Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Break It Down: Single Leg Stretch (Part 1 of Series of 5)

1st in the series of 5 the Single Leg Stretch is sure to challenge your clients and leave them with the oh so good sore feeling that Pilates is known for.  The possibilities of how to modify or add in a challenge are endless making this a staple mat exercise for any level.

Purpose- strengthens abs, builds endurance, leg tracking and proper body alignment

Preps- 100s, Toe Taps, Curl Ups, Roll Up, Ab preps

Form- sit bones remain level, low back is always flat on mat and supported with abs, elbows wide, head in C curve if able

*May not be appropriate for those with low back or neck problems (spinal flexing) such as disc injuries, fusions or osteoporosis.  

Modifications- keep straight leg higher off floor to 90 instead of 45 degree angle, spot at clients feet to track legs or guide to appropriate angle, prop upper body onto an arc to maintain C curve shape, both hands hold one knee at a time instead of fancy hand position, let head rest on floor, in a seated position practice leg/arm transitions before moving into full exercise

How to Advance- outside hand holds ankle/opp. hand holds knee that's into chest, keep head lifted throughout whole ab series without breaks, hold small hand weights in hands by waistline as you move legs only, prop yourself up on elbows than do legs movement

Challenges- hold Magic circle/ball in hands and add in pulses with upper body at each leg switch, increase reps to 10 each leg, hands in loops to translate onto the Reformer or Cadillac with arm springs 

Monday, June 10, 2013

DVD Review: Kick ABS Pilates Outside the Box

From the teaching training program Pilates Core Integration series comes the latest addition, Kick ABS Pilates DVD "Outside the Box".  All you need is a box, mat and small hand weights to benefit from this 38 minute program.  Created and written by Virginia Nicholas, owner and operator of the Moving Breath Pilates studio in Tempe, Arizona.

The workout starts with a dynamic, functional warm up than transitions into modified advanced Reformer exercises and new approaches to matwork.  Some personal favorite segments of mine include Swimming into Pulling Straps (wonderful cues and rhythm use here) and the Arm Series from  traditional Reformer with Serve the Brownies (Scoops) in a Teaser prep position.  It concludes with a gentle cool down and Eve's Lunge variations.

This DVD is great for creative at home add ins or for the Pilates instructor looking to progress clients to more intermediate Reformer exercises.  A worthy addition to any exercise library.

Click here for more Pilates DVDs to add to your collection.
For more DVDs from Virginia Nicholas click here