Spring is almost here and peak cherry blossom season is already upon us! This weekend, while you’re admiring the brilliant petals at the Tidal Basin, you can also easily slip in some pilates. What better place to burn some calories than underneath the cherry tree branches?
So break out that water bottle, settle down under one of those gorgeous trees, and get your workout on!
Have a Ball
If you’re new to pilates, don’t fear, you’ll catch on in no time! Start off small with this ball exercise from Daily Burn—no ball required. Lie with your back on the ground and pretend you’re sitting in a chair. Grab the backs of your thighs and roll back and forth going forward until your toes touch the floor and then rock back until your head is once again supine. Have fun with this exercise! It may look silly, but the ball pose helps massage your shoulders and strengthen your core.
Dip to Stay Fit
When you’re doing rolling around on the ground, try a few of these toe dips from Prevention magazine to workout your abs. With your body in the chair position, slowly lower your left leg down toward the ground until your toes hover right above the ground. Then bring them slowly back up. Repeat with your right leg. Use these dips to help tone and strengthen your abs for a better, healthier you.
Stretch Your Thighs
Up and at ‘em! Get off the floor and move into a kneeling position, with this muscle-burning move from the fitness website Greatist. Your knees should be under your hips, and your feet should be touching. Keep your spine straight while you lean your upper body back (you can lean against a tree trunk for extra support). Then, slowly move back to the starting position. If you want to make things more challenging, hold onto the lean for as long as you can! Draw inspiration from the gorgeous blossoms around you.
Now that you’re warmed up, stand up and get your blood pumping! In order to ace the chair pose, Greatist explains, you just stand with your feet about hip-distance apart. Inhale, then exhale the sweet scent of cherry blossoms “while extending arms up and reaching through upper back. Inhale, then exhale and slowly roll down toward the floor one vertebrae at a time. Sit back as if sitting in a chair before reaching up and lifting heels. Return to standing.”