The Fundamental Pilates Method Exercises
Generally, the fundamental Pilates Method exercises were developed for one particular purpose – to prepare the body for Pilates work by warming up the muscles and teaching movement awareness.
Experts often suggest that while performing the basics of Pilates Method exercises, try to engage abdominals with a neutral pelvis. Also, picture your mind feeling hollowed out while paying much attention to breathing and exhaling deeply. Then, depress your shoulder blades as you lift arms and stabilize with a neutral pelvis.
Here are some Pilates Method exercises you can do to attain the best results:
Pilates Methods Exercises for Pelvic Stability and Awareness
* Breathing – Kneel on mat and lightly place you hands on lower ribs. Inhale deeply and feel your rib cage open. Then, exhale deeply and close rib cage. Just imagine that the waist is being wrapped on the exhalation. Repeat this five times.
* Imprint and Breathing – Do this by positioning yourself with knees flexed and feet flat on floor. Lightly place your hands on the lower rib cage and inhale deeply and feel lateral and posterior rib cage expand. Exhale deeply and feel spine imprint on mat. Also, maintain neutral pelvis and repeat this sample Pilates Method exercises for five times.
* Knee Stirs-In – Supine position with hand under knee. Make small circles of femur in socket, while the opposite leg remains flexed with foot flat on the floor. Just like the above mentioned Pilates Method exercises, maintain neutral and stable pelvis. And, experience a smooth and circular movement in your hip joint.
* Bridges (Pelvic Press) – Do a 10-degree lift using the core muscles without using the gluteus maximus. Then, lift onto shoulders and thoracic area. Lower slowly from the shoulders to the starting position. Also, keep your abdominals contracted the entire time and focus on lifting and lowering one vertebra at a time. For this form of Pilates Method exercises, it is important that you exhale whole you lift and inhale whole you lower.
* Side-Lying Stability (Thigh Advance/Retraction) – Position on side while head on arm. Support in front of the body with your opposite arm. Then, flex foot of top leg and stretch leg away from hip joint. Retract slightly and repeat five times. Imprint side of rib cage and use core muscles to stabilize pelvis and spine.
Pilates Method Exercises for Cervical/Thoracic Region Stability and Awareness
There are basically three main simple Pilates Method exercises that are usually done for the cervical or thoracic region awareness and stability. These Pilates Method exercises include, but are not limited to:
* Neck Curl – Position supine, knees flexed, and feet flat on the floor. Support head with hands and lengthen back of neck as chin drops toward chest and head lifts off floor. Return head to floor while elongating the back of neck. Just repeat three times. As one of the basic Pilates Method exercises, this isolates neck muscles and helps center head on neck.
* Puppet Arms – This exercise is for the scapula movement and stabilization. Just position supine, knees flexed and feet flat on floor. Extend arms up over shoulders. Lift lower arms while abducting the scapula and depressing the shoulders. Perform same movement with arm stretching diagonally across chest to engage the obliques. Repeat each exercise three times.
* Cat-Flexion/Extension of Spine – Position on all fours with wrists under shoulders and knees under hip joints. Flex spine toward ceiling and then lower and arch into extended position. Keep arms straight and repeat for five times.
Note that you can do these basic Pilates Method exercises before you engage in a more advanced mat works for better results.