Pilates is a great workout to strengthen your core. This workout incorporates some cardio to help you not only tone your mid-section, but burn a few extra calories.
Complete the following workout 2 times through. You will need a resistance band, jump rope or towel (something to hold taut with both arms). You will do 2 minute cardio intervals every 2 exercises. If you decide to skip the cardio that is fine, but I do suggest a light warm-up at least.
Cardio Warm-up (2 minutes): Warm up with 2 minutes of cardio of your choice. I use my row machine, but you can do anything that will get your heart rate up. Some ideas for at home are burpees, high knees, jump rope, treadmill or Elliptical (if you have one).
Hundred Pump (5 reps/100 pumps): Lie face-up on the floor with your legs straight and lifted off the ground at a 45-degree angle. Hold a jump rope/resistance band a few inches off the ground with both hands on either side of your hips, arms straight, and the rope/band under your butt. Brace your core, lift your shoulders off the ground, and do 10 small pumps up and down with your hands. Tuck your knees to your chest and bring the rope around the bottoms of your feet, then extend your arms overhead and straighten your legs. Do another 10 small pumps, moving your arms behind your ears. Reverse the movement to return to start. (1 rep)
Waist Twist (1 minute): Sit on the floor with your legs extended, heels on the ground and knees slightly bent. Hold the rope/band taut with both hands behind your head and elbows bent wide. Keeping your back straight, brace your core and lean back at a 45-degree angle. From that position, slowly twist your torso to the right, as if you were trying to touch the floor with your right elbow. Pause, then rotate your torso to the left, keeping your elbows wide and reaching your left elbow toward the floor. Continue rotating at a slow and steady pace.
Cardio (2 minutes): Do another round of cardio for 2 minutes. Switch it up or do the same as before.
Lunge Pulse (1 minute): Hold the rope/band taut overhead with both hands with arms straight. Step your left leg forward into a lunge until both knees are bent 90 degrees. Slowly pulse up and down by about an inch 10 times, then push through your left heel to return to standing. Repeat with the right leg, and continue alternating sides.
Leg Balance Sculptor (10 reps/side): Kneel on the ground with knees together and legs forming a 90-degree angle. Bring your arms straight overhead, holding the rope/band taut with both hands. Keep your upper body still and core engaged as you bring your left foot forward and place it flat on the floor so you’re in a lunge position, then push through your left heel to come to standing. In one motion, raise your right leg straight behind you and lower your torso toward the floor, keeping your back flat and arms overhead, until your body forms a T. Hold for three seconds, then reverse the movement to return to start. Repeat on the other leg and continue alternating sides.
Cardio (2 minutes): Choose cardio of your choice.
Diagonal Back Stretch (50 reps/side): Stand on your left leg with knee slightly bent, and extend your right leg diagonally behind you to the right with your toe touching the floor. Hold the rope/band taut with both hands and bring it overhead, keeping your arms straight. Slowly lift your right leg off the floor by squeezing your glutes, and reach your arms up and over, as if you were trying to touch your right foot. Pause, then return to start. (1 rep) Complete reps then switch legs.
Lat-Pull Plie (25-50 reps): Stand with your feet 2-3 feet apart with your toes turned out, and rise onto your toes holding the rope/band taut behind your head (as if you were holding a bar on your shoulders). Sit back and bend your knees to lower into a squat as you press your arms up overhead. Pause, then pull your shoulder blades down and together and straighten your legs to return to start. (1 rep) Work your way up to 50 reps