Today’s Workout: Pilates

On a day like today, a reliable indoor workout is a plus.

WI

 

I’m a huge fan of Pilates and try to do it 1-2 times a week.  Pilates was one of the first fitness classes I really got into post-college.  I took a class at the local Y back in Chicago – the same instructor for about 2 years, the same group of people in the class.  We had the loud breather, the runner (guy) who wore short running shorts, etc.   And it’s when I first started to notice that yes, indeed, I do have a waist.  I always feel a little longer and leaner after a good Pilates mat class/workout.

A great at-home Pilates workout to check out is Mari Winsor: Pilates.   I used the DVD via Netflix.

There’s an express, 20 minute option and a full, 50 minute floor workout.  I use the 50 minute workout which takes me through plenty of abs, lower body toning moves, and core “scooping”.

pilates

The workout provides variations for beginners and more advanced practitioners.  It’s a great DVD if you’re new to Pilates.  I will say that it moves a bit slow if you’re more advanced.

The only equipment needed is a yoga or exercise mat.  Be sure to wear comfy clothes.

Do you have a good at-home Pilates workout to recommend?  Do you do Pilates? What’s today’s workout?

Today’s Workout: Squeeze

Have you ever heard this catchy workout line:  “If you don’t squeeze ’em, no one else will?”

Back in college I used to attend Jazzercise classes with my mom when I was home on Winter break and that line was the favorite of a very bubbly instructor.

Today’s workout was Squeeze:  30-Day Body Transformation with Tracy Effinger.

This is a 50-minute workout that includes a warm-up and targeted exercises for arms, shoulders, abs, legs, thighs, back-side, and rounds out with a cool-down/stretching segment.

You do need a pair of light weights for this…and my light, I mean no more than 3 lbs. My shoulders were on fire using just 3 lb. weights!

Effinger also uses a fitness ball (the squishy kind that looks like a kick-ball), but I don’t have one and still felt the ab exercises without one.

The workout is one that requires concentration because you need to be mindful of “squeezing ’em”–i.e. engaging your muscles.  I like that I can’t zone out during this and have to just focus on the workout.

I first tried this a couple of years ago and barely made it through the workout…this time around, it seemed much easier.  That’s a good fitness-level sign!
It’s worth a try and is available via Netflix.

What’s a muscle group that you find burns when you use light weights?
For me it’s shoulders!  Maybe it’s the years of swimming…I have strong shoulders but notice that they feel workouts immediately.