“How is your balance?”

Stretches with the Beam Pilates Dec/20

Hello my dear readers, we made it to December. This month will be very strange and chaotic being that Covid-19 is out of control. I think that the “lock downs” will take longer to prevent the spread of the pandemic. Please follow all the guidelines to protect yourself and the people around you. We still don’t know when the gyms will open so we will continue to workout at home. How is your balance? I often hear people say “I really have bad balance” or “I can’t do that or take that class because I will fall”. Having good balance is an important part of your wellness and as you get older. One of the things we never train on and sometimes don’t even think about is adding these exercises in our work out routines.

Among the fears seniors or uncoordinated people have is falling. For young people you fall and if “no one” saw you, you get up pretend nothing happened. For seniors, many times falling is the cause of an accident and can be fatal. In this article I want you to become familiar with this piece of equipment called a “beam” to work on your balance, core, alignment and movement. In my articles I always mention that few trainers teach you to “engage your core” when exercising and of course they won’t teach you about balance. It is important to align your body to avoid falling or hurting yourself and for correct posture.

The beam makes the body and mind connect in a different way and causes you to think about what to do to correct one’s posture or balance to make our exercise more efficient and effective. As soon as you get on the beam you have to forget all your problems or distractions and focus on the beam. The beam is narrow and is 2 1/2 inches high. Here are some exercises that you can do with the beam or with a matt. Do the exercises on the edge of the matt to give you the floor, unstable to practice on. All the positions are sustained 10-30 seconds. Then switch legs.

1). Standing on the beam with hands up, looking at your hands. (See my posture in the image). As soon as you put your feet aligned first right and then left with hips forward, your balance will trigger so you don’t fall. Inhale and start extending your arms fully straight next to your hips and slowly bring them up (see image in detail). You will be amazed how your balance is triggered and your abs sucked in to align your body to not fall. You’ll feel an amazing workout. 3 sets, hold for 20 seconds. See image #1.

2). Standing warrior 2 on the beam.
See my posture, right leg is flexed and aligned with the front of the beam. Make this a wider stance with your legs so you protect the knee. Here you are stretching your calves, hamstrings, glutes and insides of the legs. Since you are on the beam your core will be activated instantly so you don’t fall.
3 sets, hold for 30 seconds. (See image #2).

3). Standing reverse warrior on the beam.
Keep the same posture in the legs as of Warrior 2 but now use the same arm of the leg that is in the front and flexed; move back to stretch the side of the spine and the arm at the back situated on the leg. Your abs will be sucked in and on fire to help you not fall. 3 sets, hold for 30 seconds. (See image #3).

4). Standing gluteus, hamstrings and calves stretch on the beam.
From Warrior 2 you will position your foot from the leg flexed facing out from the beam and putting you hand on that knee for support and the back leg fully straight and throwing your butt back to get in the posture you see in the image. Again if you don’t engage your abs you will fall. 3 sets, hold for 30 seconds. (See image #4).

To help you see and understand these movements please go to my facebook : tu entrenador octavio or
Thanks to Tony Wiseniewski owner of Ultrabodyfitness gym. for using his beautiful gym for these pictures. Blessings. Octavio, Master Trainer