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Wednesday Workout Blues: Getting over the HUMP!

Hey my lovely Her Campusers!  Well here on Long Island it is about as rainy and gloomy as it gets.  As I’m sure you’ve realized by now, I love exercising outside, so when it rains I get extra mopey thinking about having to get my butt to the gym.  So with my roommates all cuddled in our living room of course watching my favorite movies like Harry Potter, 27 Dresses, etc (all movies perfect for the gloomy day), I reluctantly headed to the gym. 

Although I was bummed to leave the comfort of my home, it definitely paid off because I got to do PILATES!  Holly Perkins suggested I do strength training once a week, but I love pilates so much I decided to take the class twice a week!  I really apologize for my recent obsession with pilates, but if you haven’t tried it, I suggest you definitely try a class or two.  Paired with a little cardio before, pilates helps me to work out and blow off a little steam at the same time. 

While I’m no expert, I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite pilates moves I’ve learned through my recent obsession.  Grab your mat, kick off those New Balance shoes, and get started!

The Hundred.  Lay flat on your back with your legs and arms raised 6 inches off the ground.  Raise your shoulders and upper back off the mat and pulse your arms up and down.  This is a killer workout for your abs!

Roll like a ball.  Sit with on your booty and pull your knees into your chest.  Place your hands on the tops of your shins, and rock back.  Using your abs, pull yourself back up into the starting position.  Repeat 4-5 times!

Leg Circles. Lay flat on your back, pulling those ab muscles super tight and erasing the space between your back and the floor.  Lift your left leg up to the ceiling while keeping the other one 6 inches parallel to the floor.  Slowly circle your left leg; almost like you are drawing circles on the ceiling with your toes.  Make 10-15 circles and then switch legs!  This is a great workout for your abs, thighs, and hip flexors.

Roll-ups.  Ahhhh, the one that always gets me!  Lay flat on your back, again flattening your back to the floor by pulling those abs tight.  Flex your feet towards your body, and give yourself a count of 4.  On 1, the shoulders and upper back slowly peal off the floor.  At two, you should start bring your arms up simultaneously.  Three, contract your abs and lift your hands to stretch out toward your feet.  Pause for a moment then do the same 4 count in reverse, slowly lowering yourself to the ground.  

And lastly, a few qiuck things that I’ve found are vital to your success in pilates: 

–For all of these exercises, make sure you have your abs pulled tight!  When you’re lying on the ground try to pull your stomach in so that you have no spaces between your tailbone and the floor.  If you’re standing, try and tuck your abs toward your pelvis!  This will make sure that you are fully engaging your abs through every single movement.

–Make sure you are breathing properly too.  If you hold your breath, you will not only turn blue and pass out but you won’t activate your muscles as much as if you were breathing normally.

–Last but certainly not least, go for quality not quantity.  What’s the point of doing twenty terrible roll-ups?  You’d benefit much more if you’d slow down a notch and do ten fabulous ones! 
Try it out and let me know if you catch pilates fever like I did! smiley 
Peace, love, and fitness

This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% our own.

Andreya is a Broadcast Journalism major with minors in Spanish and English at Hofstra University, graduating in May 2012. Although she is a Broadcast major, Andreya has no reservations about exploring the many aspects of Communication. She has spent time at KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia, interned at a not-for-profit organization on Long Island, and worked for Hofstra's Office of Student Leadership and Activities this past summer coordinating the Welcome Week Celebration for incoming freshman. Despite a long list of outside activities, Andreya is also an active student within the Hofstra community. She is currently the Director of Alumni Relations for Alpha Phi Sorority, a station member and on-air host for the campus radio station WRHU, and a Teacher's Assistant for Hofstra's Writing Department. When she's not busy on-campus, Andreya spends the majority of her free time playing Fantasy Football, running, cheering on the Dallas Cowboys, and re-reading all of the Harry Potter series.
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