In the short Pilates Video below I’m talking you through a brief “Pilates Back Strengthing and Loosening Routine” that you might do
(1) at home
(2) as part of a general Morning / Wake-Up Routine
(3) as part of your Golf Warm-Up
(4) as part of your Cool-Down, Back Stretching routine in the gym
(5) after your team training, GAA Gaelic Football, Hurling, Soccer or Rugby …
This Mini-Circuit consists of three exercises, that work on different parts of your back. These exercises complement each other and work very well together to maintain general back and spine health, assuming you don’t have any major back, neck or shoulder issues.
(1) Pilates – Shoulder Bridge (version 1a)
(2) Pilates – Chest Opener, Crab, Crocodile (version 1)
(3) Pilates – Swimming, also referred to as Superman (version 1b)
A “Well done and Thumbs Up” to all class participants in this morning’s South Dublin based Pilates Classes, Rathfarnham/Willbrook in the Old Court House, close to the Yellow House Pub, near Rathfarnham Castle. The home-exercises or “homework”, as I like to call it are/is:
>>>> 3 Sets of the following three exercises <<<< (1) 10x Pilates Single-Leg Stretches (R/L), mainly core/abdominal strength (2) 10x Shoulder-Bridge version 2, for a good back stretch and to loosening and lengthen the spine and back. (3) 10x Side-Bends, focusses on oblique strength, waist / love-handle toning. .
in Video No. 14 you are going to learn a very simple, yet effictive “Warm-Up Exercise”. It’s easy to do and I will show you a few different variations in the video (from Beginners to Intermediate Level).
The “Roll-Down with a Push-Up” combines back / spine mobilization and looseing with a upper-body warm-up (shoulders, chest and arms) plus adds a stretch for your hamstrings and calves (back of your legs) as well.
You don’t even need a mat, just a bit of space.
This exercise can simply be added to other warm-up exercises like neck, back, shoulder and spine mobillization moves, a bit of foam-rollering, some dynamic stretching etc..
Always do a 8-10 mintue warm-up routine, as this prepares the body for your main workout and aim to make the warm-up exercises specific to the exercises you plan to do.
in Video No. 13 you are going to learn “Five Gym-Ball, Swiss-Ball Toning & Strengthening Exercises”, that focus mainly on Upper-Body Strength – chest, arms, core / abs / back and a bit lower bodythighs and hips.
All you need to get started is a bit of space, a gym/Pilates ball, maybe an exercises or Pilates/Stretching mat.
These exercises could be done independently as a routine itself or as part of your gym or workout programme. . The exercises include:
a static Ball Plank (hips, legs or feet rest on the ball) – focuses on: chest, arms, shoulders, core, abs.
Ball Push-Up or Ball Press-Up – focuses on: chest, arms, core, abs
Ball Shoulder-Bridge or Ball Glute-Bridge – focuses on: mid/lower back, core, glutes, hips, thighs.
Hamstring Stretch with a Pilates-Ring – focuses on: hamstring flexibility, hip mobility
Plank Knee-Tuck-In – focuses on: Lower abs, lower core, upper body strength (arms, chest), shoulder stability.
This is only a small selection of Gym-Ball or Pilates-Ball exercises to challenge body. The gym-ball is an excellent tool to increase core strength, upper-body strength and improve posture. It’s big advantage is that it doesn’t take up a lot of space and it’s portable/inflatable (it travels well). You can simple use it to sit on it at your desk (a great way to strengthen your core and work you postural muscles). .
Above shown exercises are some of the exercises and movements we regularly do in the corporate classes that I teach in the greater South Dublin, Dublin 18, Dublin 16 area (Sandyford Industrial Estate, Central Park, Leopardstown), e.g. during lunchtime or after-work classes.
To-Do — Action Steps:
(1) Add some of these exercises to your general gym or workout routine. It’s always good to vary the type of exercises you do to challenge your body in different and new ways.
Aim to do at least two of these exercise e.g. the static Ball-Plank and the Ball-Shoulder / Ball-Glute Bridge (those are some of the slightly easier exercises to start off with). .
(2) Do three set of each exercise and hold each position for 15-20 seconds. Increase the duration gradually by 5-10 seconds very second week. .
I generally recommend to
(1) to keep an exercises and activity diary, this will allow you to recognize progress and takes the guess work out of how many sets, reps you did and what weight you have used. You can get a A4 or A5 diary for €2-€3 in Deals or one of the pound/euro shops. .
(2) establish routines and habits (no need to think about things any more, you just do it). .
(3) find a training buddy or friend, with whom you arrange to meet at least once or twice a week at a fixed day and time. This creates commitment and makes working out easier and more fun. . Enjoy, let me know how you get on and send me an e-mail with questions you have in relation to these exercises.
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