Die 5 besten Pilates-Übungen zur Stärkung der Körpermitte

Pilates is a popular form of exercise that focuses on improving core strength, flexibility, and balance. It was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates and has since become a widely practiced and highly effective way to improve overall fitness.

The core is the foundation of the body, and strengthening it can help improve posture, balance, and overall health. Pilates exercises can be done on a mat or using specialized equipment and can be tailored to suit any fitness level.

In this article, we will explore the top 10 Pilates exercises that can help strengthen your core and improve your overall fitness. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced practitioner, these exercises will challenge your muscles and help you achieve your fitness goals.

So, let’s get started on the journey towards a stronger, healthier core!

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a system of exercises developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. Originally called “Contrology,” it aims to improve the body’s potential by correcting muscular imbalances, optimizing alignment, and promoting efficient movement patterns.

Pilates exercises involve using your breath and engaging all the muscles in your body, with a particular focus on targeting smaller, deeper stabilizing muscles. This approach is often described as working from the inside out.

Pilates is designed to balance strength, mobility, and flexibility in the body, and every exercise emphasizes engaging the core muscles. It can be practiced using just a mat or through low-impact bodyweight exercises, or it can be done using specialized equipment.

One of the many benefits of Pilates is its ability to strengthen the core muscles, which can help reduce low back pain, improve balance, and decrease the risk of falls.

Best Pilates Exercises to Strengthen the Core

Top 10 Best Pilates Exercises To Strengthen Your Core

1. Breathing

Breathing is a fundamental aspect of Pilates, and it is essential to performing the exercises correctly. The technique used in Pilates breathing is different from regular breathing, and it involves breathing deeply and fully into the rib cage and back, rather than shallowly into the chest.

The goal of Pilates breathing is to facilitate the movement of the diaphragm, which is the main muscle responsible for breathing. By using the diaphragm to control your breath, you can engage your core muscles more effectively and improve your overall control and stability.

To perform Pilates breathing:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, and place your hands on your rib cage.
  2. Inhale through your nose, breathing into your hands and the back of your rib cage.
  3. Exhale and feel your hands sliding toward one another and your rib cage sinks toward the floor.

How to modify. This exercise is appropriate for all levels, but to add difficulty, try performing it with your legs in a tabletop position.

Tips. Imagine an umbrella at your ribcage. As you take air in, your rib cage expands in all directions. Aim to keep your neck, shoulders, and chest relaxed, and feel the back of your rib cage connected to the floor.

2. Shoulder bridge preparation

The shoulder bridge preparation is a Pilates exercise that helps to strengthen the glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles. It is a great exercise for beginners and can be done on a mat or using a Pilates reformer.

To perform the shoulder bridge preparation:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet parallel and hip-width apart. Place a pillow, block, or mini ball between your thighs.
  2. Inhale to prepare. Exhale, gently squeeze the mini ball, push your feet into the floor, and articulate your spine off of the mat. Start by tilting your pelvis and then peel your lower and then mid-back off of the floor until you’ve created a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  3. Inhale and hold the position.
  4. Exhale, articulate the spine back down to the mat, aiming to lengthen your torso.

How to modify. To add difficulty, on the third rep, hold the position at the top, engage your glutes, and squeeze the ball on your exhale for 5 reps.

Tips. Aim to keep your shoulders and neck relaxed. Try to keep from overarching your back.

3. Leg lifts

Leg lifts are Pilates exercise that targets the lower abdominal muscles, hip flexors, and inner thighs. They are simple yet effective exercises that can be done on a mat or using a Pilates reformer.

To perform leg lifts:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet parallel and hip-width apart.
  2. Inhale to breathe into the back of your ribs.
  3. Exhale to draw your pelvic floor and abdominals up and in. Imagine you’re gently tightening a belt, and lifting one leg up into the tabletop without moving your hips, pelvis, or back.
  4. Inhale to hold the position.
  5. Exhale to lift the second leg into the tabletop, without popping your abdominals or arching your back.
  6. Breathe and hold the position for 5 counts.
  7. Exhale with control to return your feet to the floor.

