FITNESS FOCUS: Everyday COREwork One of the great things about Pilates is that you can actually incorporate the principles into your daily life. Posture, body awareness, alignment, and lateral breathing can be used to move through your everyday activities. In addition, there are a few exercises that you can actually DO during your normal routine.
Here are some examples taken from Alan Herdman’s The Pilates Directory: The Ultimate Guide to strengthening and Toning your Body:
1. While sitting in the car; pull your navel to you spine and do some glute squeezes. Inhale and squeeze your sit bones together, hold for 4 seconds, then exhale as you slowly release.
2. Standing at the kitchen sink or in a long line? Try some calf raises: standing in standing neutral spine, inhale as you slowly lift up on to your toes. Balance briefly, then lower down slowly on the exhale.
3. When sitting in a chair at the office or dining room table, work on your lats and back by doing the following movements:
- Sitting Lats- sit in seated neutral spine – up on the sit bones, lengthening through the crown of the head, navel to spine, shoulders back and down. Bend elbows to 90 deg. angle, palms facing in, elbows should not be pressed into the torso. Inhale, and on the exhale, pull the navel to spine, pull the shoulders back and down and open the palms outward, keeping the bend at the elbow. The chest will widen, but the back should be doing the work. Inhale to come back to the starting position.
- Seated spine twist- start in seated neutral spine. Holding arms in “genie” position, inhale and on the exhale rotate entire torso to the right, squeezing the navel to the spine. Make sure the arms stay in line with the body and the shoulders stay back and down. Inhale, then on the exhale return back to the center with control. Repeat on the other side.
FAITH FOCUS: Everyday COREwork: One of the things I like about Pilates is that it is not just something I “do”, but the method and principles are incorporated into my life so that my core is constantly getting a workout. This makes my movements as a wife and mother more effective and efficient. I don’t have to waste hours at the gym toning, strengthening, stretching, because my daily activities include all of these things. This is how I want my faith to be. I don’t want to have my “COREwork” for Christ to be something added to my list of things to do: Pray- check, Read Bible- check, Memorize verses-check, serve others-check. I want my COREwork to BE MY LIST! This is not something that I always able to accomplish, but it is something I strive for every day- to engage my CORE in Christ in all I do, with all I am. I pray that you will join me in seeking ways to have my CORE working in the everyday of our lives.