In celebration of COREpilates “On the MOVE” to HAB (Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church) during July and August, here is a routine that will keep you moving, stretching, and staying strong–no matter where you are “on the move” to this Summer! (*For more info on the Summer Session at HAB, see the COREevents tab.)
(Try 5-10 reps of each exercise.)
Pelvic Curl (Bridge)-Lie on your back in neutral spine, with your knees bent and feet on the floor, hip width apart. Your arms are extended along your sides, reaching through your fingertips. Shoulders are back and down. Lengthen through the crown of the head. Inhale, and on the exhale, press down through your feet to lengthen your spine and press you hips up. Your glutes will engage. Squeeze your inner thighs together to keep your knees in alignment. You will come to a bridge position on your shoulders with your knees, hips and shoulders in one line. Your abs and hamstrings should be well engaged. Inhale and hold the bridge. Exhale and slowly lower back down with control. Return the back to neutral spine.
Supine Spine Twist- start on back, knees bent and hip width apart, spine in neutral. Bring one leg at a time to a “table top” position (knees directly above hips, making a 90 degree angle), place arms out to a ‘t’ position, keep the shoulders back and down into the mat. Inhale to take twist body taking the knees over to the right diagonally from the torso. Keep the knees in line with each other and the left shoulder stays on the mat. Exhale to return back to center. Repeat on the other side. Remember to keep the spine in neutral and move with the breath.
Chest Lift-Lie on your back with your legs bent and feet on the floor, legs hip width apart. Neutral spine with hips level, lengthening through the crown of the head. On the inhale, draw your shoulder blades back and down, while keeping your ribcage and pelvis anchored to the floor. Place the hands behind the head for support, but still keep the shoulders out of your ears. On the exhale, nod the chin to the chest, gently rolling up to lift the head and shoulders of the mat. Although you want to tuck the chin, try to still keep the neck long and the chest lifting up toward the ceiling. The lower part of the shoulder-blade should be barely touching and elbows should stay out wide. Remember to pull your navel to spine to imprint the back into the mat. Inhale as you hold this position. Exhale as you roll back down slowly and with control returning to the starting position. Neutral spine, lengthening through the crown of the head.
Chest Lift with Rotation- Follow the directions for chest lift preparation. Exhale as you lift and twist in one direction, then inhale to lower. Repeat on the other side. Keep your spine in neutral, elbows out, and legs stable.
Roll Up-sit up on sit bones, shoulders back and down, lift through crown of the head, knees bent, legs hip-width apart. Inhale, on the exhale, pull chin to chest, navel to spine, c-curve the spine, roll down one vertebrae at a time, (only go down as far as you can without losing control in core area). Inhale, exhale to roll back up, stacking the spine, back to start position
Leg Circles-lie face up w/ neutral spine, extend one leg on mat, other up to ceiling. turn knee out. Making small clockwise circles, inhaling to start the circle, exhale to complete. Keep the hips stable, no rocking, anchor the leg on the floor by flexing the foot and turning the knee in slightly. Switch directions.
Rolling like a Ball-sit up on sit bones, shoulders back and down, lift through the crown of the head, knees bent, legs hip-width apart. Inhale, gently lift toes off the mat. Exhale and pull chin to chest/navel to spine to created c-curve. Inhale to roll back (stop at shoulders), exhale to come back up…balance on the sit bones without letting toes touch the floor. *Your legs should not swing in and out for momentum, but stay in the same position. GENTLY hold on to the legs, don’t grip them for dear life!!! If you feel uncomfortable rolling on your spine, just practice balancing o the sit bones.
Spine Stretch Forward-sit up on sit bones, legs straight, hip-width apart, arms out in front, palms down. Inhale, exhale to create a c-curve in the spine (chin to chest, pull navel to spine). Bend forward toward your flexed feet. Exhale to roll back up, stacking the spine, one vertebrae at a time, to the start position.
Saw- Sit up straight on your sit bones. Your legs are extended in front of you, about shoulder width apart. If you have tight hamstrings you may need to prop your hips up on small lift, like a folded towel. Arms are stretched out to the side, even with your shoulders. Inhale: Get taller as you turn your whole torso, but use your abs to keep your hips even with each other.Exhale: Let your gaze follow your back hand as you stretch forward and reach the pinky finger of your front hand across the outside of the opposite foot.
