6 Pilates Moves For A Stronger, Tighter Core
The battle to get up and work out during the winter is tough, and the struggle to eat clean foods is nearly torture. But leave the jolly belly to Santa this winter and maintain a slim middle by trying this workout from my upcoming new book, Cassey Ho's Hot Body Year Round. You'll thank me when the weather warms up!
Works: Obliques, quads
Place your hands in front of you, your forearms creating a straight line from elbow to elbow. Balance on your tailbone with your legs lifted off the mat, ankles crossed, knees bent. Beginners, you may rest your feet on the mat.
Inhale and twist as you tap your left elbow down to the mat, exhale up toward center, and inhale as you twist your right elbow down to tap.
x 20 each side
Works: Obliques, abs, shoulders, quads
Place your hands in a Charlie's Angel position, hands held together with pointer fingers up like a gun. Your legs should be lifted off the mat, ankles crossed, knees bent with your torso sitting tall, balanced on your tailbone. Beginners, you may leave both feet on the mat.
Inhale and tap the tip of your gun to the left side of your hip, exhale and extend your legs forward long and straight while bringing your gun above your head and shoot! Then inhale down to the right.
x 15 total
SIDE PLANK ROTATOR
Works: Obliques, shoulders, core
Balance yourself in a Side Plank on your left elbow and feet. Your elbow should be directly underneath your shoulder and your top leg should be crossed over your bottom at the ankle. Raise your right arm to the sky and keep your eyes on your fingers at all times.
Exhale and curve your right hand underneath your belly. Inhale and lift your right arm back up again.
x 10 each side
SIDE PLANK DIP
Place your left elbow beneath your shoulder and prop yourself up into a Side Plank. Your legs should be long, top leg crossed over the bottom leg at the ankle. Raise your right arm to the sky and keep your eyes on your fingers.
Keeping your hips and chest forward, tap your bottom hip to the mat, then lift back up into Side Plank. Beginners, you can perform this move on your elbow and knees.
x 10 each side
Works: Obliques, lower back
Lie flat on your back, head resting on the mat, arms out to the side, palms pressed into the ground. Lift both your legs straight up, heels pressed together, toes pointed.
Inhale and take the legs as one unit to the right side of your body as low as you can go without lifting your upper back off of the mat. Then exhale, bring your legs backto center, and inhale down to the left. That's 1 rep. Beginners, you may bend your knees at a 90-degree angle in Tabletop position as you windmill yourself from side to side.
x 12 total
HIP TWISTS IN PLANK
Works: Hips, core, obliques
Place your elbows underneath you, hands clasped and legs back. Make sure your hips are up and your lower back isn't sinking. Beginners, you may get in Plank on your elbows and knees.
Twist your hips to tap your left hip down to the mat, then tap your right hip down.
x 20 each side
Reprinted from Cassey Ho's Hot Body Year Round Copyright © 2015 by Cassey Ho and oGorgeous Inc. To be published by Harmony Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, on April 7.
Photos by David Kim