The January Five Exercises – Pilates And Yoga For Core Strength And Balance

Each month I give my clients five moves to work on that include strength, flexibility and standing balance. I suggest you spend five minutes each day working on these. Here are the January Five:

1) Hundreds:

  • Start lying on your back.
  • Engage abdominals and lift legs to tabletop position.
  • Round head and shoulders off the mat, arms extended by your side.
  • Inhale and exhale as you pulse arms up and down.
  • Relax your neck! Rest your head on the ground if your neck starts to overwork.

Anne Hundreds January 2013


2) Leg Circles:

  • Bring your left leg up to tabletop or bent knee position (Maddie here is showing the more advanced straight leg version).
  • Inhale and exhale as you make a small circle with your leg, keeping hips still.
  • Ten times each direction then switch legs.
  • Relax your hip.

Maddie Leg Circles 1. Jan 2013

Maddie Leg Circles 2. Jan 2013

Maddie Leg Circles 3. Jan 2013

3) Down Dog:

  • From hands and knees, lift your hips towards the ceiling to come into and upside down ā€œVā€.
  • Bend your elbows and knees slightly, think of lifting your tail feathers up.
  • Eventually your arms and legs will be straight and hands and feet flat on the ground.

Anne Down Dog January 2013


4) Triangle:

  • Stand with your right foot about three feet in front of your left, arms extended and legs straight.
  • Keeping both sides of your waist long, reach right arm out and rest your hand on your right leg.
  • Extend left arm to the ceiling and steer your belly button towards the opposite wall.
  • Hold for one minute then switch sides.

Anne triangle January 2013


5) Seated Twist:

  • Sit up tall, bend your right knee and draw your right heel in towards you (Kate is demonstrating the more advanced version with her left leg tucked under her and arms wrapped behind her back).
  • Hug your right leg and twist towards your right knee, eventually looking over your right shoulder.
  • Hold one minute, and then switch sides.

Kate Seated Twist Jan 2013

Kate Seated Twist January 2013