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Pilates: How To Tone Your Arms

Pilates: How To Tone Your Arms

With Pilates, discover an easy, body-friendly way of attaining long, lean, sculpted arms in the comfort of your own home or in the gym. Let VideoJug show you how to use Pilates to tone your arms, and feel the difference in weeks.

Step 1: You will need

  • 1 exercise mat or thick towel
  • 1 rubber exercise band, preferably 6 feet long
  • 1 small cushion - which is optional
  • comfortable clothing
  • a clear wall space
  • 1 floor standing mirror - if you have one. It's not one hundred percent necessary but does help.

Step 2: Exercise One: Upper Back and Shoulders

Step 3: To prepare

Sit down on your mat with your legs together in front of you, slightly bend your knees and flex your feet.

A quick tip - if you're uncomfortable in this position then sit on a small cushion.

Take the exercise band and place the middle under your feet. Cross the band over your ankles holding the ends with your hands. If you need more tension, lightly circle the ends around your hands.

Check that your back and neck are straight.

Step 4: Breathing

You will inhale deeply through the nose to prepare, aiming the breath towards the back of the rib cage and exhale through the mouth as you perform the movement. When you exhale, think of flattening the abdominal region. Imagine gently pulling your belly-button towards your spine.

Step 5: The exercise

Inhale to begin, then exhale while pulling the band back in a V shape, keeping your elbows slightly bent and shoulders down. Inhale to return to the start and exhale to pull again.

You should feel the backs of the arms, shoulders and upper back working.

Repeat this five times, reminding yourself of the breathing, your abdominals and alignment.

Step 6: Exercise Two: Triceps

Step 7: To prepare

Unwrap the band, put it down on the mat and sit on it with your legs crossed, making sure you leave more band behind you.

If you're uncomfortable like this, then sit on a small cushion.

With your right hand, pick up the band from behind you and bend your elbow to point towards the ceiling.

Pay special attention to your neck alignment making sure you're not sticking your chin forwards or down.

Step 8: Breathing

The breathing method is exactly the same as in exercise one. Have a look back at it if you need to refresh your memory.

Step 9: The exercise

Inhale in this position and as you exhale, lift the top hand directly towards the ceiling, then bring it back down on the inhale.

Repeat this five times, again concentrating on your alignment, breathing and abdominals.

You should feel the back of your arm, the triceps, working.

When you finish the first arm, changes sides and repeat the whole sequence with the other arm.

Step 10: Exercise Three: Chest and Shoulders

Step 11: To prepare

Stay crossed legged and take hold of the front of the band with your left hand. Have your fist down and elbow bent, inclining slightly upwards.

If you feel you need more resistance, loosely circle the end of the band around your hand.

Step 12: Breathing

Again, the breathing method is the same as before.

Step 13: The exercise

Inhale here and as you exhale, draw your elbow back and fist away from your chest, inhale and return.

Repeat this five times.

You should feel the front of your shoulder working.

When you finish this side, change the band over and repeat the whole exercise with the other arm.

This is the last Pilates exercise with the exercise band.

Step 14: Exercise Four: Wall Biceps, Chest and Shoulders

Step 15: To prepare

Stand up and go to the wall.

Stretch your arms out straight to touch the wall to check the right distance. Have your legs and feet together in parallel.

Your hands need to be at shoulder-height, but don't overstretch the elbows. Have them slightly further apart than your shoulders.

Be particularly aware of your posture to avoiding sticking out your bottom or sinking into your lower back. Imagine water flowing from your feet up to your head, as if you were a fountain. This helps you to stay straight.

Step 16: Breathing

Follow the same br