We all want to feel a little more balanced and in control of our lives. What if we told you that this was just as important physically as it is mentally?
Our 1-day course in core training will give you all the tools you need to stay balanced and filter this important body concept into your Pilates classes. Pilates training will help you better understand how the abdominals, back muscles, hip muscles, and pelvic floor all come together to form the core so that the upper/lower and right/left sides of the body function appropriately through all forms of movement, standing, and sitting!
Strength and stability in the hips are essential to maintaining good balance. The Side Kick series focuses primarily on the hip muscles while keeping the core strong, too. To perform this exercise, lie on the left side of the body. Place the legs 45 degrees in front of you and stabilize yourself with your top arm. Lift the waist and draw the belly in. The top leg can be parallel or turned out.
As you inhale, raise the leg under control slightly higher than hip width, exhale, squeeze the leg back down through the inner thighs. For an added bonus, flex the foot on the way up and point on the way down.
The Teaser is an advanced Pilates exercise that builds on the Roll Up. Stay with the Roll Up until you are strong enough to advance. This is a deep abdominal exercise that also promotes spinal mobility, both of which also encourage balance.
Start seated to begin. Bend the legs and glue them together. Extend the right leg and reach the arms parallel to the leg. On an inhale, begin to slowly roll back through the spine one vertebrae at a time, continuing through the full exhalation.
Once at the bottom, reach the arms overhead. On the next inhale, lift the arms and head and as you exhale, begin to roll back up slowly. Switch legs at the top. To advance, perform this exercise with both legs lifted off the mat.
Another part of balance is the ability to maintain strong spine and chest muscles. The Swan Prep is perfect to keep this part of the body in good form for balance!
For this exercise, start on the belly with the hands underneath the shoulders. Zip the legs together and lift the chest up while drawing the elbows into the side body (activating the triceps). On an inhale, release the hands so they hover over the floor and rock forward without dropping the head (maintain spinal integrity) so they feet lift off the floor. Exhale to return to the starting position.
The Shoulder Bridge looks like a deceptively simple exercise but actually is a full-body workout. Start on your back with the knees bent and the feet in line with the hips. Press the arms by your sides.
On inhale, begin to peel the spine off the mat one piece at a time. Draw the belly in as the spine extends, squeeze the gluteal muscles underneath, and keep the inner thighs active as the arms press down in opposition to the lift. On the exhale, slowly and mindfully roll the spine back down one vertebra at a time.
The Seal is a rocking exercise performed from seated on the mat. Bend the knees and bring the feet together with the knees out to the sides. Reach the arms inside of the legs and wrap the hands around the feet (from the inside to the outside).
From there, round the spine, drop the shoulders, and tuck the chin to the chest. Rock back to the shoulder blades on an inhale and rock back up on the exhale. For a challenge, clap the feet 1-3 times on the way back and up. For an additional bonus, work on your balance by uncrossing the legs and coming up to standing without using your hands!
Learn these exercises and more in our Pilates Core Training program. The path to better balance for you and your students starts when you register today!