We've put together 9 moves you can do at home, on vacay or when having a busy day, in case you can't be without us at the studio. We take in moves from three different, but interconnectedly mindful and body awareness-promoting disciplines- Barre, Pilates and Yoga. Here are moves for a full body work-out, that you can find in our signature classes, and can do in under 15 minutes!
1. Standing Roll Down (Pilates)
Most of your Pilates classes start (and end) with your standing roll down. It's a good way to set up the body, prepare it for movement- especially of the spine, and be in tune with the breath.
Set-up: Stand with feet hip-width apart, parallel. The spine and pelvis is in neutral position. Let your arms relax along the sides your body.
1 Inhale: Lengthen your spine as you prepare to move. Draw the abdominals in; You will keep them pulled in throughout the exercise.
2 Exhale: Tuck your chin and lengthen the back of your neck, nod your head forward and let your shoulders drop forward as you start bending your upper back. You can bend your knees slightly and continue rolling your entire spine forward and down. Roll down as far as you comfortably can go while keeping your neck, head, and shoulders relaxed.
3 Inhale: Stay steady.
4 Exhale: Begin to reverse the movement, slowly rolling back up, one vertebra at a time. Keep your navel pulled in deeply as you roll your torso back upright.
Return to your starting position. Then repeat the move 5-10 times.
Benefits: Relieves back tension and stretches your legs.
2. Sun Salutation A (Yoga)
Sun Salutation A is the quintessential yoga warm-up and opening sequence of most yoga practices. It has 9 breaths and 9 movements.
Set-up: Stand tall, hands on the side of the body, toes and heels together; spine and pelvis is in neutral.
1 Inhale: Raise the arms overhead.
2 Exhale: Hinging at the hip fold forward, hands to ground (you can bend your knees to release any tension on the lower body).
3 Inhale: Look forward with straight spine, lift head up.
4 Exhale: Press the palms down under the shoulder, step or jump back going into a plank position.
--- Chaturanga Dandasana ( bend the elbows like in a push-up), bring chest and hips down.
5 Inhale: Roll on tops of feet, open the chest, straighten arms (Upward facing dog).
6 Exhale: Tuck toes, lift hips up, push the palms down (Downward facing dog). Stay here for 5 breath cycles.
7 Inhale: Step or jump forward, feet between the hands, look forward, head up.
8 Exhale: Hinging at the hip fold forward, hands to ground (same as step 2).
9 Inhale: Raise arms up, standing up (same as step 1).
10 Exhale: lower arms to the side - starting position.
-Ensures heart health and boosts immunity
-Effective for Weight Loss.
3. Tricep Dips (on a bench or couch) (Xtend Barre)
Tricep dips build up strength in the triceps, shoulders and arms. You can do this exercise on the floor or on a bench/ chair. The purpose and intent of the triceps dip on a chair exercise is to increase the range of motion of the body. Triceps dips strengthen the upper body (shoulders, triceps, chest).
Set-up: Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair. Keep the legs bent under the hips. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.
1 Inhale: Keep the arms straight, pressing the heels of palms firmly into the bench or floor. Keep the hips lifted.
2 Exhale: Bend from the elbows, draw abdominals in.
3 Inhale: Press palms down and come back to starting position.
Benefits: Besides making your upper body significantly stronger, many smaller stabilizer muscles in your upper body, which are typically difficult to engage or isolate, are worked as you control and balance your body during dips.
4. 2nd position Plies with heel lifts (Barre)
2nd position plies allow the joints & muscles to become soft and pliable, assisting the tendons in maintaining flexibility and elasticity. It also works those buns, (gluteus maximus), thighs, (quadriceps) and hamstrings and inner thighs (adductors).
Set-up: Begin by turning out your feet and placing your heels under the hips. Follow the natural turn-out of your hips. Make sure your knees are going in the same direction as your toes and your ankles and knees are in a straight line. Pull your abdominals in tucking your tailbone under just slightly. You want to make sure your chest stays lifted.
1 Inhale: Stand in second position and keep the spine long, chest lifted, belly pulled in.
2 Exhale: Bend the knees, tracking it over the second toe. Engage your thighs and keep the upper body upright and lifted. Keep the tailbone drawing downward to the heels.
Variations: One heel up to plie and heels switching
Benefits: Strengthens the lower body by targeting the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
5. Chair Against the wall (Xtend Barre)
Chair is an excellent leg-strengthening exercise that works to make the fronts of the thigh (quadriceps)muscles stronger. It also works your core to control the body as it goes up and down the wall.
Set- Up: Lean against the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground. Engage your core and put your feet forward.
1 Inhale: Set-up the body against the wall , keeping the integrity of the back.
2 Exhale: Slowly slide down the wall with your back pressed against it until your legs are bent at a right angle.
Variation: One leg lifted, extending forward.
3 Inhale: Straighten Right leg forward, knees in line with each other, toes point.
4 Exhale: Slide down the wall, with the entire back pressing against it.
Benefits: builds isometric strength and endurance in glutes, calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, and adductor muscles.
6. Attitude Lifts (on a table/ counter, rib-height surface) (Xtend Barre)
Attitude works the legs, core and glutes.
Set-up (from second position):
1 Exhale: Plie in second position.
2 Inhale: Lift the leg in Attitude Devant - a 90-degree angle, turned out so that the knee is higher than the foot. The supporting leg is straight (heels lifted or down). Repeat for 2-38s.
Hold the last attitude and move the legs: Small range (one-inch up and down), full range, and pulses.
From Attitude Devant (front), send the legs back to (derrière). Try to keep the hips as steady as you can.
Movement: lift the knees: Small range (one-inch up and down), full range, and pulses.
Benefits: Improves hip mobility, strengthens the glutes and promotes grace and good posture!
7 . Teaser/ Boat Pose (Pilates- Xtend Barre Version)
Teaser is a core killer! It works the abdominal and back muscles and develops lower back stability.
Set-up: Balance in a V position, legs together--- bent or straight (depending on hamstring flexibility) Keep the back flat and arms overhead.
1 Inhale: Set-up.
2 Exhale: bend the knees in, bring the arms on the side Repeat 8 times, Hold for about 5 breaths at the end.
Benefits: Increases Abdominal and back extensor strength, improves hip flexor control.
8. Plank and Side Bend (Pilates)
Most of your Pilates classes start (and end) wth your standing roll down. It's a good way to set up the body, prepare it for movement- especially of the spine, and be in tune with the breath.
Set-up: Kneel in all-fours position, knees under the hips, hands under the shoulders. Extend one leg at a time to the back, engage the legs.
Hold for 30 seconds, 3 repetitions.
1 Inhale: Dip your pelvis to one side, pivot the upper hip lift the arms.
2 Exhale: Lift the pelvis higher, transfer top arm overhead.
3 Inhale: Come back to side plank.
4 Exhale: Lift pelvis higher, transfer top arm overhead.
Repeat at least five times and then to the opposite side.
Plank: Stabilizes the trunk and strengthens the abdominals, heightens metabolism and can reduce back pain.
Side Bend: Strengthens and stabilizes shoulders, stretches and strengthens abdominals.
9. Single- Leg Kick (Pilates)
Set-up: Lie in prone, fingers interlaced, elbows under the shoulders, chest lifted, back extended. Engage the core, straighten the legs and lift it off the mat.
1 Exhale: bend one leg (2 pulses), switch, repeat with opposite leg.
2 Inhale: bend one leg (2 pulses), switch, repeat with opposite leg.
Benefits: Stretches the hamstrings and strengthens the upper back extensors.