PILATES HOME WORKOUT CHALLENGE: STATIC AND SLOW
It always does us good to pause…think about where we are and where we’re going…then, move patiently and deliberately. This is the practical theme in this home workout. I’m featuring a full class in this post upon request. I hope all enjoy trying this! I just want to briefly explain one reason why I deviate from classical Pilates for those wondering. I assure you, I have good reasons for every deviation you may observe in my method.
For me, the experience of teaching Pilates Mat for nearly 12 years has taught me much about the real needs and potential of people. Instructors are faced with the question, “What would Joseph Pilates do today?”. The fact is, there will always be a population of people who won’t prefer to do strength training with resistance equipment. There will always be people who want to workout without others standing over them and adjusting them while they workout. They have the right to feel that way and still get the education in movement they need. I’d hope Joseph Pilates wouldn’t ignore them. The simple skill of visualizing our spine, hips, ribs and shoulders in movements is a necessary skill for everyone. For instructors to teach this effectively in a minimalist Pilates mat class, we have to rethink the concept of fluidity.
Many Pilates instructors think there should be no static poses as a rule in a Pilates class. In an all levels Mat Class, which should be available for people, there is an impending need for people to stop and visualize. Most pilates practicers are not dancers. Without static posing, many people in group classes will move before they know what they are doing. They will do things wrong or feel they are doing things wrong. The value of fluidity in movement is learning to practice a deliberate, thoughtful, and safe pace. We can still teach this valuable concept without constant movement. In this workout you (1) get in a position, (2) visualize and think, then (3) move at a thoughtful pace. We still teach fluidity without the emphasis on choreography, which really has little practical value…someone has to say it. There I did. The loftier goal is people of all levels are taught what to think about in class, at their desks and in their home workout. This home workout has an equal emphasis on functionality and aethetics. In other words, we balance muscle groups, but we cant ignore our clients are here for lifted glutes and flat abs. Everyone can try this home workout sample of what we do in a full class.
C CURVE AND TEASER V CHALLENGE: INTENSE ABS
- (1) Hold C Curve 3 slow counts of 10, gently engage abdominals, relax neck and shoulders, Breathing deeply and consciously
- (2) Move arms out and leg up slowly, 8 counts each leg. Truly stabilizing spine, ribs and hips next…
- (3) Hold the lowest C curve you can without touching the mat 3 slow counts of 10
- (4) Lightly touch the bottom 5 vertabrae to the mat and slowly come up 4 times
- (3) Hold low C for 3 counts of 10
- Light touch 4 more times and hold low C for a count of 10
TRY TO DO ALL WITHOUT RESTING
- (5) Hold teaser V for 3 counts of 10, Growing through the spine, engage inner thighs and deep abs
- (6) Keep your feet in the same spot as you lightly touch the bottom 5 vertabrae to the mat and come back slowly 8 times
- Roll like a ball 4 times
ESSENTIAL SPINAL POSITIONS CHALLENGE
- (7) Descend to Neutral spine, hold your best scissor pose for 10 breaths
- René’s Tip: Bring your foot to the floor as often as you need to put an arching spine back to neutral
- Bring the high leg to the low leg 8 times slowly up and down, maintaining neutral spine
- Switch leg position and repeat pose and 8 reps
- (8) Peel head neck and shoulders off mat. Use abs as “shock absorber”, relax neck
- Repeat same neutral spine routine but with shoulders stabilized in space
- (9) Hold push up position for a count of 10. Bring each leg up and down 8 slow reps each
- DON’T REST. (10) Go right to low plank. Hold 10. Each leg up and down 8 reps
- DON’T REST. (11) Go right to side plank. Stabilize spine with leg lift 2 counts of 8
- (12) Hip dips: lightly touch hip to mat and come up 8 reps, Do other side.
- (13) Back plank dips 8 breaths 8 counts each = 64 dips
- (14) In Bridge do 4 slow counts of 8 leg up and down
- (15) 4 slow counts of 8 lightly touch spine to the mat
BACK WORK AND STANDING CHALLENGE
- (16) Hold Superman 10 slow counts
- Move legs up and down 10 counts
- (17) Hold Plié 4 slow counts of ten, move up and down (stay low) for 4 counts of 10
This takes about 45 minutes if you hold long enough and move in a slow, thoughtful rewarding pace! Most of us still feel it EVERYWHERE the next day, no matter how long we’ve been doing these moves. If you don’t have 45 minutes. Check out my previous posts that feature many 15 minute sequences with a lot of bang for the time. I encourage any instructors reading to utilize the “static and slow” method and I would love to hear your feedback.