The weighted step-up is an excellent core exercise for toning the hips and thighs, melting the muffin top, sculpting the arms, building core strength and improving your dynamic balance.
1.) Begin the exercise standing, with your weight of choice, infront of a bench at least 12 inches in height (or more, you can use a chair, etc)
2.) Hold the wieght at chest height
3.) step up on to the bench and then step down alternating sides
4.) Complete 30 to 50 reps on each leg per set
5.) Do between 3 - 5 sets of weighted step-ups per workout.
Candlestick is an amazing exercise that strengthens the side lines of the body. It melts the muffin top, firms up the middle and tones back fat. :)
The girls at the studio love this exercise because it:
-firms up the thighs
-tightens the inner thigh
-perks up the butt
-defines the abs
-sculpts the arms, back and shoulders
-stretches tight hips, chest and "slouchy" neck
1.) Lay on your back with your knees bent and your arms close to your sides
2.) Bring your heels under your knees with your heels lined up with the bones of your butt.
3.) Press the backs of your shoulders into the ground and suck your belly in and stiffen you middle.
4.) Squeeze your butt and tilt your pelvis back toward the ground
5.) Drive your hips up and slightly forward as you lift your butt off the ground (think knees over toes)
6.) Press firmly into your arms and foot as you lift your right leg out.
7.) Kick your right leg towards your head and lower the leg with out jostling your hips or upper body.
8.) Kick hard and fast (without breaking form).
9.) Repeat on the other side.
10.) Complete 10 - 30 reps @ 2 -3 sets per leg/ per workout
High Mountain Pose
An amazing exercise to build core strength, improve balance, enhance mental focus and increase center-line strength for planks, push-ups, head stands and handstands.
1.) Stand tall with feet together.
2.) Suck your belly in and brace your middle (stiffen your middle).
3.) Lift your arms over head and lace the fingers( except your index fingers, press them against each other).
4.) Lift your chest and lengthen the back of your neck.
5.) Raise your heels off the ground like your wearing high heel shoes.
6.) Squeeze your thighs together.
7.) Hold this position for 3-5 minutes.
The Russian Twist is an amazing exercise that balances both sides of the body, strengthens the lower back and gives great tone to he abs thighs and butt.
To perform this exercise do the following:
1.) Place your the balls of your feet against a wall.
2.) If you have a yoga block, place it between your thighs and grip it firmly.
3.) Pull your belly in and tilt your pelvis back as you brace your belly.
4.) Grab hold of a medicine ball let it rest on your chest and hold it lightly with your hands.
5.) Twist your upper body from right to left. Keep your legs from shifting as you do the exercise. (They may shift a little, like in the video but not by much more.)
Complete a minimum of 35 repetitions/side for 3-6 sets.
The squat (weighted or unweighted) is by far the best core exercise ever! The squat strengthens the core stabilizers and tones the muscles of the thigh, butt, abs and back. To perform the squat:
1.) Stand with your legs hip width apart with your toes and knees pointing forward.
2.) Draw in the belly button toward the spine and brace the abs, and keep your bottom squeezed.
3.) Reach your arms forward (or grab your weight) and keep your head stacked over your pelvis.
4.) Lower your hips as low as you can without compromising your form (watch that the lower back does not arch).
5.) Keep your eyes fixed forward and your head stacked over your hips.
6.) Then stand up tall.
Repeat the exercise for 1 set of 25 repetitions. Work the exercise daily increasing your repetitions gradually so that by the end of the week you are doing 35 repetitions. Continue to add 10 reps per week so by the end of the month you will be able to complete 55 reps.
Pulling Straps is a great Pilates core stabilization exercise that strengthens and defines the muscles of the back arms/shoulders and abs. To do this exercise with the best results, you'll want to do the following:
1.) Anchor your band to a stationary object slightly higher then chest height.
2.) Take a few steps back with a band handle in each hand. Remember, no slack in your band.
3.) Stand with your feet about hip width apart with toes pointing forward. Squeeze your butt, pull your belly button in and away from the waist band of your pants.
4.) Maintain the butt and ab contraction as you hing forward from your hips.
5.) While keeping your core tight, draw your shoulder blades down and together. You should feel a slight stretch in your chest.
6.) Reach your arms out to the side like a "T" ( bring them in line with your shoulders).
7.) Maintain this total core contraction as you sweep your arms back towards each other ( palms facing each other)then back out to the sides.
8.) Avoid the "forward slouch". Keep your spine and neck lengthened as you complete the exercise slowly.
We Recommend: 3 Sets of 20-30 reps.
A fitness junkie from birth, Michele was destined to make exercise and healthy living her life's passion. For over 20 years, Michele has motivated many as a personal trainer, healed hundreds as a massage therapist, transformed thousands as a Pilates instructor, captivated countless as a Kettlebell competitor/coach and soothed the souls of several as a Birthing Doula. With an eye toward adventure and a lust for travel and all things active, Michele can't wait to take on the next 20 years.
What Our Clients Have To Say
Pilates 4 Women Only
3930 Utah St, Suite C
San Diego, CA, 92104
Michele has been my Pilates trainer for over a year now. Since working with her weekly, I have now regained the body I longed for after having three children. I am lean, happy, and feel strong and healthy. Her expertise regarding the body's structures is incredible. With each session I find myself more and more impressed with how easily she can alter the program to accommodate my particular needs of the day, and the results are truly amazing. She can motivate you beyond your own expectations but still never seems too demanding. I actually enjoy working with her immensely. All the compliments I get now are not too bad either! Give it a try with her, you will not be disappointed.