Move of the Month: The Squat
If you’re looking to tone up from the waist down, ready to slip into last summer’s shorts, then there are few moves as effective as the standing Pilates squat. Working the legs, glutes and that all-important powerhouse that is the core, this move is ideal for re-aligning your spine and firming up the lower body. As with many Pilates moves, it may look simple but when executed properly with control and awareness, it provides a rigorous and thorough workout.
To begin stand up straight with your feet just outside of your hips, toes pointing forward and your chest elevated.
Squeeze your glutes and brace your abdominal muscles, stretching your arms out to the side and at shoulder height with your palms facing downward.
Bend your knees and lower yourself slowly into a squat position, as if you were sitting backwards into a chair, but make sure your back is straight!
Pressing your heels firmly into the floor stand yourself back up. Remember, this move is all about control so it’s not a race to get down and back up again, in fact, the slower you do the move, the harder your muscles work.
Lower your arms back down to your side, before repeating steps 1-5 for as many repetitions as you can manage.
If you want to make the move more challenging, you can do optional step 6
During the next few repetitions, as you move back up from the squat lift one of your legs off the floor making sure to alternate evenly between left and right.
If that still isn’t enough for you, the move can be altered to incorporate weights in varying levels of difficulty. Simply holding a dumbbell in each hand as you bend creates more tension in the muscles, or to work the upper body you can shoulder press the weights as you rise from the squat.
So, now you know how to do it, why not come and practice your squats at one of our classes? Just visit our website to see our timetable and pricing or call us on 0191 284 9111.