Daily core workouts – the Pilates way
Words + Images Genevieve Key, Bodysense Pilates Studio
Pilates seems to be on everyone’s ‘to do’ list these days – fans rave about their sculpted muscles, increased exibility, better posture and improved sense of wellbeing. So we asked Genevieve Key, owner of Bodysense Pilates Studio, to tell us more about Pilates and share a few exercises to practise at home. What is Pilates? The Pilates method of mind body conditioning is a unique system and series of stretching and strengthening exercises developed by Joseph H.
1. Lateral breathing Breathing forms the basis for all movement. In Pilates we use lateral breathing which narrows the waist, corrects posture and activates the core. Stand tall, legs straight, knees soft, heels together, feet slightly apart. Place hands on ribcage. In a relaxed and owing manner breathe in through the nose for 5 counts and out through the mouth for 5 counts with pursed lips (similar to whistling). Making sure you maintain your ‘box’, draw the stomach muscles in and up (navel to spine) without curving your spine or hunching your shoulders. Lengthen spine off the hips. Apply this breathing technique to all the following exercises ensuring that your core is active.
Pilates. It strengthens and tones muscles, improves posture, provides exibility and balance, and unites body, mind and breath, resulting in a more streamlined shape. All the muscles of the body are used simultaneously, during every exercise.
Connect Pilates to your daily activities Learned muscle control can be applied to any function of physical movement throughout your day. Structured around the abdominals, hips, lower back, inner thighs and buttocks, this core, or ‘powerhouse’, is the center of strength for the whole body. The ‘Box’ maintains your alignment, i.e. shoulders wide, hips aligned. Try these exercises:
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