PILATES workout

Pilates is a body conditioning that seeks to build flexibility, strength endurance and co ordination without adding muscle bulk.

It also increases circulation and helps to sculp the body’s core or the torso. People who do pilates regularly feel they have better posture, are less prone to injury, and experience better overall health.

Pilates also help people overcome back pain, it uses controlled movements in form of mat exercises or equipment to tone and strengthen the body.

You will need a mat and water for drinking during exercise. First  you can do your warm up for 7 to10 minutes.  For this week I will give you a few examples of the mat exercises. You can start with:

LEG CIRCLES, lie on your back with knees bent , feet hip width apart, pelvis ad spine are neutral, arms at sides palms down.

Right leg up bent in a 90 degree angle or table top position. Contract ab muscles inward ( without using butt or glute muscles) to tilt hip bones and low back, then mid back off floor one vertebra at a time.

Extend right leg clock wise in small circles. Lower back down to mat one verteba at a time. Finish at a neutral position. Bring right leg down to mat, keep hips up and hold leg up table top then straiten up to ceiling. Circle legs both directions each way.

Inhale to prepare before movement, exhale while lifting hips ad spine and hips down. This exercise is good for stabilizing pelvis while increasing range of motion of hip joint.

DOUBLE LEG TO CEILING, lie on back with both knees bent and feet off the floor. The hands are placed behind the head. Float the head off the floor. Exhale, hollow ad extend both legs towards the ceiling. Inhale bend knees and flex upper spine closer to the knees, repeat three more sets.

ROLL UP, inhale bring the breath fully into your pelvis and back as you pull the lower abs in, reach your tail bone under and begin to unfurl vertebra by vertebra down to the floor. Be sure to keep the legs on the floor and don’t let them fly up as you roll down, check that your shoulders are relaxed and not creeping up. Exhale continue to set one vertebra after another down on the floor. Keep your upper body curve as you roll down. Once your shoulders come to the floor, the arms go with head as you continue to roll down to the mat. Do up to 6 repetitions or times. The roll up is one continuous, controlled flowing motion. Try to synchronize with the breath .

If you find it hard or difficult to roll up to curl all the way up off the floor without your legs flying up. You can do the chest lift it is done slowly with the breath. There is no momentum being used. The tail bone and hips being do not start to curl up off the floor as is often seen in crunches.

LEG PULL FRONT, start on your knees , place your hands on the floor in front of you, fingers pointing straight ahead. Keep your arms straight and your elbows unlocked. Engage your abdominals and lengthen your spine extending through the top of the head as you lean forward to put your weight on your hands your shoulders should be directly over your back. That means there is a lot of space between your shoulders and your ears. With your abdominals lifted, extend your legs back so that they are straight and together. Your toes are curled under so that some weight is on the balls of your feet.

Your ears , shoulders, hips and heels should be in a long line. Lift one leg away from the mat. Extend one leg from the hip so that your foot lifts off the mat. As you extend your leg from the hip, your hip will lift slightly but the challenge is to keep the rest of your body stable in plank position. Return your foot to the mat and extend the other leg. Repeat the lift to seven times each side. Then you will do your cool down and you will be done with your workout.