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At home pilates workout for killer abs

Posted on March 2, 2016

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Got 20 minutes? Then you've got enough time to strengthen and elongate your body from the inside out. I don't believe in segmenting the body for workouts. Everything works as one beautiful cohesive machine; and in this sequence you'll learn how to power from your core to sculpt head-to-toe in every move at home! 

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TREE HUGGER CLOCK SWEEPS

  1. Stand with shoulders over ankles over hips. Use a counter or chair back for balance support if you need it today.
  2. Feet are in Pilates ist position. Heels touching and toes open like a slice of pie!
  3. Reach left leg forward, big toe grazing the floor (don't lean torso back!).
  4. Hold two 3 lb dumb bells at chest height as if you're hugging a beach ball or tree trunk (I'm a California tree hugger... join me?)
  5. Inhale, left big toe grazes the floor as you sweep your straight left leg around the clock from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock. But stop at 7 or 8 o'clock if you feel your low back shorten and tummy tip forward when you get all the way to 6. 
  6. Exhale, big toe continues to graze the floor as you sweep around the clock from 6 (or 7 or 8 o'clock!) back to 12 o'clock.
  7. Pro tip: Keep the pelvis still and your navel reaching up and back at a diagonal the entire time — it doesn't move when your leg does

(16 reps each side)

Bonus challenge: Finish at 12 o'clock and add 8 left leg raises — lift from the upper inner thigh not your toes — this will engage deep abdominal muscles and the right waistline!

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TOUCHDOWN LUNGES

  1. Stand with feet parallel and 4 — 6" apart. Really gauge if you're standing in parallel — all io toes shining straight forward. I often see folks with toes pointing out who would swear that they're parallel!
  2. Take one large step forward with your left leg, left foot will be flat and right heel will be lifted off the floor. Dumb bells at chest height in front of you.
  3. Exhale, lower into a lunge by softening both knees and allowing the left knee to reach a bit in front of the ankle and keep it aligned with your big toe and second toe. (we call this over your 'foot island') 
  4. Hold at the bottom of lunge to wag your tailbone a bit to the right (levels your hips!), check that your torso remained upright and didn't tip forward like a long jump skier.
  5. While holding in the lunge position, inhale, melt your shoulder blades down like pulleys, to draw the dumb bells up to the sky. Softly bend your elbows if you feel your shoulders rising up. Exhale, return dumb bells to start.
  6. Inhale, think about your inner thighs like a pair of scissors closing from the top, narrow through the hips and lift through the core back to two straight legs. Avoid the temptation to push through your left heel, you'll lose so much of the beautiful core work if you do! Pro tip: As you hold the lunge low, think about your left inner thigh spiraling up to the sky while your right inner thigh spirals behind you. Nothing will visibly move, but you'll feel your inner thighs, pelvic floor and low belly fire up! (8 reps each side)

Bonus challenge: Do the sequence as described above — but balance on the balls of both feet — both the left heel and the right heel remain lifted through the entire range of motion (as pictured!)

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SIDE PLANK SCOOPS

  1. Sit on your left hip, place left hand in line with left shoulder and extend legs long with left foot in front of right on the floor — head, shoulders, hips and left heel are in a perfect line like a pencil. Actively lift out of your left wrist by narrowing your imaginary corset around the waist and drawing the back side of your left underarm forward.
  2. Inhale, right hand has dumb bell extended to the sky, actively reaching for length through every limb — top, bottom, side to side.
  3. Exhale, right hand sweeps towards floor as pelvis pivots to the floor, torso rotates towards the floor, and right arm reaches under the torso. Hips simultaneously reach up and back like a downward dog. Piotp_i : keep length along the left waistline as you rotate to avoid collapsing or shortening the side body.
  4. Inhale, unwind the right arm, torso and pelvis to return to side plank. Re-commit to the organization in your original set up and repeat. (8 reps each side) Bonus challenge: do the sequence as described above, but stack right foot on top of left. The smaller "base" for your feet creates crazy core and balance stability work!

