5 Pilates moves anyone can try at home.

Signed up for group fitness training? Here are 8 ways to get the most out of it.
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Signed up for group fitness training?...

Image: supplied.

She trains the likes of Alessandra Ambrosio and is part of Kate Hudson‘s Fabletics Masters program, so you could say Heather Dorak knows a thing or two (or 2856) about Pilates.

“Whenever you first start a new workout, it is always important to be properly taught in order to prevent injury and be the most effective in your workout. Seek out a couple classes in which you can get one on one training or pop into a couple classes to experience it,” Dorak says.

Once you’ve done that, you can start to master some moves in the comfort of your own home.

Heather’s 5 best moves to try at home.

Dorak has a few tips for doing pilates at home. One is to practise in front of a mirror to make sure that your alignment is correct, especially important because there is no one there to make sure your posture is correct.

“Take it slow and really feel what you are doing. Pay attention to your muscles working and which ones are supposed to be working. By mentally tapping into the engaging muscles, your muscles will work more effectively,” Dorak says.

Heather Dorak. (Image supplied.)

1. 100s

Begin this exercise by lying on your back with your legs in a table top position. Make sure your shins and ankles are parallel to the floor. Inhale.

Exhale and lift your upper back off the floor while your arms reach towards your feet. In a slow range of motion, proceed to pump your arms up and down, keeping elbows straight and concentrate on exhaling for five pumps and inhaling for the next five. Repeat this cycle more than nine times to reach your 100 pumps.

"This gets your whole body warmed up and is a true opener move to start off your Pilates routine. It gets the abs and shoulders burning and blood pumping through the body," Dorak says.

Pilates 100s. (Image via iStock.)

2. Full Body Roll Up

Lie on your back with your arms extended overhead. As your arms point towards the roof, inhale, and as you curl your body into a 'C' shape, point your arms to your toes and exhale. Once you've reached your toes, inhale as you uncurl back in a 'C' curve. Finally, exhale as your back reaches the mat.

"This is a great move for the whole body,"  Dorak says.

The full body roll up. (Image via iStock.)

3. Donkey and Fire Hydrant

The Donkey and Fire Hydrant are great moves to tone your bum. Start on the floor with your knees and hands touching the ground and go into a table position. Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders and your knees are square under your hips. Lift one knee off the floor and then kick back and up towards the roof. Return to starting position and repeat 10 times on each side.

To switch to Fire Hydrants begin in the same position as the Donkey. Lift your knee way out to the side... a little like a dog, erm, peeing. On a fire hydrant. Nice, huh? Hold for a second, lower slowly and repeat 10 times on each side.

Donkey and Fire Hydrant

 

4. Single Leg Stretch

The single leg stretch is a basic Pilates move which works both your abs and obliques. Begin by lying with your knees bent. Lift your head and shoulders and slightly curl your chin into your chest. Inhale and draw your left knee into your chest. Pointing your right foot straight, lift your right leg slightly off the floor.

Switch legs and then swap so that the right leg is to your chest and the left leg is pointed away from you and slightly off the ground. Repeat five to 10 times per side.

Dorak explains that this move is great for the lower abdominals while stretching your hamstrings.

The single leg stretch. (Image via iStock.)

5. Grasshopper

Lie face down on the floor with your head resting gently on the backs of your hands. Pull your abs in toward your spine and raise your legs about eight centimetres off the floor.

Keep them straight - no bending at the knee. Rotate your hips so that your toes turn out, and quickly open and close your legs, keeping them straight, and beat your heals together.

This woman is a little more flexible than the average... (Image via iStock.)

Before you begin, know this...

Like with most exercises, fitness levels take time to improve, so keep at it.

"Consistency and balance are the keys to success. Even if your goals aren’t happening as quickly as you would like, you would be amazed how one bad day can turn into so many good days," Dorak says.

"Pilates is truly something you can do for the rest of your life and your body will always grow and benefit from. For me personally, that is the type of workout that is the most effective."

Have you tried Pilates? What are your tips?

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