Fitness

4 Easy Pilates Moves That’ll Set Your Core On Fire

Fiona Barford is a bit of a walking ad for Pilates – I mean, those abs… She puts it all down to a holistic, healthy lifestyle inspired by the practice. Plus some deep muscle-burning movements. We’ve got a few of her go-to moves here.

Plus: She’ll be taking you through a Chase The Sun sunrise session at Val de Vie Estate in Paarl on Saturday 11 May. Don’t have tickets yet? Um… Hurry. Get them at Quicket now.

But first, what is Pilates?

“Pilates is a method of physical exercise based on the works of Joseph Pilates,” Fiona explains. “It’s a functional form of exercise that uses breath to bring movement to the whole body, strongly focusing on posture and core strength.” These movements are low impact but don’t be fooled, they’re still challenging. “They create a body balanced in strength, mobility and flexibility.” Furthermore, these exercises are highly adaptable, “suitable for all bodies and types, from any age, beginner to pro-athlete, to rehabilitation and expecting mums.”

Fiona initially got into Pilates to improve her core strength for dance while studying performing arts. “I was hooked from my first class and fell even more in love with [it] as I attended more classes and watched my body transform,” she adds. Realising the potential of Pilates, she decided to get into teaching. “I signed up for my first training course in 2008 and have been teaching and practising ever since.”

However, Pilates is not just about creating your best bod, though. “It also led me to a more conscious and healthy lifestyle,” Fiona explains. Quoting her mentor Rael Isacowitz, founder of Body Arts & Science International Pilates, she adds: “Pilates is not simply exercise; it’s a holistic approach to optimising human movement.” And then there’s that burn…

READ MORE: “This 5-Move Pilates Leg Series Set My Inner Thighs On Fire”

Burn, baby, burn

“Pilates is effective as a toning workout because, through the movements, accompanied by breath (and whether using apparatus or not), it strengthens and tones your muscles from the inside,” Fiona explains. “It works your deeper muscles and makes everything leaner.”

Fiona has chosen a few of her fave moves that focus on deep core muscle strength. “[These moves] help make your abs look tight and toned,” she adds, “and bring a lot of burn.”

READ MORE: These Are The 2 Badass Pilates Moves That’ll Give You A Rock-Solid Core

Core Pilates workout

Chest lifts with/without legs lifted

Chest lift with legs raised
Chest lift without legs raised

Exhale and lift your chest; inhale to release.

Do 6-10 reps; hold or pulse for 10 counts on the last rep.

Tip: If you pulse, make sure you maintain your form and only pulse from the core, not the chest.

One leg extension with rotation 

These really work your obliques.

Do 6-10 reps, changing your legs; hold or pulse for 10 counts on the last rep. Repeat on the other side.

Tip: If you pulse, make sure you maintain your form and only pulse from the core, not the chest. Remember to use your breath – inhale lift, exhale twist your upper body, inhale return back to centre, exhale and twist to the other side.

The scissor with or without chest lift

Inhale lift the chest (or back can remain on the mat) and exhale to change (“scissor”) your legs; quick inhales as you exhale to change your legs.

Do 6-10 reps, changing your legs; hold or pulse for 10 counts on the last rep. Repeat on the other side.

Tip: While changing legs, make sure your hips don’t swing; keep them as steady as possible. If you pulse, make sure you maintain your form and only pulse from the core, not the chest. Remember to use your breath as it will help contract your abs and slim your waistline.

Plank

Normal plank
Forearm plank with rotations

Normal, forearm, side, or forearm with rotation to work your obliques.

Hold for 30-60 seconds (remember to breathe while holding).

Tip: Make sure your shoulders are above your wrists, tuck your pelvis in and pull your abs in, lift your quads off your knees and keep your body tight.

Chase The Sun at Val de Vie

Fiona will be leading a sunrise session at Val de Vie estate at the brand new Women’s Health event, Chase The Sun. Get your hands on some tickets and experience the toning magic of Pilates. “It will be a fun class,” Fiona says, not giving away any spoilers. “But you’ll have to be present to experience it. There will be a lot of burn. Bring your smiles and your Saturday morning workout energy.”

Don’t miss out on this sunrise workout. Get your Chase The Sun ticket here. 

READ MORE ON: Core Workouts Fitness Fitness Advice Pilates Workouts Women’s Health Events

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

WHAT I EAT IN A WEEK TO LOSE WEIGHT | WEIGHT LOSS MEAL IDEAS
Weight Loss Meal Prep – Shrink Your Waist!
NO FOOD for 4 DAYS?! | Juice Cleanse Vlog!
How to Eat Pasta Without Gaining Weight
4 Healthy BREAKFAST IDEAS for WEIGHT LOSS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *