You wake up one morning and suddenly the air feels a little different. Ah, that's Spring on the way!
It's time to say goodbye to the Winter blues and welcome in a fresh start for your body and mind. With the seasonal change, more time is often spent outdoors, enjoying the sun, warmer weather, and being more active. This is where Pilates comes in!
It's a good idea to take a glance at your current routine and switch things around seasonally depending on what is happening in both work and play. These are things you learn when you become a Pilates teacher with us here through our Pilates diploma course. Improve your workout and help your students, too!
This is a great warm-up exercise for the core and compacts the body into a tight ball. Sit at the top of your mat and bend your legs, bringing the feet together. Round the spine and draw the belly muscles in away from the thighs.
Tuck your chin to your chest and lift your feet off the mat so that you balance in the ball shape. On an inhalation, rock back and as you exhale, rock up and balance. It's so playful you won't even realize you're working your abs!
How about a core workout and a hamstring stretch? This one is great for those who are breaking out the running routine now that the ice has thawed. Chances are the hamstrings are going to tighten up once you take off running- so this is a great one to work into any active lifestyle.
Lie on your back and bend your knees. Extend the legs up to a 90-degree angle. Lift your head and grab behind the right leg. Lower the left leg to 45 degrees as you stretch the right leg closer to your nose and then switch. Let the abs do the work, not the arms.
This is an advanced variation of Rolling Like a Ball. This time the legs will extend all the way out in a wide angle V-sit position (legs as wide as the shoulders). Hold onto the ankles and round the spine. To modify, bend the knees and hold under the thighs. On an inhale, rock back to the shoulder blades and use the exhale to rock back up to the balancing position (don't drop the legs!).
Now it's time to target the obliques, which help the body twist while keeping the spine mobile and healthy. For The Saw, start in a seated position with the legs just wider than the hips and feet flexed. Open the arms wide and twist to the right on an inhale. On an exhale, begin to roll down and reach the left hand past the right pinky toe.
Pulse the left hand three times, trying to reach further each time while maintaining square hips and control through the core. On the next inhale, roll back up into the twist and exhale unwind to the center. Repeat on the other side, alternating.
There's nothing quite like energizing the spine to feel awake and alive as nature seems to be coming back life outside, too. Swimming is the perfect exercise to keep the muscles that support the spine and good upper back posture strong. This way you can step into the world feeling open and confident.
Lie on your belly with your arms extended straight forward by your ears. On an inhale, lift your right arm, left leg and head off the mat. Keep the head up and switch sides (left arm, right leg). Then, begin to alternate while continuing to breathe. Go as quickly as you can with control and then rest. Take Child's Pose afterward.