Pilates to GO!

Pilates to GO! Don’t let it go while you’re on the go!

One of the hardest things to do is keep up your Pilates practice while on holidays! “Rest and Relaxation” is the name of the game, but at what cost?

If you’re like me, it doesn’t take long to start feeling stiff, weak or even sore if you stop your regular movement routine.

It doesn’t have to be fancy or creative like your awesome Retrofit weekly classes! Keep it easy to remember, so you’ll at least get a little bit done!

Worried about time? Customize it! Spend two, five or ten minutes on each of the following sections for a 10/ 25/ 50 minute workout.

“Pilates to Go!” in Five Steps:

1. The Warm Up.
Practice your Core Breathing while taking a 5-minute walk, marching, lunging or any other standing movements.
When we breathe properly, it activates our “Inner Core Unit” and gets us ready to move. Not sure what Core breathing is? Check out this tutorial.

2. Challenge your Abdominals & your Glutes (bum!)
Find a space to lie down, place a small rolled up hand towel under your low back to help you keep proper technique. Practice curling forward (keep your tailbone on the mat and contact with the hand towel) and add leg and or arm movements while holding your abdominal curl. Add a few minutes of Bridging (lifting your hips) to help you strengthen the front and back of your body.
Don’t worry if you can’t remember all the specific ab exercises – 100’s, Single & Double Leg Stretch, Single & Double Straight Leg Stretch and Criss Cross Obliques or any of your other favourites. Just spend a few minutes doing what you can remember and pay attention to proper form. Here’s a video of the Abdominal Series to jog your memory!  And here is one for your Glutes

3. Side Lying.
After working the front and back of your body, challenge your body to stay stable while lying on your side and working your waistline and side hip muscles. Do the Clam Series or add in some Side Leg Lifts while trying to keep a little lift up away from the mat on your underside. Add some Side Planks (or half planks) if you want the bonus challenge!

4. All Fours/ Hands & Knees.
Now we work toward getting the whole body involved! Move your spine while on all fours  – Cat & Cow then try to keep it still while doing Opposite Arm to Reach. Take it one step further by doing half or full planks on your forearms or hands. Too much? Try planks with your hands/ arms on a chair/ sofa or the wall so you can work with proper technique. Add opposite arm to leg reach while in plank to really up the anti!

5. Extend, Stretch & Release.
Finish up lying on your belly and doing a few Swans. Remember that Swan is about balancing the use of your front and back muscles, not about crunching into your low back. Use your glutes and your abdominals to keep your low back from feeling this. You can also stretch your quad muscles (front of thighs) here by grabbing an ankle and gently pulling it toward your glutes. Move to a Child’s Pose and then a downward dog to stretch your back, your calves and your hamstrings at the backs of your legs.

We’ve created this handy graphic to help you stay on track while enjoying your summer and you can visit our YouTube Channel for lots of great exercise ideas and tutorials.

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