HEALTH

PILATES EQUIPMENT, CORE AND STRETCHES EXCERCISES

By: Octavio Pozos

Dear Readers, I hope by now you have been VACCINATED. There are no excuses so protect yourself and the people around you. Little by little Covid-19 restrictions are being lifted and maybe by September we will have a Green Light to take the mask off and try to come back to normal. Let’s pray.

This month, I want to teach you “Advanced Yoga – Pilates Work Out” to work your whole body. Firm up your Butt, Arms and Sculpt a Six Pack.

We will use one Yoga Mat, 2 Yoga Bricks and One Pilates Ring. Please go to “Big 5” or any store that sells small fitness equipment tools, they are NOT expensive and I will be teaching you more variations or workouts to do in your home.

The Bricks and the Ring will give you alignment, extension, balance and especially support to correct the posture of your exercise, and hold these for more time to make your muscles sweat and BURN. You will be surprised how much benefit you will get either for a beginner or for an advance yoga student. Please warm up on a treadmill or Elliptical for 20 minutes before you start this sequence. If you don’t warm up you could get hurt.

1 – Down Dog with Hip Twist Position (full upper body, hamstring stretch, glutes, hip flexor stretch).
Start by lying down (face down) on the mat, legs together and elbows next to the body and your hands at shoulder level. Inhale. As you exhale, you will perform your down dog, spread fingers of your hands and push your body away from the mat, butt towards the ceiling and make sure your right leg is locked with the heel grounded on the mat to feel the stretch of the calve and hamstring. While your left leg will be lifted up fully straight and toe pointing to elongate the leg and make the UPPER BUTT work at its max, tighten your Abs, exhale…Then Inhale again and the leg that is UP will be flexed and keeping your hands still grounded on the floor, you will twist your hip to feel the opening of the waist and Hip flexor; sustain this position for 10 counts, then slowly go back to hips aligned, leg fully straight and come back to starting position with all your body back to the mat of the floor. Repeat this sequence slowly and breathing deeply and controlled for 10 times each leg. See image #1.

2 – Bending Forward with Bricks (Upper Butt, hamstrings Stretch, Calves, lower back and Balance).
This is a very effective beginners exercise for helping you develop more flexibility since you are being helped by the bricks to align correctly and strengthen your legs, back and your abs to stabilize your balance. Start standing in a tall mountain position, inhale then slowly bend your body forward. Always long and locking your left leg, lifting your right leg up fully straight and long to work your upper butt; back fully straight to make work your lower back and for your ABS and balance you will be opening your left arm fully straight as you see in the image. For your butt and a massive hamstring stretch, hold for 10 seconds, then go reverse to the starting position and repeat these 10 times for each side. See image #2.

3 – Holding Abs with Pilates Ring (Full core and balance).
Make sure your seat bones are well grounded on the mat, assume boat pose semi flexing legs, holding Abs and leaning back your Torso, hold the Pilates Ring in front of your arms fully extended and pressing the Ring to activate abs, chest and shoulders (see the image and the way my hands are pressing the ring). Inhale and here comes the hard work: As you exhale lift your legs up, semi flex, pointing toes and keeping pressing the ring, lift both arms up and bring slowly your knees closer to your abs, when you feel your abs on fire then hold for 20 counts, exhale. Do these four sets of 20 counts. It’s very Important to keep your arms fully extended. Remember this equipment is TEACHING you Elongation and Posture. See image #3.

4 – Dancer Stretch Position (balance, stability, core, major glut -hamstring stretch, calve, back stretch).
Now move your left leg forward and crossing the right leg position; your left foot is next to the right foot (see the image again), both legs are fully locked. Now stand tall, suck in your stomach and INHALE. As you exhale keep holding your stomach, bend you torso forward and moving both arms all the way to the front towards the floor (if you can’t reach use the Yoga Blocks) make sure you keep your RIGHT leg fully locked while your LEFT leg is straight, helping to push and support on the RIGHT leg. Hold for 10 seconds. Now INHALE again and as you EXHALE using ONLY your ABS bring your Torso UP and ARMS to starting position. If you do this as I say, it’s a challenging exercise for all your body. Repeat 5 – 10 times each leg. See image #4.

To help you see and understand these movements please go to my FACEBOOK: TU ENTRENADOR OCTAVIO or
http://octaviofitness.blogspot.com/
Thanks to Tony Wiseniewski owner of
ULTRABODYFITNESS GYM.
http://ultrabodyfitness.com/ for using his beautiful gym for these pics.

Octavio Master Trainer.
http://www.octaviosfitness.com/

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