Want to slot in a quick strength session for your glute and core muscles that doesn’t involve lifting weights? This Pilates workout is just what you need. In eight minutes you can improve the strength in your booty, hips and lower back (which make up your body’s core muscles) using nothing but these four bodyweight exercises. Just make sure you have something soft and supportive, like an exercise mat, beneath you.
There’s often a misconception that the only way to build strength is by ‘lifting weights’, however, this just isn’t true. Pilates is also great for this, however it's low-impact and gentler on your joints. According to Pure Gym Pilates Instructor and Personal Trainer, Gemma O’Hare, its controlled movements also improve mobility, flexibility, posture and really target your core muscles. This can also reduce the likelihood of injury and ease the effects of DOMS. If, however, muscle hypertrophy is your goal, then strength training is best.
This workout is easy to slot into busy schedules, as it’ll only take you eight minutes. There’s four different exercises in total, all of which start in the glute bridge position. You’ll only do eight reps of each exercise. The reason being is that you really want to do each movement controlled, while breathing correctly, and not compromising on form. Ready? Here’s your workout:
- Glute bridge with single leg extension
- Glute bridge step in step out
- Single leg glute bridge with a leg lower — perform your single leg glute bridge then lower the extended leg to the floor, keeping it straight, then bring it back to starting position and repeat
- Single leg glute bridge with bent knee
If using your bodyweight feels far too easy, you could always incorporate a light dumbbell or single kettlebell, by holding it across your pelvis. But, remember, Pilates is about slow, controlled movements where you really want to try and connect with the muscles that you're using. If you're after similar workouts, then try this six-minute yoga routine to target your deep core muscles. Or, if you're after something that targets specifically just the lower body, this calf, quad and glute workout is perfect.