Pilates is an incredible style of exercise for a number of reasons, especially because you can completely transform your body while rehabilitating injuries. But the all time best Pilates move ever? According to Andrea Speir, founder of SPEIR Pilates in Los Angeles, it's Knees Off — and you don't even need the Reformer to do it!
"You can literally do this anywhere — on the carpet at home, or outside on the grass!" Speir told POPSUGAR. "We see a lot of clients who have back injuries and have been sent to Pilates by their physical therapists," she said, noting that this low-impact move strengthens and stabilizes the core to protect the back, while also working your quads — and puts no pressure on your knees!
You'll reap some serious benefits from this one move. "It's such a simple exercise, but [Knees Off] strengthens your abdominals (you have to hold your body in this position by punching your abs up), strengthens your quad connection without putting pressure on your knees, and helps stretch and work into the discs in your spine without any pressure." WOW, right? Not only is it a great physical therapy type of move, but it's a fantastic total-body workout that will help strengthen you from head to toe. "You get the abs, you get the legs, and you help the back!"
Here's how it's done:
- Come into a Cat-Cow position as you would in yoga: hands under your shoulders, knees under your hips
- Round your back and scoop your abdominals into your spine.
- Hover your knees an inch or two off the ground, and hold for about 20 seconds.
- Repeat about three to five times.