Upper Body Pilates Bodyweight Series
Strong arms are super sexy and damned functional - carrying excess shopping becomes a breeze once you've got a little strength in those limbs!
The best way to build functional upper body strength is by focusing on bodyweight compound movements with perfect form rather than isolated concentrated actions.
upper body workout
set the timer for 15 minutes and see how many rounds you can get in!
Pilates Push Ups
The classic Pilates exercise is perfect for finding a sense of stability in the arms & shoulder girdle, with the pulses helping switch on & activate through the chest and back!
Starting standing, you roll down through the spine, reaching the hands towards the toes (softening the knees if need be to touch the floor), keeping a long neutral spine walk the hands out in 4 movements to find a long plank position. Three slow pulses take the body down into a push up position with the elbows moving wide and then one single push back up to the dart line. Without swaying the pelvis too much, walk the hands back towards the feet and then roll back up to standing.
The knees can lower to the floor for the push ups if need be, but keep the butt squeezed and core strong!
Quadruped tricep pulses
This is a total tricep burner if you move slowly and with correct form! Watch out for dropping your hips back when lowering down.
Set up in 4 point kneeling (knees under hips, wrists under shoulders, long neutral spine), you wrap the elbows back towards the body and bend the elbows so the forearms reach towards the floor. The chest should stay directly over the line of the hands so you do not sway the hips backwards & you drop as low as possible keeping the elbows tucked in close to your sides. From the low point you pulse deeper twice and then return to the top. The core should stay active and engaged throughout.
Reverse plank tricep dips
Whilst working the tri's you will also get an opening of the chest and a good activation of your booty if performed correctly!!
For this you want to start in a reverse four point kneel, so palms flat with all the fingers facing towards the feet, knees hip width apart and pressing the hips and shoulders up into one long line so the spine is neutral. To complete the dip, you bend the elbows, trying to squeeze them together, without letting your booty drop too low! Focus on the arms only, not the shoulders or hips!
If you want to make it trickier- try lifting one leg to tabletop for half the reps before swapping!
As much for your abs as your arms, this one will switch on your shoulders, bi's, tri's and back too!
Starting in a high plank position, strong engaged core & glutes and the hands directly underneath the shoulders. You aim to reduce any swaying in the hips or torso and lower one elbow at a time down to a low plank position, then one hand at a time reaches you back into the high plank position.
Lead with the same arm for half the reps before swapping!
This can be performed on the knees also but again make sure your core is on!
Side plank rotations
This one helps you gain some connection and co-ordination across the core and the arms. You need to stay supported through the plank position and grounded shoulder to ensure you dont drop or sink into the supporting side!
In a high plank position, lift your right hand up and tap your left shoulder, then keep the hand lifted you rotate towards your right side so you are in a side plank twist, reaching the right hand to the sky and secure through your left grounded arm. Return back to plank and repeat starting with the left hand. Continue alternating!