Pilates exercises to flatten your belly over the holidays

Pilates exercises to flatten your belly over the holidays

Over the holiday season, you may be visiting relatives out of town and feel like exercising is not possible. Without access to your everyday Pilates workout equipment or DVDs, what are you to do?

Celebrity Pilates and yoga instructor, Kristin McGee, believes that you can practice fitness and Pilates exercises wherever you are. As a busy traveler, Kristin shares on her social media accounts some of the most unlikely places to stretch out her muscles – including the airport!

While you may not feel the need to flex your muscles while waiting for a flight, there are plenty of exercises you can do in a hotel room or relative’s home. Kristin shares with us some of her tips to stay in shape while on the road, and even work on a flat belly while you’re at it!

The Hundred—This move is great to get the blood pumping and the breath flowing. Start lying on your back and lift your head and neck up off the mat. Extend your legs out to a forty-five degree angle and stretch your arms long at your sides. Hover the arms off the floor and start pumping them vigorously up and down five times on an inhale and five times on an exhale. Repeat 10 times for 100 pumps. Amazing for a flat belly!

Climb a Tree—I like this move for massaging the internal organs and for creating space in the sides of the waist and hamstrings. Lie down on your back and lift your right let straight up in the air. Inhale and start to climb up the back of the thigh until you sit up nice and tall. Exhale roll back down one vertebra at a time. Repeat three times and then switch to the opposite leg. Awesome way to scoop out lower abs and lengthen the body.

Single Leg Straight Leg Kicks—Lie down on your back, lift your head up off the floor and both legs straight up to the ceiling. Lower your left leg ten inches from the floor as you pull your right leg towards you and pulse it twice, then kick the left leg up and do the same pulse. Continue switching sides for ten repetitions. Single leg kicks really work the abdominals and get the legs moving which aids with digestion. I think of this move as a walk or run on your back initiating the movement from your core. You will definitely stimulate digestion with this exercise and flatten the belly.

The Saw—Any twisting motion is great for stimulating digestion and massaging the internal organs and entire core region. I particularly love the saw because it feels so good for the entire body and stretches and strengthens the obliques and lower abs. Sit up nice and tall with your feet hip width apart. Open your arms to your sides and twist towards your right foot then imagine sawing off the right pinky toe with the left pinky finger. After three little pulses, scroll up through the spine and twist in the opposite direction and repeat. Do each side five times.

Swan Dive—Finish with the “swan dive” to really massage the entire front body and help stoke the digestive furnace. Lie face down on the mat with arms overhead. On an inhalation, lift the entire body up off the mat. Exhale, and lower back down. Repeat five times. If you are very advanced you can try rocking back and forth in this position.

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