Pilates Plus: Your New Challenging Workout

By Meredith Abraham and Lauren Bishop

Looking for a more challenging Pilates workout? Pilates Plus might be the right fit for you! This class is for those members who frequently come to Pilates and are ready to be challenged with equipment, minimal rest breaks, and a faster paced Pilates work out. Check out the exercises below for a preview!

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Target all areas of your body using a Pilates Ring

For those of you who regularly come to Pilates, you have probably seen the Pilates ring. The Pilates ring is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for anything from abs to leg workouts. Pictured here is the double straight leg stretch (used to target the lower abs) but when you add the ring right below the ankles, you get an inner thigh workout also! WHOA!

Another great exercise to incorporate the Pilates ring is the famous Pilates push-up! In Pilates, since we keep our elbows in while we do our push-ups (targeting those triceps!), we usually keep our knees down. However, if you add the Pilates ring you can increase stability and can even try to do Pilates push-ups on your toes for an extra challenge!


Challenge your balance with a Bosu Ball

 

The bosu ball is another great piece of equipment to add an extra challenge to a Mat Pilates series like the bridge series! The bosu creates instability, making your body use your core muscles and quads to balance on the bosu while slowly lifting and lowering your hips burning out through your glutes!

We love planks; they are the perfect full body exercise and one of my personal favorite exercises. Planks target your glutes, arms, legs, and core! To have to Pilates plank we keep our arms extended (or on our forearms) and we create a straight line from our hips to our shoulder to our feet. We typically hold planks for 30 seconds and sometimes incorporate our Pilates push-ups into a fun arm and core challenge. The bosu helps create that extra balance challenge forcing you to engage your abdominal muscles and giving your core a bonus workout!


Add some extra weight to your favorite moves with a Body Bar

Pilates Plus means we aren’t afraid to add some extra weight to our exercises…including the always-popular squats! Squats can be added in at any point of the class they target your core, legs, and booty and with the body bar we can also target our arms. That’s why added equipment is great because it targets even more muscles. While holding onto the body bar, we engage the core and sit down like we are sitting in a chair and from here we can choose to hold the body bar (as seen in the picture) or we can add a bicep curl and curling the bar up to our shoulder and then standing back up; we can also squeeze our glutes together when we stand up to give them one last exercise.


Feel the burn with Butterfly Bands

 

Butterfly bands can be used for many leg series in Pilates Plus but Pilates Plus is all about working the entire body so these bands actually make for a great arm exercise and trust me, your arms will be sore the next day! Typically in Pilates we use our bodies to create our own resistance, but the bands do that job for us. The picture shows a triceps series using the bands and for this exercise you hold one part of the band and extend your arm and with your other arm you pull the band letting your elbow go back behind you and you continue this movement matching your breath. These exercise burn out fast and make getting toned arms easier!

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Closing Thoughts

 

Pilates Plus is all about taking our regular Mat Pilates exercises and elevating them (sometimes literally!) These exercises were just a tease of what Pilates Plus can offer a member; there are many more exercises and there is even more equipment that we cannot wait to use! Pilates Plus is all about creating that extra challenge, incorporating that one more muscle group, and letting our bodies do more for us in this full-body, exciting, and challenging class. You will truly leave this class feeling more powerful than before!

Look out for this great workout in our fall TigerX schedule.

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