Pilates Helps Build Beach Bodies
Summertime means people will stop hiding under bundles of clothes, and Pilates can help people tone and firm their bodies all season long. NY1's Health reporter Kafi Drexel filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Thanks to Pilates, there's no reason to hide from the beach this summer. Mika Street, the owner of Uptown Pilates showed NY1 a few simple exercises.
"People think of Pilates as a core exercise but in fact in works out your entire body," says Street. "So throughout every season of the year it is an excellent form of exercise, but particularly in summertime because it really tones your body and lengthens the muscles, giving you a beautiful physique."
Roll Down with the Magic Circle
Her first suggested exercise is known as the "Roll Down with the Magic Circle." You start in sitting position with your feet hip-width apart and squeeze a tiny piece of equipment called a "magic circle" between your legs.
You inhale and bring your navel toward your spine and roll your lower back into a mat or the floor until your elbows are straight. Exhale and round the spine back up making sure to squeeze the circle the whole time.
"It's an exercise anyone can do from really the most beginner Pilates student to a truly advanced one, and the better you get at it the more challenging it becomes," says Street. "The magic circle just really accentuates that."
The "Roll Up" works on the abs and lower back.
"You really connect your shoulders into your back and roll up from your abdominals and then you reach your fingertips toward your toes," says Street. "As you do that, you are C-curving, so you are connecting your abdominals into your lower back and your length is coming from your lower spine instead."
At the same time you are lengthening the back of your legs, from that position you roll back down keeping your body still with the exception of your spine.
In addition to firming up your core, you can't forget about the lower half. For that she recommends the "Side Kick Series" for lengthening and toning the legs.
Side Kick Series
"You can use your own resistance, lifting legs up and down, front and back and in mini-circles, making sure the hips don't roll forward or back," says Street.
These exercises do not require a lot of equipment and can be taken on the go.
"These exercises, you can take when you go to the beach over the summertime," says Street. "If you just want a quick workout in the morning before you run off to work, you can do that as well."
For maximum benefit, you should repeat each sequence about five to eight times in a row before moving on to the next.