Plyometric Pilates Workout

The Essentials:

Time: 10 minutes

Level: 1-2

Equipment: Bodyweight 

Type: Part Pilates, part jump training plyometrics

Body Part Focus: Core and Bum

Throw these four exercise on after your 30 minute run/walk for a great core and bum booster!

The Workout:

:: Kneeling side kicks (aka donkey kicks) ::

30 reps

:: Plank jacks with knee tap ::

30 reps

:: Boat to back ::

30 reps

:: Bunny hops ::

30 reps

The Description:

Looking to bum your Pilates workout up a notch?!

Try these four exercises - 30 reps each - and repeat for 3 rounds total. A Great heart rate booster, core and bum workout. If you're brand new to mixing Pilates in to your workouts this is a great place to start!

Why You Do Less Reps in Pilates

As many of you know I became a Pilates mat instructor earlier this year. Learning Pilates has given me a better understanding of exercise and body movement patterns in general. I love it and appreciate it more and more everyday.

One common question I get whenever I teach Pilates – especially from regular gym goers is: Why do we only do one set in Pilates and sometimes there are only six reps instead of 10-20?

Unlike other forms of strength training, most Pilates exercises are only done 3-6 times and never more than 10. Why? Well, simply put, there are only a few reps because when you do the exercises correctly that's all you need according to Mr. Pilates.

Joseph Pilates created an intricate system of exercises for the mat and for special equipment like the reformer. According to Joseph, “Contrology [Pilates' original name] is not a fatiguing system of boring exercises repeated daily ad-nausem." Each exercise requires you to incorporate 6 principles: concentration, control, centring, precision, breath and flow. And when you do, you only need to do a few reps to reap all of the benefits.

:: Iza Goulart Instagram ::

Pilates sessions can have around 20 exercises for a beginner all the way up to 40 or even more than 50 for an advanced, usually with each exercise building on the one that came before it. Every session includes flexion, extension, rotation and side work and each one is working multiple body parts simultaneously. The goal of Pilates is to leave feeling more connected with your body and core centre.

How Strong is your Bum?!

Have you ever wondered how strong your bum is?! Well here is your chance to find out! 

Give this move a go to test your pelvic + core stability and your gluts strength!! Thank you to Kathryn Budig from Yogaglo for showing me this one. I absolutely LOVE it!

Step One:

Pick your foot off the floor an inch. Think of sucking your leg up into your hip. If this is as far as you get today that is awesome! Even just trying to get your toes off the ground could be a lot of work at first. It will take time but progress is only guaranteed with practice!

Step Two:

Begin lifting you leg by engaging your gluts. Instead of lift think REACH your foot away from your body. This is the key guys! Try not to "dump" into your opposite hip try to keep it stacked on top of your planted foot. Do not let your leg go behind your body at all keep your foot heels lined up with each other.

Try 10 reps here. 

Step Three:

Go all the way! The goal is to try to get your leg parallel to the floor. If you're up here then YAYA you've got the gluteus of a gold medallist!!

Try for another 10 reps at the top then change legs and repeat entire process on the other glut!

Now go shake them on a dance floor this weekend! Have a great one!!

More posts from Beauty and the Bod

Manduka Mat

Manduka mats are widely known by yoga teachers as the Bentley's of yoga mats.

So when Manduka asked if I would like to try their new eko mat I jumped at the chance! (and yes, Lululemon lets me do that!) 

Before this mat I didn't consider myself a mat snob at ALL. I have been using the same yoga mat I bought at Home Sense nine years ago. My $9.99 mat did the trick but after awhile it started to stretch, I started to slip, it was not very comfortable but it wasn't broke so I thought why fix it?

Well I was wrong (which rarely happens if you ask my family - ha!)! The difference the manuka has made is way more than I thought! I love this mat! I look forward to rolling it out and practicing on the mat.

Pros:

  • The mat is 5 mm thick, it feels like a matress but it doesn't sink when you're on it 
  • The zebra print stick surface is PERFECT for people like me who get sweaty paws during yoga
  • It is eco friendly
  • It's big! Fits my entire body really nicely

Cons:

  • It's heavy – but I think that just shows it's a really great quality mat
  • At first it smelt a lot like a new car, not a bad thing but a little strong, after a few practices though that went away

I have been using this mat everyday for the last few weeks and the more I use it the better it gets. The grip helps provide a really solid foundation and I'm trying fun things! Thank you Manduka! Keep up the great work!!

Core Pilates Workout

Looking to spice up your upper body and core workout?! 

Then look no further! I've been doing a lot of Pilates lately and I'm loving the results. It's been nice to come back to body-weight workouts and really focus in on proper form and technique.

This quick core and arms series is an example of the types of exercises I do daily!

This video is a real-time Pilates inspired arms and core workout. Do this routine after a 30 minute interval run. My favourite lately is 30x of 30 seconds running as fast as possible then 30 seconds resting. It's a toughie!! 

