Four Pilates Moves for Strong Core and Lean Legs!

What do Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, Varun Dhawan, Sonam Kapoor and most other Bollywood actors have in common? They all do Pilates. Anyone who has been practicing Pilates regularly knows what benefits these exercises have to offer for mind and body!

When practiced regularly, Pilates make you more strong, fit, and active!  What’s more, it help improve posture alignment and strengthen the core. If you don’t have time to sign up for Pilates classes, then here are four Pilates moves you can perform at home for a strong core and lean legs.

1. Side-Lying Circles – Targets inner thighs, outer thighs, and the glutes

Lie on your side on the exercise mat with your elbow under the shoulder and the other hand over the hips with legs stacked up one over the other. Lift your rib cage in position to stabilize the core. Now raise your top leg a few inches and perform small focused circles.

Perform 20 repetitions in one direction and 20 more in the other. Now flip over to the other side and repeat with the other leg. Remember to control the breathing as you perform the moves.

2. Plie Sides – Works on overall thighs – inner, out thighs, quads, and glutes.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing out. Keep one foot stable on the mat or floor and move the other foot onto the side. Now breathe in and lower your body. Hold onto that position (plie position) for 4 counts. Now exhale and return to the original position. Perform 15 repetitions.

3. Butterfly Lifts – Targets backside including hamstrings, glutes

Lie down with face on the floor or a yoga mat and hands placed firmly under the forehead. Bent your legs at knees with heels joined together. Now lift the thighs slightly off the floor and hold for 4 counts while drawing the heels towards the glutes. Avoid pressing the pelvis into the floor. Perform 20 repetitions of Butterfly lifts daily.

4. Shoulder Hip Bridge – Focusses on inner thighs, obliques, and hamstrings

Lie on the floor with knees bent and hands on the floor along the sides. Now lift the hips upward to form a bridge position. Lift your one leg up upwards, sideways while keeping the pelvis stable. Breathe through the movement and perform 15-20 repetitions. Bring back the leg to the original position. Repeat with the other leg.

Pilates has become a popular activity among individuals of all ages and fitness levels. It doesn’t require any investment as you can perform it on the floor or an exercise mat.  All you have to do is set aside 20-minutes daily and perform this routine to keep your body looking its best!