1. Cardio and weight training
The use of both cardio and strength training can help you achieve a lean, yet strong body. Cardio helps you lose body fat, (1) and if you follow it with muscle building exercises, hands, legs and torso will become well toned.
Pilates helps build the trunk muscles and tone up all the muscles in the human body. Trying Pilates also improves posture to a certain extent. It helps you get up and walk straighter (2), which makes you look slimmer. It includes leg pulls, stretches the spine and stretches the legs. Pilates also requires the control of breathing (3). Listed below are some effective Pilates exercises:
1. Double-Leg Stretch:
It tones the thighs and the abdomen.
You need to lie on your back and bring your knees to the chest.
Fold your head and neck up from the floor.
Now stretch your arms next to your overhead ears.
Raise your legs at a 45-degree angle. Then bend your knees and place your arms on the sides.
2. Swan Pose:
It tones the thighs, the back and the abdomen.
To do this, you need to lay down to the ground.
Keep legs together and palms on the floor.
Elbows should be on the sides.
Rest your hands on the floor and lift your head as you inhale.
The upper back will get vaulted, and then you can take a few breaths.
Return to the first posture and repeat a few times.
3. Sitting Spine Twist:
You need to sit with your feet bent and your legs extended.
The arms should be extended on the sides.
Now, inhale and sit erect.
Then exhale and draw the ABS inside.
Twist the waist to your right.
While keeping your hips square, turn your arm, head, and ribcage.
Now, repeat this on the left side.
4. Spine stretch Forward:
You must sit with both legs and arms extended.
Inhale and sit erect.
Then exhale and reach the legs.
Relax head and shoulders in front and reach the belly button.
Then inhale and hold for a while.
Exhale slowly and roll on the seat.
5. Pull the front leg:
You need to sit with both legs extended and fingers pointing to the torso.
The hands must be on the ground.
Now, push the hips off the ground and bring the body straight.
Lift your left leg without moving the hips.
Hold it for a while and lower it. Repeat for the right leg.
6. Leg Pull Back:
Start by getting into a push-up position and engaging the abs and hands.
Now lift one leg a few inches above ground level.
Point your toes and stay in this position for a while.
Lower the leg and repeat with the other leg.
Methods 3. Plyometric training:
For this, you must use a wooden box, metal or plastic, even hardened. Place it on the floor and jump over it (4). Try to jump on the box with one leg. It can be a lot of fun actually.
It is also a useful and enjoyable exercise. Put yourself in the full squatting position. Now, push yourself using the thigh muscles, and see how far you can go. It can be performed 10 times or more.
You must enter the push-up posture and slowly lift the body upward with the support of your hands. When the body is in the air, clap hands together. Then go back to the original posture.
4. Shaping circles:
This is actually based on the Pilates method, and you can try it in your spare time in the room! At first, you will have flat on the bed or the floor. Lie on your side and keep your leg slightly curved for balance. Then slowly lift the other leg up. Draw circles with that leg up. This can be done a number of times and afterwards you can change the direction.