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Pilates Exercises for the Intermediate Level

February 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 191

Welcome to this series of Intermediate Pilates exercises for all Pilates practitioners/persons who have been working out regularly and are strong enough to move on to the next level. Please remember to keep the core principles of Pilates active throughout these exercises. Stay with doing only a few repetitions but in great form rather than many rushed-through, haphazard ones but in less than perfect form. Happy Pilates exercising!


Lie on your stomach with your legs together and stretched out. Keep your shoulder blades drawn towards your hips, your shoulders away from your ears, stretch your arms straight overhead. Pull your abs in so that you lift your bellybutton up and away from the floor. Reaching out from center of you, extend your arms and legs so far in opposite directions that they naturally come up off the floor. Achieve length in your spine by lifting your head off the mat while keeping your face looking down at the mat. Alternate right arm/left leg, then left arm/right leg lifts in counts of 5 breaths in and 5 breaths out. Move continuously this way like as if you are swimming on the mat.

The Plank

Begin on your knees and walk your hands out on the floor, allowing your legs to stretch out behind you. Place your forearms parallel to each other on the floor, your hands in fists. Your shoulders should be directly over your elbows. Lift your belly up and away from the floor as you extend your spine so that it's very long. It is important to keep the pressure out of your lower back by pulling up the lower abs. Keep your shoulders broad and ensure that your shoulders are away from your ears. Your neck is a long extension of your spine, so your head is not dropped or tilted up. Breathe fully as you hold the pose for 30 seconds.

The Roll Up Lie on your back with your legs straight. Relax your shoulders and keep them away from your ears. Place your arms straight up over your head and back so that your fingertips are pointing to the wall behind you. Inhale as you bring your arms up overhead past your ears, allowing the chin to drop towards the chest, the head and upper spine curling up and off the mat. As you exhale, continue in a smooth motion to curl your entire body in an "up and over" motion towards your toes. Pull your abs in and deepen the curve of the your spine as you reach for your toes with your fingertips. To reverse the curl, inhale as you pull in your lower abs reaching your tailbone under, and uncurl yourself - vertebrae by vertebrae. About halfway down, exhale to continue to set one vertebrae after another down on the mat. Keep your upper body curve as you roll down slowly, with control. The arms are still outstretched and following the natural motion of the shoulders as you roll down.

Open Leg Rocker

Sit up tall on your sit bones with your knees bent so that you can grasp your ankles. As you balance between your sitbones and tailbone, keep your abdominals activated as you lift and extend one leg, then the other, to shoulder-width distance apart out in front of you. On the inhale, use a deepening scoop of the abdominals and the fullness of your inhale to propel your roll back onto your shoulders. Stay in your C-curve as you roll, leaving your head and neck off the mat. Pause before you exhale and return using your abdominal muscles to bring yourself back to an upright position.

Mrs Claudel Kuek, CEO of PowerMoves Pilates Singapore at Bishan Park, Dempsey Hill and Rochester Park in Singapore; visit to find out if Pilates is what you really need to create the makeover in you!

Source: EzineArticles
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