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8 Pilates Exercises with the Foam Roller

Fitday Editor

A foam roller provides a platform used for stretches and exercises. Core strengthening, abdominal workouts and leg toning provided by the roller give those striving to perfect and achieve their Pilates goals a good reason to try it out.

Pilates Exercise Group #1

This list offers lower body Pilates exercises, those targeted predominately at toning troublesome areas for most people. The foam roller offers support in several body positions, giving a stationary point to extend the legs from.

  • Place the foam roller under the mid-section while laying face down. Keeping the arms and upper body in a relaxed position, but remaining still on the ground, bend both legs by bringing both heels toward the glute muscles. Touch ankles, keep the legs bent and lift the lower body while holding that position. This provides a hamstring and core strengthening exercise together.
  • Lying in the same position as stated above, with the foam roller placed in the same spot, straighten both legs out while keeping the ankles touching. Lift the legs off of the ground as high as they will extend. Repeat this motion for another glute and core exercise, or to stretch out the core and mid-section before a workout.
  • Assume the same position as in the previous two exercises. This exercise will mimic the first, except only one leg will do the up and down motion in the bent position, offering an isolated glute exercise one side at a time.
Pilates Exercise Group #2

The foam roller offers many upper body Pilates exercises as well. Here are a few traditional exercises and alternative stretching methods.

  • Get in the traditional push up position by holding onto the roller with both hands. Stabilize the lower half of the body by resting on either the knees or feet. Extending the whole body and using the feet will provide a more intense triceps exercise. Try using alternate grip distances by placing both hands further or closer together for isolated chest and triceps exercises.
  • Place the foam roller under the hips while facing down. Rest in a push up position with the whole torso touching the ground. Then, look up toward the ceiling and arch the body upward for a complete upper body exercise. Hold the position as long as possible to strengthen the core and abdominal section.
  • Sit on the roller and place both hands behind the body for stability. Look up and back while arching the back for a chest stretching exercise. Repeat the motion several times or hold the position for an extended time.
Pilates Exercise Group #3

Focusing on the abdominals, many people find the foam roller for Pilates to be an effective alternative to a flat mat.

  • Place the roller on the floor and lay on it vertically so that it covers the length from the buttocks to the lower neck. Perform crunches or sit-ups in this position for guided, non-neck straining abdominal exercises.
  • In the same position as stated above, perform straight leg lifts or reverse crunches by bringing both knees toward the face. Hold any of these positions on the last repetition of each set for an extra thorough exercise.

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