How to modify. For an added challenge, keep your feet further away from your hips.

Tips. This is a challenging exercise when done correctly. Place the palms of your hands on your hip bones to feel if you shift your weight or pop your abdominals out.

4. Toe taps

Toe taps are another effective Pilates exercise that helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles, particularly the lower abs. They can be performed on a mat or using a Pilates reformer.

To perform toe taps:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet parallel and hip-width apart.
  2. Exhale and take one leg into the tabletop (same as the exercise above).
  3. Inhale to hold the position.
  4. Exhale to lift the second leg into the tabletop, without popping your abdominals or arching your back.
  5. Inhale the position.
  6. Exhale with control, and touch one foot to the floor, keeping your other leg stable.
  7. Inhale your leg back to the tabletop.
  8. Repeat with the opposite leg.

How to modify. If you’re having trouble keeping your abdominals engaged and feel your back arching, tilt your pelvis back more, so your lower back comes closer to the ground. For added difficulty, reach your foot further away from your body.

Tips. Place one hand just below your belly button and the other hand on your low back. This will help prevent you from cheating and give you tactile feedback. Avoid arching your back or letting your abdominals dome out.

5. Single leg stretch

The single-leg stretch is a classic Pilates exercise that targets the abdominals, hip flexors, and inner thighs. It can be done on a mat or using a Pilates reformer.

To perform the single-leg stretch:

  1. Lie on your back with both legs on the tabletop.
  2. Exhale to curl your head, neck, and shoulders off of the floor so you’re looking at your knees. Inhale to put your hands on the sides of your knees.
  3. Exhale to stretch one leg out at a 45-degree angle or lower — only as low as you can while keeping your back and pelvis in the same position. Avoid arching your back, and watch for the abdominals doming. The hand on the side of the stretched leg will reach toward the opposite ankle.
  4. Inhale to bend your knee back to the 90-degree position.
  5. Repeat with the opposite leg.

How to modify. Keeping your head down and shoulders tension-free without arching your back is more challenging than bringing your head up and curling forward. Placing your hands in front of your knees on a tabletop will remind you to keep your legs at a 90-degree angle, making the exercise more challenging for your deep abdominals.

Tips. Stay connected with your breath, and keep drawing your abs in and up. When you extend your leg, try to engage the back of your leg under your butt. This opens the front of your hip and connects you deeper to your powerhouse.

6. One leg circle

The one-leg circle is a Pilates exercise that targets the hip flexors, glutes, and core muscles. It can be done on a mat or using a Pilates reformer.

To perform the one-leg circle:

  1. Lie on your back with both legs straight on the floor. Try to maintain a neutral pelvis.
  2. Exhale to lift one leg up in the air (your knee can be slightly bent).
  3. Keep your hips still and inhale to reach the leg in the air across your body.
  4. Exhale to make a circle with your leg, trying to not let your pelvis rock with its movement.
  5. Repeat 5 times in each direction and switch legs.

How to modify. If you experience any discomfort with both legs straight, bend both knees slightly and work up to straighten them.

Tips. Engage the supporting leg by gently pressing it down into the floor. Press the back of your arms down into the floor, keeping your neck, shoulders, and ribs relaxed. Remember to lift your pelvic floor and abdominals in and up.

7. Side bend preparation

The side bend preparation is a Pilates exercise that targets the oblique muscles, which are located on the sides of the abdominal area. This exercise can be performed on a mat or using a Pilates reformer.

To perform the side bend preparation:

  1. While on your side, press up on your forearm and elbow with both knees bent. Your feet will be behind you, with your knees in line with your hips.
  2. Exhale to push your forearm into the floor and lift your hips into the air.
  3. Inhale to lower your hips halfway.
  4. Exhale to lift your hips up again. Repeat 8–10 times.
  5. Inhale to lower your hips with control. Repeat on the other side.

