Pilates for Great Legs

Pilates for Great Legs
Pilates is most often associated with core exercise. While it is based on core stability it’s great for your entire body. There are many exercises to choose from and new hybrid exercises popping up every day. The following exercises are from the Pilates Leg Series and they will tone and strengthen your legs as well as your core.

Set up
All of these exercises can be done with added ankle weights but I urge you to try the moves first without them; the exercises may be more difficult than you think.
•I must reinforce that although you are doing leg work, each movement is generated with strength from your core. Use your core to keep your balance and follow the Pilate’s breath throughout the entire series.
•It is very important that you move through the series with your core muscles engaged. Draw your belly button back towards your spine. It should remain there as you engage in a steady inhale and exhale.
•Place your Pilates mat in a comfortable spot where you have plenty of room and privacy.
•Lie on your side and adjust your body into the correct Pilates alignment. You will begin each new exercise by checking your alignment and making any needed corrections.
•Each exercise should be repeated 8-10 times on both legs. Do all exercises on the same side then switch sides and repeat.
•As you do these exercises use control in all movements. Do not swing the legs or make quick movements.

Pilates alignment:
o Line up your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.
o You can prop your head on your hand, or you may modify by stretching your bottom arm straight out above the head and resting your head on it.
o Your top hand should be placed directly in front of your chest, palm down. You will need this hand to help keep stable but it is not to be used as part of the exercise, only as a prop.
o Once you’re in this alignment move both legs slightly in front of your hips. This will help your stability and keep your lower back protected.

Side Kick Front/Back

•Check your alignment and engage your abdominals.
•Lift your top leg a few inches; flex your foot pushing out through your heel.
•Keep your foot flexed and slowly swing the top leg to the front.
•Keeping your leg stretched, point your toe and sweep the top leg to the back.
•Caution: during the back kick only go as far as you can without crunching your back our moving your pelvis.

Side Kick Up/Down

•Check your alignment and engage your abdominals.
•Lengthen your top leg and extend it up towards the ceiling, with your toes pointed.
•Slowly with control bring the leg down. Continue to repeat.

Side Leg Lifts

•Check your alignment and engage your abdominals.
•Lengthen your spine, using your breath stretch your body very long.
•Engaging your core lift both legs together off of the floor a few inches.
•Lower your legs down. Continue to repeat.

Small Leg Circles

•Check your alignment and engage your abdominals.
•Extend your top leg long with toes pointed.
•Lift the leg a few inches from the lower leg and begin to make small circles, continue and change the direction of the circles.

Version of Bicycle

•Check your alignment and engage your abdominals.
•Stretch both legs out long and lift them together up off the ground a couple of inches.
•Take the top leg forward and the bottom leg back.
•Continue this back and forth motion without letting the legs touches the floor.

Do this series 3 times per week and your core will begin to feel stronger, and you'll have a leaner, toned legs, and hips.

Always check with a medical professional before starting these are any exercise program. Be healthy, be happy.

To Purchase my EBOOK click here: Exercise Basics

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This content was written by Terri Johansen. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Terri Johansen for details.