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Pilates for Your 40s and 50s

February 14, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 163

Physiotherapists, chiropractors and orthopedists all recommend Pilates to increase strength and flexibility, as well as muscular and postural symmetry. Special emphasis during all Pilates classes is placed on working to increase your flexibility and core strength because improved flexibility staves off the stiffness commonly associated with an ageing body; while building strong core muscles help to protect your spine and prevent imbalances in the way your body moves. Pilates classes also provide total body conditioning that enhance functional fitness, improve posture and balance, build bone density, and add muscle mass - which in turn speeds up your total metabolic rate. It fulfills every person's fitness wish list as they enter their 40s and move into their golden years. Here we provide four Pilates exercises for your choosing as you opt for health and beauty in your 40s and 50s:

Criss Cross

Lie on your back with your hands behind your lifted head and draw your knees into your body. Extend your right leg out long and inhale as you twist your upper body aiming your right elbow to your left knee. Actively lift from below your shoulder and twist from your waist to reach the knee and hold the position as you exhale completely. Switch sides as you inhale bringing now your left elbow to your right knee while extending the left leg out in front of you. Keep from rocking your body side to side and extend your elbows wide.

Double Leg Stretch

Lie on your back with your legs in table-top position, your head and upper spine lifted off the mat. Exhale as you bend your knees towards your chest, placing one hand on each knee. Inhale to move your arms overhead and simultaneously straighten the legs in opposite direction, keeping the trunk stable and the feet above eye level. Exhale again to bring arms around from overhead out to the sides while drawing the knees in, hands placed on the knees (starting position).

Shoulder Bridge

Lie on your back in neutral spine, with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Your arms are extended along your sides. Inhale as you press down through your feet to lengthen your spine and press you hips up. You will come to a bridge position on your shoulders with your knees, hips and shoulders in one line. Your abs and hamstrings should be well engaged. Pause at the top of the bridge to lift one leg off the mat. Straighten this lifted leg as you point it to the ceiling. Exhale as you lower the straight leg to the floor pointing towards the wall opposite of you. Inhale to kick the straight leg upward while flexing your foot. Bend the knee and place the foot on the floor (starting position) before switching legs and repeating the sequence with the other leg.

Lower Abdominal Lift

Lie back with arms by your sides and legs extended toward the ceiling, toes pointed. Contract belly muscles and exhale to slowly lift hips straight off the mat a few inches as shown. Slowly lower to start on your inhale. Do this with control and without rocking the hips.

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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