When you start to do something new every day, you begin to turn it into a habit. Not only will Pilates become a part of your routine, but you will find your body more toned, sculpted, and flexible, too! You may even find relief from your daily aches and pains and have more self-confidence.
Grab your Pilates mat and don’t forget to share with your friends how awesome you feel! Or even better, invite them along for the challenge!
Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor in line with your hips. Your spine and hips should be in a neutral position, so the integrity of the spine is intact. This means you are not pressing or overarching the spine in any way. Place your arms by your sides and engage your abdominals by scooping the belly downward to hold the spine in neutral.
On an exhalation, lift your right leg to a tabletop position without changing anything in the back or hips. Inhale to lower it down and then change sides. Repeat 8 times each side, and then try this with both legs glued together 8 times.
Start in the same position as the previous exercise. This time we will come into the Shoulder Bridge. On an inhalation, scoop the lower belly inward to curl the tailbone upward and slowly peel each vertebra off the floor until the whole back is lifted off the mat. Press down through the feet and hands to stay connected. On an exhale, roll back down as slowly as you can, back to the neutral position.
Now we will take a seated exercise called the Spine Stretch Forward. Extend your legs as wide as your mat and lengthen your spine. Take an inhalation and as you exhale, tuck your chin to your chest and slowly roll down through the spine. Once you cannot move any further, reach forward slightly while drawing the abdomen in away from the legs to get a stretch through the spine, maintaining a C-curve position. On your inhalation, slowly begin to peel your spine back up one vertebra at a time until you’re sitting tall again.
For this next exercise, we will use the same C-curve of the spine to roll the body like a ball all in one piece. From seated, come to balance with the feet off the mat, hands on the ankles, and spine rounded. On an inhale, rock back to the shoulder blades and as you exhale rock back up and balance. Make sure your feet don’t hit the mat for extra balance points! Do this 10 times.
From a seated position, bend your knees and draw your belly in. Lift your chest and lengthen your spine. Lean back and begin to lift your feet off the floor so that you come into a balance position. Extend your arms out to the sides. Try to extend your legs for more of a challenge! Hold for 5 breaths.
Let’s move the body through some flowing movement next and work the obliques with the Criss-Cross. Lie down on your back and bend your knees into your chest. Place your hands behind your head and curl your head up to your knees. Extend your left leg and as you exhale, twist to your right side. Change sides repeatedly, picking up a rhythm, for 20 repetitions.
Now it’s time to put it all together into a single routine! Today’s challenge is to do all 6 of the previous exercises back-to-back. Notice if you feel any changes or differences in your body after having done Pilates every day before!
Are you interested in learning more about these exercises and how to design your own Pilates challenges for yourself and others? Sign up for our Pilates Diploma course at Future Fit Training today.