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5 Pilates Exercises to Do While Traveling

The holiday season has officially begun, and with it, our busiest travel months of the year! We know how challenging it can be to stick to your movement routine while on the go, and the last thing we want during the holidays is back pain or a stiff neck. Here are five exercises that require no props and will keep you feeling great through the new year and beyond!

1. Get your pelvis moving with tucks and tilts

Lay on your back with your knees bent. Engage your abdominals to imprint your low back into the floor beneath you, then tilt your pelvis forward toward your feet and find a little space under your back. Perform 10-12 reps. Next, tilt your pelvis from left to right 10-12 times.

2. Activate your abdominals with marching or toe taps

Lay on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Take an inhale in through your nose and on your exhale, engage your core to lift one leg into table top. Inhale to lower, then exhale to lift your other leg. Make sure your pelvic stays still and stable as you go from side to side. If this feels good, try bringing both legs to table top and lowering one leg at a time. From table top, lower one leg on an inhale, and lift on an exhale. Perform 10-12 reps on each side.

3. Find rotation in your thoracic spine with book openers

Lay on your side on the floor with a pillow under your head and your knees bent in front of you. Reach your arms out in front of you with your palms touching. On an exhale, open your top arm in a semicircle, leaving your bottom arm on the floor. Let your torso roll with the movement and let your gaze follow your fingertips. Gently squeeze your knees together so your hips stay stacked. Perform 6-8 reps on each side.

4. Fire up your glutes with side lying work

Lay on your side with your hips and shoulders stacked and a little lift under your waist. You can lay your head on a pillow or prop your head in your hand. Extend your top leg long, and the options for movement here are endless! Try lifting your leg in an external rotation and lowering in an internal rotation, circles in both directions, bicycles, or bending and extending your leg. You should feel your glutes burning after just a few reps! Perform 10-12 reps of three different variations on each side.

5. Get extension for your spine with swimming

Lay on your belly with your arms extended overhead and your forehead resting on the floor. Think about connecting to your abdominals and pulling your belly button away from the floor; this will help to ensure you don't over-extend your low back in this exercise. Lift your opposite arm and leg off the floor, and then switch to the other side. Your head will stay lifted as you alternate sides. Perform for 10-12 reps on each side.

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