What is the secret of Pilates? Unlike other exercises, it avoids too much repetition. Pilates exercises use fewer but more precise movements. These movements require a controlled body as well as form. Pilates exercises are able to reduce stress on the heart unlike just regular exercises. Pilates has been given te green light fpr the “older set” as well as for inbound patients. Did you realize that Pilates has about 500 exercises? Most of them are performed using a mat. This involves a series of callisthenic movements and are done while lying downl What exactly is Zone Pilates and how does it differ from regular Pilates? Regular Pilates does not make use of any sort of equipment while Zone Pilates makes use of a sculptor as well as a foot mat. Pilates makes use of the mind to control the body. Zone Pilates concentrate on different zones. The wonderful thing about zone Pilates is that you will not have to do hundreds of reps at one time. It is the surest and best way to whip the body into showoff shape in the quickest way possible. Zone Pilates is very easy! It places an emphasis on the core or “Power House” muscles to firm and shape your body. As you learn the secret of Zone Pilates, the mystery is taken out of the whole workout program. When you use perfect positioning coupled with added resistance, it will guide you to faster and better results. We must first explain that the Power House muscles include the abs, buns, thighs and lower back. As you work from the Core’s deepest level, it will give you the results that have made Pilates ever so popular. With Zone Pilates, you are actually targeting thecore muscles and therefore will attain more effective results that you have ever seen! Exactly how does Zone Pilates work? The thing that guides your body is the Zone Pilates Sculptor. It adds resistance to your muscles in order to accelerate your results. It also provides consistent resistance training. Multiple muscles are engaged at one time thus improving your workout efficiency. You will find the following equipment in just about every Zone Pilates system: • Sculptor • Meal plan • Foot guide mat • All in one DVD The real secret behind the Zone Pilates Sculptor is that it not only guides your body but at the same time is an aid to adding muscletoning resistance in order that your results can be accelerated. It also provides consistent resistance training. Zone Pilates also comes with a Foot Guide Mat. It will make sure that your body is always in perfect alignment with the Pilates position. It takes all of the guesswork out of exactly what position your body should be in.
1. Shoulder Bridge Prep Lie flat on your back in the neutral spine position and have your knees bent with your feet flat on the floor. Your arms should be down by your sides in a relaxed position. Inhale. Press down through the feet in order to lengthen your spine as you press your hips up. Now you will be in a bridge position on your shoulders. You hips, knees and shoulders should all be in one line. Your hamstrings and abdominal muscles should be well engaged. Pause when you get to the top of the bridge and practice lifting one leg off the exercise mat. Then do the same with the other leg. If you can do this with ease, then you are ready to proceed to step 2. • This may be as far as a lot of you will want to go with this exercise until you build your abdominal and leg strength. 2. Extend One Leg Inhale. Fold one of your knees in toward your chest. Now extend that leg up towards the ceiling. Except for the leg, the rest of your body should remain still. Your shoulders and neck should be relaxed. You are doing the work with you abdominal muscles and hamstrings. 3. Lower One Leg Exhale. Lower your leg. Your knees should be side by side again. As you are lowering your leg, try lengthening it as much as possible. The extended leg, the knee of the supporting leg and your tailbone are all reaching for the wall that is in front of you. At the same time, your head is reaching away in an opposing stretch. If you are feeling strong and you have a stable position, then you can proceed to the next step. • If you are feeling a bit shaky at this point, then this would be a good time to fold the working leg down to the floor. Rest and repeat this step over 4. Flex Kick Up Inhale. As you flex your foot, kick your leg up toward the ceiling once more. Make sure that your hips are even. The hip of your working leg should not be trying to lift up as you kick. Exhale. Keeping your foot slightly pointed, fold the working knee back to the chest as you return your foot to the floor. Roll down through the spine and return to the starting position.
This exercise should be repeated two to three times for each side. 5. Shoulder Bridge Notes The Shoulder Bridge exercise should be controlled and flowing. There should also be easy coordination of breathing and movement. This is a great time to review the Pilates principles. You should use these principles to support an advanced exercise program. Here is one more exercise to try you hand at: Hip Lift Hamstring Curl Lie flat on your back and have your ankles resting on the exercise ball. You legs should be straight and together and your feet should be flexed. Inhale. As you exhale, lift your lower back and bottom off the mat until the body is in a straight line. Inhale and pull the ball towards your bottom. As you exhale, push the exercise ball away from you. Repeat this exercise 10 times. Here’s another tip to make this exercise a bit harder: Keep the exercise ball steady and do not let it sway. Use your abdominal strength to control movements. Squeeze your hamstrings and glutes when you are in a plank position. There are a range of DVD's on sale at www.pilatesorstretchforbackpain.com which have been recommended by a leading British Osteopath/Physiotherapist. Please visit my blog at www.stretchorpilatesforbackpain.com