Pilate moves to squeeze into your lunchbreak

Even if you're working long hours to meet that important deadline, you're never too busy to exercise. Don't believe us? We're here to show you some great Pilates moves that you can squeeze into your lunchbreak (just don't forget to eat something healthy too!) Pilates is great if you're looking to create a lean, toned, strong body without bulking up too much - don't be fooled by how easy it looks on YouTube; even though the movements are slow and controlled, they require strength and stamina if you do them correctly. So here are a few moves you can squeeze into your lunchbreak that will boost your energy levels and build your core strength.

The Hundred

This classic move is the key to flat abs!

Sit on your exercise mat (or a rug will do) and hold on behind your knees. Now pull your belly in and slowly curl down to the floor. Curl your head and shoulders up slightly, keeping your lower back pressed to the floor. Now pump your arms up and down at your sides - keep the motions small. Keep your breathing controlled - breathe in for 5 and out for 5 until you reach 50 pumps. Now sit up and repeat for another 50 pumps.

Roll-Up

This move is tougher than it looks - the focus is all on the core muscles, creating strong, toned abs.

Sit on your mat, legs extended straight out in front of you. Now extend your arms out over your legs and drop your head between your arms. Curl backwards, bending your knees and stop halfway down. Raise your arms straight above your head and pull your abs in. Exhale as you lower your arms and curl back up. Aim for 6 to 8 reps.

For an extra challenge: Try lowering all the way to the floor once you've mastered the exercise.

Tendon Stretch

This is a great way to tone your upper body when time is short.

Sit on your mat, legs straight in front of you, keeping your feet together and flexed. Pressing your hands firmly on the mat, look down and use your upper body strength to lift your butt and upper legs off the mat. Swing yourself slowly forward and backward then slowly lower back to the mat. Aim for 5 reps - it's a toughie!

Kneeling Side Kicks

This move tones your thighs and butt, and it helps stretch out sore muscles from sitting at your desk all morning.

Kneeling on your mat, lean to the left, placing your left hand on the mat under your shoulder. Place your right hand behind your head, elbow pointing up. Raise your right leg out to the side until it's parallel with the floor. Hold your torso steady as you kick the leg to the front and then the back, keeping your leg straight. Aim for 5 reps.

Leg Swings

Sculpt and tone your legs whilst getting your heart rate up and those endorphins flowing with this move!

Stand with your arms at shoulder height, crossed in front of you. Keep your abs tight, exhale and lift your right knee up towards your right elbow. Quickly lower your leg and repeat on the other side. Keep switching for a total of 10 swings each leg.

Wall Slides

This quick move targets your glutes and quads - often neglected at work!

Stand one step away from a wall and press your back into it. Now slowly bend your knees to a 90 degree angle as you slide your back down the wall. Hold for 20 seconds. Stand up and repeat twice more.

For an extra challenge: Increase the hold time to 40 seconds and then 1 minute.

Crisscross

Target your hard-to-reach oblique muscles to strengthen your core with this move.

Lie on your back on your mat with knees bent into your chest. Place your hands behind your head. Contract your abs, lifting your head and shoulders off the floor. Now extend your right leg. Keep your left knee tucked into your chest and bring your right elbow towards your knee. Hold for a count of 3 before switching sides and repeating.

Swan

This move targets your back, abs and inner thighs.

Lie facedown on the floor on your mat, keeping your legs together and palms flat on the floor by your shoulders, elbows at your sides. Now press your hands into the floor and inhale, lifting your head, shoulders and chest. Arch your upper back slightly as you keep your abs pulled in. Take 2 or 3 deep breaths. Slowly return your head and chest to the starting position and repeat.

Leg Pull Front

To target your quads, back and and abs try this move

Sit on your mat with your legs extended and hands on the floor, fingers pointing towards your body. Lift your hips off the floor to bring your body into a straight line. Raise your left leg as high as you can without shifting hips. Hold for 3 seconds then slowly lower your leg to the floor. Alternate sides.

Leg Pull Back

This move targets your glutes, hamstrings, abs and chest.

Start in a push-up position with your hands in line with shoulders and abs engaged. Lift your left leg 2 to 5 inches off the floor. Point toes and hold 3 full seconds before slowly lowering your leg. Repeat with your right leg and continue to alternate sides.


READ THIS NEXT: Top 10 free Pilates videos

Author By Paula Beaton
Date On 5th Mar 2015 at 14:22
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