May 22, 2024

Pilates Anywhere By Chanda Fetter

Owning a Pilates and Fitness Studio, I often hear my clients offer excuses as to why they can’t seem to stick to their program.  We all tell ourselves stories that help us explain away why we haven’t gotten something done when in truth we always seem to find a way when we really want something.  So my first piece of advice would be to change your story!  Likely this is a pattern that follows you beyond exercise, you must stop making excuses and take the small steps needed to improve the quality of your life, you deserve it!

The following three exercises can easily be done at home, in a hotel room or even in an office break room!  They will give you a boost of energy, reduce your back pain and tighten your tummy.  As always, consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Forced Exhalation Breathing – Sit up tall in your chair or lie down on the floor.  Place your hands between your ribcage and your belly button.  Take a long deep inhale through your nose, then exhale through pursed lips, pulling your abdominals in towards your spine while contracting your Pelvic Floor Muscles (otherwise known as Kegel or bladder muscles).  When performing the exhale you should make a “shhh-ing” sound to ensure the pressure is great enough to create the contraction needed.  Do this a minimum of 10 times then use this breath when performing the remaining exercises.  This generous flow of oxygen will do wonders for your brain as well as your abdominals.  Each time you perform this breath you will be engaging 80% of your abdominal wall!

Hundreds – Lie on your back with your legs in one of the following positions – knees bent / feet on floor making sure your lower back is in neutral position, knees bent with feet off floor / table top, or legs extended away from body on a 45 degree angle so as to stress the lower abdominal section.  Reach your arms long down the side of your body, bring your head and shoulders into a tight curl and pump your arms up and down so as to engage your back muscles, ie Latissimus Dorsi.  Using the forced exhale technique above, inhale for 5 pumps, exhale for 5 pumps and do for a count of 100. The curl is a constant, high hold.

Swimming – Lie on your stomach with your arm and legs stretched out like Superman/woman.  Extend long through your spine as you lift your arms and legs off the floor.  Be careful not to arch extensively into your spine but rather lengthen out of it.  Using the forced exhalation technique above flutter your arms and legs up and down for total of 10 breaths.

Chanda Fetter
IM=X Pilates, Owner