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Pilates Lower Body Challenge: 15 Moves for a Stronger Physique

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Planning to get stronger and tone up your lower body?

If you're looking to boost your lower body strength and get more toned, Pilates is the way to go! 

Pilates has long been a go-to choice for many, loved not only for its core-strengthening benefits but also for sculpting those leg, hip, and rear areas.

Just follow these exercises into your routine, and you'll be on your way to a firmer, more sculpted physique in no time.

The 15 Pilates Moves for a Stronger You

1. Core Cruncher Leg Lifts

Let's explore the Core Cruncher Leg Lift exercise, a foundational Pilates move that targets your abs and lower body for a stronger, more toned physique.

How to do Core Cruncher Leg Lifts:

  • Lie down on your back, arms by your sides.
  • Lift your legs up, bending them at the knees to form a tabletop position.
  • Keep your core engaged as you lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the mat.
  • Begin pumping your arms up and down while breathing deeply.
  • Aim to complete 100 arm pumps while feeling the burn in your abs and legs.
  • Keep your legs steady throughout the exercise for maximum effectiveness.

Core Cruncher Leg Lifts engage your abdominal muscles while also strengthening your lower body, including your legs and hips.

Starting your Pilates routine with Core Cruncher Leg Lifts not only activates your core muscles but also sets the tone for a challenging yet rewarding workout session.

2. Hip Hugger Side Kicks

Prepare to target your outer thighs and hip abductors with the Hip Hugger Side Kicks, a dynamic Pilates move designed to boost lower body strength and mobility.

How to do the exercise:

  • Lie on your side with your bottom arm extended for support.
  • Lift your top leg slightly off the floor, keeping it straight and engaged.
  • Kick your top leg forward, then swing it back behind you in a controlled motion.
  • Repeat this kicking motion for the desired number of repetitions, then switch to the other side.

The Hip Hugger Side Kicks work your outer thighs and hip muscles to make them stronger and more defined. 

They also make your hips steadier and help you move better. 

Doing these kicks regularly makes you less likely to get hurt and makes you better at everyday tasks and exercises.

3. Rear Raiser Bridge

Strengthen your glutes and hamstrings by doing the Rear Raiser Bridge exercise.

How to do the exercise:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Engage your core and press through your heels to lift your hips towards the ceiling.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.
  • Slowly lower your hips back down to the starting position.

The Rear Raiser Bridge targets your glutes and hamstrings, helping to tone and strengthen these key muscles.

This exercise not only enhances lower body strength but also supports better posture and stability in daily activities.

4. Steady Stance Squats

Gear to boost your lower body strength with this fundamental Pilates move. Steady Stance Squats is here to help.

How to do Steady Stance Squats:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward.
  • Engage your core and keep your chest lifted.
  • Lower your body down as if sitting back into a chair, keeping your knees behind your toes.
  • Press through your heels to return to a standing position.

Steady Stance Squats target your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, helping to improve lower body strength and stability.

Integrating Steady Stance Squats into your regular workout improves functional movement, simplifying daily activities and increasing efficiency.

5. Balancing Butterfly Clams

Looking to strengthen your inner thigh muscles while improving balance and stability? The Balancing Butterfly Clams exercise might just be what you need.

How to do Balancing Butterfly Clams:

  • Lie on your side with your knees bent and feet together, resembling a clamshell position.
  • Lift your top knee towards the ceiling while keeping your feet together.
  • Hold the position briefly, then lower your knee back down with control.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then switch sides.

Balancing Butterfly Clams targets your inner thigh muscles and helps improve hip stability and balance.

Making this as a regular part of your routine can boost overall lower body strength and stability, thus lowering the risk of injury.

6. Flexi-Fit Single Leg Circles

Add some variety to your Pilates routine, this exercise is fantastic for enhancing flexibility and strengthening your lower body.

Exercise Details:

  • Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and legs extended towards the ceiling.
  • Engage your core and lift one leg towards the ceiling.
  • Circle that leg in a controlled motion, keeping your hips stable and your other leg grounded.
  • Repeat the circles in both directions before switching legs.

This exercise enhances flexibility and mobility in your hips and legs. Strengthens your core and stabilising muscles. Improves overall lower body strength and coordination.

Make sure to include Flexi-Fit Single Leg Circles in your routine for a well-rounded Pilates workout that boosts flexibility, strengthens your core, and tones your lower body effectively.

7. Glute Gainer Donkey Kicks

A powerful Pilates move that targets your glute muscles for a firmer and more lifted rear end.

How to do Glute Gainer Donkey Kicks:

  • Start on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Keep your core engaged and lift one knee off the ground, bending it at a 90-degree angle.
  • Flex your foot and kick that bent leg up towards the ceiling, focusing on squeezing your glutes at the top.
  • Lower the leg back down without touching the ground and repeat on the same side.
  • Switch to the other leg and repeat the movement.

This exercise effectively targets your glute muscles, helping to lift and tone your rear end for a more defined silhouette.

8. Stability Stride Lunges

Searching for ways to enhance stability and strength in your lower body? This exercise not only targets key muscle groups but also improves balance and coordination.

Exercise Details:

  • Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Take a big step forward with your right foot, keeping your left foot in place.
  • Lower your body down until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, ensuring your front knee stays behind your toes.
  • Push through your front heel to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the opposite side, alternating legs for each repetition.

Stability Stride Lunges target your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, improving lower body strength and stability. This exercise also enhances balance and coordination, making it great for overall functional fitness.

9. Pelvic Powerhouse Plank

Let's start your core and strength journey with the Pelvic Powerhouse Plank a dynamic exercise that works wonders for your entire body.

