Pilates is a form of exercise that continues to receive much attention. Pilates has been the go-to regimen for anyone interested in working on strength, flexibility, and of course, core strength -- and for good reason, Pilates helps you physically and mentally. Not only does this type of training develop balance, strength, flexibility and coordination, it also creates alignment through muscular development and correction. Pilates exercises can also reduce stress, help with focus and relaxation, and increase lung capacity and circulation. This type of physical fitness training focuses on specific mind and muscle training coupled with an emphasis on breathing, awareness of the spine, and deep torso muscle control.
The goal of Pilates is return to function. Without core stability, we cannot get up and down from the floor or reach up without falling backward. We need core stability for our basic functional movements: to roll over in bed, to sit for prolonged periods, and to avoid falls. Not only does Pilates assist in maintaining your daily, functional movement, but Pilates can also allow you to maintain your active lifestyle.
Pilates exercises are versatile, and you can do them anywhere. There are numerous benefits to joining a Pilates group class or taking a Pilates private session, but you can do Pilates in any setting or on your own. You can practice Pilates at home, in your office, or on the road. You do not need to be in a studio to achieve the benefits of Pilates. Mat Pilates only requires your body weight, so these exercises are easy to reproduce outside the studio. You can reap the same benefits Pilates offers in the studio or on the go.
Pilates is a form of exercise that aims to develop flexibility, good posture, strength, and balance simultaneously. Realize these benefits on the go (1) to stretch and improve your mobility and flexibility; (2) to develop your core strength to improve your posture and prevent back pain, and (3) to focus on your breathing and body control for mental clarity/improve focus.
Here are five fundamental Pilates exercises that can be done on the go to achieve these benefits. Make sure you breathe and have fun!
· Standing Roll-Downs: Stand with your hips over your feet and your feet one fist distance apart. Reach your hands over your head, round your spine, pulling your navel into your spine. Exhale and roll down one vertebra at a time, focusing on the articulation of the spine, keeping your hips over your feet. If your hamstrings are tight, bend your knees slightly to roll down to the floor. Inhale and hold the stretch, then exhale and roll back up, re-stacking your spine, one vertebra at a time. Each time you roll down, try to flex your spine a little further and extend your hamstrings a little longer; this exercise will create flexibility and mobility in the spine and legs.
· Chest Lift/Hundreds Prep: Lie down on your back with your legs at tabletop and with your arms extended, so your shoulder and hand are in alignment. Exhale and lift your head neck and chest from your upper abdominals and extend your arms by your hips. Inhale and lower your head, neck, and chest, and your arms return over shoulder. Make sure you keep your neck relaxed. Remember, lift from your abdominals and not your neck or shoulders.
· Hundreds: Lie down on your back, lift legs to tabletop (or extended at 45 degrees if you can maintain control from your abdominals and do not put pressure on your back). Lift into a chest lift, make sure your back is imprinted into the mat from the base of your shoulder blades to your hip bones, pulse arms, breathe in for five pulses and exhale for five pulses, ten sets of breaths.
· Pelvic Curl: Lying supine, bend your knees and place your feet on the floor, hands by hips, face down on the floor. Tuck your pelvis and roll hips off the mat, one vertebra at a time, roll up to shoulder girdle-tips of your shoulder blades. Keep your pelvis tucked, and ribs pulled together, and roll down one vertebra at a time taking your hips go back to neutral. Try to keep hips lifted as long as possible as you roll down.
· Forward Push Through: Sit with your legs extended, legs mat width apart, flex your feet, and roll down reaching hands forward and down; then roll down one vertebra at a time as you exhale. Then roll up re-stacking the spine, one bone at a time, aim for reaching a little further down and forward with each one, to deepen the stretch for your spine and hamstrings.
To learn more, visit Bodhi Pilates or call 303-597-8483.