Recently I was asked to offer a Pilates Class for singers.
Those of us who do Pilates will know that one of its main principles is The art of Breathing and that through learning to breathe correctly and perform the exercises we can enhance and improve many other actions or physical activities requiring the use of our body.
In my initial preparation I thought about the exercises and how I would present them to a group of singers but the more I thought about the topic the more I was looking at the art of breathing itself and the effect it has on the body.
In Pilates we breathe into the back and side of our lungs. As the lungs fill up with air the ribs and surrounding intercostal muscles expand and the diphragm moves down. As we breathe out the intercostal muscles contract, the diaphragm comes up.
If we think about our lifestyle how many of us are physical throughout the day or have physical jobs. Most people get up and drive to work, sit in a chair for 6-8 hours a day. Drive home prepare supper and again sit watching tv for the evening. For a moment just think about the effect that can have on your respiratory system.
Without the need to exert yourself your breathing doesn’t need to be that deep. You don’t get out of breath at all. Add to that the effects of gravity, the thoracic cage, will compress throughout the day as the intercostal muscles are not used. This means we are not utilising our respiratory system to its full capacity and thus we are weakening it.
Let me know your thoughts as I continue to explore.
March 29, 2017
by Michaela Comments Off on March MATNESS Dat 28. Side Kick Kneeling.
Like plank/front support, leg pull front is a core strength builder that engages every part of the body. Leg pull front takes plank/front support a step further. By lifting one leg off the floor, you introduce instability that challenges the abdominals and shoulders to keep the trunk and pelvis stable as you move.
Leg pull front is considered to be a beginner level Pilates exercise. You don’t need any equipment to do it, simply an exercise mat. You can do it at home or at the gym or Pilates studio.
You will begin leg pull front in the plank/front support position.
Start on your knees. Place your hands on the floor in front of you, fingers pointing straight ahead. Keep your arms straight and your elbows unlocked.
Engage your abdominals and lengthen your spine, extending through the top of the head as you lean forward to put your weight on your hands.
Your shoulders should be directly over your wrists and settled in your back. That means there is a lot of space between your shoulders and your ears.
With your abdominals lifted, extend your legs back so that they are straight and together. Your toes are curled under so that some weight is on the balls of your feet.
Your ears, shoulders, hips and heels should be in one long line.
Lift One Leg Away From the Mat
Extend one leg from the hip so that your foot lifts off the mat a few inches. Your foot can point softly as it is released from the mat.
As you extend your leg from the hip, your hip will lift slightly, but the challenge is to keep the rest of your body stable in plank position. This requires extra work from your abdominals, shoulders, and back.
It is important that you initiate this move with your powerhouse and through the hip, not just from the back of the leg. Try not to get tense; use only as much energy as you need to keep perfect form. Focusing on length will help a lot.
Return your foot to the mat and extend the other leg.
Repeat the lift five to seven times on each side
March 27, 2017
by Michaela Comments Off on March MATness Day 25 Swimming!