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Advanced Pilates Positions and Movements

February 15, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 192

One of the first Pilates exercises that is learned when moving from a beginner level to a more advanced level is called "the hundred." This is a common exercise found in many Pilates classes both in person and on DVD. To do the hundred, lay on your back and find your neutral spine position. You can then either put your legs in the chair position, bent or extend then out at a 45 degree angle (this can be modified depending on your flexibility). Next, on the exhale bring your head, neck and shoulders up of the mat and raise your arms up, parallel to your body but about five inches off the mat. Then breathing in five quick breaths pump the arms up and down with each breath. Then do five quick exhales and move the arms along with it. Keep the reps of five inhales and five exhales up until you have done them ten times. This equals to one hundred breaths, which is where the exercise got its name.

Another advanced Pilates exercise is the scissors. This is another mat exercise that begins with you laying on floor with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. You'll want to comfortably press your shoulders and the back of your arms into the mat gently. Feel your chest open and shoulders become stable. Next bring your knees up and at the same time roll your hips up, like you're going to roll like a ball, but rest on your shoulders holding your lower back with your hands. Your elbow should be adding extra support and be directly under the hips. Extend your legs so that your feet are pointed over your head, keeping the legs together. Finally begin "scissoring" your legs moving one up and the other down. Be sure the pelvis and powerhouse stay stable, only your legs should be moving. Do six to eight reps. Try pulsing the legs twice before switching their positions.

Similar to the scissors exercise is the bicycle exercise. To do the bicycle you will lay on your back and get into a shoulder stand position, much like how the scissors exercise begins. Engage your abs and back muscles to help keep you in the position instead of relying on your shoulders, arms and hands. Also be sure your neck is not strained. Now, with one leg extended straight up, or at a 45 degree angle bend the other knee. Then you continue to move your legs as if you were pedaling a bicycle, only backwards. Do six to eight reps. If trying this exercise for the first time you can start pedaling forward, but going backward increases the effectiveness of this exercise. Be sure to keep your powerhouse and pelvis steady as you pedal.

An exercise commonly used in many Pilates regimens, especially those that focus on Classical Pilates methods, is called the teaser. There are several variations of this exercise including the half teaser or partial teaser. To complete the more advanced full teaser begin by sitting on your mat with your chest open, your feet on the floor and your knees bend. Then pick your feet up off the mat, curve your body into the C position and keep your neck long. You will be balancing your body on your tail bone. You will notice your body resembles a V and your powerhouse is working hard. You might even notice you begin to shake. Then slowly lower your back down to the mat followed by your arms, legs, shoulder and head. Stretch your arms up over your head and your feet away from your body. You might feel like you're a piece of rope being stretched at both ends. Then inhale as you sweep your arms down to your sides then back up with the rest of your body to the V position. Do several reps.

Learn more about personal pilates training at these web pages: Pilates Instructor South Lake Tahoe and stott pilates tahoe.

Source: EzineArticles
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