For each sequence below, perform the task to exhaustion (typically 30 to 60 seconds each)
“Plank work is one of the best things you can do for your overall body. It not only trims up the mid-section, but builds muscles from the arms through the legs,” McCammish says. To take the typical plank to the next level, go from an elbow plank (figure 1) to a side plank (figure 2 above), alternating sides to work your oblique muscles. Or, in an elbow plank, lift one leg up at a time and pulse to work your glutes.
“Pilates 100s are one of the best things you can do to trim up your mid-section,” McCammish says. “Laying on your back, bring your knees up at a 90-degree angle so it makes a box at your hip joint (figure 1). If you want an advanced option, extend your legs into a diagonal (figure 2). Inhale five counts and exhale five counts as you pump your arms down to the ground, that’s one rep. Do that 10 times, that’s why they call it a ‘100.’ That’s a great ab exercise.”
For each sequence, perform the task to exhaustion (30-60 seconds each)
Mini First Diamonds
“Bring your heels together in a V postion (first position in ballet, figure 1), then elevate as high as you can on your tip-toes, and bend your knees like a diamond and sit up nice and tall. Keep your shoulders stacked on top of your hips (figure 2). Squeeze your scapula together, pull your abdominal wall in, then just lower an inch and lift an inch. This is wonderful for tapering the thighs, but it also works the glutes,” says McCammish.
“Holding on to the back of a chair or a couch, bend both knees and keep your abs tight (figure 1). Hike one leg up into the air bent at a 90-degree angle as high as you can maintain with no movement in your back or pelvis, behind you (figure 2). Then lift your knee up an inch and down an inch. Switch legs. This is great for sculpting the back of the hip and the side of the seat,” says McCammish. If you’re looking for a more advanced workout, do the motion on your tip toes and extend your arm up while raising your elevated leg even higher.
“A relevé is the best thing you can do for your calf muscles. Stand in that mini first position (figure 1), squeezing your thighs and glute muscles, raise your heels up and down (figure 2),” says McCammish.
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