Pilates Secret Weapon Series: Toned Arms!

Posted On Sep 10, 2014 By Erika Quest

Tone and shape your arms with easy Pilates moves at home

This video is the second episode in my "Secret Weapon" series. In the last episode I used a 99 cent child's play ball to target the core. This time, I'm again taking an everyday, inexpensive item you likely have lying around your house and applying a functional fitness/Pilates sequence to that item.

Now's the time to go scour your pantry and find two cans, jars, bottles, etc., that weigh about 2 or so pounds (roughly 32 ounces).

This supine open chain exercise series for toning the arms will promote opening of the chest as well as healthy shoulder mobilization with the following:

  • Chest Fly
  • Scissors
  • Helicopter
  • Triceps
  • Circles

I'll also offer you challenge options to incorporate into this series as you get stronger (or you may already need the progression), such as:

  • Try the entire series (or portions) in a bridge position to target the gluteals and hamstrings.
  • Add a chest lift to integrate the core and challenge the abs.
  • Add a leg extension to intensify the ab work and turn the entire series into a full-body experience.

This series focuses on active movement of the arms and treating the air as if it were something very thick, (as if you were doing these repetitions underwater), and applies breathing and flow to each repetition.

As always, you can feel free to add more repetitions in as you gain strength from doing this regularly, but make sure you're still paying close attention to the quality of the repetitions and the flow of the exercises vs. rushing through each movement. Remember the motto: "Quality vs. Quantity!"