Friday fitness: Here are 5 simple Pilates exercises to retain you bendy and strong – fitness

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It has been more than eight months since the world came to a halt because of the Covid-19 pandemic. As we quarantine ourselves with a view to retain our friends and family protected, reduced physical activity poses a serious risk to our health. An inactive way of life saps our muscle strength and increases body fat resulting in illness. It also contributes to naughty mental health. Working from home all over the Covid-19 pandemic has been stressful. Sitting for long hours can lead to cramped muscles and back pain. Pilates mean you can to stay fit, turn into more bendy and help care for a good postural balance.

Pilates is a form of physical fitness developed in the 20th century by a German physical trainer Joseph Pilates and named after him. Pilates comprises of low affect exercises which helps to fortify muscles, improves body posture and increases flexibility. They minimize back pain and release tension from the body. The exercises emphasise on the core, strengthens the arms and the muscles, makes one focus on their breath and works on the other parts of the body too. The movements in Pilates are slow. As we are all staying home all over the pandemic, Pilates can also be done easily with only a yoga mat as a prop. The workout takes approximately 30 minutes

Here are some Pilates exercises that may be easily done at home:

1. Bridging (The Pelvic Curl)

The pelvic curl is a mat exercise which targets the abdominals, backbone and hamstrings. Lie down on your back with your arms placed flat on the mat.

 

Bend your knees and retain your soles flat on the floor. While inhaling, lift your backbone and count from 1 to 5, exhale and bring the backbone back down. Repeat the sequence 10 times.

2. The Chest Lift

The chest lift must be part of your workout as it reduces neck and back pain when done appropriately. The point of interest areas are the torso, upper back and abdominal muscles.

 

Lie on your back and bend the knees while keeping the feet flat. Place both the hands in the back of your head for fortify and then lift your upper body absent from the mat. Inhale and hold. Then exhale and bring the upper body down to the mat. Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds.

3. The Criss-Cross

The criss-cross is a mat exercise which makes a speciality of the abdominals with an emphasis on the obliques. It helps in postural stability and flexibility. The obliques help in defining the weight. This is a good form of exercise which is very effective for the abs and the obliques.

 

Lie down on your back, place your hands in the back of your head and bring both the knees towards your chest. Raise your upper body and bring the correct shoulder towards the left knee. Then bring the left shoulder towards the correct knee. Do the sequence 15 times.

4. The Hundred

The hundred is a classical mat exercise, named after the 100 beats of your arm while you hold your head, shoulders and legs off the ground. It is done in lots of the Pilates sessions. The hundreds work on the abdominal muscles and the laterals.

 

It is challenging but also easy at the same time. Lie on your back and lift both the legs together at 45 degrees angle while keeping the head curled up. With palms facing forward, reaching the arms straight up to the sky and inhale deeply for 5 beats. Exhale and count till 5 beats . Repeat this 10 time while being in this position.

5. The Leg Circle

Lie face up with both the arms on the sides with palms down. Bend the left feet and rotate the correct leg clockwise 15 times and rotate anti clockwise 15 times too. Make the circle big as you’ll. Repeat with the other leg clockwise and anti-clockwise for 15 times every. This exercise works on the legs and the abs.

 

These exercises do not require any fancy and expensive equipment. They may be able to be performed comfortably inside the confines of our home. Stay fit, stay protected!

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