Go To It!: Spend 10 Minutes on Pilates Each Day for a Stronger Core

I admit it: I was totally one of those girls who started taking Pilates classes because of Samantha Jones. I also drank my fair share of cosmos and drooled over Manolos, but of all the Sex and the City-inspired fads, Pilates is the one that stuck with me.

After my first few classes I noticed that, while I didn’t have Sam’s body, I no longer had neck and back pain, I felt stronger and stood taller. I was a believer and, for the first time ever, I committed to a weekly workout routine.

And now, many years later, I’m still taking Pilates classes each week and, when I don’t, I try to do some mat work on my own so I maintain my strength and posture between classes.

Try to do 10 reps of each of these Pilates Series 5 moves:

Single Leg Stretch: Lie on your back with legs in ‘table top’ position. Curl your head and shoulders off the mat and keep your eyes on your belly. Stretch one leg to a 45 degree angle and return to starting position and then switch legs.

Double Leg Stretch: Begin with legs in table top and head/shoulders off the mat. Stretch both legs out to a 45 degree angle as you stretch your arms above your head and then return to starting position.

Single Straight Leg: Begin with straight legs at a 90 degree angle and head/shoulders off the mat. Grab one leg with both hands and pull towards your face as you lower the other straight leg to a 45 degree angle and then return to starting position and switch legs.

Double Straight Leg: Begin with legs at 90 degrees and head/shoulders off the mat), with arms at your side on the mat. Stretch both straight legs out to a 45 degree angle and then return to 90 degrees.

Criss Cross: Begin with your legs in ‘table top’ and your head and shoulders off the mat. Your hands should cradle the nape of your neck. Straighten one leg to 45 degrees while the opposite shoulder lifts up so that elbow can touch the opposite knee. Switch to the other side.

Go To It! Try these exercises at home and let us know if you feel a difference.


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The Pilates books below will walk you through many more core-strengthening exercises:
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