Lashley Pulsipher, a Pilates instructor at Exhale fitness studio in Dubai, demonstrates the fifth exercise in our eight-part weekly series of Pilates workouts. Do this move alone, incorporate it into your own fitness routine or watch this space over the next three weeks to create a comprehensive regime. Go to www.thenational.ae/bodyandsoul, where we collect the workouts and post video demonstrations. "This move really helps to increase your metabolism. It is a great full-body exercise and it also creates endurance in the muscles," says Pulsipher.
Version 1: Short-plank is the first variation, where you start on all-fours with your knees hovering a few centimetres off the ground.
Version 2: Another variation is the forearm-plank where your knees are again off the ground but you will lean on your forearms. This is better for people who may have wrist issues but it still strengthens the same back, leg and shoulder muscles.
Version 3: Full-plank is with the arms extended and you can modify the move on your knees, but always keep your hips in line with your shoulders.
Top tip: "Hold short-plank for 30 seconds or more. Brad Pitt holds the full-plank position for seven minutes every day."
Mat Pilates classes at Exhale start from Dh60; Reformer Pilates costs Dh400 for a package of five sessions or Dh750 for 10. For details and timings, visit www.exhaledubai.com or call 04 424 3777