Staying fit and active is animportant part of living a long and healthy life. With busy work schedules, kids, school and everything else life throws our way, working out can take a back seat. Pilates is a great workout that strengthens and tones the muscles through a series of slow movements at the muscle's maximum contraction. For those who find themselves sitting at desk all day at work, or for those who have limited mobility, doing pilates while seated in a chair is a way to tone and strengthen your legs, butt and abs without leaving the chair.
The Single Straight Leg Stretch
Sit in the chair with good posture: back straight, chin up and facing ahead.
Extend both legs straight out at a little more than a 90-degree angle, with toes pointed and on the ground.
Lift the right leg up very slowly. Without lifting the body at all, raise the right leg as high as you can until it is about parallel with the ground. Breathe in while lifting the leg.
Lower the leg, again very slowly. Breathe out as the leg is lowered.
Repeat this step with the right leg 10 times. Then repeat these steps with the left leg.
The Double Straight Leg Stretch
Extend both legs straight out, but with toes touching the ground.
Raise both legs at the same time, very slowly, until they are parallel to the ground. Breathe in as the legs are raised.
Lower both legs, again very slowly, and breathing out.
Repeat these steps 10 times.
The Single Bent Leg Stretch
Point both legs directly out at a 180 degree angle. Point your toes.
Bring your right leg in very slowly to your chest while breathing in.
Slowly, release the leg back to join the left leg, breathing out. During these stretches, the unbending leg should remain straight and still.
Repeat these steps with the left leg.
The Double Bent Leg Stretch
Point both legs straight out at a 180 degree angle, with toes pointing out.
Bring in both legs simultaneously, while breathing in.
Release both legs together, back to a 180-degree angle, while breathing out.