A 5-Move Pilates Routine To Activate & Energize Your Entire Body
Let's face it: Sometimes you need a little extra burst of energy to get through the day. Rather than reaching for that cup of caffeine, I recommend grabbing your yoga mat and moving your body.
To help you out, I've put together five of my go-to moves that activate and energize your entire body. Each exercise generates heat and creates a deep, feel-good burn that will leave you with a burst of energy by the end.
You can do each move one after the other for a concise, low-impact, higher-intensity workout that fits into the beginning, middle, or end of your day. Finish your full-body activation with some deep and mindful breathing to connect with your body and feel ready to take on the rest of your day!
Downward Dog to Plank Knee Hover
- Start in a downward-dog position pressing your hips up toward the sky, belly button drawn back toward your spine, shoulders back and down, and palms pressing down into your mat.
- Enjoy the beautiful stretch and then ripple forward into a high-plank position, lining up your shoulders with your wrists, and lengthen out of your spine and body.
- Draw one knee in toward your chest, engaging your core.
- Press back to a downward dog and repeat with the opposite leg.
- Note: This move actives a deep core connection and creates heat in the body.
Squat with Leg Extension
- Begin in a squat position lining up your knees with your 4th or 5th toe. Take your weight into the back of your heels.
- Engage your core, press your shoulders down and back. Using resistance extend one leg behind you, flexing the foot. Extend both arms to the side, flexing your fingertips to the ceiling.
- Keep your supporting leg slightly bent, and hinge forward.
- Come back to your squat position and repeat to the other side.
- Note: This move is great to test your balance and activate your gluteus maximus and gluteus medius.
- Start at the side of your mat in a squat position with hands in a prayer position.
- Engage the core and take a step to the side with one foot (staying in a squat position) and then bring the other leg back to squat position.
- Repeat this and add a tiny pulse in between the steps to activate your gluteus maximus and gluteus medius.
- Set your body up by taking your hands into a fist position in front of your face with elbows lifted. Activate your core and slightly bend your knees.
- Twist through your thoracic spine and extend one arm diagonally in front of your body and then repeat with the other hand.
- Note: Really connect to your breath throughout this move, and as you exhale draw your belly button back toward your spine. I like to exhale as I'm punching so I get a great core workout, too.
Breathe & Connect
- Take a moment to take three deep mindful breaths to finish.
- As you inhale, feel your lungs expand, and as you exhale, feel your body relax and soften.
- Exhaling really calms your nervous system, so make sure you breathe right to the very end of the breath.
If you're interested in more routines from Jacqui, check out The Pilates Class—the Summer Challenge runs throughout the month of April!
Jacqui Kingswell is a former professional dancer working with international artists such as Beyonce, One Direction and many more. Dance has always been a part of Kingswell's life and she has been practicing Pilates since she was 12 years old. After working with some of the greatest teachers and mentors in the world she became a Pilates instructor and has since founded The Pilates Class. The Pilates Class is an online, technique focused, Pilates Studio that can be used anywhere in the world. Created to transform the traditional approach to online fitness programs, TPC’s emphasis is on creating an online community where everyone has the support and flexibility to incorporate health and fitness into their lifestyle.