Problem Areas…They’re NO problem

We all know that you can not just workout certain spots to fix those pesky problem areas.  If we want to see results, we need to loose weight all over.

HOWEVER!!  Pilates and Barre do tone and work areas of the body that tend to be problem areas, DIFFERENTLY than traditional exercise!

For example, many of us have a little less tone in the back of our arms and shoulders.  Because we tend to be tight across the chest and front deltoids, it is harder to train those posterior muscles.  Pilates and Barre have certain exercises that can train the back of the arm while simultaneously opening up the front of the shoulder and chest.

Our bodies tend to settle weight where we have trouble toning. Here is a list of traditional “Trouble Areas” and a list of Pilates and Barre exercises that can help these areas!

  1. Rear Shoulder/arm (rear deltoids and triceps)- We are weak in this area because we spend our days unintentionally rounding our shoulders forward when we work, drive, and sit.  We need to train these areas to maintain proper postural alignment, and to limit or correct tight neck and trapezius muscles.
    1. Equipment: Arm pulls and T; Key thoughts: widen collar bones, pull arms apart while pulling back
    2. Barre: tricep press, arm lift
    3. Key thoughts: widen collar bones, pull arms apart while pulling back

  1. Outer thighs (abductors)-   We are weak in this area because we sit a lot and that contributes to tightness in the front of the hips, while weakening the posterior chain.  We need to train these areas to maintain healthy hip function balancing out the muscles of the leg.
    1. Equipment: side splits, (green spring)
    2. Barre: side leg work with or without straps
    3. Key thoughts: Make sure knees are in proper alignment lining up over your second and third toes. The movement should not come from a movement in the pelvis, but rather the actual hip.  Make sure pelvis isn’t hiking towards the ribs!
  2. Inner thighs (adductors) – We are weak in this area because we rarely do adduction.  We need to train this area to maintain health hip function and to aid in the strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles.
    1. Equipment: side splits and leg straps (red spring)
    2. Barre: lunges with knee squeeze, squats with the ball
    3. Key thoughts: when bringing the legs together, think in and up as if your inner thighs could draw all the way up through the pelvic floor and out of the top of your head!
  3. Low belly (rectus abdominis and transverse abdominals)- We are weak in this area because we tend to use our backs for the functions of the low belly.  We need to train this area to maintain a healthy and pain free low back, hips and core (and pelvic floor).
    1. Equipment: overhead (bonus works back of shoulder too),
    2. Barre: Bear hover walking back to plank
    3. Key thoughts: NO MOMENTUM! If you can’t get all the way over, just do little controlled lifts of the tail.  Belly should feel like it is doing the work NOT your back (or swing of your legs)!

4. Glutes (Gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, and gluteus minimus)-  We are weak in this area because we tend to not bend at our hips, but rather our back.  If we don’t bend at the hips, then we aren’t using the glutes to extend the hip! We need to train this area to maintain a healthy back and hip function while also supporting our spine health

  1. Equipment: side lying footwork, side lying jumpboard
  2. Barre: bridge work on ball, one legged bridge work
  3. Key thoughts: think about where your glute turns into your thigh, make sure that you are feeling that transition do the work.  Lengthen the low back, so you aren’t using your low back to find the height of your bridge.

Although we want to continue to be active, work the whole body, and get in appropriate amounts of cardio, it is ok to give a little extra attention to those areas that weaken due to our daily lives.  Pilates and Barre are efficient ways to tone and target the body while also giving a total body workout. Let’s stop the pinching, poking and pulling on those pesky areas, love ourselves where we are, and train smarter!

Follow us on instagram for videos and workouts specific to these areas!

In strength and self confidence,

The Pilates Barre Studio

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