathing throughout the exercises.
Every Pilates exercise should be performed with fluidity, grace and ease. The body’s movement is always flowing, allowing even distribution of force throughout. Each principal: centering, concentration, precision, control and breath combines to allow the energy of each exercise connect and flow for smooth, steady and continuous execution. – Tahlia Ware
Want to start from the beginning? Transform your body in six weeks with our Pilates challenge.
Repeat 8 – 10 repetitions
Pro Tip: To increase the challenge of this exercise, try keeping the arms by the ears throughout the exercise. This will create a longer lever for the abdominal to work against. Be sure to keep the shoulders down while the arms are reaching up.
Safety Tip: Try ‘Half Roll Up’ in preparation for the full ‘Roll Up’ exercise. Start lying on the mat, legs extended, squeezing together and arms reaching back behind you. Exhale – reach the arms forward and flex only the upper body off the mat. Inhale – control back the upper body back onto the mat.
Repeat 5 repetitions
Pro Tip: To decrease the challenge try lifting just one leg at a time, alternating with every repetition. ‘Teaser’ can also be performed with bent knees if keeping the legs straight is not achievable.
Safety Tip: Be sure to feel confident executing the ‘Roll Up’ first before trying the ‘Teaser’ exercise.
Repeat 10 full repetitions.
Pro Tip: To increase the challenge try holding the ‘Plank’ and ‘Press Back’ position for several breaths. This will challenge your core endurance and shoulder stability.
Safety Tip: Stay strong through the hands and shoulders. Continue to press the hands down into the mat throughout the exercise and have the feeling that the shoulder blades wrap around the ribcage.
Complete 5 repetitions on one leg, then repeat on the other leg.
Safety Tip: To decrease the challenge; move from a ‘Pike’ to a ‘Plank’ keep both legs on the mat throughout the exercise. Once you feel confident transferring the weight forward and back then try lifting one leg off the mat.
Pro Tip: As you come forward into the Plank, pull the shoulder blades apart and round the upper back to allow room for the knee to lift the chest. Try to lift the knee up as high as you can and rock the weight forward coming to the tips of your supporting toes.
Pro Tip: Use your breath to guide you! Inhale into Extension and Exhale into Flexion. This breath pattern follows the natural movement of your ribcage and will facilitate the movement of your spine.
Safety Tip: You should feel no discomfort in your low back throughout the exercise. Be sure to keep the abdominals working as you come into extension, being mindful not to ‘dump’ the weight into the lower back.