Pilates is a powerhouse workout.
Not only does it promote mindfulness, calm and a more conscious way of moving your body, it also provides a serious burn.
Focused on core stability, balance and posture, Pilates is a fantastic way to tone and condition. But, if you’re looking for a workout that really builds strength – all you need to do is add a resistance band into the mix.
‘The resistance band is a great small prop to add into your workouts, it’s so versatile and there are endless exercises you can perform with it,’ says Korin Nolan, Pilates expert and founder of Power Pilates UK and Dynamic Pilates TV.
‘Plus, it’s great if you want to add some resistance to your workouts without adding heavy loads like weights.
‘So, if you’re working with an injury, a resistance band is a perfect way to help you build up strength in a safe, effective way.
‘Not forgetting that it’s super light to pack in your bag to take on your travels – or wherever life takes you.’
Here is Korin’s full-body Pilates resistance band circuit movement to try at home. Complete each move for 30 seconds, and repeat the whole thing five times.
Squat to stand-up row
Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart, placing the band underneath your feet, then cross the band over to hold in opposite hands.
Squat down on the inhale and then as you exhale, stand up, draw the bent elbows wide out to the sides up to shoulder height, bracing the abdominals.
Make sure you have enough tension in the band to get the right resistance and repeat for 30 seconds.
Side leg lift with arm pull
Kneel side-on with the right knee and hands down to the mat (band under the right hand), and with the left leg extended out to the side with the left hand holding the opposite end of the band.
Make sure you have enough tension in the band. As you exhale lift the leg up, at the same time as extending the band to the ceiling drawing in the core muscles.
Repeat for 30 seconds each side.
Four–point tricep kick back with leg lift
Come to your hands and knees so that you are in a four-point kneeling position.
Place the band under the right hand on the mat and hold the other end in your left, bringing the left elbow by the side of the waist. Extend the right leg out behind you, toes to the mat.
As you exhale, extend the left arm squeezing into the triceps and lift the right leg up squeezing into the glutes. Draw the abdominals in as you move.
Repeat for 30 seconds each side.
Seated rotator cuff extension
Sit cross-legged on the mat with the band wrapped around the lower back.
Take the opposite ends of the band in each hand and get as much tension as you need.
On the exhale, keep the elbows glued into the waist and pull the band out to the sides. Then continue to pull the band out to the sides, fully extending the arms.
Repeat for 30 seconds.
Lunge to frontal raise
Place the feet one foot in front of the other in a wide lung stance. Then place the band under the front foot and hold either end in each hand, making sure you have enough tension in the band.
On the inhale, bend both knees to lunge and on the exhale extend out of the lunge to straight legs extending both arms straight above the head.
Repeat 30 seconds each leg.
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