Yogalates Exercises to Improve Your Abs
What are Yogalates exercises? We've talked in the past about several disciplines of mind-body exercises that can greatly enhance your fitness regimen. But, within those disciplines there are "hybrids" that have taken from multiple branches of knowledge to create alternative approaches. Yogalates is one of those hybrids. Yogalates "is a comprehensive exercise system which successfully fuses the practices of Yoga and Pilates." Developed by Louise Solomon in the Northern Rivers area of NSW Australia, Yogalates exercises have steadily gained popularity and an international reputation.
There are numerous health benefits to be had from Yogalates. It’s more than just a calm state of mind, as the exercises can help build your core and improve your flexibility. Once you build core strength, you are well on the way to having that perfectly flat stomach you have always dreamed of. Below are three specific Yogalates moves that will help you create beautiful abs.
The Yogalates Hammock
It’s not only your abs that benefit from this exercise, with your arms, chest, shoulders and butt all getting a workout. Start by sitting up tall with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Your hands should be placed behind you at a 45-degree angle, at which point you can lean back. Keeping your arms straight, exhale and lift your hips in the direction of the front of your body. Your knees and shoulders should be aligned in a perfectly straight line.
You should be straightening out your legs in front of you as you lower your hips back to the floor in a sitting position. The next step involves placing your hands on your thighs and leaning forward as you pull you abs inward. Use your hands to push down as you lift your hips off the floor, which is a position that should be held for a couple of seconds. This may prove to be a little difficult for beginners, but the more you practice, the easier it becomes.
The Yogalates Double Leg Stretch
Your abs will be toned and strengthened by using this low-intensity exercise. Your lower back muscles, arms, and legs also get a workout. You'll need to start out by lying on your back and bending your legs to a 90-degree angle, with those bent legs elevated off the ground. Keep your legs parallel to your body and be sure to point your toes out. Raise you head so that it’s a little higher than chest level and then extend your arms in the direction of your legs.
Inhale as you stretch out your legs and get them into a position that is at a 45-degree angle to your body. This will create a large “U” shape out of your body. Keep your ribs pressed against the mat as you hold this pose. Bring back your arms and legs to the original position and perform the same move for a total of 5-10 repetitions.
Yogalates Side Twists
All of the ab muscles get a workout with this exercise, but it’s the oblique muscles that benefit the most. Extend your arms out to your sides as you lie flat on the floor. Your legs should be bent and lifted to form as close to a perfect right angle as you can get. Your legs should remain tight together throughout the move, and your shoulders should be tight to the floor. Twist your body, moving your legs to a point where they are just off the floor. Bring them back to the starting position and repeat the move on the other side. Do this move 5 times for each side.
Disciplines Are Evolving
Yoga and Pilates have both evolved and been adapted over time as new research improves our knowledge of the body's functional movement and reveals more about the effects of exercise. The same can be said of Yogalates as it embraces the latest research and methodology on exercise therapeutics. You can learn more about Yogalates and its founder, Louise Soloman, at YogalatesAcademy.com.
Interested in Adding Yogalates Exercises to Your Routine
You may be new to Yogalates, but RX Fitness Equipment is not and we have everything you need to get started on the right path. We carry a full array of accessories; mats, resistance bands, medicine balls, jump ropes ... everything you're looking for to make your exercise routine as productive as possible. We also work with hundreds of instructors and personal trainers if you need a referral. And don't forget to check out Tim's best-selling book, Fitness Equipment – A Shopper's Guide, on Amazon and other online book sellers as well as in our store.
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