Exercise Details:

  • Start in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from head to heels.
  • Engage your core and squeeze your glutes to maintain stability.
  • Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, breathing steadily throughout.
  • For an added challenge, lift one leg off the ground while keeping your hips square and your body aligned.

The Pelvic Powerhouse Plank strengthens your core, shoulders, arms, and legs simultaneously.

Improves posture and stability, reducing the risk of injury during daily activities.

As part of your routine, expect a more robust core, boosting your strength and endurance for daily activities and athletic endeavours alike.

10. Flexibility Booster Swan Dive

Enhance your flexibility and strengthen your back with the Flexibility Booster Swan Dive. Let's move and discover how it can benefit your body.

How to do Flexibility Booster Swan Dive:

  • Start by lying face down on your mat with your arms extended overhead and legs together.
  • Inhale as you lift your head, chest, and arms off the mat, keeping your gaze forward.
  • Exhale as you engage your core and lift your legs off the mat, reaching them towards the ceiling.
  • Inhale to lower your legs and upper body back down to the mat with control.

The Flexibility Booster Swan Dive helps to improve spinal flexibility, strengthen the back muscles, and enhance overall body awareness.

This can alleviate back pain, improve posture, and promote a healthy spine for better mobility and range of motion.

11. Leg Lift Lumbar Stretch

Give the Leg Lift Lumbar Stretch a try. This Pilates move is designed to gently stretch and strengthen your lower back muscles.

How to do the Leg Lift Lumbar Stretch:

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms by your sides.
  • Lift one leg towards the ceiling, keeping it straight.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds, feeling the stretch in your lower back.
  • Slowly lower the leg back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side.

This exercise helps to lengthen and stretch the muscles in your lower back, promoting flexibility and reducing stiffness.

12. Hip Hop Hip Opener

Let’s add a little groove to your Pilates routine, a move that not only opens up those tight hips but also adds a touch of rhythm to your workout.

Hip Hop Hip Opener:

  • Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat.
  • Cross one ankle over the opposite knee, forming a figure-four shape with your legs.
  • Keeping your lower back pressed into the mat, gently press the crossed knee away from your body until you feel a stretch in your hip.
  • Hold this position for 15-30 seconds, breathing deeply and relaxing into the stretch.
  • Repeat on the other side.

This exercise helps to increase hip mobility and flexibility, reducing stiffness and discomfort.

It also targets the muscles of the hips and glutes, helping to strengthen and tone these areas.

Don't forget to include the exercise for smoother movements, looser hips, and a touch of dance-inspired flair to your Pilates routine.

13. Core Commando Scissor Kicks

This Pilates move targets your abdominal muscles while also engaging your legs, providing a full-body workout.

How to do Core Commando Scissor Kicks:

  • Start by lying on your back with your hands under your hips for support.
  • Lift both legs towards the ceiling, keeping them straight and strong.
  • Lower one leg towards the ground while keeping the other lifted, then switch legs in a scissor-like motion.
  • Continue alternating legs while maintaining control and engaging your core throughout.

Core Commando Scissor Kicks strengthen your core muscles while also improving lower body flexibility and coordination.

Including the Core Commando Scissor Kicks exercise in your routine will not only strengthen your core but also enhance your overall stability and coordination. Give them a go and feel the difference in your strength and control.

14. Gluteus Maximus March

Let's take a look into the Gluteus Maximus March, a dynamic Pilates exercise that fires up your glutes while enhancing overall lower body strength and stability.

Exercise Details:

  • Sit comfortably on your mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Place your hands behind you for support, fingers facing towards your hips.
  • Lift your hips off the mat, engaging your glutes and core.
  • Begin to march in place by lifting one knee towards your chest while keeping the other foot grounded.
  • Alternate marching legs in a controlled and rhythmic manner, focusing on engaging your glutes with each lift.

The Gluteus Maximus March effectively targets and strengthens your glute muscles, promoting better posture and stability. It also engages your core for added support and balance during the exercise.

This is a fantastic way to boost lower body strength and stability while sculpting those glutes. Stay consistent with this exercise, and you'll soon notice improvements in both strength and overall lower body health.

15. Pilates Teaser

Challenge your core and improve your overall strength with Balanced Body Roll-Ups, a Pilates exercise that demands both control and coordination.

How to do Balanced Body Roll-Ups:

  • Start by lying on your back with your legs extended and arms reaching overhead.
  • Engage your core muscles as you slowly roll your spine off the mat, reaching your fingertips towards your toes.
  • Maintain a smooth and controlled movement as you articulate through each vertebra.
  • Once fully lifted, pause briefly at the top before reversing the movement to return to the starting position.

The Balanced Body Roll-Ups target your core muscles, including the abdominals and lower back, while also improving spinal flexibility and control.

Though challenging, incorporating Balanced Body Roll-Ups into your routine can lead to increased core strength, improved posture, and enhanced overall health. 

As the final part of the 15 Pilates moves, it serves as a grand finale to your lower body challenge, leaving you feeling stronger, more balanced, and ready to take on whatever comes your way.

Embrace the Potential of Pilates for a Strengthened Self

You've taken a big step towards a stronger, more toned body. 

Keep up with these exercises to keep getting stronger, more flexible, and fitter overall. 

Explore additional Pilates routines to keep challenging yourself and reaching new goals. 

Begin your Pilates journey with us at Primal Strength & Movement

Our Lisburn Pilates classes go beyond just exercise, focusing on the connection between your body and mind, we'll help turn your fitness goals into reality. 

Start your Pilates journey today!

Written by admin

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