Lean muscle that is also functional is one of the hallmarks of Pilates exercise, to achieve this, we look at essential Pilates exercises to include.
When the body has lean muscle, this means that muscle mass is being created in the body without the addition of fat, or is what remains after the fat is burned away. Basically, lean muscle is simply only the muscle without fat, bones, or other tissues. The benefits of building lean muscles include strengthening your bones, fighting obesity, strengthening immunity, and preventing diabetes.
So, what specific Pilates moves will best help build a leaner body? It is important to not only develop the major muscle groups, but also the small ones, which Pilates can access. Here are several key moves.
The Hundred is one of the first exercises in the Pilates mat series and helps warm up the body. The move is performed by curling the head up with the legs extended out. The abdominals contract inward to hold the body in position while the arms continuously pump up and down. This exercise will develop core strength while also being an anaerobic exercise that elevates the heart rate.
The Side Kick Series is the ultimate thigh strengthening sequence in Pilates. The moves primarily target the glutes and hamstrings, while also providing a nice stretch, which provides the long and lean muscles Pilates is known for.
Performed lying on the side, there are various moves with the legs while stabilizing the core. For example, the leg can kick forward and back, up and down, or make circles. Combined with deep breath awareness, these exercises are sure to make anyone’s thighs burn.
The Swan Dive is a dynamic exercise that utilizes back strength. It is a challenging exercise that combines strength and coordination, so it is important to slowly strengthen the back with modifications before attempting this.
To perform the Swan Dive, place the hands underneath the shoulders and lift the spine up with the core engaged on an inhale. On an exhale, rock forward without dropping the head, extend the arms, and lift the leg off the mat. Inhale to return to the starting position.
Get ready to tone the arms and shoulders with Pilates Push-ups. These push-ups are essentially triceps push-ups and performed with the elbows bent into the sides of the body. It is important to first have a solid plank position so that the body can be lowered and lifted down and up all in one piece.
Pilates push-ups are a surefire way to build lean muscle as they not only strengthen the entire body but they specifically target the arms and triceps in particular. This can help to shave off any excess fat in those areas.
Help others build lean muscle while deepening your own understanding of Pilates! You too can develop the long and lean Pilates body while inspiring others to do the same. At Future Fit Training, you’ll receive an industry recognized qualification and career help around a flexible schedule.
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