May 16, 2011
Props like this Pilates ring can help spice up your workout by challenging muscles in new ways. To add intensity to your obliques (side abdominal muscles) and adductors (inner thigh muscles), try this new move.
Sit upright on a mat or a padded, level surface with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, and your knees bent. Place a Pilates ring between your thighs, just above your knees, and gently squeeze the ring with your inner thigh muscles. On an exhalation, contract your abdominals, bringing your navel to the spine, and lean back slightly. Remember to keep your abdominals firm and your chest lifted. Straighten your arms in front of your chest. Inhale and pause in this position.
On the next exhalation, rotate your upper torso to the right as you bend your right arm, moving your elbow back and your right hand toward your right shoulder. Maintain a slight squeeze with your inner thighs and keep your hips, knees and toes facing forward. Pause, then return to the center and repeat 12 times to the right. Repeat to the left.
Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Full Body Stretch" and "Ballet BodySculpt."