Exhale a little more as you reach a little further. Once your reach extends to its furthest point, maintain your turned position as you inhale and return to sitting. Exhale and undo your turn, coming to the starting position.
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.
Side Lifts-Lie on your side with all body parts lined up so that your ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and ears are in one line. You can prop your head up on your hand, or stretch the bottom arm out long and lay your head down. If you prop your head up, you must support your alignment by lifting your rib cage away from the mat. Make sure that your abdominals are pulled in. This is your key to using the abs for strength and stability.Inhale-The breath moves down the full length of your spine, making your entire body very long from tip to toe. Exhale-Use your abdominals and the engagement of your legs to bring both legs up a few inches off your mat. Focus on keeping your inner legs together, all the way from your sit bones to your heels. Inhale:Get longer still as you slowly lower your legs back down on the mat. Use control.
Back Extension-start on stomach, legs extended hip width apart, tops of feet flat on the floor. Lift the chest slightly so your face is not pressed into the mat! (gaze is toward the floor, nodding the chin toward the chest). Extend arms out to a “t” position, arms are hovering, shoulders pressed out of the ears. Press the hip bones into the mat and lift the abdominals up off the mat at the same time. Inhale as you lift the chest a little higher, reach the arms back toward your glutes. Exhale to lower back to the start postion.
Rest (Prayer) Position-Begin kneeling on your mat with your bottom on your heels.With your toes together, open your knees to at least hip distance apart.Lean forward and drape your body over your thighs so that your forehead rests on the floor.Reach your arms out in front of you.Breathe deeply and relax. Release any tension you might be feeling in your back, neck, or hips. This exercise needs time to be effective. Try to elongate your breath- in for 5 counts/out for 5 counts- pulling your navel to your spine. Reach out through the fingertips, relax the neck
Plank-Start on your knees. Place your hands on the floor in front of you, fingers pointing straight ahead. Keep your arms straight and your elbows unlocked. Your wrists are directly under your shoulders which are pulled back and down. With your abdominals lifted, extend your legs back so that they are straight and together. Your toes are curled under so that some weight is on the balls of your feet. Your ears, shoulders, hips and heels should be in one long line. Engage your abdominals to keep your body in this stable position. Don’t let the shoulders creep up toward the ears or the hips sag. This takes a lot of abdominal work…engage them by taking deep inhales and exhales, pulling the navel to spine. Lengthening through the crown of the head, keep your gaze toward the floor.
Reverse Plank-Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Place your palms, with fingers spread wide, on the floor slightly behind and outside your hips. Press into your palms, and lift your hips and torso toward the ceiling. Keep your gaze toward the ceiling, but do not crane your neck. (Keep back of neck in the neutral position), point your toes, and keep your arms and legs straight. Keep your entire body strong, and form a straight line from your head to your heels.Squeeze your core and try to pull your belly button back toward your spine. If your hips sag or drop, lower yourself back to the floor.
Seal-Sit up tall on your sit bones and bending one knee, then the other, lift your feet and put your arms inside your legs. Wrap your hands under your ankles and grasp the outside. The knees are just outside the shoulder, not too far apart, and the feet are together. Get your balance here. your core should be working already! Next, the roll. If you have back or neck issues you should not do the rolling part. However, you will find that taking the preparatory position (above) and holding it will provide a very good abdominal workout. With great control, scoop your abs and make a C-curve shape with your torso. Your gaze is to the navel. Inhale: Initiating the movement with your lower abs, smoothly roll back onto your shoulders (not your neck). Clap your feet together 3 times at the top.Exhale: Use your deep core muscles and your exhale to help you roll back up onto your sit bones. Balance.
I understand that Pilates is a sport and that I practice this exercise class at my own risk. I will listen to and honor my body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Individuals who are pregnant or with any physical or mental restriction, disability or predisposition to injury or sickness should consult their medical advisor before beginning a new exercise regimen.