Amy Jordan, founder of WundaBar Pilates, demonstrates how you can get the same Pilates results at home with a few simple moves.
If you've ever been to a Pilates class, you know just how well the reformer can work those hard-to-reach muscles that often get neglected. It's safe to say that you probably can't fit one of those contraptions in your living room, so Amy Jordan, founder of WundaBar Pilates with studios in NYC and California, is sharing some classic, but challenging moves you can do at home. (Haven't tried the practice yet? Here are 7 Thing You Didn't Know About Pilates.)
These three multi-plane exercises focus on lifting, toning, and sculpting your butt, and offer total-body strengthening at the same time. So if you ran out of classes at your local studio, or want to fit in some work at home between classes, grab a few tools and get ready to burn that booty. (Next up, try this 20-Minute Pilates Workout for Hardcore Abs.)
What you'll need: a set of light dumbbells, Pilates ring (a small, light exercise ball works too)
Lunge, Plié, Repeat
A. Begin with dumbbells in either hand as you lower into a 90-degree fitness lunge (both back and front leg should form a 90-degree angle). At the same time, bring dumbbells directly up to chest level, arms straight.
B. Pivot legs to come to center, out of the lunge and into a deep plié squat. At the same time, bring dumbbells up and out to the sides coming no more than shoulder-height.
C. Rotate again to the opposite direction of where you began, performing a fitness lunge with dumbbell lift on other side.
Relevé Plié Squat
A. With a light squeeze on a Pilates ring or exercise ball, lower into a squat with feet close together.
B. Peel right heel off the floor, coming to the ball of your foot. Remain in squat position.
C. Return heel to the floor and alternate movement, peeling left heel off.
D. After repeating heel lift on both sides once more, keep both heels lifted as you sink down one to two more inches in your squat. Pulse up and down.
A. Lie on your back with feet on the floor, knees bent in front of you. Neck is long and relaxed, arms down by your sides.
B. With a small exercise ball between your thighs, lift your pelvis and booty up to form a straight line from head to knees, squeezing ball slightly throughout.
C. Slowly lower back down with control.
*Make it harder: At the top of the bridge, lift one leg at a diagonal, so your straight line is from toe to head. Roll back down. Repeat movement pattern, switching legs.