GIF Fit: My 10-Minute Pilates Workout, by Lindsay Ellingson
I hope you’ve been enjoying my fit GIFs! I have one last set of workout sequences, and I’ve saved the best for last. It’s a mix of Pilates, ballet, and yoga—three of my favorite workouts. I have to admit high-intensity workouts are not my favorite, so I usually stick to floor exercises like these. But don’t be deceived; these four sequences will tone your whole body just as well and elongate your muscles at the same time. Mary Helen Bowers, founder of Ballet Beautiful, taught me the ballet sequences, which I do constantly—especially before any lingerie or swimwear jobs, including past Victoria’s Secret fashion shows. I hope you enjoy!
Scroll through to see all four GIFs!
1. Start lying on your side with your legs straight and slightly out in front of you.
2. With your toes pointed, draw your top leg into passé position at your knee.
3. Keep your hips open, with your knee drawing backward as you extend your leg straight up.
4. Lower your leg into starting position, and repeat the sequence 20 times.
5. Next, circle your leg.
6. Bring both legs slightly forward to form a V shape.
7. Lift your top leg and slowly circle it forward for one minute. Then reverse the direction of your circle for one minute.
8. Repeat the whole sequence on your other leg.
1. Lie on your side with knees bent, legs forming a 90-degree angle.
2. Keeping your knees together and toes pointed, lift your top foot up toward the sky.
3. Extend you leg upward in the direction of your foot.
4. Bend your knee, bringing your top leg in to meet the bottom leg again, and repeat this sequence 10 times.
5. Next, come back to starting position for clamshells. This time, keep your toes together and open your knees.
6. Slowly and with control, raise and lower your top leg 10 times. (Note: If you want to make this more challenging, you can raise your feet and hover the bottom leg as well.)
7. Repeat the whole sequence three times, and switch legs.
1. Start on your hands and knees, in tabletop position, with hips over knees and shoulders over wrists.
2. Keeping your hips square and your foot flexed, press one leg up toward the sky, knee bent at a 90-degree angle.
3. Raise and lower your leg 12 times.
4. Next, maintain the same form, but open your leg to the side. Do this 12 times.
5. Repeat the whole sequence three times on each leg.
1. Start sitting up straight with your hands and feet on the ground, knees bent, arms slightly behind you, and fingers facing inward.
2. Raise your whole body up, lifting your chest toward the sky. Keep your core engaged and your arms straight (but not locked), and hold this pose for a few breaths.
3. Lower down and raise your legs to tabletop position.
4. Lean back slightly to fire up your core, and extend your legs straight out.
5. Alternate bicycling out your legs for one minute, and repeat. (Note: For a more advanced sequence, balance without the support of your arms on the ground.)
And don’t forget to grab a crease-free hair tie (like one of these from Emi Jay, $11) to keep your hair out of the way during this power Pilates workout.