Pilates Exercise of the Month: Swimming

Benefit: Swimming stretches and strengthens the muscles along your spine.

Pilates Swimming

Starting Position: Lie on your stomach, arms extend overhead, palms down. Sqeeze the backs of legs together, slightly turn feet outward (Pilates stance, laterally rotated).

  1. Inhale, pull navel up into your spine, lift your head; then your right arm and left leg off the mat.
  2. Switch arms and legs by lifting your left arm and right leg. Without shifting your body weight; flutter the arms and legs in a swimming motion.
  3. Inhale for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts. Feel that you are stretching in opposition, fingers and toes reaching for opposite ends of the room.
  4. Complete 3-5 sets of 5 inhalations/exhalations each. To end and stretch your lower back, sit back on your heels in child’s pose.

Head to Toe Checklist:

  1. Work the arms directly in front of you and in line with your shoulders.
  2. The legs should flutter close to each other and in line with your torso.
  3. Swim briskly; avoid rocking from side to side.
  4. Keep arms and legs as straight as possible without letting them touch the mat.

Visualization:
Move rapidly and keep your head up as though you were actually in water.

Progression:
Speed up swimming action of arms and legs, 2 movements per count. This challenges coordination and torso stability.

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