When people of Pilates they think of "core" exercises, however Pilates for legs, arms, feet, and just about everywhere else in the body is more true to this system of exercises.
In fact, Joseph Pilates focus on the feet and lower body came from his own work and experiences in working with dancers who came to him in pain.
They didn't just have pain in the feet and lower legs, but it radiated up the body.
He used his exercises to work with them from the feet and legs up and corrected and strengthened the whole of the lower body.
Pilates leg exercises include those on the mat and using the spring tension on the Reformer, Chair, and foot corrector.
Pilates Side Kick sequence is great exercise for the legs and whole lower body.
While stabilizing the pelvis begin to reach the top leg up and down, with circles, with heel taps, and swinging the leg forward and back.
Repeat the exercises on both sides for 8-10 repetitions.
Focus on keeping your waist long and lifted off the mat and the hips and shoulders stacked and still.
The Pilates Leg Circles are another great way to stabilize from the pelvis while working the muscles of the hips and thighs.
Lying flat and anchored on your mat as shown begin to circle your thigh bone around in the hip circle (more like an oval than a circle).
Circle both directions for 8-10 repetitions.
Inhale to begin exhale to draw the leg back up and to the center. Keep the pelvis level with the ceiling and shoulders and head anchored.
The Pilates Bridge is a great way to strengthen the glutes, stretch the thighs, and work the deep abdominals all at the same time.
Begin on your back as shown, exhale as you lift your hips straight up.
Add in some heel and toe lifts as shown, or some one leg marches.
Keep the shoulders down heavy in the mat, feet hip width apart and heels right under your knees.
Some of my favorite leg workouts are on the Pilates Reformer.
The Reformer is not only great at reformer the structure of the legs, but also for strengthening all of the muscles of the feet, lower and upper leg.
You get the added benefit of stretching while strengthening your leg muscles.
Check out my video below for instruction on how to use this Pilates for legs machine.
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