What if we told you that you don't need a super intense gym workout to strengthen your body? No, really. If you don't fancy a long, sweaty, arduous gym workout, give Pilates a go.
Pilates focuses on improving your strength and flexibility simultaneously. It's also a low-impact form of exercise, designed to put less stress on your joints than the likes of running or HIIT — handy if you have a niggling knee injury.
You don't need much equipment to take part, although a yoga mat can be a welcome addition if you're working out on a hard floor. (If you don't already own this useful bit of kit, our recommendations can be found in this list of the best yoga mats.)
Watch Georgia Weibel's Pilates workout
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To do this workout, complete 10 repetitions (reps) of each exercise. String these reps together as a circuit then repeat this four-move sequence for three rounds in total, taking a short rest between rounds.
The routine will help you build strength in your core, which is a collection of muscles linking your upper and lower body. These muscles play a vital role in how your body functions, supporting your spine, helping your upper and lower body move in sync, and keeping you stable.
As part of your core, you'll find your abdominals or abs; the internal and external obliques (sometimes called 'side abs'), the rectus abdominis (responsible for the six-pack shape) and the transversus abdominis (deep core muscles, running horizontally around your abdomen).
Weibel's Pilates workout mostly focuses on your obliques. Strengthening these muscles can boost your balance and stabilize your spine, so we think it's well worth your time. If you're after a more comprehensive set of moves to strengthen your mid-body, try this core workout for beginners, which has a mix of bodyweight poses and dumbbell exercises.
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Lois Mackenzie is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering strength training workouts with weights, accessible ways to stay active at home, and training routines for runners. She joined the team from Newsquest Media Group, where she was a senior sports, trends, and lifestyle reporter. She is a dedicated runner, having just completed her first marathon, and an advocate for spending time outdoors, whether on a walk, taking a long run, or swimming in the sea.
Lois holds a Master's degree in Digital Journalism, and has written for Good Health, Wellbeing & The Great Outdoors, Metro.co.uk, and Newsquest Media Group, where her reporting was published in over 200 local newspapers.
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