Wouldn’t you agree that one of the hardest things about exercising to lose weight is staying motivated to put in the work intensity that is necessary? Wouldn’t it be great if you could find an exercise that will help you lose weight without making you have to struggle so much?
I’ll tell you honestly, at 40 plus years of age I’m in pretty good shape. But that didn’t come without a lot of effort. And it’s pretty common for me to drag my butt to the gym consistently to put that effort in. Like a lot of folks I would love to sleep in and sit on the couch just being lazy. The problem is that staying fit much less healthy doesn’t happen if you don’t put the work in. And since I’d rather be healthy and fit, I have to make sure and get in my exercise.
Now, I still have goals of losing weight in my fitness journey. In my efforts to lose that weight, one thing that has made my exercise life easier is using a Pilates reformer machine. And I’d be willing to bet, it can help you too.
Well, a Pilates reformer is designed for you to be able to perform full body exercises with low impact to your joints but big impact to your muscles and overall body. Plus, the reformer allows you to adjust resistance and modify your moves to get the most out of them for dependent on what condition your body is in. In other words, the reformer exercises will make your body work based on the settings you establish. You’ll get results without feeling like you just went through a meat grinder, (like some weight loss routines can make you feel). Plus, you have fun doing it. Can’t help but like that concept huh?
There are a large number of weight loss exercises that you can do on a Pilates reformer machine. Because of the number and types of muscles involved, here are 3 of the best ones.
· Leg Press/calf stretch – With this exercise, first set the spring tension somewhere between two and four springs. Lie on your back with your shoulders pressed up against the shoulder pads. Place your toes on the bar hip width apart. Exhale, pushing through the leg muscles to a full extension without locking out the knees. While still extended, drop the heels pushing through the calves for a nice calf stretch. Raise the heels back up, and then exhale and bend the knees to lower back down. Focus on keeping your upper body pressed down against the carriage and proper breathing. Repeat this pattern for 10 to 15 repetitions 3 times.
· Frog Legs – Using a 1 to 2 spring max, place your feet in the straps and with the legs at approximately a 45 degree angle, push out exhaling along the way. Then adjust your feet to point outward and bring your heals together to form a “V”. Inhale and lower your body bending at the knees bringing them wide out toward the armpits. Exhale and extend the legs bringing your inner thighs and knees together while keeping your feet in the “V” shape. Don’t lock the knees and keep your legs at a 45 degree angle. Again, maintain focus on keeping your upper body pressed down against the carriage and proper breathing. Repeat this pattern for 10 to 15 repetitions 3 times.
· Side Stretch – With a tension between 2 and 4 springs, get in a kneeling position with your knees on the carriage while your back is nice and long. Then set your hands on the foot bar and your feet up against the shoulder pads. With your arms long, inhale and push back on the carriage using your abdominals and knees. Exhale and then while maintaining the position of your upper body, draw your knees toward your hands, (pull the carriage back toward the foot bar), by swinging your hips within the hip sockets. Once again focusing on your breathing and in this exercise moving only the hips to move the carriage. Repeat this pattern for 10 to 15 repetitions 3 times.
Add these Aero Pilates machine exercises to a healthy diet and you’ll be able to see for yourself if reformer exercises will help with weight loss.
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