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Advanced Pilates Techniques to Try

Pilates is a popular form of exercise that focuses on strengthening the core muscles, improving posture, and enhancing overall flexibility and balance. While many are familiar with the foundational Pilates exercises, there are advanced techniques that can take your practice to the next level. These advanced Pilates techniques challenge your body in new ways, helping you build strength, increase flexibility, and achieve better mind-body connection. Whether you’re a seasoned Pilates practitioner looking to up your game or a beginner eager to explore more challenging movements, here are some advanced Pilates techniques to try.

The Teaser: One of the most challenging Pilates exercises, the Teaser targets the entire core, including the upper and lower abdominals, obliques, and back muscles. To perform the Teaser, start by lying on your back with your legs extended and arms reaching overhead. Inhale to prepare, then exhale as you lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the mat, simultaneously lifting your legs to a 45-degree angle. Balance on your tailbone as you reach your arms towards your feet, creating a V shape with your body. Hold for a breath or two, then slowly lower back down with control. The Teaser requires core strength, balance, and coordination, making it a challenging but effective exercise.

The Snake Twist: The Snake Twist is an advanced Pilates exercise that targets the obliques, shoulders, and back muscles. Start by lying on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders and elbows bent. Press into your hands to lift your chest off the mat, keeping your gaze forward. As you exhale, twist your torso to one side, reaching your opposite hand towards your foot. Inhale to return to the center, then exhale and twist to the other side. The Snake Twist challenges your spinal mobility and core stability, helping to improve overall strength and flexibility.

The Corkscrew: The Corkscrew is a dynamic Pilates exercise that targets the entire core, including the deep stabilizing muscles of the abdomen and back. To perform the Corkscrew, lie on your back with your arms by your sides and legs extended towards the ceiling. Inhale to prepare, then exhale as you lower your legs to one side in a circular motion, keeping them straight and controlled. Inhale as you bring your legs back up through the center, then exhale as you lower them to the other side in the opposite direction. The Corkscrew challenges your core strength, coordination, and control, helping you develop a strong and stable center.

The Boomerang: The Boomerang is an advanced Pilates exercise that combines elements of spinal articulation, core strength, and balance. Start by sitting on the mat with your knees bent and feet flat, holding onto the backs of your thighs. Inhale to round your spine and roll back towards your shoulder blades, lifting your legs off the mat in a V position. Exhale as you roll back up to a seated position, extending your legs towards the ceiling and reaching your arms forward. Inhale to roll back down with control, then exhale to return to the starting position. The Boomerang challenges your core stability, spinal mobility, and coordination, making it a fun and challenging exercise to incorporate into your Pilates practice.

The Scissors: The Scissors is an advanced Pilates exercise that targets the hip flexors, hamstrings, and core muscles. To perform the Scissors, lie on your back with your legs extended towards the ceiling. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the mat and reach your hands towards your ankle. Inhale to lower one leg towards the mat while keeping the other leg lifted, then exhale to switch legs. Continue to scissor your legs in a controlled and fluid motion, feeling the engagement in your core and legs. The Scissors help improve hip mobility, core strength, and overall lower body stability.

Incorporating advanced Pilates techniques into your practice can help you challenge your body in new ways, improve your strength and flexibility, and deepen your mind-body connection. Whether you’re looking to take your Pilates practice to the next level or simply add variety to your routine, trying these advanced techniques can help you achieve your fitness goals and enhance your overall well-being. Remember to listen to your body, work at your own pace, and always consult with a certified Pilates instructor if you’re unsure about proper form or technique. Embrace the challenge, enjoy the journey, and reap the benefits of advanced Pilates techniques in your fitness routine.

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