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Pilates

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.

Slow Punches

Slow Punches

A.

Sit on floor with knees bent and ball pressed between thighs, holding backs of thighs with elbows bent out to sides. Round lower back, tuck pelvis, and squeeze glutes and inner thighs to start. Slowly extend left arm forward, rotating fist palm down at eye level. Switch sides; repeat.

Plank Diagonal

Plank Diagonal

A.

Start on floor in plank on palms with feet together. Draw right knee toward chest.

B.

Then extend leg back and out 45 degrees. Switch sides; repeat.

Oblique Tilt

Oblique Tilt

A.

Hold ball, and stand with heels together and toes turned out 45 degrees. Bend right knee, drawing foot toward butt, and place ball behind right knee (squeeze ball tightly); point toes, and bring fingertips behind head with elbows bent out to side to start. Rotate torso toward right as you raise right knee out to side, drawing elbow toward knee. Slowly pulse knee up 2 inches and down 2 inches. Switch sides; repeat.

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