Quickfire Workout #4: Yoga-Pilates Workout

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle


For a few minutes of work in the core, hips, and thighs, as well as stretching the muscles for length, try some yoga and Pilates.

In this Quickfire Workout, we integrate some exercises from both yoga and Pilates.

  • Yoga breathing is in and out through the nose, without too much force in the exhale.
  • Pilates breathing is in through the nose, and shushed or forced out of the mouth. During the inhale, focus on getting air to the bottom of the lungs. As you exhale, push the air out from the navel. Add resistance by saying “hhhhh” or “sshhhhh” as you exhale for added abdominal benefit.

Both forms of exercise are also designed to improve flexibility and respiratory function.

Yoga sequence (and practice yoga breathing):

1. Cat-cow. For a nice abdominal pull and a back stretch, perform the cat-cow sequence, inhaling on the cow and looking upward, exhaling on the cat and stretching the back while pulling the navel into the spine.

2. Dolphin. Move down into dolphin pose on the elbows and knees or elbows and toes. Also known as a low plank. Keep a straight line from head to knees or head to toes.

3. Child’s pose. Put your knees down and sink the hips back onto the heels. Allow the hands and arms to stretch forward, and place the forehead on the mat.

4. Willow sequence: Sit up on the heels, lift the arms on the inhale. Open the arms wide on the exhale, then arms back up, and then back into child’s pose. Try to keep the glutes on the heels.

Return to cat-cow and repeat the yoga sequence.

Side-lying Pilates series for hips and thighs (go into Pilates breath):

Lie out on your side. Get a straight spine and rest your head on your bicep. Then, bend your knees to a 90 degree angle. Stack your hips and knees even with each other.

1. Clam: lift the top leg. Lightly touch the knees together, and then the toes. Repeat about 12 times.

2. Side lying leg stretch: extend the legs to a 45 degree angle. Point the toes. On the inhale, bend the top leg as your bring the toe to the knee, then extend the top leg up. On the exhale, flex the top foot and bring in down slightly in front of the bottom leg. Repeat, but then place the foot behind the top leg. Beginners should have their free hand in front of the body. More advanced exercisers can put the top hand on the hips. Do not rock the hips as you move. Extend about 12 times.

3. Side lying leg circles: Hover the top foot over the bottom. Make little circles with your toe as it hovers. Circle the the front 6 times, and to the back 6 times. Keep the hips stacked and still. Breathe in for 3 circles, out for three.

Repeat the side lying Pilates series on the other side.


This Quickfire Challenge Workout was designed by Carrie Harper, owner of CarrieFitCarrie Harperand ACE CertifiedPersonal Trainer and Lifestyle/Weight Management Coach. She is is passionate about wellness education and believes education is power! She tries to give people the best information, and therefore the strongest programs, possible in the fields of health: fitness, wellness, nutrition, energy, and vitality. Visit Carrie’s website to check out her other fitness routines!

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