People do Pilates for a variety of reasons, they may want to heal lower back pain or improve posture. This is how a Pilates workout addresses the entire body.
Pilates teachers want their students leaving class feeling like they’ve used muscles they never used before. It doesn’t matter if it’s the deep abdominals, the inner thighs, or the back muscles. Pilates is the best workout for the whole body because of this reason.
Many people come to Pilates thinking they will just work the abs or in hopes of developing a toned midsection. They are in for a surprise when they can barely walk the next day after the side kick series!
First, Pilates connects everything through the breath. The breath starts in the diaphragm and helps to control respiration as well as the action of the abdominals. When the abdominals are active, the spine is better protected.
Secondly, Pilates teaches us to connect our entire center together through more than just the abdominals. The abs play a big role, but they are not everything. They must work together with the hips and lower back! This helps with balance, coordination, strength, and flexibility in everyday life. Walking, running, standing, picking up heavy objects- it’s all related. And this helps athletes, too!
Pilates exercises are designed sequentially so the entire body gets a workout throughout the class. Here is a whole body sequence you can teach your students when you sign up for our instructor program today.
Fire things up right away with the Criss-Cross. This exercise targets the obliques in particular. Bend the knees to your chest and place your hands behind your head. Lift the head up and on an exhale, extend the left leg and twist to the right. Inhale and return to center and exhale twist to the other side while you change your legs.
There are several variations on the side kick series that work the entire range of motion of the hip joint. However, the set-up is essential to stabilize the entire body during this exercise. Lie on the left side of your body so the shoulders and hips are stacked and square. Place the legs slightly in front of you for comfort. Keep the core engaged by drawing the navel inward and lifting the bottom waist up away from the mat.
From here, you can try Single leg raises or controlled kicks forward and backward. Eventually, you can make large or small circles to move fully through the hip. Let your students feel the burn!
Time to work the back muscles now. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet right in line with your sitting bones. Plug the arms into the sides of your body and root through your feet. On an inhale, slowly peel the spine upward one vertebra at a time. Exhale and roll back down with control. Keep the core engaged and the legs active.
Now it’s onto the plank and Pilates push-ups! Many dread this one, but it is a total body workout that targets the shoulders as well as the core. From a kneeling position, place your hands under your shoulders and step your feet back one at a time. The body will be in a straight line from head to toe, so no saggy or lifted hips! This means the belly needs be drawn in the entire time. Shoulders are plugged into the back.
Once a firm foundation is established here, you can add on the Pilates push-ups. But it’s important that good form is maintained, otherwise, it does more harm than good. Learn this and more in our instructor course. To perform a Pilates push-up, slowly lower down on an inhale with the elbows bent into the sides of the body to work the triceps. Press the mat away on the exhale, returning to the plank position.
Challenge and advance not only yourself but learn how to take your students to the next level.
Our Level 3 Pilates Diploma program. allows you to expand your teaching to gain more clientele, from the beginner to the advanced athlete.