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McCall DeVaney’s Core and Stability Routine

Workout With a Local

What I like about this series of exercises is how it focuses on the crux of what Pilates is all about: the core and stability. Specifically, these exercises are a great way to show that the core should always be working in the background, even if the exercise is designed to target another area of the body. This series begins with a challenge to the core, but as you progress through the series, you’ll notice how each position seeks to challenge your stability, while also working additional muscle groups. Finally, you’ll conclude the series with a nice hip flexor stretch, which is great for opening up the front of the hip and relieving low back discomfort.”

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Toe Tap Series

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet hip-distance apart.

Make sure your hips are level with a small space between your low back and the mat.

Inhale, and as you exhale, slowly lift one leg into a table-top position.

Keep breathing, and slowly reach one foot down to tap the floor and then lift it back up.

Repeat with the other leg. Do six reps per leg.

For an added challenge, lift and lower both legs together.

Side Leg Circles

Lie on your side with your hips stacked.

Prop up on your elbow with your head resting on your hand, and place the other hand flat on the floor close to your chest.

With your head still resting in your hand, press the elbow into the mat and lift your ribs.

Lift the top leg to hip height, and keep your hips still as you make circles with your leg.

Inhale for half of the circle and exhale for the second half.

Do eight circles in each direction before switching sides.

For an added challenge, place your other hand behind your head rather than on the mat to work your balance.

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Opposite Arm and Leg Reach

Come onto all fours with your knees directly under your hips and wrists under your shoulders.

Take a breath in, and on your exhale, lift and extend one leg as you lift the opposite arm.

Keep your shoulders, torso, and hips still and level. Hold this position for three deep inhales and exhales.

Repeat on the opposite side, doing three reps each time.

For an added challenge, circle your leg slowly three times in each direction while keeping your hips still.

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Single Leg Kicks

Lie on your stomach, propped up on your forearms.

Press your elbows into the floor to pull your ribs away from the mat.

Inhale, bend one knee, flex your foot, and pulse the heel toward the glutes twice.

Exhale, extending the leg back to the floor.

Do this 10 times, alternating legs each time.

Be sure to keep the heel in line with the sitting bones, and don’t squeeze the glutes when pulsing the heel.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Kneel on the mat with your knees hip-distance apart.

Bring one leg forward so the lower leg and foot are slightly in front of the knee.

Use your low abdominals to pull your pubic bone forward, making sure to keep your ribs and hips stacked.

Hold for six deep breaths before switching sides.

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