March is a beautiful month in Australia, we get the last of summer and there is a couple of great long weekends. This long weekend is now a long week off for me and I am pretty excited because the weather is going to be some great beach days, one of my favourite things about this time of year and having a week off is that the beach is ever so quiet because the kids are back at school.
There is something about exercise at the beach, one of the things I love about pilates is you can do it anywhere, anytime once you know the basics. On that note just a gentle reminder to make sure that you are practicing your pilates with a trained instructor at least once a week so you make sure that you are learning the right technique. Integrity with your technique will help you grow stonger, leaner muscles quicker and move on to more advanced exercises sooner.
Today’s exercise is part of the side lift series, it will help you build strength in the sides of your abdominals, your inner thighs and help you build balance and control. This series will take place over the next few weeks.
Lie on your left side, with your left arm stretched underneath you following the same line as your torso. Place your right hand on the mat in front of you for support. Your legs are stacked on top of each other.
Breathe in to prepare, as you breathe out lengthen both legs as far away from your hips as far as possible, and then lift them a few inches off the ground.
Keeping your legs together, breathe in as you lower both legs until they hover just above the floor. Repeat ten times, and then swap to the other side of your body.
So last night I proposed a challenge to my Wednesday night pilates class “who would like to try Pilates in the water” says Sonia. Much to my surprise, 3 of my regulars turn up with their towels and are up for it. So we warmed up on our mats, not that it felt we needed to, as the temperature had been well over 30 degrees all day.
Then we took our foam rollers and headed down to the water’s edge.
It was amazing we had such a fun time learning together, I had never taught a class in the water before. Let me tell you this was a challenge for all of us, even though the water was like glass, there was the occasionally wave rolling in from those pesky jet skis buzzing around on a summer’s night.
We certainly used our core muscles, did lots of kicking, balancing on our foam rollers and just generally had plenty of fun. So my suggestion is next time you are in the water actively contract those tummy muscles just like you do on the mat, you will be surprised to feel them holding you afloat and working hard to keep you balanced while you are lazing on your noodle, lilo or anything that floats.
I love the water I believe it is very calming and peaceful and one of my dear clients had not swum in years she informed me, so it was lovely to share the moment of being back in the water with her. Playing at the beach is one of the ways we can remember we are never to old to just hang out and have fun.
Here is a photo for you to check out the happy smiles on their faces, I am so lucky to share my love of pilates with such warm, fun people.
Another one of my favourites on the foam roller as it takes a little more co-ordination. This one is good to work those hamstrings.
Lying on your back on your mat put your foam roller under you feet. Stabilise your shoulders and inhale. Stabilise you pelvis and spine in neutral and the lift your hips up off the ground. Creating a bridge position from your shoulders to your knees. Inhale as you hold the position nice and balanced. Then as you exhale lower you hips back down towards the floor, inhale and then as you exhale repeat.
Repeat 5 times.
First of all apologies for not posting week 8 last Sunday, I have been meaning to post this all week, and didn’t. No excuses, just an apology mainly to myself because I have been feeling bad all week for not following through on my commitment of 1 exercise a week. To make up for it, today I am posting 2 exercises.
The first being Swan Dive Prep, one of my least favourite exercises but again one I should do every day. Since I sit at a desk in flexion all day, upper back extension if great for my posture.
Start by lying on your tummy, hands on the floor just above your shoulders. Legs are shoulder width apart and toes are pointed. Inhale to prepare.
As you exhale lift your head and shoulders up off the mat extending your spine. Inhale and maintain. Exhale as you lenghten your spine back down towards the mat to the starting position. Make sure you keep you abdominals engaged to protect your lower back and think about lenghtening your spine upwards as you lift and then lower.
Repeat 5 times.