16 Count Pilates Exercises
Extending the amount of time spent holding a Pilates pose to 16 counts enhances the challenge of your workout. By compelling your body to stay in place for a longer period, you not only more fully engage and strengthen your muscles, but you enhance your balance and coordination as well.
Pilates involves mat exercises which require concentration for all of the controlled movements that are demanded of you. By practicing this exercise method regularly, you will improve your flexibility and enhance your core muscles — your abdominals, hips, back, glutes and thighs. By extending the amount of time that you hold a Pilates pose, you may also enhance your concentration abilities when working out, as these longer poses require more focus.
Supplement Strength Training With Pilates
Pilates works your body to help tone your muscles, rather than bulk them up. For those who value aerobic exercise and strength training routines, exercise methods like Pilates may be another workout you may want to consider adding to your routine. While it does not get your heart rate up quite like running or cycling or kettlebell swinging, Pilates is nonetheless beneficial for your core strength and flexibility. If you feel burnt out as a runner, perhaps it may be because you lack back and abdominal strength. To keep up your endurance, consider adding long-count Pilates exercises into your routine, alongside some strength training regimens.
Picking Flowers Exercise
For the Picking Flowers exercise, start with your right foot in front of the left, in a lunge position. Bend forward at the hip bringing the spine forward over your front thigh. Do not allow your front knee to move forward. Lift your spine back up so that it is once again vertical, bringing your arms back up with your torso. Move back down into the lung, bending at your hips and hold this position for 16 counts before raising up once again. Repeat this exercise eight to 16 times on each side.
Elbow Plank Exercise
Begin the Elbow Plank by lying on your side, supporting your torso on your elbow, your palm flat on the mat. Stack your hips, knees and ankles all on top one another. For extra support, you can place the hand of your top arm on the mat in front of you. Keep your chin in, your shoulders relaxed and stable, and tighten your abdominals throughout the exercise. Exhale and lift your body with your elbow as support, so that everything by your lower legs is off the mat.
Lift your upper arm straight into the air and hold this position for 16 counts. As you exhale, while keeping your body off the mat, bring your arm down and bend it under your torso. Rotate your torso and neck toward the mat. Hold this for two counts. Inhale as you pull your top shoulder back, return your arm up into the air, and hold for 16 counts. Repeat this set four to eight times on each side.
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