Member Area - Sample Pilates routine to try at home

Missing your regular Pilates class - check out this great little exercise routine that will help you keep up your Pilates practice. It should take about 20 minutes.

Classes also available online - see Online Classes 

Instructions:

  • Use an exercise mat if you have one, or a towel on a carpeted floor. 
  • Don't skip the warm up and cooldown exercises 
  • Incorporate your favourite moves from your regular class to personalise your workout
  • Listen to your body - work at the level that suits you
  • Control your breathing, work on precision of movement, move with purpose, engage core
  • New to Pilates, or have a medical condition, injury or in pain - then advisable to check with your GP to ensure Pilates is right for you at the moment

   WARMUP

Standing arm lifts

This creates a gentle extension of the spine (slight backward bending). It is excellent for starting to build strength in the spine. 

Repeat x8 times each arm

This is a movement to create gentle extension of the spine (slight backward bending). It is excellent for starting to build strength in the spine. This is a complementary movement to go with flexion above.

Spinal Rolldown

This teaches sequential control and mobility of the spine

Repeat x6 times


Start in standing neutral position. Breathe in to prepare, and as you breathe out slowly roll forward and down one vertebrae at a time. Then breathe in as you slowly restack one vertebrae at a time. Think of your spine like a series of building blocks as you unstack/ restack them.

Side bend

Stretch for the obliques and core

Repeat x6 times

Sit tall at edge of seat – breathe in put head to shoulder and reach hand down towards floor – breathe out as use abdominals to bring you back to sitting upright

   MAIN

The Hundred

This is a strength exercise.

Repeat for x10 breaths in, and 10 breaths out

Lying on back with knees bent and feet flat on floor hip width apart, engage core and breathe into ribs. Imprint spine onto floor to protect spine as you float one leg at a time into table top position. Keep the spine imprinted then float your head and shoulders up keeping the tips of your shoulder blades on the floor, tilt chin to chest. Float your arms from the floor to hip height. Pulse both arms at the same time for five beats for a breath in, and five beats for a breath out. Make the movement come from your shoulder.  Return to start position one leg at a time with toes touching the floor first.

Single Leg Stretch

Increases flexibility through the hips, strengthens the core, and stretches the back and legs

Repeat x10 times on each leg

Lying on back, imprint spine,engage core, lift head and shoulders off the mat and bring one leg towards body, grab hold of it with opposite hand at knee, and at ankle with same side hand while lengthening the other leg away, swap legs. Aim for smoothness and flow.

Spine stretch

Mobilises through the spine

Repeat x6 times

Sit tall on sitting bones and imagine you are diving into a pool as you flex your spine and reach forward as far as you can keep sitting bones on floor, use tummy muscles to bring you back as you imagine you are scooping with your hands, sand on the floor towards you rebuilding one vertebrae at a time to sit tall.

Swimming

This movement helps muscle rebalance particularly between the right and left sides of the body, and for isolating particular muscles to mobilise and relax.

Repeat x10 times 

Kneel in the four point kneeling position – adopt neutral spine - small curve in lumbar region, engage your core, lengthen your spine, breathe into ribs, shoulders directly over wrists – float one arm out in front while keeping standing leg steady, knees directly under hips. Repeat with other arm. Then float one leg directly behind and return it to start position. Repeat this action with one leg and then the other. Then with opposite arm and leg.

Plank

This is a core strengthening move

Choose your level and hold for up to 30 seconds

Level 1: Start on your hands and knees with your knees directly under your hips, and your hands directly under your shoulders. Drive shoulders down either side of spine as if tucking them into the back pockets of your trousers. Point fingertips forward and turn your inner elbows slightly forward to help stabilize your upper body and keep your chest open. 

Level 2: Lift up in your middle as you step one foot straight back and then the other. Keep your legs engaged in supporting the plank position.

Leve 3: Lift one leg and hold for count of 10, return foot to floor and lift other leg, hold for count of 10.

Back Extension

This is a back strengthening move

x10 lifts, holding tenth lift for 10 seconds; repeat for x3 sets

Lying on front with forehead on floor, arms by your sides, legs lengthened away from you and spine long. Bring your awareness to what muscles are firing, then see if you can release them one at a time. Breathe in as you lift your chest off the floor mainlyusing the muscle of your lower to mid back. Breathe out as you return to floor.

   COOLDOWN

Neck Stretch

Helps to gently release sides of neck

Repeatx4 on each side

Draw shoulderblades down either side of spine and with chin parallel to floor and ears pulled up towards the ceiling. Breathe in as you imagine you are pouring water out of your ear tilting your head gently towards your shoulder. Breathe out as you return to start position and repeat on other side.

Child pose

Releases muscle chain from shoulders through to feet - both along back of body, but also along the front

Hold for 30 seconds

Knees wide, toes touching, engage core, gently lower pelvis towards your heels, bring forehead to floor - support head with hands or foam block. To progress reach arms in front away from you, or gently place hands on either side of legs.