If your goal is to build strength but you're worried about high-impact exercise hurting your joints, you'll be glad to know you don't need to do lots of jumping or lift heavy weights to get fit and strong.
Instead, you can develop strength and tone your muscles with low-impact Pilates routines. This style of exercise incorporates small, bodyweight movements that are designed to target specific muscles.
One style of Pilates that will upgrade your home practice is wall Pilates. As the name suggests, it incorporates a wall or a solid surface that you can lean on to support your joints. You can also use the surface to increase or decrease the difficulty of certain moves.
This routine from personal trainer Jenna Collins will help you build strength all over, although it has a particular focus on building core strength. You don't need any equipment to do it, just a yoga mat and a wall to lean on.
Watch Jenna Collins' wall Pilates routine
This routine only takes 15 minutes, but your core muscles will be burning by the time you've completed it. Complete 40 seconds of each exercise, followed by 20 seconds of rest, following along with Collins as she completes the routine.
Think about engaging your core throughout the whole workout. Keep your feet planted on the wall throughout, but try not to put all the weight into your legs. Instead, squeeze your abdominal muscles and your glutes so that your weight is balanced throughout your entire body.
If you don't have access to a wall, regular Pilates has plenty of the same benefits. Try this five-minute Pilates routine instead.
Benefits of core training
Your core is a set of mid-body muscles, which act as a kind of structural column for your body. They provide the stability you need to move your limbs freely and they also support your spine and pelvis.
Most of your everyday movements will involve your core in some way. Either a movement will originate from these muscles, or it will ripple through the area as your body transfers power (think: squatting down to prepare for a jump then springing up with your hands in the air).
As such, keeping these muscles strong and healthy is important for the overall function of our body. Training you core can improve your athletic performance, but it will make things like climbing the stairs and putting away the shopping feel easier, too.
Need something to support your Pilates routine? Have a look at our guide to the best yoga mats
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Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.
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