July 05, 2012 / Category: Fitness Advisor

Everyone wants a few must-do moves to keep their muscles toned, lean and long.  Experts agree that Pilates can deliver those results. With moves that focus on lengthening the spine and controlled breathing, Pilates is known for improving your posture and whittling the waistline. Standing Pilates can do the same thing, but adds the challenge of balance. Try these five moves to start.

All exercises should be done standing with heels together and toes slightly wide keeping weight balanced in feet. Tuck tailbone slightly under and keep abs drawn into the spine.

1) Shoulder "T" Squeeze - Arms out to the side at shoulder height with palms facing down. Keep arms straight and pulse arms backwards 30 repetitions while exhaling on the squeeze.

2) Arm Raise Lift - Start with arms at side palms facing the body, inhale to prepare. Lift arms up over head as you raise heels off the floor and exhale. Swing arms downward and squeeze shoulder blades when arms are at side.  Repeat 20-25 repetitions.

Andrea Metcalf