Pick ’n’ mix Pilates moves

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Get your best body ever with these pick ’n’ mix Pilates moves tailored to your natural shape

While there are no specific exercises that should or shouldn’t be performed depending on whether you have an apple, pear, hourglass or athletic figure, there certainly are some that can help to make your workouts more effective.

‘Pilates can really help you to focus on specific exercises in order to enhance your particular shape,’ says Nadine McCann, instructor at Bootcamp Pilates (bootcamppilates.com). ‘All bodies are different and it pays to know what works for you.’

That’s not to say all women with the same body shape have the same goals, but certain moves can help apple shapes to define their curves, for example, and athletic figures to focus on their glutes. What’s more, everyone can benefit from the postural power of Pilates! ‘Pilates is great for sculpting as it focuses on the stabilising muscles deep in the body,’ Nadine adds. ‘This allows each muscle and joint to work with minimal stress and maximum effort in order to increase strength, flexibility and length.’ The workout as a whole is suitable for all body types, but if you’re short on time, just pick the exercises for your body type.

How to do it

Complete the allotted reps and sets of each exercise before moving on to the next. Perform these exercises in the order they appear.

1. Toe taps

Best for: apple, pear, hourglass

Areas trained: stomach, core, hips

Technique

Start lying on your back with legs lifted and knees bent above your hips, shins parallel to the floor and arms relaxed at your sides, palms down. Keep your lower abs engaged and your back flat on the mat.

Inhale, then exhale as you hinge at your hip, lowering your right leg toward the mat.

Inhale to return the leg to start position and change sides.

Alternate legs repeating 10-12 reps on each side, bring feet to the floor to rest. Repeat for 2 sets.

2. Criss-cross

Best for: apple, hourglass, athletic, pear

Areas trained: core, sides

Technique

Lying on your back, interlace your hands behind your head to support your head. Lift your knees and feet off the ground with your knees bent at 90 degrees.

Inhale as you twist your ribcage to the left and extend your right leg forward.

Exhale as you take your body through the centre, twisting your ribcage to the right while extending your left leg to complete the exercise on the opposite side.

Do 6 twists alternating sides. Do 3 sets in total.

3. Glute bridge

Best for: hourglass, athletic

Areas trained: core, bottom, hips, lower back

Link:

Your shape sessions: Oblique Exercises

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