pilates moves for better back

There’s no question about the effects Pilates has on abdominals. If you’re looking to transform your stomach into a six-pack, Pilates is the way to go. But this training technique also targets the entire core, including back muscles. Here are five must-try moves for a stronger back.

Do each five to 10 times, switching sides when appropriate.

1. Side Bends

  1. Lying on your side, with your hips stacked, prop your upper body up with one hand.
  2. Extend your legs. Your other hand will sit on your leg.
  3. Lift your hip up off the floor, so that you’re in a side plank position.
  4. Reach that top arm overhead in an arch motion, turning your head to face the floor.
  5. Return to the start position.

2. Pelvic Tilt

  1. Lying on the floor, engage your abdominal muscles and tilt your pelvis so that your belly button moves toward the spine. You’ll feel your back lengthen.
  2. Lying on your back, walk your heels in until they are beneath your backside.
  3. Lift your hips up, curling your tailbone up to the ceiling, still resting your shoulders on the floor.
  4. It’s like your spine lifts one vertebra at a time.

3. Mat Swimming

You don’t need a pool to do back-strengthening moves. Do this swim-inspired back move on your mat.

  1. Lying on your stomach, reach your arms overhead and extend your legs.
  2. Lift your chest, arms and feet off the floor, and begin to swim.
  3. Raise even higher, one arm and the opposite leg, then do the same with the other arm and opposite leg.
  4. Imagine you’re paddling.
  5. Instead of reps, do this for one minute.

4. Spine Stretch

  1. Sit up on a mat with your legs as far out to your sides as you can spread them.
  2. Flex your feet and reach your hands forward with your palms facing down.
  3. Lower your head, stretching your arms even further.
  4. Be sure to do this slowly and in a controlled manner.
  5. And stretch as far as you can.

5. Spine Twist

Pilates, and most studio-style fitness programs for that matter, has moves and poses that look so elegant. Just like this one, which tones the back of the body.

  1. You sit on the mat with your legs in front of you.
  2. Raise your arms straight up.
  3. Slowly twist your torso to one side, then twist it to the other, engaging your core throughout the rotation.


About the Author: LISA HANNAM

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