Being a new mom of twins I need a workout that’s quick and effective. Spring is finally in the air and let’s face it, we all want a great booty! To help clients focus on these tough-to-reach areas, I developed this routine by adding a few exercises to the classical pilates mat series that really target the key lower body areas like the hips, glutes, inner and outer thighs, and quads. My clients love the results they get from this workout. They feel and see the difference and also get a sense of overall confidence from doing it. Because all of the exercises require a strong connection to your core, this routine will also allow you to improve your posture and become more graceful when you move.
In this routine, you start lying down to connect with the abdominals, then do Sidekicks and Mountain Climber to build stamina and add a bit of cardio. You finish with some standing moves, which is how we spend the majority of our days. This will help you incorporate those movement patterns in your everyday life, especially when multi-tasking with your children. Ex. Holding a child on hip while picking up toys or trying to make dinner while both kids are tugging at your feet! We have all been there. This total-body workout is challenging and fun, and best of all, it can be done anywhere: Whether at home or in a hotel room, all you need is a mat or just a comfortable floor.
The lower body results are incredible; when performed consistently three times a week, you will see and feel the difference— including a more lifted, trimmer bottom, leaner thighs and more toned legs in just two weeks. This series should take you about 15 to 20 minutes.
Let’s get shakin’!
purpose: increases core and pelvic stability; strengthens entire body; tones entire back body
setup: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet parallel and flat on the mat, separated as wide as your hip sockets. Extend your arms by your sides and press your palms firmly into the mat, fingertips together.
1. Curl your tailbone under and lift your pelvis up one vertebra at a time, until your shoulders, hips and knees are in a one long line. Feel the energy reaching long out of your thighs.
2. Shift your weight to your left leg and extend your right leg up to the ceiling, keeping equal weight on both shoulders.
3. Pulse your right leg up twice, then lower it until it’s parallel with your other knee. Make sure to keep your hips level and steady. Place your right leg back on the mat, knee bent, and roll back down, staying lifted throughout. Do 3–5 repetitions. Repeat with your left leg.
modification. Lift your pelvis up and hold for 3–5 counts, then roll back down.
advanced. Keep your legs together throughout. Or on the last rep, reach your leg toward the ceiling and lower your hips halfway, then press back up.
Side leg lifts/circles
purpose: challenges core in a different plane of movement; strengthens hips and legs
setup: Lie on your right side with your shoulder, ribs and tailbone aligned with the back edge of the mat. Stack both legs at the front corner of your mat. Cradle your head with your hands, placing your fingertips under your head, elbows widely bent to your sides, bottom elbow resting on the mat. Make sure you keep your shoulders and hips stacked.
1. Keeping your hips stacked, point your top foot and lift it to hip level. Flex your foot and lower it to the starting position. Do 5–10 repetitions. Repeat on your other side.
2. Lift your top leg to hip level, foot flexed and parallel, and make small circles clockwise and then counterclockwise, brushing your inner thighs. Do 5–10 repetitions each way.
3. Repeat steps 1–2 on your other side.
modification. Rest your head on your bottom arm and bend your bottom leg on mat.
advanced. Place your top hand behind your neck and/ or add ankle weights (no heavier than three pounds)
purpose: challenges pelvic stability and core strength
setup: Get on all fours, wrists directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips, spine neutral.
1. Extend your right leg back, keeping your heel in line withyour hip. Flexing your foot, pulse your hamstring toward the ceiling. Do 5–10 repetitions.
2. On the last pulse, keep your leg reaching long and do small circles. Do 5–10 repetitions in each direction.
modification. Get on all fours and reach your right leg long, then bring it back to the starting position, alternating legs.
advanced. Add ankle weights
purpose: strengthens core; increases stamina
setup: Press out into a plank position, keeping your wrists under your shoulders, legs together and active, and the crown of your head reaching long.
1. Pull your right knee into your chest as you bring your forehead toward your knee and engage your abdominals, lifting your heel toward your seat. Do 2–5 repetitions. Repeat with your left knee.
2. Repeat step 1 but, this time, alternate your legs, using control so you don’t bounce. Do 10 repetitions.
modification. Hold the plank position for 10 counts.
advanced. Alternate between legs with a dynamic rhythm.
Kneeling side kick
purpose: challenges core with minimal movement of torso
setup: Kneel on a mat with your legs together. Extend your arms out to your sides at shoulder height. Keep your shoulder blades down the back, abs engaged and tailbone tucked under.
1. Place your left hand on the mat, shoulder over wrist and your right hand behind your head. Keep your left hip over your left knee for stability and support.
2. Reach your right leg long to hip height.
3. Kick your right leg to the front and lengthen it to the back of the room, keeping your upper body still. Do 5–10 repetitions. Repeat on your other side.
modification. Hold leg in the air and lengthen.
purpose: strengthens and tones legs
setup: Stand on a mat with your legs open wide, feet turned out. Extend your arms out to your sides at shoulder height. Curl your tailbone under.
1. Keeping your abs tight, bend your knees over your toes into a deep plié. Lift and lower your heels and then straighten your legs back to the starting position. Do 5–10 repetitions.
2. Repeat step 1 but, this time, do 3 pulses when your heels are raised.
advanced. Lower your thighs so that they are parallel to the floor.
Image Source:// Author’s Own