How to modify. To add difficulty, straighten your legs and lift to make a straight line from your head to your foot.

Tips. Imagine you’re squeezing a tennis ball in your underarm to keep from sinking into your shoulder or tensing your neck.

8. Sidekick

The sidekick is a Pilates exercise that focuses on the hip abductors, glutes, and core muscles. This exercise can be done on a mat or using a Pilates reformer.

To perform the sidekick:

  1. Lie on your side with your bottom arm reaching long overhead, and rest your ear on your arm. Keep your knees straight and bring your feet forward, angling your legs about 30–45 degrees in front of your body.
  2. Imagine you’re gently tightening a belt to lift and draw in your abdominals.
  3. Lift your top leg up until it’s in line with your hip.
  4. Without arching or flexing your back, inhale to kick your leg forward.
  5. Exhale to kick your leg back, open your hip, and engage your glutes and hamstrings.
  6. As you bring your leg through the full range of motion, aim to keep your hips stacked and spine long, without arching, tucking, or rolling your pelvis out of position.
  7. Repeat 8–10 times and switch sides.

How to modify. To make it easier, bend your bottom leg for more stability. To make it harder, lift up onto your elbow and forearm to challenge your stability.

Tips. Use control instead of momentum to kick your leg, and keep your leg in line with your hip.

9. Side leg lifts

Side leg lifts are another Pilates exercise that targets the hip abductors, glutes, and outer thighs. This exercise can be done on a mat or using a Pilates reformer.

To perform side leg lifts:

  1. Lie on your side with your legs straight and in line with your hips. Keep your bottom arm reaching long overhead, and rest your ear on your arm. Use the hand of the top arm on the floor in front of your lower belly for balance.
  2. Exhale to lengthen your legs and upper body in opposition and lift both legs off of the floor.
  3. Inhale with control to lower your legs.
  4. Repeat 8–10 times and switch sides.

How to modify. To challenge your balance and strength, lift your upper body away from the floor with your legs.

Tips. Aim to keep your alignment by keeping your body in a straight line. Check your ribs and lower back to make sure you’re not overarching.

10. Swan dive

The swan dive is a Pilates exercise that targets the back muscles, particularly the lower back muscles, as well as the shoulders and glutes. It can be done on a mat or using a Pilates reformer.

To perform the swan dive:

  1. Keeping your elbows parallel and bent, lie face down on the floor with your hands flat on the floor and in line with your shoulders.
  2. Begin with your body engaged, your abs are drawn in and up, and your lower back lengthened (be sure not to sink or arch into your lower back). Your legs are straight and lengthened with your hamstrings and glutes engaged.
  3. Inhale to imagine reaching through the top of your head. Gently press into the floor with your hands and lift your head, chest, and ribs as far as your body will go without strain.
  4. Exhale to lengthen your torso and return to the mat.
  5. Repeat 5–8 times

How to modify. Go only as far as you can while maintaining a connection in your abdominal muscles.

Tips. Throughout the exercise, keep all of your muscles engaged. Imagine you’re lifting your rib cage away from your hips, creating more space, and getting taller. Watch out for just pressing up into the position using only your arms and compressing your lower back.

Schlussfolgerung

Pilates is an excellent exercise method that focuses on strengthening the core muscles of the body. By incorporating Pilates exercises into your workout routine, you can improve your posture, balance, flexibility, and overall fitness level.

The top 10 Pilates exercises discussed in this article can help you achieve a strong and toned core. However, it’s essential to remember that consistency and proper form are crucial for success with Pilates.

So, start slowly, listen to your body, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your Pilates workouts. With time and dedication, you can reap the many benefits of Pilates and achieve a healthier, more robust, and more stable core.

Einen Kommentar hinterlassen

Anmeldung zum Newsletter

Insider-Angebote und Blitzverkäufe jede Woche in Ihrem Posteingang.