Going through the same workout routine week in and week out can get real boring, real fast. And since your body loves and craves variety when it comes to fitness, combining workout techniques that strengthen and lengthen your muscles will give your normal routine a major revamp. That's why incorporating pilates yoga workouts into your usual regimen is sure to literally keep you on your toes and challenge your body in new, exciting ways.
Although pilates and yoga are technically different workouts, they're actually much more similar than you might expect, and the movements compliment each other beautifully. While yoga strengthens your body from head to toe, pilates helps you target those tiny muscles that you're just not able to access in a typical vinyasa flow.
Of course, strengthening the larger muscles in your body -- like the glutes and hamstrings --is very important, but adding pilates-inspired micro-movements into a typical yoga routine can help activate smaller, underused muscles that you never even knew you had. Plus, pilates exercises can help with proper alignment and control of your body, which helps prevent injuries and allows you to move more freely when it comes to your yoga practice.
Essentially, combining these two bad boys will make you stronger than ever and pretty much unstoppable.
Here are five pilates-inspired yoga moves that'll spice up your next sweat sesh and leave your body feeling more powerful than ever.
1. Roll Down (Forward Fold)
While you're stretching your hammies in forward fold, add some super strengthening movement by combining it with the pilates roll down.
Basically, the roll down lets you move super slowly into a forward fold. Enjoy the slow and steady pace, and pay attention your muscles as you work your way down.
Adding the roll down to your routine will also help with your Warrior III pose in your yoga practice, as it focuses on toning the hamstrings and abdominals.
2. The 100s (Boat Pose)
At the core of every pilates practice is "the 100s," a move that will literally make your core burn worse than that time you put way too much Sriracha on your lunch.
This bad boy is basically the evil twin of yoga's boat pose, but it's sure to get your blood pumping and your abs pulsing.
While boat pose is held statically, this pilates move uses micro-movements to sculpt your abdominals big time.
Alternate between pulsing and holding still in this challenging core workout to get the benefits of both yoga and pilates.
3. Pelvic Curl (Supported Bridge)
The pelvic curl focuses on the abdominals, hamstrings, and spine, and completely imitates bridge pose in yoga. As tempting as it may be, you're going to want to make sure not to clench your glutes in this one to make sure you're targeting the right muscle groups.
But as you lift your hips higher, you'll be sure to feel muscles you didn't even know existed putting in work, baby.
4. Back Extension (Locust Pose)
If you're looking to work on your back muscles, this move is perfect for strengthening your lower and upper back, as well as parts of your abdomen.
What is known as a back extension in pilates is actually super similar to locust pose in yoga. The muscles you'll build with this challenging exercise will compliment any back bends you may do in your yoga practice.
Focus on length rather than height while you're extending here. It might not look like much from afar, but you'll feel the burn all the same.
5. Wall Chair (Chair Pose)
All you need is a wall for this booty-building exercise, and as simple as it may seem, your legs will be shaking before you know it.
The wall sit in pilates is reminiscent of chair pose in yoga, except, in both of them, you don't have an actual chair. (But you're most likely dreaming of how heavenly it would feel to collapse in one after the fact.)
Make sure your thighs are parallel to the floor in this one. No cheating!