Top 5 Pilates Exercises

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5 PILATES EXERCISES, LET’S GO!

EXERCISE 1: MARCHING

Marching strengthens the hip flexors and abdominals

The starting position

– Lying on your back, legs bent and spread the width of your pelvis, feet on the ground, arms stretched along your body, palms on the ground.

– The lower back is relatively flat on the ground, do not arch the lower back during the movements at the risk that the exercise is painful.

The movement

– Exhale, engage the center (navel pulled in as far as possible against the spine).

– Inhale, exhale and raise the left leg to 90° (in a tablet position).

– Inhale, exhale and raise the right leg into a shelf position, lower abdomen engaged.

– Inhale, put the tip of the right foot down, breathe in and lift the leg up.

– Inhale and put the tip of the left foot, blow while raising the foot.

NB: Work slowly in order to control all your movements and to engage your center well.

How many times?

Between 5 and 10 repetitions.

EXERCISE 2: THE HUNDRED

The Hundred tones the abdominal muscles and activates the upper body

Emblematic of Pilates, its name comes from the breathing cycle performed during the exercise: you inhale on 5 beats and exhale on 5 beats, all repeated 10 times! 10 x 10 = “100” Cent.

The starting position

Lying on the back, arms relaxed along the body.

The movement

– Inhale, aim to grow taller.

– On the exhale, engage the pelvic floor (stop peeing) and pull in your belly, then raise the upper back (head, chest to the tips of the shoulder blades).

– The arms are stretched out and parallel to the ground, then activate them by making small beats up and down by imagining that they are posed on the surface of the water and that you want to make small taps and small splashes.

– 5 quick taps on an inhale and 5 quick taps on an exhale.

NB: To begin, perform the exercise with your feet on the ground, then progress by putting both legs, stuck together, in a shelf position (90°). Finally, perform by stretching your legs to 45%.

How many times?

10 breathing cycles x 10 repetitions 

STEP BY STEP MARCHING, IN PICTURES

Le marching, exercice de pilates 1 - conseils sport DECATHLON

THE HUNDRED IN PICTURES

Le Hundred, exercice de pilates - conseils sport DECATHLON

EXERCISE 3: PELVIC RAISE

The pelvic raise strengthens your glutes, hamstrings (the back of your thighs) and back muscles.

The starting position

– Position yourself on your back with your legs bent and your feet hip-width apart

– Lower your shoulders and shoulder blades.

– Contract your perineum while thinking of the stop-pipi.

– Your arms are along your body, palms towards the sky.

The movement

– Breathe in before starting the movement (center engaged!)

– On the exhale, gently raise your pelvis to the sky, press your heels into your mat and gradually unroll the rest, vertebra by vertebra

– Look for alignment between the knees, hips and shoulders.

– Inhale, lower yourself back down by rolling out your back slowly

– Exhale and come back up

NB: Excellent exercise to relax back tensions!

How many times?

Between 10 and 15 breaths

THE PELVIS LIFT IN PICTURES 

Le relevé de bassin 1, exercice de pilates - conseils sport DECATHLON

EXERCISE 4: THE PUSH-UP

The PUSH-UP strengthens all the muscles of the upper body.

The starting position

– Get down on all fours.

– Align your knees with your hips.

– Space your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and place them at your chest line.

– Position your hands parallel to your body, fingertips facing forward.

– Be sure to keep your pelvis neutral (not arched or rounded)

The movement

– On the inhale, bring your head closer to the ground by bending your elbows: your elbows are close to your body and should almost touch your ribs on the way down to work the back of your arms, the triceps.

– On the exhale, return to the initial position by pushing the ground with your hands.

– Inhale, descend slowly, exhale and slowly come back up.

NB: Do the exercise slowly, controlling the movement and remembering to engage your core at all times. To begin, perform the exercise on all fours, lowering your chest towards your mat, then progress by lying down slightly still on your knees. Finally, perform by stretching your legs and leaning on your toes to get a nice plank (body aligned and straight).

How many times?

Between 5 and 10 repetitions

THE PUSH-UP IN PICTURES 

Le push-up 1, exercice de pilates - conseils sport DECATHLON

EXERCISE 5: LEG RAISE

The leg lift muscles your obliques and slims your waist.

The starting position

– Lying on your right side, head resting on your outstretched right arm, palm resting on the floor, legs straight, close together and pointing slightly forward.

– The left hand is placed on the floor in front of you, at chest level.

– The shoulders are one above the other, as are the hips.

– The body is straight and perfectly aligned.

The movement

– Exhale, engage your center

– Lift your left leg (not too high, but enough to strengthen your waist) and your whole body should be contracted, sheathed and toned, from your toes to your skull.

– Inhale and lower your leg slightly, without resting it on the other leg completely.

– Repeat on the next exhale.

Note: Start with your free hand on the floor to help you balance. Progress quickly by placing your free hand along your body or on your waist while maintaining your balance. Yes, yes, you can! You will engage your deep abdominal muscles more.

How many times?

5 to 10 repetitions on each side

THE LEG RAISE IN PICTURES

Le levé de jambes, exercice de pilates - conseils sport DECATHLON

AND NOW… BACK TO CALM!

Your session is now (almost) over!

Now relax by doing the Child’s Pose again (5-10 breaths). You can also place your arms at your side for maximum relaxation.

Want another one? Follow Decat Coach’s Pilates routine with Céciliane!

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