As Pilates teachers, its important for us to keep up our self practice. In a bid to get a little stronger, I’ve recently been trying out lots of different classes at studios near to where I live. And it got me thinking about how much variation there is out there. Not only the type of Pilates (there are loads!) but the style in which they are taught, the individual style of the teacher that day, the class plan, the equipment used, etc etc. Personally, I think its a good thing to keep mixing things up in terms of exercise. Not only trying out new things that will keep you fit, healthy (and interested) but when it comes to say a Pilates class, not to stick with the same exercises all the time, and in my classes I like to throw in different variations, combinations and keep things fresh. It not only challenges a different part of the body (that maybe hasn’t been woken up for a while!) but also focuses the brain and therefore allows some time to switch off from your normal thought patterns. BUT sometimes Pilates can get a little over complicated. I experienced this recently at a class, when being told to ‘hold this piece of equipment, whilst doing a squat on 1 leg and twist around to the side.’ WOW! What am I actually getting from this apart from twisted up like a bad pretzel. Which brings us on to today’s post. Don’t forget the basics. These exercises are classics because they just work and do a good job. That’s why teachers go back to them time and time again. Like me.
So some advice for anyone trying to stay fit and healthy. Keep it simple, Get sweaty a few times a week, and add the below exercises into your routine to build strength. They just work!
PS. Thanks to East of Eden studio for allowing us to do some filming. I can be found teaching there Tuesday nights and Thursday mornings. Check out their online timetable for more classes.
Remember to take your time (the video are sped up!), and connect with your core and breath throughout. People working with an injury/condition should visit your local teacher first before trying these out.
The Hundreds. Kick start your breath and lungs, make your core hot and stretch your spine. WIN WIN. Keep looking down, keep curling in and up and lengthen your tail bone towards the ground.
Leg Kicks. (variation) Keep moving your hips to the ground during the kicks and don’t lift the head too high. Think of length throughout. This ones going to make your back and bum strong! Plus stretching your hips and torso.
Side Lift. Working the obliques (waist) as well as lengthening and stretching the other side. You’ll get strong arms and a tight waist. Remember to keep moving the front ribs to the hips.