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4 POINT KNEELING

  1. Lower yourself to the floor with shoulders over wrists and knees 4 — 6" apart below hip sockets — this is called "four point kneeling" in Pilate.
  2. Before you move, find your neutral pelvis by allowing the natural curve of your low back to be present. This will feel a teensy bit like sticking your tush out — do so while holding your ribs close to your spine, and keep your navel reaching up and back at a diagonal.
  3. Lift out of your wrists by broadening collar bones and spiraling the inside of your elbows to the front.
  4. Inhale, reach the right arm with 3 lb dumb bell straight forward, and at the same time graze the toes of the left leg back along the floor until they float off the floor and your left leg and right arm are now level with your torso. l'it p_i : check your pelvis — is it where it started or have you let your belly hang down and your low back shorten?
  5. Exhale, pivot the right arm initiating from the shoulder blade, and the left leg initiating at the top of your femur (thigh) bone to pivot out in opposite directions, creating one long diagonal.
  6. Inhale. return right arm and left leg to parallel. Exhale, lower right arm and left leg to start.

Bonus challenge: after 8 reps of the diagonal reach., bend the left knee to 90 degrees so your thigh is parallel to the floor. Place the second dumb bell behind your left knee and flex your left foot as you deepen the crease where your booty meets your hamshings to execute tiny lifts — only so high that the position of your pelvis and low back do not change.

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ONE LEGGED BRIDGES

  1. Lay on your back with kn.s bent, both feet flat on the floor and outer thighs magnetized to keep legs closed. One 3 lb dumb bell in each hand with arms reaching straight to the sky.
  2. Exhale, roll the pelvis like a gear wheel towards your navel to peel your hips off the floor and slowly follow with the rest of the spine — lift with LENGTH — until you are in a bridge with no creases on the front of your hips, and length through the low back. Pro tip: Ribs soften around your heart to activate deep core work. Flared ribs will take away from the core connection!
  3. Inhale, keeping the knees glued together, extend the right leg at a 45 degree angle, front of ankle is open.
  4. Hold in the single leg bridge; exhale, both arms open to the sides with a soft bend at elbows until hands hover over the floor. Inhale, arms bend to go degree angle with elbows hovering over the floor and arms sweep through back to start position straight to the sky.
  5. Exhale, slowly roll down starting from behind the heart and the pelvis follows.
  6. Lower down the spaces between your vertebrae rather than the bon. themselves to really find length through your downward motion (If this feels aggressive, do the same sequence but keep both feet flat on the floor. 4 rep$ each side)

Bonus challenge: do 6 reps each side, but for the last 2 reps hover the standing heel i" off the floor throughout the entire range of motion.

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ROLL UPS

  1. Lay on your back With legs extended, a neutral pelvis (hip bones shining straight to the sky), and one 3-lb dumb bell held with both hands above your head.
  2. Exhale, slide shoulder blades down your spine to sweep the dumb bell forward as you nod your chin to float the head off the floor and continue curling by next lifting shoulders and upper back. Maintain as much length as possible through the front body as you continue to rise — deepening your curl under the lowest ribs — while elongating the torso (no slouching!) as you eventually rise onto your tail bone.
  3. At the top, unfurl the pelvis so you sit tall on both sit. bones with your arms reaching long in front of your chest. Bend the knees at the top as much as you need to achieve this neutral pelvis position without tucking your tall bone under you. t if you are building core strength today, don, hesitate to put your toes under the couch to help with leverage for your rise. Eve, week or so check to see if you can achieve this without Mr. Sofa stepping in!
  4.  Inhale, sitting tall on both sitz bones, maintain your neutral pelvis as you lean back. 3" at a diagonal, then roll the pelvis so the tail bone glides under you and you slowly unwind lowering the spaces between your vertebrae down and unwind back to start position.

(2 reps)

Bonus challenge: use two dumb bells, or add a 5" playground ball between the thighs to engage pelvic floor and deep abdominals even further.

Come see us in studio in LA and NYC for even more WundaFun! Use promo code WUNDAHAUTEMESS at any of our locations for a free class at WundaBar Pilates! 

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