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
- Lying on your side, with your hips stacked, prop your upper body up with one hand.
- Extend your legs. Your other hand will sit on your leg.
- Lift your hip up off the floor, so that you’re in a side plank position.
- Reach that top arm overhead in an arch motion, turning your head to face the floor.
- Return to the start position.
2. Pelvic Tilt
- 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.
- Lying on your back, walk your heels in until they are beneath your backside.
- Lift your hips up, curling your tailbone up to the ceiling, still resting your shoulders on the floor.
- 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.
- Lying on your stomach, reach your arms overhead and extend your legs.
- Lift your chest, arms and feet off the floor, and begin to swim.
- Raise even higher, one arm and the opposite leg, then do the same with the other arm and opposite leg.
- Imagine you’re paddling.
- Instead of reps, do this for one minute.
4. Spine Stretch
- Sit up on a mat with your legs as far out to your sides as you can spread them.
- Flex your feet and reach your hands forward with your palms facing down.
- Lower your head, stretching your arms even further.
- Be sure to do this slowly and in a controlled manner.
- 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.
- You sit on the mat with your legs in front of you.
- Raise your arms straight up.
- Slowly twist your torso to one side, then twist it to the other, engaging your core throughout the rotation.
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About the Author: LISA HANNAM