Sting is a perfect example of someone who has maintained a healthy lifestyle with pilates exercises and diet his entire life. He's now 70 but performs on stage with as much energy as musicians half his age.
He credits his fitness to pilates and exercise, as well as stretching and diet, which he says helps him stay centred and in shape — and that his core muscles are an important part of his longevity.
For years, physical therapists have employed the pilates reformer for its tremendous therapeutic benefits, while Hollywood's elite have embraced it for its incredibly chiselling results.
The reformer is a bed-like piece of equipment that will help you find your perfect posture and transform your body's health and appearance safely, efficiently and effectively in pilates exercises.
How to Get a Fit Body Like Sting with Pilates Exercises
Here are seven such pilates exercises:
The foundation of all pilates exercises is footwork. It stabilises the spine while mobilising the ankles, knees and hips.
When done in a neutral spine position, it strengthens deep abdominal muscles and helps re-align the bones and develop muscles in the appropriate alignment.
Here's how you do it:
- Lie flat on your back, with your head on the headrest and your shoulders pressed against the shoulder blocks. With your arms by your sides and your feet propped up on the footbar.
- With heels together, place only your toes on the foot bar, roughly a fist's distance apart.
- Extend your legs outwards, propelling the carriage and your body away from you.
- Bring your body and the carriage all the way back by bending your knees.
- Breathing is a crucial while doing this pilates.
2) The Hundred
The Hundred is a dynamic abdominal and lungs warm-up in pilates exercises. It helps develop scapular and trunk stabilisation while recruiting the abdominal muscles, especially the laterals.
- Bring your knees up to your chest. Curl your head and torso up, and extend your arms and legs out to the sides at a 45-degree angle.
- Start pounding your arms up and down (4-6 inches in range of motion).
- Take a five-count deep inhale.
- Exhale for five counts.
- Rep for ten sets of these breaths.
3) Side Leg Strap-Clam
Clam can help with the development of strength and flexibility for more challenging side-lying activities.
When you get to movements like the side kick series pilates exercise, you'll need the same skills—pelvic stability, shoulder stability, abdominal control, and moving the leg independently of the pelvis.
To do side leg pilates:
- In the fetal position, lie on your side.
- Take the loop from the front shoulder block peg, and wrap it around your knee (away from knee joint).
- Arms wrap over the shoulder block in front of the torso to keep it in place.
- Heels are held together with super glue. In a clam position, raise your top knee.
- Return the top knee to its original position. Rep ten more times.
4) Kneeling Arm Extension
The kneeling arm series on the reformer needs dynamic centre control while also testing hip extension and knee flexion. This pilates exercise may help you enhance your arms' effectiveness and range of motion.
- Kneel on the carriage's top, feet hip distance apart, toes looped over back edge, looking away from footbar.
- For balance, lower the headrest, and place one hand on top.
- With the other hand, grasp the peg's handle, and extend your arm to the side of the frame.
- Make sure your shoulders are squared off, and your abdominals are deep.
- Slowly bring your arm back to your hip.
- Slowly lower yourself to the side.
5) Side-sit ups
On the Pilates Reformer, side sit-ups are a great method to work your glute muscles, side body strength and length. They teach you to be extremely aware of your location in space. They also test your ability to stay square and work from the correct locations.
To do side-sit ups:
- Maintain the same box setup as the short box.
- Turn your body in the direction of one of your feet.
- That foot should be tucked under your straight, secure leg.
- Hands behind the back of the head and lower your body to the side.
- Raise your body back up.
- Repeat that a few more times.
6) Arm Circles
Arm circles are great pilates exercises for training the biceps and triceps muscles in your shoulder and arm. They also strengthen the muscles in your upper back. Arm circles, when combined with other workouts that target the arm muscles, can help you lose weight in your arms.
To do arm circles:
- Kneel on the reformer, with your feet against the shoulder blocks and your hands on the handles.
- Make little circles with your arms, always keeping them in your peripheral vision. Rep six more times.
- The circles should be rotated in a different orientation.
- Rep six times.
7) Elephant Pilates
The powerhouse is used in this pilates exercise to pull the carriage in. A stretch for the hamstrings and calves is also included.
To do this move:
- Place your heels halfway up on the shoulder blocks and your hands on the footbar as you stand on the carriage. Extend the carriage a couple of inches.
- Return the carriage to its original position. Consider scooping your abdominals in as though there is a fire under them. Your abs are in charge of the activity.
Sting's success is no accident, but the result of applying essential principles of pilates exercise is rewarding. By following these principals applied by him, one can achieve success as well.
Always keep in mind that pilates exercise should be fun for you. Find what works for you, and put it into practice on a regular basis. You might even inspire someone else out there to get moving.
Poll : Have you tried reformer pilates?
No, never did.