Reformer Pilates is great, but only if you can spare the cash and the time to visit a studio. On days when you just can’t make it, simply follow a body-sculpting Pilates workout at home—for zero cost, and way less effort.
To find out how to score the lean, toned body and pencil-straight posture that’s a hallmark of regular Pilates classes, we asked New York City-based guru Karen Lord. Ahead, she shares her favorite workout that’ll shape-up your entire body, with a focus on sculpting the glutes and toning your triceps. Roll out your mat and get started.
Step one: Lie on your mat on your stomach. Stretch your arms and legs out with energy in both directions—hold that length and energy throughout. Step two: Glide your shoulder lades down your back and away from your ears. Straighten your neck and engage your abs in a way that they lift you off of the mat a little bit. Step three: Lift your right arm up a few inches and left leg up a few inches. Lengthen and energize toes to fingertips and switch “swimming” faster and faster without losing form- then slow it back down. Try it for a full 30 seconds then a minute. Focus on breathing, and of course your glutes acting in concert with your abs to power the movement.
Step one: Begin by lying on your mat face down. Place your hands one on top of the other (try not to interlace fingers—it blocks energy and stresses joints), and elbows up and out. Gently press the base of your neck into your hands. Engage your abs. Step two: Keep your lower back long. Lengthen your legs with your heels together, toes apart and lift the upper and lower body off of the mat six inches keeping your lower back long. Keep the heels connected and you’ll feel an awesome butt burn.
Step one: Still on your mat facing forward, come onto all fours keeping hands in line with shoulders and your knees and hips squared. Step two: Extend your straight leg up and out (remember to keep the energy flowing out of your toes) and do 10 little pulses. Step three: Add some tricep work and up the glute intensity by pitching your body slightly forward with a bend in your elbows. Still keeping a long neck and lower back, resist the mat with your palms. Keep a constant bend in your elbows and make your leg pulses bigger. Perform 10 on each leg for three sets for a lifted, toned butt.