These Pilates moves will target your core, help you sizzle calories and tone lean muscles. Add in some HIIT-style cardio, and you’ll be beach-ready in no time.
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“Crisscross” is its fancy Pilates name, but you’ll probably also recognize this move as a classic bicycle crunch. Start lying on your back. Crunch your body in and pull your right elbow toward your left knee. Keep your right leg straight and raised off the floor as you do this. Exhale and switch sides, pulling your left elbow toward your right knee with your left leg straight and raised off the ground. Keep alternating sides until you’ve done six total sets.
2. Double Straight-Leg Stretch
Lie on your back. Raise your legs 90 degrees off the floor. Lift your head and shoulders off the ground, using your hands to support your neck. Keeping your legs together, slowly lower toward the ground one inch at a time. Only lower them to the point where your back does not arch – if your back arches, you’ve gone too far. Slowly raise your legs back to the starting position, again going an inch at a time. Repeat 10 times.
3. Roll Up
This move is exactly as it sounds: you’re rolling yourself up off the floor. Start lying on your back with your arms extended behind your head. Use your core to roll your body off the ground and lean forward, reaching toward your toes. Your body should make a “C” when you’re all rolled up. Do 10 reps.
4. Hot Potato
Lie on your right side, elbows behind your head, legs in a straight line and feet just in front of your hips. Raise your left leg high off the floor, pointing toward the ceiling, then bring it back toward the floor and place it in front of your right foot. Pulse your leg up and down six times. Repeat the whole movement: raise left leg straight up, lower it back to the floor in front of your right foot, and pulse. Do six reps. With each rep, pulse for one fewer count until you’re down to one. Switch sides and repeat the sequence with your right leg.
5. Toe Taps
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Inhale and raise your left leg 90 degrees off the ground. Exhale and raise your right leg 90 degrees off the ground. Exhaling, lower your right foot toward the floor and tap your toe 10 times. Inhale and bring it back to 90 degrees. Exhale and lower your right foot toward the floor and tap your toe 10 times. Inhale and bring it back to 90 degrees. Keep alternating legs and repeat the entire movement 10 times.
6. Weighted Butt Lift
Here’s another move you might recognize as something else: a donkey kick. Start on your hands and knees. Place a weight behind one knee and kick that foot up toward the ceiling. Flex and point your foot and hold for one minute before switching sides.
7. Long Stretch With A Twist
Start in a plank position. Bring your right knee in toward your chest then return to plank position. Then bring your left knee in toward your chest then return to plank position. Bring your right knee in toward left elbow and return to plank. Then bring your left knee toward right elbow and return to plank. Bend your right knee and bring it out toward the right side. Return to plank. Then, bend your left knees and bring it out toward left side. Return to plank.
Lie on your back. Bring your legs 90 degrees off the ground, keeping them in a straight line and forming an “L” shape with your body. Flex your feet. Relax your shoulders and use your core to raise your hips off the floor, and pull your legs as far behind your head as possible. Point your toes behind you. Slowly bring yourself back to the starting position and repeat the movement 8 to 10 times.