Guest Post: 'Get Strong Pilates' By Lottie Murphy

Did you know, Pilates isn’t just about breathing, stretching and relaxing? Although these are all important principles, it can actually be pretty hardcore and help make you incredibly strong. Now, I know there’s a lot of hype at the moment about weight training, which is a fabulous form of exercise, but if you’re like me and don’t particularly like lifting weights, then Pilates can still be extremely effective at getting you strong, especially in your core. 

I have created a little 10-minute ‘get strong’ Pilates routine that you can do at home or at the gym after a session. The routine is mainly focused on upper body and core but also works your glutes and upper back. And that’s what I love about Pilates - you really do work your entire body.

Working one muscle group at a time isn’t what it’s about anymore; we need to be doing functional movements that improve our posture, make us perform better in other activities, and give us healthy strong bodies for life. Add these exercises to your regular workout routine and you'll start to notice your strength improve.

Exercise 1 – Plank Lateral Leg Lifts

Come into a plank position and lift your right leg a few inches off the floor behind you.

Take this right leg a few inches out to right, bring it back behind you, and then place it back down.

Repeat 10 reps on each leg, alternating legs, and then finish off exercise by holding the plank for 10 seconds.

Exercise 2 – Side Plank Pulses

Come into a side plank on your right hand; make sure your right hand is directly under your right shoulder. You can stake your feet one on top of the other or stagger them so that one is in front of the other.

Lift your hips an inch up to the ceiling and then back down again. Repeat 10 times, and then repeat the routine on your left side.

Exercise 3 – Tricep Dips 

Come into a reverse plank so that your body is facing the ceiling, your knees are bent at a right angle, and your fingers are pointing towards your feet. Your hips are lifting off the floor and your glutes are engaged. 

Bend your elbows backwards and pulse them x 10, keeping your hips lifted. Repeat 3 more times.

Exercise 4- Plank Walks

Start in a plank on your hands and then drop down onto your right elbow, and then onto your left elbow. Come back up onto your right hand and then onto your left hand, to return to the starting position.

Repeat this 10 times with your right elbow going down first, and then 10 times with your left elbow going down first. Keep your lower tummy pulled in the whole time and your shoulders away from your ears.

Exercise 5 – Double Leg Lowers

Start by lying on your back with your arms and legs stretched up to the ceiling. You should have a natural arch under your lower back and your abs drawn in. 

Keep your spine and pelvis still as you lower your legs down to the floor and your arms back over your head. Then lift them back up to the ceiling.

Repeat this move 10 times.

For a load more amazing health and fitness tips, not to mention enough pilate routines to ensure you're still doing it well into your sixties, visit Lottie Murphy’s official blog here. And if you like the cut of her jib (and by that, we mean her outfit, in all it's 'sunkist coral' glory!), check out Lottie's favourite BAA picks below...


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