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Pilates

Part 2: Single-Leg Stretch

Part 2: Single-Leg Stretch

A.

Lie faceup on floor with arms by sides and legs long. Curl head, neck, and shoulders off of floor, lift right leg to hover about 4 inches above floor, then exhale as you pull bent left leg toward chest with left hand grabbing outside above left ankle and right hand grabbing inside of left knee. Inhale as you switch sides; repeat. That's 1 rep. Continue alternating sides.

Part 2: Scissor-Legs Hundred

Part 2: Scissor-Legs Hundred

A.

Lie faceup on floor with arms by sides and legs long. Curl head, neck, and shoulders off of floor, lift arms to hover about 8 inches above floor and left leg to hover about 4 inches above floor, and extend right leg up; point toes, to start. Inhale through nose for 5 counts, forcefully pumping arms about 4 inches downward 5 times. Immediately switch legs. Exhale through mouth for 5 counts, pumping arms 5 times. That's 1 set of 10 reps.

Part 2: Single-Leg Teaser

Part 2: Single-Leg Teaser

A.

Lie faceup on floor holding a weight in each hand with arms by sides and legs bent with feet flat. Extend arms over chest with palms facing forward, and left leg out at a 45-degree angle (keep thighs pressed together); point toes and inhale to start. Without moving legs, exhale as you curl torso up off of floor, pushing weights toward the ceiling. Slowly lower to start.

Wall Squat with Isometric Leg Compression

Wall Squat with Isometric Leg Compression

A.

Stand with back to a wall. Press back flat against wall and walk feet out about 18 inches, then bend knees and slide torso down wall into supported sitting position.

B. Draw belly button in toward spine to engage core and relax legs. Inhale.

C. Exhale, squeezing all leg muscles tight until lungs are completely empty. Inhale and relax legs. Continue for 1 minute.

Squeezing muscles without shortening or lengthening them (isometric compression) promotes circulation to and from the extremities

Roll-Up with Forward Fold

Roll-Up with Forward Fold

A.

Lie faceup on floor, arms stretched overhead. Inhale slowly while rolling up, one vertebra at a time.

B.

Once fully upright with shoulders over hips, fold forward, reaching for toes. Exhale completely, drawing in from the core.

C.

Inhale to rise back to upright seated position. Exhale and scoop belly and round back to roll down, one vertebra at a time.

Stretches the erector spinae and hamstring muscles that compress during long periods of sitting, plus increases circulation and spinal mobility

Supine Abs Carousel

Supine Abs Carousel

A.

Lie faceup on floor, chest and shoulders lifted, hands clasped behind head. Lift legs to 90 degrees, toes externally rotated.

B.

Exhale to lower legs to 45 degrees (as long as you can maintain a neutral spine). Inhale, pulling heels in toward hips and spreading knees in a reverse frog kick. Send legs back up to 90 degrees, squeezing inner thighs together as you extend upward. Do 10 reps.

C. Reverse the motion: Pull heels down and spread knees, extend legs out to 45 degrees, then lift back to 90 degrees. Do 10 reps.

Elevating legs increases circulation to the heart and prevents blood from pooling in the legs during long bouts of sitting. Plus, core engagement prevents low and mid-back compression and soreness from long periods of sitting

Backward Lunge with Glute Stretch

Backward Lunge with Glute Stretch

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart. Step backward with right leg into a lunge, bending both knees to 90 degrees. 

B.

Shift weight into left leg and bring right knee (still bent at 90 degrees) to chest as you return to standing, balancing on left leg. Lift right ankle toward chest, bringing right shin as close to horizontal as possible, stretching the glute and piriformis in right leg. Do 10 reps on each side.

Increases circulation and stretches glutes and piriformis muscles that are chronically shortened during long periods of sitting

Twister Walk-Out

Twister Walk-Out

A.

Stand with left leg crossed in front of right leg. Inhale and lift arms overhead.

B.

 Exhale and fold forward. Place hands on floor in front of feet and slowly walk out to twisted plank position. Hold for 2 breaths.

C.

Walk hands back toward feet, keeping legs straight. Roll up to standing. Do 10 reps on both sides. (To make it more challenging, add push-up in twisted plank position.) 

Stretches your IT band and erector spinae muscles, which get compressed with long periods of sitting

Here's Test Exercise #3

Here's Test Exercise #3

A.

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B.

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Scissors Kick

Scissors Kick

A.

Lie faceup on floor with legs extended over hips and arms by sides with palms down. Turn legs in and cross right leg over left to start. Then switch legs. Slowly lower legs to 45 degrees, continuing to scissor them. Scissor legs back to start position.

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