Pilates Movements Explained Part 2

Part 2

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A continuation from last weeks movements explained.

Bridge

In Pilates we have two types of bridges, articulated and neutral. An articulated is emphasizes spinal flexibility. Where as in the neutral bridge the spine moves as one piece.

Table Top

In this position your knees are bent and your feet off the floor and your inner thighs are lightly engaged. This position teaches you how to effectively “train” the  abdominals  really challenging the transverse abdominus.

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Pilates for Cyclists Part 2

cyclists

 

Let’s dive right into a few Pilates equipment  exercises to implement in the cyclists cross training program.

Pilates Footwork: This is is great for proper knee and leg alignment, stretches calves and strengthens and mobilizes ankles.

Footwork

Stomach Massage Flat:

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Feet in Straps Circles:

Side Lying Push Away: Strengthens the outer thighs
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Chest Expansion: Opens the Chest

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Supine Arms: Builds Strength in the Upper Body

Long Box Pulling Straps: Strengthens back.

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Articulated Bridge and  Push Away: Strengthens the Hamstrings and Low Back.

Superman: Back Strengthener

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Standing Splits: Strengthens Inner and Outer Thighs

Pike and Reverse Pike: Strengthens Upper Body and Abdominals.

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Reverse Pike/Tendo Stretch

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There are many more exercises in the Pilates  repertoire as mentioned above these are just a few.

As always don’t forget to stretch.

 

A Healthy Spine

 

There are two popular quotes from Joseph Pilates that many are familiar with and if you have never seen them or heard anyone say them here they are:

” You are only as young as your spinal column.”

” If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.’

When you really think about it, it makes complete sense. Our bodies/spines are designed to move with freedom not with restrictions.  The exercises in Pilates works all the movements of  the spine to keep it healthy, flexible and strong.

The spine is worked in extension ( backward bending), flexion (forward bend), lateral flexion (side bending), rotation (twisting). By working the spine in all different directions we create a proper balance and maintain proper alignment and posture.

Before I show you some of the exercises that goes along with each spinal movement, I would like to explain axial extension or lengthening.  All the movements in Pilates focus on lengthening  the spine or creating space, we do not collapse or sink into the movements. We always want to think of lengthening.

Below are a few of the exercises that goes along with the above mentioned movements.

Flexion

Chest Lift, Hundred and The Roll Up.

Pilates Hundred

Pilates Hundred

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rotation

Side Bend Twist, Spine Twist, Criss Cross

Spine Twist

Spine Twist

 

 

 

 

*important to note the rotation comes from the spine not the shoulders or neck*

 

 

Lateral Flexion

Mermaid, Side Bend.

Side Bend

Side Bend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extension

Swan, Swimming, Leg Pull Up, Shoulder Bridge.

Leg Pull Up

Leg Pull Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you enjoyed this weeks post. Feel free to share.

 

A Little History

Happy September!!!

I hope you are all having a fantastic September so far.  I thought I would share an interesting interview/discussion on Memories of Mr Joe Pilates.  Enjoy!

A little extra Pilates history:

Origins of Pilates

Have a great week friends.

Pilates Teacher, Forever a Student

When one teaches, two learn.

Just like in  nutrition no two diets are the same.  A particular way of eating may work for one and not the other. The same is true for each person that  comes to a Pilates session. Everyones body brings something different  to the “table”.   Because we are not all made the same we can’t do all the exercises the same way.

This is one of the many reasons  why I love what I do, I am always  learning from each clients body. The Pilates method of exercise allows me, the instructor  to meet the individual  body where it is at the moment.    This is  teaching with compassion and kindness.

 

Pilates, movement for life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pilates Spine Corrector

For todays post I thought I would share a video  of Joseph Pilates working out using the Spine Corrector.  This piece of Pilates equipment stretches, strengthens and aligns the spine and it is great for opening up the chest which allows for deeper breathing and preventing that computer posture ( think rounded shoulders etc).  While improving our posture by strengthening the back extensors, you will also be stretching your trunk flexors.  You are able to work your entire body in every range of motion.

Movement is medicine.

 

 

Weekly Challenges

This weeks challenge is two fold. I am including an exercise as well as a nutrition goal, as you know nutrition and exercise goes hand in hand.

Pilates Spine Twist:

Spine Twist

Spine Twist

The Spine Twist increases spinal rotation and it strengthens the core.

Setup: Sit up with your legs straight ( bend the knees slightly if you have tight hamstrings),inner thighs zipped together. Reach your arms to shoulder height, inhale and rotate your torso to the right, pulsing twice with a sniffing breath.  your inner thighs should remained zipped and your flexed feet should not move during the exercise.   A great way to practice this move is sit facing a wall and keep your glued to the wall as you rotate.

Exhale return to the starting position and rotate to the left.

Perform this exercise 8-10 times.

Nutrition challenge:

Instead of your usual lettuce, kale or spinach rotation, why not try a new vegetable powerhouse. Venture out of your comfort zone and maybe add one, two or more of the following to your diet.  I have included links to recipes on how to prepare each if you need some ideas.

Escarole

Bok Choy

Endive

Watercress

Swiss Chard

Collard Greens

Turnip Greens

Radicchio

If you have a favorite way to prepare your vegetables please share.

Feel free to share and comment. Have a great week.

Something extra:

Here is a free E-book for a limited time only written by Dr Graham Cox and Nell Mead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Pilates Poem

I came across this poem a few years ago and fell in love with it.  This is truly how the method makes you feel.

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TRULY ALIGNED-AN ODE TO PILATES TEACHERS

 

Before- A disconnected being with wobbly, unfocused ways.

I sauntered life’s course like a subway train.

With tunnel vision, I had no map- only jerky stops and careless slouching.

Finally- A teacher took me by the hand and refined my awareness like grains of sand.

She said stop that habit and listen to me -there is a whole new way for you to be.

Then piece-by-piece, she stacked me up and I drank in wisdom from the Pilates cup.

Moving about with elegant control, I learned to feel the center of my soul.

Now- I live each movement with my breath, and stretch the boundaries of my existence.

I perceive no limits with my body or my mind

For I am now- Truly Aligned.

Author: Unknown.