Magazine article Dance Spirit

All-Around Resistance

Magazine article Dance Spirit

All-Around Resistance

Article excerpt

SICK OF THE SAME OLD ROUTINE? ADD A FITNESS CIRCLE FOR MORE RESISTANCE-AND RESULTS.

FITNESS CIRCLES

Fitness circles are round resistance rings often used in Pilates classes. When you squeeze the cushioned pads together, the band flexes. Because it's constructed of metal, it takes a lot of force to bend the circle out of shape. Fitness circles are made by devceral different manufacturers and can be purchased at sporting good stores.

Hip Lifts

Lie in the position shown. Keep your feet hip-width apart, your palms on the ground and your spine neutral (there should be space between your lower back and the floor). Place the fitness circle between your lower thighs and lightly squeeze it.

Lift your hips and your lower and mid-back off the floor in one motion, using your abdominals, glutes and hamstrings. Hold for 10 seconds, then lower back to the starting position without releasing pressure on the fitness circle. Repeat 10 times.

Bonus: For a more intense inner-thigh workout, apply 10 short squeezes to the ring while in the lifted position. To work your glutes and hamstrings, lift your hips higher and slightly pulse them up and down 10 times.

The exercise consultant for this month's column, Isabel Gotzkowsky, is artistic director of Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends, a dance company based in New York City. She is also a certified Pilates instructor who frequently teaches at The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers.

Double Crunch

Lie in the position shown. Place your hands at the base of your head and keep your feet hip-width apart. Place the fitness circle between your thighs, a few inches above your knees and lightly squeeze it.

Curl up in a low crunch, still applying pressure to the fitness circle. To concentrate the emphasis in your upper abdominals, try not to let your lower back press into the ground-use your core strength to keep your torso still. …

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