+ Scenario: you’ve worked all day, you’re exhausted, & practically asleep on the drive home. Going all the way to your house, putting on workout clothes, & making the trek to the gym, sounds about as interesting as watching paint dry.
+ Solution: come home. Turn on the TV & try this dime of a workout. Pilates is fabulous because you can lay on a mat in your own living room, sans equipment, while getting an incredible workout. I’m obsessed with how it pulls in the core & tightens everything up.
My Pilates teacher/friend, Cindy Jansen & my girlfriend, Jordan demonstrated six @ home workouts + a stretch from the stomach/ab series [ not all pictures shown ]. During each of the exercises if you’re feeling it at all in your back, bring your legs up.
1.] The Hundred:
Warm-up. For circulation and breathing. Lie on your back with your arms stretched alongside your body. Lift both legs up to a level that you feel your stomach working and not your back. Bring the chin to the chest, make sure your back remains completely flat on the mat. Raise both arms up 6 to 8 inches above the thighs. Pump the arms up and down to the count of 5 while inhaling through the nose. Continue to pump the arms up and down while you exhale through the nose. Repeat 10 times.
2.] Single Leg Stretch:
Lift your chin to your chest. Pull your right leg towards you as you inhale. Place your left hand on your right knee and your right hand on your right ankle. You place your hands this way to keep the knee, hip, and ankle aligned. Extend your left leg out making sure your back remains flat on the mat. Exhaling as you switch legs. Pull your left leg into your chest, place your right hand on to your knee and your left hand on your left ankle. Repeat 10 times.
3.] Double Leg Stretch:
Bend both knees into your chest. Grab your shines and lift your chin to your chest. Inhale as you stretch both legs forward and extend your arms behind you. Exhale as you bend both knees into your chest and grab your shines. Make sure you exhale out all of the air from your lungs as you pull your knees into your chest. Repeat 10 times.
4.] Single Straight Leg Stretch:
Bring your chin to your chest. Lift one leg into the air and grab your ankle with both hands. The other leg is reaching long and raised about 2 inches off the mat. Pull the leg twice while inhaling and then switch legs and pull twice while exhaling. Remember to keep the movements dynamic. Repeat 10 times.
5.] Double Straight Leg Stretch:
Lie flat on your back with both legs stretched up to the ceiling. Lift your chin to your chest while placing your hands behind your head (palm over palm) elbows wide. Keep your upper body lifted pull your abs in and up. Inhale lower the legs down to the floor and exhale bring the legs up slowly. Repeat
6.] Criss Cross:
Place your hands behind your head (palm over palm) elbows wide. Lift both legs up to the ceiling. Bend your right knee into your chest while your left leg extends in front of you. Bring your left rib cage toward your right knee remembering to keep your elbows wide. Hold. Switch bring your right rib cage towards your left knee, continually trying to twist behind you while you keep your elbows opened. Hold. Repeat 10 times.
7.] Stretch: Spine Stretch Forward:
Sit with your legs straight, open them slightly wider than your shoulders. Extend your arms up to shoulder height. Inhaling, lift tall and lengthen your waist. Making the letter C in your lower back. Reach with your arms forward and exhale. Roll up from your waist and repeat the movement 5 times.
+ Side note: the two pictures of Cindy alone, are for extremely advanced Pilates students & not described above.
++ To book a session with Cindy, e-mail Pilates.Cindy@gmail.com.