Pilates is a great for toning up the body, without causing major stress to any joints. However this high-quality workout often comes with an equally lofty price tag, limiting our practice to once a month. To keep pilates in our routine without breaking the bank, we reached out to master New York City trainer and our good friend, Ashely DeLeon. As a seasoned pilates instructor with a background in ballet, Ashley is no stranger to our approach to living. When asked what HBFit means to her Ashley said, “Health, Beauty Fitness is a lifestyle. Feeling beautiful on the outside comes from taking care of yourself on the inside. It’s the process where each healthy decision you make encourages another one. When you follow this path everyone around you will see your glow. Once your health is prioritized– your entire being becomes beautiful and fit for whatever life throws at you- and that is a fabulous lifestyle.”
Ashley’s 6 pilates moves you can do at home:
Roll Up (Works the deep abdominals, lengthens the spine and stretches the legs) Lay flat on your back with your legs long and your heels anchored. Slowly peel your spine off of the mat and reach to your toes. Draw your abdominals in and slowly melt your spine back down onto the mat. Repeat 5-8 times.
Double Leg Stretch (Works the deep abdominals, the obliques and the back) Bring your knees in to your chest and curl your shoulders off the mat. Extend your legs straight forward and your arms back. Hold this position for a few seconds while drawing your abdominals inward before bringing your knees back into your chest. Repeat 5-10 times.
Criss-Cross (Works the obliques and the deep abdominals) Clasp your fingers together and place your hands behind your head. Bring your knees into your chest and curl your shoulders off the mat. Send one leg straight out and bring the other knee into your chest. Twist your upper body toward your bent knee. Switch legs and twist to the other side right away. Keep your elbows wide the entire exercise. Repeat 10 times to each side.
Side Leg Circles (Works your abductors, gluts, deep abdominals, and obliques) Lay on your side with your legs long. Engage your abdominals by drawing the abdominals in and lifting your waistline off of the mat. Lift your top leg up keeping the knee straight. Make large circles with your leg while keeping your torso still. See how large you can make the circles without moving the rest of the body! 10 circles in each direction.
Shoulder Bridge (Work the hamstrings, gluts, inner thighs, abdominals and back) Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet. Press your feet into the mat and lift your hips up toward the ceiling. Make sure your knee-caps are pointing straight forward. Keep your hips lifted as you send one leg up to the ceiling. Hold for a moment before switching legs, then slowly lower hips down. Remember to keep drawing the abdominals in as you lift your hips up. Repeat 3 times.
Hug a Tree (Works shoulders, arms, and abdominals) Sit upright with your knees bent and legs crossed. Hold light weights in your hands (if you don’t have weights, get creative and use soup cans or large water bottles). Bring your hands toward each other as if you are hugging a wide tree. Slowly open your arms back out wide. Keep your elbows lifted but your shoulders down throughout the exercise. After you have done 8 repetitions, do the same movement with one arm hugging at a time while you keep your torso and knees still. 8-20 repetitions.