Anyone with children or grandchildren will know that the long summer holidays have now started and all the activity planning that it entails! For parents it can also mean that your regular Pilates class may not be on or you can’t attend a class as regularly. Our clients always say that when they miss a routine by a week they feel it the next time! Either way, we’ve put together a group of exercises that anyone can do at home, to keep you as supple and strong between classes.
- Pelvic tilts, using your stomach area to make the movement, rather than your glutes. If you are stronger, move each vertebra slowly up into a bridge. For more challenge, lift alternate heels three times while in bridge before travelling back down . Perform each tilt or bridge 5 times
- Abdominal curls, which involve only bringing your head and shoulders off the floor by a couple of inches, if you have no weakness in your neck. Move slowly through the curls. Repeat 5-10 times
- Single leg knee floats, which engage the pelvic floor and stabilise the pelvis. These work by lying down with knees bent at 45 degrees, then lifting each slowly in turn to 90 degrees. Stronger clients can start with both legs at 90 degrees and straighten each to the floor in turn. Perform each exercise 10 times
- Tricep dips, using the kitchen countertop or a windowsill! Stand around two feet away from the surface, making sure your arms and legs are straight. Bend your arms at the elbow, and tuck the elbows back into your waist. You should feel fatigue in the triceps after a short time and stretch your calves at the same time! Time yourself for one minute
- The dart, which is done lying on your front on the floor. Place your arms by your sides, palms facing the ceiling. Engage your core and lift your head, neck and the top of your upper body, whilst rotating your shoulder joints to their full range. You’ll finish with your palms to face the floor at the end of each exercise. Repeat five times
- Carry out your preferred hamstring, glute and quad stretches, on each leg, holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds. More experienced clients can progressively increase the stretch for another 15 seconds – and remember to breathe!
- Hip rolls, lying on your back either with your feet together on the floor. If you have the strength, this can also be performed in ‘table top’, with legs raised at 45 degrees. Remember to take your head in the opposite direction from your legs. Repeat three times in each direction
- Finish with a roll down from standing straight through to the floor and back again. If you have any back issues, roll down and up from a sitting position. Do three of these and then you’re finished!
With all of these exercises, make sure that you’re on a mat or a soft surface and that your head is supported with a cushion. Please don’t continue with exercise if something just doesn’t ‘feel right’. And remember, you can engage your core anywhere, anytime: in the shower, on the drive to work, making a meal in the kitchen or watching TV. Read about how in our recent blog post here.