You can do it! Just take the first step today and start enjoying the results
Every journey begins with just one step. The same holds true with an exercise program. If you’re interested in toning up and losing weight, the first step doesn’t necessarily mean committing your hard-earned money to a monthly gym membership–especially one that you might not be motivated to fully utilize.
Let’s face it: going to the gym can be either discouraging, distracting or de-motivating (think about having to pack your gym bag, get in the car, drive to the gym, deal with the chatty-Cathy next to you on the elliptical or the muscle-head grunting and sweating all over the bench in front of the mirror (…ugh! No, thank you, I’ll just stay home!).
The at-home solution
Wait a minute! What a great idea! I’ll just stay home! Yes, you ARE a genius. You CAN stay home and get a mood-lifting, body-shaping, life-enhancing workout at home, minus the automatic debit from your checking account.
How, you ask? By following a Pilates-based routine like the one developed by Pilates guru Erika Bloom, that’s how. And the best part is that you can perform the entire sequence in the comfort of your own bedroom. In fact, this toning and lengthening workout is designed to use only your own body weight and the resistance your mattress provides.
If you’re not familiar with Pilates, it is centered on performing a series of movements designed to stabilize and strengthen your core. By paying attention to detail, such as how you breathe or tighten your stomach muscles, you can target more muscles and make the workout that much more effective. Although the moves look and sound simple enough, they take precision and control with a focus on breathing and technique.
To get the most out of this complete body workout, go through the entire sequence and keep your core engaged (your abs flexed and tight) whenever possible. When you’re ready to get your workout on, keep scrolling to check out step-by-step instructions for some popular Pilates exercises:
- Lie on your back with your arms by your side, with a neutral spine (the natural position of your spine when all its curves are in alignment, like when you relax when lying down and your lower back and neck don’t press against the floor).
- Bring your feet onto the top of the headboard, or place the soles of your feet flat on the wall or headboard with your legs parallel.
- On an exhale, deepen your belly button to your spine to curl your tailbone up off of the bed.
- Press into your feet as you continue to roll up, one vertebra at a time, to come into a bridge.
- Inhale at the top. Exhale to roll back down.
- Repeat 10 times.
2. Toe taps
- Lie on your back in neutral spine with your sit bones (the two bones on the bottom of your pelvis that you sit on) close to the edge of the bed.
- Exhale to wrap your low, deep abdominals (lower belly) around your waist like a corset and bring your legs into tabletop position.
- On an exhale, lower one toe down toward the floor.
- Only go as low as you can while maintaining a neutral spine, and keep your abdominals pulled in.
- Alternate legs for 10 repetitions each.
- Lie on your side with straight legs. Stack your top hip and shoulder directly above your bottom hip and shoulder for proper alignment.
- Bend your top knee to draw your toe up the inside of your bottom leg. Keeping the leg turned out, extend the knee to lengthen the leg toward the ceiling.
- Lower the straight leg down to return to the starting position.
- Perform 10 repetitions on each leg.
4. Four point tick tock
- Begin on all fours close to the edge of the bed. Reach the outside leg off the bed toward the floor.
- Keeping your deep belly engaged and your spine reaching long, lift your leg out to the side.
- Lower it back down toward the floor, then lift it up to the back. Maintain a square pelvis and keep your shoulder blades wide on your back.
- Perform 20 repetitions on each leg.
- Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders.
- Float up into a small upper back arch while maintaining a long, supported lower back.
- Keep your collarbones wide as you lengthen your arms forward until they are straight.
- Bend the elbows to draw the arms back in. Lower down out of the arch.
- Perform 5 reps.
6. Heel press squat
- Begin standing, facing away from the bed. Bend one knee to bring the sole of the foot onto the side of the bed.
- Bend deeply and sit back toward the bed.
- Press off the foot that’s on the bed, while engaging your hamstring and glutes to come back up to standing.
- Perform 20 repetitions on each leg.
7. Lunge stretch
- Stand with your right foot on the ground parallel to the edge of the bed. Bring the front of your left leg up onto the bed behind you.
- Bend your right knee, keeping your knee behind your toes. Draw your abdominals in and up to lift the torso while reaching back through the left leg.
- Breathe deeply as you hold the stretch.
- Repeat twice on each leg, alternating sides.
8. Twist with chest opener
- Lie on one side near the edge of the bed with your knees bent and your arms extended out in front of you.
- Lengthen the top arm out, up, and open to bring your torso into a twist. Allow the shoulder to open so that the arm drops off the bed toward the floor. Breathe into your chest.
- Repeat twice on each side, alternating sides.
So there you have it. As it turns out, taking the first step in your fitness and weight loss journey isn’t that far at all. It just takes getting out of bed.
If you’re looking for professional guidance in weight loss or to motivate your exercise routine to the next level, contact the office of Dr. Nina Coletta at 954-452-4590 or through our online contact form.