To celebrate the arrival of summer, why not take advantage of the heat and take your Pilates practice outside! Our Mat level one workout is perfect to do it outside, to start the day with, or to incorporate into any workout regimen. Our clients love that the 7 exercises are fun but challenging, short but effective and fundamental yet necessary. They are essential in progressing your body through The Works of Joseph Pilates.
Let’s warm up the body by taking 10 long and deep breathes while vigorously pumping the arms keeping the torso and lower back stable. Find your challenge point, whether the legs are pointed toward the sky or bent or lengthened out at 45 degrees angle, be mindful of the constraint on the neck.
Let’s treat the spine with some gentle articulation and stretch. On your back with your legs straightened, feet flexed, and lift the arms up in line with the shoulders. INHALE as you slowly peel the head and shoulders up from the mat and EXHALE as you roll all the way forward, making the body into a semi-circle. INHALE, gently levitate the buttocks to begin the roll down and EXHALE as you anchor each vertebra down to mat to complete the exercise. Repeat 3-6 reps.
One leg circle
Let’s mobilize the hips! Extend one leg up while the other anchored down at the ankle,. Drawing small circles to start then gradually increase the size to challenge the stability of the pelvis, relaxing the shoulders throughout. Bent both knees slightly to accommodate tight hamstrings or hip flexors. 5 circles per direction per leg.
Rolling like a ball
Let’s massage the spine and work on the pelvic stability. Sit up to curl your body into a ball, hug shins to chest, legs in frog. Balance on your sits bone, INHALE to roll back to the shoulder blades, EXHALE roll up, feet remain in the air. 3-5 reps are all you need. This is a fun exercise for most healthy individuals, if you have osteoporosis, bulging or herniated discs, or other spinal injuries, exclude the rolling and just do the balance portion of the exercise (the hardest part).
Single leg stretch
Let’s develop core strength while stretch the hips. Return to supine position, knees to chest, extend one leg out as the outside hand stay on knee and inside hand on ankle or shin. Pull the bend knee in to stretch the extended leg out further. Brace the center as the legs switch to test the control of the abdominals. Curl the head to increase the difficulty to challenge the body 5-8 reps.
Double leg stretch
Let’s challenge the abdominals a bit more. Move both knees back to chest and place one hand on each knee, shin, or ankle. INHALE to extend the arms and legs out in a long diagonal, pause to elongate the body more, EXHALE circle the arms around and down, drawing knees in to begin again. All you need is 5-8 reps.
Spine stretch forward
Let’s elongate & articulate the spine. Sit tall with legs straight out in front, mat distance apart. Arms remain up parallel to the mat, palm down. INHALE to stretch each vertebra longer, EXHALE roll forward keep ribs flushed down to belly. INHALE return to seated but stack the vertebrae taller. Exhale and do another 3-5 reps. Try to prevent the temptation to round the shoulders as you rolling up and forward.
Now, how about rewarding yourself some Pimm’s for your hard work and dedication to a well-balanced lifestyle? ;)
ps. If you do not want to give up on your Pilates practice while you are away but need a professional guidance, contact us- we can arrange 1-2-1 Internet sessions for you!