Tag: Exhale

Pilates Exercise of the Month: HIP CIRCLES




Purpose: Hip Circles focus on the abdominal muscles; stretches the front of the shoulders, across the chest, and down the arms.

 Starting Position: Sit in a V position with the arms extended behind the body, hands resting on floor; fingers face away from body. The legs are together, about an 60 degree angle from the floor.

  1. Inhale; move your legs down and around to the right.
  1. Exhale, complete the circle, bringing the legs to the left and back up to the starting V position.
  1. Complete 3-5 sets.

Visualization: Imagine your hands are stuck in cement and you are unable to move your torso except to keep it lifting to the ceiling.

 Head to Toe Checklist:

*  Begin small, increasing circles as you gain strength.

*  Circling the legs too low will compromise your abdominals.

*  Don’t let the upper body collapse.

*  Press the shoulders down and away from your ears.


Prop yourself up on your elbows if maintaining straight arms is too difficult

Pilates Exercise of the Month: SIDE BODY TWIST on Pilates Chair

October 2014 _ 2
October 2014





Purpose: Side Body Twist will strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles, especially the obliques, and increase core strength. Timing is important in this exercise, so don’t give up on the first try! Be sure a trained Pilates professional spots you throughout.


1. Side-lying on Chair, on diagonal with head toward back of pedal, feet forward. Pelvis and spine neutral- one long line from feet to head. Legs straight, together, toes gently pointed. Supporting arm straight, hand on back corner of pedal directly under shoulder. Pedal hovers just above base. Top arm reaches toward ceiling.


2. Inhale to prepare, Exhale, keeppelvis and legs still and rotate spine toward pedal, reaching top arm under supporting arm (arm on pedal).


3. Inhale, return spine to face forward (starting position) and reach top arm to ceiling.


4. , flex hips and spine to come up into a V position. Rotate torso to face legs and allow pedal to lift, keeping hand on pedal, reaching top arm toward feet. Rest just back of sit-bones.


5. Inhale, reach legs away from torso, press pedal down and rotate spine to face side, returning to starting position.


6. Repeat 3-5 repetitions each side.



Modifications: Just preform steps 1-3; rotating toward the pedal, return facing side.


Head to Toe Checklist:

Make sure your starting position starts and ends on a diagonal

Keep weight back of sit-bones when balancing in V position

Use abdominals to maintain lumbar flexion coming into V position

Maintain a stable scapular especially when rotate toward pedal

Pilates Exercise of the Month: Pull the Pedal Up or Elephant on the Wunda Chair

Pull the Pedal Up or Elephant on the Wunda Chair

Benefit: To develop abdominal control, scapular stabilization and strengthen shoulder girdle.  This exercise is 100% Powerhouse, making it difficult to perform.  A trained professional must spot throughout exercise.

Starting Position: Face the pedal and place the palm of your hands on the edge of the chair with fingertips hanging off.  Step 1 foot on the pedal to press it down, step the other foot on.  Glue your heels together and lift so you are balancing on your tip toes.

    1.  Inhale; Keep scapulae stable and round the truExnk in a Pike position, scooping your abs. Float your head between your shoulders.


    1. Exhale; with Powerhouse strength, lift pelvis up towards ceiling allowing weight to shift  into hands.  For 3 counts, lift pedal higher to top of its range.


    1. Inhale; lower pedal down with control.  Bring pedal just above base (not quite to the floor), maintain the pike position.


  1. Complete 3-5 reps, lower pedal all the way down. Step 1 foot left; then the other, not letting the pedal rebound.

Head to Toe Checklist:

  • Maintain scapular stabilization to avoid sinking through shoulders
  • Keep head aligned with spine, think of dropping top of head toward floor
  • Stabilize around shoulders and through arms to avoid losing control
  • Don’t let your body rock or your hips move from side to side


Imagine your are floating upward – levitating.


Omit the 3 count pulses.