Want to Challenge Your Arms in Pilates Workouts? Add Weights

Pilates is well-known for its benefits to the spine and the core—it strengthens your abs, lower back, hips, and bootie. While it, of course, also works the entire body, it's not always the first practice that comes to mind when arm work is a priority. But on the latest episode of Good Moves, Chloe de Winter of Go Chlo Pilates puts those upper limbs at the forefront by demoing a Pilates workout with hand weights as a prop.

"I'm so excited to be here today to take you through a Pilates workout using a set of hand weights," she says. "If you don't have hand weights, don't worry—you can use...canned beans or wine bottles or water bottles." Whatever you do end up using shouldn't exceed three pounds, as high reps are the name of the game here. "Or, if you want to not use weights at all, that's also totally cool," de Winter adds. Don't worry—you'll still reap the benefits.

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De Winter notes that this series works the whole body, but adds special emphasis (read: work) on the arms by virtue of those aforementioned weight reps, which run throughout the routine. Positions will otherwise be familiar to Pilates devotees, though the routine is designed in such a way that novices should have no problem following de Winter's lead, too.

It can be easy to neglect the arms when other areas of the body demand more attention—surely I'm not alone in wistfully lifting my bootie in the mirror to see what it could look like if I didn't spend most of the day sitting on it for work (okay, and TV). But doing so can affect the ease of daily life, especially as you age. If you want to be able to lift your children, luggage, or wine glass into your golden years, roll out a mat and press play on the video above.

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