Many mums and mums-to-be have been calling in to ask for Pilates tips which they can use at home. Here are 3 exercises which you would like to try at home, to address every woman’s most common pet complaint; the lack of tone and strength in the abdominal area!
For the new mum
Pilates Criss Cross – Lie on your back with your hands behind your lifted head and draw your knees into your body. Extend your right leg out long and inhale as you twist your upper body aiming your right elbow to your left knee. Actively lift from below your shoulder and twist from your waist to reach the knee and hold the position as you exhale completely. Switch sides as you inhale bringing now your left elbow to your right knee while extending the left leg out in front of you. Keep from rocking your body side to side and extend your elbows wide. Work up to 10 sets of switches.
For the regular mum who hasn’t done any exercise
Pilates Swimming – Lie face down outstretched on the mat with arms n legs extended. Slowly lift right arm and left leg off the floor, really extending your arms and legs away from each other as far as you can. Actively lift your abdominals off the mat, tighten your thigh muscles to stretch your legs and reach out long to lengthen your lower back. Without shifting your body weight, alternate and switch arms n legs achieving a swimming motion, all this time pulling your navel into your spine. Breathing normally, inhale for five counts (five switches) and exhale for five counts. Work up to 10 sets of 10 counts.
For the mum who has been working on her tummy
Pilates Plank – Lie face down with legs extended, forearms resting on the floor shoulder-width apart, hands in fists. Pull your navel up into your spine, tuck your toes under and lift your hips off the floor so that your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Actively maintain a firm centre, with navel to spine, and your buttocks and legs squeezed tightly together behind you. Your neck maintains perfect alignment with the rest of the body. Breathe normally as you hold for 30 seconds at a time. Lower to rest in between sets.
Tips to achieving your Best self:
– Commit to small amounts of exercise at least thrice a week. Even 15-min sessions are better than nought.
– Throw in a cardio workout that you consider fun. Turn up the music indoors and dance while doing your chores. Try brisk-walking in your favourite park or swimming a few laps before the mid-afternoon crash. Step up to moving more no matter what your choice.
– Proper form in doing your Pilates exercises is very crucial. Focus on doing your moves slowly and with a lot of control. Better to do a few good moves than many haphazard ones.
– You are what you eat. Cut back on sweets, fast food and anything deep-fried! Splurge on vegetables and fruits. Whole grains and lean protein are fine too. Proportion is key. Everything in moderation.
– Maintain good posture throughout the day. Keep your neck long, your shoulders squarely down and back, your waist long, your abdominal walls contracted, your buttock muscles engaged.
– Learn to breathe deeply, completely filling and emptying your lungs with each breath.
Let’s get together to work on achieving the body of our dreams!
Claudel Kuek 🙂