15 Feb The Benefits of Pilates
Strengthening and stretching to a healthier spine
It is very well known that Pilates is a great way to recover from injuries but it is also a wonderful way to improve posture and prevent injuries.
Pilates has a central focus on strengthening core and postural muscles, however it is so much more than that! Using a variety of equipment such as Pilates reformers, balls, exercise bands and dumbbells Pilates classes are a whole body workout that will strengthen, lengthen and stretch your muscles.
Since Joseph Pilates began teaching Pilates in the 1920’s the Pilates class has evolved to become a popular workout for people of all ages and abilities. Classes can be tailored to accommodate injuries and to focus on areas of weakness or postural imbalance.
Breathing is an important part of the classes, the deep diaphragm breathing is also a great way to relax your nervous system and calm your mind.
Below are a couple of gentle Pilates movements that will strengthen your core and stretch your spine.
Begin by lying on your back with knees bent, as you breathe out pull your belly button back towards your spine and roll your pelvis back to flatten the low back onto floor, as you breathe in gently arch your low back – repeat 5 times.
Complete these exercises twice
Pelvic Raise (breathe out as hips raise and breathe in as lowering)
When lifting hips make sure glutes are squeezed and core is activated before the movement begins
Repeat 10 times
Single Leg Toe Tap (Knees bent at 90 degrees, feet raised off the ground)
Only lower foot as far as able to maintain good abdominal control – belly button into spine (breathe out as leg is lowered and in as leg is lifted)
6-8 reps each side
Opposite Arm and Leg Raises – on hands and knees (breathing out as arm and leg are raised and in as lowering)
5 reps each side