Spend too much time sitting? Try this quick workout to strengthen and improve your posture!
Exercise 1: Roll-Ups
- Why? The Roll-Up is a quintessential Mat Pilates exercise. It takes you from the mat to a seated position while stretching and lengthening your spine.
- How? Start lying down on your mat with your arms overhead. Take a deep breath in, drawing your shoulders off the mat and exhale as you continue to roll up into a seated position, stretching forward towards your toes. Finish the exercise by rolling your spine back down sequentially onto the mat.
- What else do I need to know? If you are new to Pilates Mat work, start by sitting upright on your bottom, hands behind thighs while you hollow out your spine looking inwards, then inhale to sit up tall. As you progress, you may need to use your hands behind your thighs to assist. Remember to breath! For more advanced clients, focus on stretching perhaps past your toes while maintaining your shoulders out of your ears.
Exercise 2: Spine Stretch Forward
- Why? This exercise combines the stability of a seated position with a spine lengthening stretch forward (see, not just a clever name for the exercise!).
- How? Start seated with your sits bones firmly planted into the mat and draw your spine even further up to the ceiling trying to get taller off of your sits bones. Take an inhale to grow taller and as you exhale, hollow out your navel and stretch your fingers towards your toes. Sit tall and repeat.
- What else do I need to know? The most common error is trying to touch the shins or toes – instead think of keeping the arms parallel to the floor with your biceps and ears connected.
Exercise 3: Spine Twist
- Why? The Spine Twist adds a gentle spine rotation that is needed for optimal spinal health!
- How? Start sitting tall off of your sits bones with both hands stacked one over the other on the back of your neck. The inner thighs are strongly connected together. As you continue to sit tall, take a deep exhale and twist to the right, inhale to sit tall and centered, exhale to twist to the left. Continue this process about 3-5 times.
- What else do I need to know? To perform this exercise correctly, make sure your hips do not wiggle – as you twist right, your left hip is your anchor and vice versa.