Stretches in Pilates

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Pilates is a great way of exercising and recovering from injuries. It requires you to coordinate your entire body while working out. You can enjoy the advantages that it offers if you formulate a specific Adonis Golden Ratio workout program for yourself. For that, you need to be aware of the stretches and the body parts that they target.

Following are the basic stretches and exercises done in Pilates:

  1. The Swan: Lie down on your stomach. Keep your hands at your sides. Tighten your stomach muscles and spine and lift your upper body off the floor. You can take the support of your hands. Try to imagine that there is a straight line from your spine and energy is flowing down through your back. Inhale and exhale while you are holding the position. Then return to normal position. You have to repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times.
  2. Side Kicks: Lie down on your side with your body aligned in a straight line. Keep your head rested on one hand. Keep the other palm rested on the mat. Use your abs and abdomen muscles to keep yourself balanced. Lift your leg in a straight line. Change sides and do the same thing with the other leg.
  3. Leg Pull: Assume the plank position. Your entire body is supposed to fall into a straight line. Tighten your stomach and spine muscles. Lift one of your feet off the floor, and hold this position. Now repeat with the other leg.
  4. Straight leg stretch: Lie down on your back on the mat. Keep your legs stretched out. Lift your head and neck off the floor by placing the pressure on the chest muscles. Lift your feet off the floor by holding one knee with your hands. Try to pull this leg towards yourself. Now repeat the same thing with the other leg. Remember to inhale and exhale during the whole exercise.
  5. Criss Cross: This exercise specifically works on oblique muscles. Lie down on your back and your arms crossed and tucked behind your head. Bend your knees and make your thighs parallel to the floor. Keeping your legs in the air, lift up your head and neck too. Inhale and lie down in the original position.
  6. One leg teaser: This is a tough one. Lie down on the floor on your back. Keep your arms on your sides. Inhale and tighten your stomach and spine. Lift one of your feet. Stretch out your arms and try to touch your feet. Hold this position for some time, and then repeat with the opposite leg.
  7. Arm reach and pull: Stand straight with a perfect posture. Keep your entire body in one straight line. Your shoulders should be relaxed. Keeping the rest of your body in this relaxed state, slowly lift both your arms until they are parallel to the floor. Stretch your arms like you are reaching out for something.
  8. Swimming: Lie down on your stomach with your hands over your head. Contract your stomach muscles so that your belly is lifted off the floor. Now, pull your arms and legs as far apart from your body as possible. As a result, your limbs will automatically break contact with the floor. Try to think of your head as an extension to your spine. Hold this position and take several deep breaths.

These pretty much cover the basic stretches of Pilates. As you can see, they are not too complicated. All you need to do is remember the proper form of each exercise.

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