Nothing is better than having lots of strength and definition in my muscles, but at the same time, having those muscles look long and lean!  Welcome to the world of Pilates, Fit Pea moms!!!

As a Pilates guru and Pilates professional, I am a little biassed, BUT I swear Pilates helps keep me stay strong, trim, durable and a little longer (even though I am barely 5 feet tall).  Here is an 8-10 minute at-home Pilates workout that features moves to lengthen your body!  Keep in mind, this is just a small taste of some Pilates moves and these particular exercises may be on the easier side for some, but regardless, great to do for your body and at the very least, gives you an idea of some of the Pilates work.

  1. Lay on your back on a yoga mat with your legs long and glued together.  Then, peel your spine off the mat one vertebra at a time as you reach your hands towards your toes.  Then roll right back down on the mat one vertebrae at a time.  This is called the ROLL UP.  Do 10.
  2. Lying on your back, bring your legs straight up to the ceiling.  Then roll your low back and mid back off the mat by bringing your legs over your chest.  Reach your feet to the wall behind you and flex your feet.  Then roll down slowly till you are back in your start position.  This is called the ROLL OVER.  Do 6.
  3. Sit up tall with your legs straight out in front of you and glued together.  Take your arms to a T position and rotate your torso to the right without your hips or legs moving.  Come back to the center and feel your spine grow longer. Then go to the other side.  Alternate each direction for 10 total.  This is called the SPINE TWIST.
  4. Lie on your side and stack your legs to a 45 degree angle.  Lift top leg and kick it forward and then backward without your hips or torso moving.  Do 10. Then move your leg in a bicycle motion 10 times in each direction, again, no movement in your hips and torso.  Last, turn your top leg in external rotation and make 10 small circles in each direction.  Switch sides.  This is part of the SIDE LEGS SERIES.
  5. Flip on your belly and bring your arms straight by your ears.  Lift upper and lower body off the mat about 1” and flutter kick your arms and legs.  Try to keep the torso and head very stable.  Count to 60 as you do this moved called SWIMMING.
  6. Stretch your back by sitting back in childs pose.  All you do is bring your glutes to your heels and let your head and neck relax on the mat.
  7. Lay on your back one more time.  Legs are long on the mat and your arms are out to the T shape.  Using your core, peel your spine off the mat at the same time your legs lift to a V shape.  Hold the balance on your tailbone for a few seconds and then roll back down.  These are called TEASERS.  Do 10.
  8. Last, sit up on mat and spread legs as wide as the mat.  Round through the spine and pretend to be reaching over a beach ball as you scoop through your belly and feel your entire spine round.  Then re-stack your spine and grow tall.  Do 5 times. This is called SPINE STRETCH.

Try to add it to your routine several times a week for some extra length and if you find you like it, get online and check out a studio near you!!!  It may change your life like it did mine…or it may just be a fun, new activity to keep you in shape!

long and lean

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