Michaela's Pilates

for health, for fun, for you.

April 20, 2017
by Michaela
Comments Off on Spotlight on breathing.

Spotlight on breathing.

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.

March MATNESS Dat 28. Side Kick Kneeling.

Side Kick Kneeling!

kneel on left knee, support your body on left arm then stretch right leg out sidewise in straight line with body.

Toes pointed forward.

Bring right arm backward with hand supporting head, elbow back as far as possible.

Inhale whilst swinging leg forward as far as possible

Exhale whilst swinging leg back.

This is a tough one ladies and gentlemen and to prove it I will video myself at some point! Oh what a laugh you will have.

For now it is your turn!

 

 

March 29, 2017
by Michaela
Comments Off on March MATness Day 27 The Leg Pull

March MATness Day 27 The Leg Pull

The Leg Pull!

Arms are shoulder wide in right angle position.

Hands at right angles.

Legs close together toes pointed. Gawd knows what mine are doing!

Inhale slowly raise right leg upward

Exhale to lower.

 

March 27, 2017
by Michaela
Comments Off on March MATness Day 26. The leg Pull-Front!

March MATness Day 26. The leg Pull-Front!

The Leg Pull -Front!

By Marguerite Ogle.

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.

1

Leg Pull Front Exercise – Begin in Plank/Front Support

The starting position, a plank pose. Westend61/Getty Images
  • 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.
2

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!

March MATness Day 25 Swimming!

Swimming

Head upward and backward as far as possible. Chest raised off the mat

Inhale and exhale normally while performing the simultaneous alternating compound motions of swimming.

Opposite arm to leg lift whilst the others come down. A fluttering motion.

My head does not come up and back…. I choose to stay in one long line.

March 27, 2017
by Michaela
Comments Off on March MATness Day 24 The Hip Twist with Stretched Arms.

March MATness Day 24 The Hip Twist with Stretched Arms.

The Hip Twist with Stretched Arms

Put arms in right angle position, firmly pressed to mat with palms of hands pointing backward.

Keep legs close together straight forward. Toes pointed.

Inhale and swing legs as high as possible.

Exhale on downward swing without letting the legs touch the mat.

Inhale and swing legs up as high as possible in a right hand circle

Exhale as you swing legs downward to left hand circle.

 

 

March 27, 2017
by Michaela
Comments Off on March MATness Day 23. The Teaser

March MATness Day 23. The Teaser

The Teaser

Take position

Head up, legs close together, toes pointed, arms at right angle position beside body. Hands pointed forward.

 

Bend head forward, chin to chest , press abdomen in.

Roll backward on spine until legs are raised upward.

 

Inhale raise arms in parallel line with legs and roll forward and upward so as you pivot on your rump, keeping arms and legs raised .

Exhale and return to

March 27, 2017
by Michaela
Comments Off on March MATness Day 22. The Side Kick!

March MATness Day 22. The Side Kick!

The Side Kick.

Take position in picture. Lock hands behind head. Head up eyes straight ahead. Arms in line with shoulders.

Lie full length right side on mat and bring legs forward about 2 feet.

Shoulders are not stackedĀ 

Corrected

This is an alternative until strength is developed.

Inhale and swing left leg forward as far as possible to you.

Return left leg about 1 foot backward and swing left leg forward again and attempt to get it further forward.

 

 

March 22, 2017
by Michaela
Comments Off on March MATness Day 21 The Jack Knife!

March MATness Day 21 The Jack Knife!

The Jack Knife!

Take position in picture.

legs close together raised up to a right angle position.

I think I could lengthen my spine more and get more tail bone on the floor!

Knees are locked and toes are pointed. Inhale and press arms firmly downward against the mat. Spine is raised off mat about 5 inches.

Then kick your legs in a snappy movement straight upward.

I found this interesting because I really thought I was upright. A picture never lies. All I did was come higher on to my neck. I CHEATED!

March 21, 2017
by Michaela
Comments Off on March MATness Day 20 The spine Twist.

March MATness Day 20 The spine Twist.

The Spine Twist!

Take position

Inhale and sit perfectly upright in a right angle position. Chest out abs drawn in head up and arms shoulder wide palms down stretched back until the shoulder blades are together.

Toes pointed up and backward with legs close together.

Exhale while twisting body and turning head as far as possible.

then with two further supreme efforts strive, to better your original effort.

Inhale returning to centre

Exhale while twisting in the opposite direction and again two further times.