White Delight

In other news I think I have an addiction with white lululemon clothing. I love white tanks in the summer time. They just look so fresh and clean … except with my style of workouts they generally don't last too long.

I just got the Make It Count tank on sale last week for $29 – WIN! I love the high neckline and the beautiful back on this tank. It's nice to keep everything tucked in! But now I'm also loving the Live Lightly tank (right) … also on sale for $39. Decisions, decisions. Workout clothing is addictive! I find it SO much easier to buy than regular clothing. It's a good think I can also count these tanks as work clothing haha!

Enjoy the video and let me know what you think!  

Pilates Thighs and Core Workout

I LOVE Pilates.

I've started teaching more and more Pilates classical and inspired exercises into Bod Squads. I know that becoming a Pilates teacher has made me a better trainer and has helped me further understand anatomy and body movement patterns. I love the control of individual muscle groups and the fine tuning nature of Pilates. So good!

Follow along with me and if you're really controlling your movement and watching me carefully you won't be able to feel your bum tomorrow! Best feeling EVER! 

Abs and Arms Pilates Workout

Just in time for the long weekend. Welcome to the gun show, which way to the beach?!!!

:: Real time Abs and Arms Workout! ::

Brittany and I actually filmed this video four times, we had camera and location difficulties. At the end of this video our arms and abs were BURNING!! This workout is a great one to tack on to your workout or to do on the deck this weekend!

Have a great one guys!!

:: Playing around on jump reformers, I LOVE these machines, Pilates and plyometrics all in one place! ::

Pilates Cert Done!

  :: Me with "lurch" the skeleton ::

:: Me with "lurch" the skeleton ::

This weekend was the last part of my six weekend intensive Pilates mat certification at Body Harmonics. 

I'm officially a Pilates instructor now – WOOOO HOOO!!

Over the course of my training I learned that Pilates is really all about movement optimization. Pilates has taught me how to move from my core with everything that I do – run, jump, burpees – it all starts from there! We learned how to think about movement from the smallest motions and how to build progressive challenging sequences. 

Did you know there are 26 core muscles?! I didn't! The core is comprised of an inner and an outer unit. We work the outer unit all the time but Pilates focuses on the inner unit spine stabilization. I can't stop looking at spines now! When your inner unit functions properly we learned that you have greater control of your outer core muscles – like the obliques, rectus abdominals and many more!

I think this certification is just the tip of the iceburg for me and Pilates. I am so glad I took this course and I've already started mixing in a little Pilates here and there at Bod Squads! 

Spring into Shorts

We are back!!!

Brittany from Fine Tune Pilates and I are becoming fast fitness friends! We workout together at least once a week and we have decided to try to film some of our sessions together so you can follow along with us. It's great to have friends in the fitness world! 


This week's focus is on legs and bum and boy did my bum BURN after this workout! Let us know what you think!!

What is Pilates?

Two weekends ago I started a six week intensive Pilates teacher training program. 

For those of you wondering, "what's Pilates?" have a look at this animated history:

The one thing that I'm impressed with right away is the attention to anatomy in Pilates. The first weekend we focused just on bones and muscles. It is clear that Pilates really pays attention to anatomy, it is deeply in the thinking and training method. It's so refreshing to go back to basics done right.

One of the biggest problems I have with the fitness industry is our lack of proper certification. You can become a trainer in two weekend courses, that are soooooo basic and poorly taught. I could go on and on about this but if you're a trainer I think it's imperative that you also be a lifelong fitness learner. I try to take a new course every year and this year is the year of the Pilates!

I did take anatomy in university but I never really found it that useful because, unlike at this Pilates course, it was straight memory work but no real application to movement. For those of you who've never taken an anatomy the way you're tested is called a "Bell Ringer". You have 30 seconds to one minute to identify a bone, muscle, ligament, whatever and then you need to outline the function or insertion point and move on. It's INTENSE, I would literally sweat during the bell ringer. It's meant to mimic a real life situation but the stress that I had going into those tests was so terrible. I remember after my first bell ringer coming home to Matt and telling him I would pay him to dress up as me and take the test next time. I always did alright but taking a bell ringer was like getting a needle, the anticipation was terrible. So far Pilates has been much more pleasurable!

Last weekend we did a seven hour workshop just on observing bodies in motion. I've found myself staring at spines and head positioning all week long! It is fascinating to see how tiny changes in how you move can make such a huge difference to a workout.  I'm looking forward to this weekend of Pilates, I'll keep you posted on how it goes!

Core in the Park

Brittany, fellow bloggette from Fine Tune Pilates met up with me in Christie Pitt's park for some core work! We love our jobs!! Brittany is to pilates what I am to intense interval workouts! I feel like I've met my redheaded alter fitness ego. Brittany is from Halifax, which explains why she's such a nice person! She's so goregous on the inside and out.

In this video Brittany and I went through five of our favourite Pilates core exercises. Listening to Brittany explain how to properly do these exercises will really increase their effectiveness!