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Pilates Work-out Ideas

Stretchy class for beginner/intermediate level


Important First

The following information is for those students who are in my advanced classes. The information on this page is incomplete and therefore should not be used as an exercise guide for those who are not in my class!

 Make sure you ALWAYS warm-up before you exercise! Check that you have enough room to perform the whole move in a safe way, before you start. And if you are unsure about any part of the move or explanations, please come and ask me first.

About this sequence

Pilates at Cottenham

I have created the following sequence with relaxation in mind. If you feel like doing a few exercises, but want to concentrate on mobility and give your muscles a bit of a stretch, this is the sequence for you.

 

You should be familiar with all of the exercises. We have done them all in class. If you are pressed for time, you do not need to do them all. Just pick the ones you like and off course you can always substitute exercises by your favourite ones.

 

You can create your own warm-up or do the one we are doing in class.

In class we do some arm movements, shoulder rolls, heel and leg lifts (squats).

 

Have fun and KEEP BREATHING!

 

After the warm-up

Roll-down with single leg lift (Arabesque)

From standing, roll down and walk your hands out a couple of steps.

Keep your heel of your standing leg as much on the floor as possible. Lift your other leg up as high as you can. Work slow and bring your hip parallel to the floor before changing legs. Roll back up.

 

Cobra

On the floor on your stomach, arms in U-shape. Core muscles engaged. Lift your forehead and chest of the floor, supported by your arms. Hipbones on the floor, ribcage towards the floor. Slowly lower yourself back.

 

Swimming  (level 2 - legs and arms on the floor or 3 - legs and arms off the floor)

On the floor on your stomach, arms stretch out, shoulders away from ears, core muscles engaged.

Lenghten and lift one leg and lift opposite arm:

On the breath out lift your right arm and left leg higher, on the breath in lower.

On the breath out lift your left arm and right leg higher, on the breath in lower.

 

Stretch - straight legs

Come up into sit. Legs straight and sit up straight, shoulders away from ears.

Lean forwards with straight back, then roll spine bottom up.

Hold for about 15 sec, then on the breath out, gently increase the stretch.

After about 15 sec, genthly increase the stretch again.

Variation: grab hold of feet and pull.

 

Roll-up

Lay on your back in full body stretch, shoulders away from ears, tension between shoulderblades, toes pointing up towards the ceiling.

Roll-up into sit (arms, chin on chest, shoulders, sit, stabilise shoulders)

Lean forwards (hip, back, nose to knees)

Back into sit (hip, rest of spine, stabilise shoulders)

Round back, tilt hip, roll down (hip, back, shoulders, head, arms).

 

Shoulderbridge

Basic set-up position on back.

Heels slightly closer to buttocks.

Lower back into the floor, breathe in.

On breath out, slowly lift spine off the floor - stabilise knees, hip and shoulders.

On breath out, slowly lower spine back onto the floor.

Variation : include leg lift.

 

Leg roll to side

Basic set-up position on back. Knees and ankles together.

Arm a little further away from body, but stabilise by squeezing the shoulders together.

Bring knees to one site on breath out, hold on breath in - head rotates opposite direction. Keep ankles and knees together, so one foot needs to come off the floor.

Come back to the middle on breath out.

Repeat to other side.

Variation : with feet of the floor.

 

Neck stretch

Sit comfortably and with back straight, shoulders down, back muscles engaged.

Roll head down and up. Look to right and left. Ear to shoulder - both sides. Follow chest line with chin - both directions and slight to the middle.

 

Cool Down

Don't forget to cool down at the end. You can do your own or take some inspiration from what we do in class.

 

You can incorporate cat stretch and needle and thread from box. Leg stretch from crouching position. Roll-up and reach. Side stretch. Full body stretch. Balance on one leg, on toes, etc.

 

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