The holiday season is synonymous with over-indulgence – in the foods we eat, having one too many drinks and (often) skipping workouts. Brooke Siler, celebrity Pilates instructor, author of the New York Times best selling book “The Pilates Body” and owner of the celeb haven, re:AB Pilates in NoHo, NYC (www.reabnyc.com), shares some ways you can redeem your body with Pilates.

Shedding Holiday Weight with Pilates

 

Pilates

The holiday season is synonymous with over-indulgence – in the foods we eat, having one too many drinks and (often) skipping workouts. Brooke Siler, celebrity Pilates instructor, author of the New York Times best selling book “The Pilates Body” and owner of the celeb haven, re:AB Pilates in NoHo, NYC (www.reabnyc.com), shares some ways you can redeem your body with Pilates.

1.    Walk The Plank:

Standing with arms raised overhead and legs together, walk your hands down the front of your legs until palming the floor (bending knees, if needed). Then, walk your hands forward until you are in a plank position, shoulders over wrists. Hold for a count of 3, then fold up and walk feet to hands using straight legs. Soften your knees and roll up to starting position. Repeat five times, alternating walking feet to hands and hands to feet, inhaling on the down and forward, exhaling on the way up and back.

2. The Roll Up: Lie on your back and stretch your arms overhead with legs together. Draw your abdominal muscles in and up, hollowing out, as you roll up and forward reaching fingertips over toes. Keep abdominals “scooped” (hollow) and roll back down one vertebra at a time. Count 8-10 to get your entire back down to mat. Keep back flat and abdominals tight as you reach arms back overhead. Repeat the sequence six times, inhaling on the way up, exhaling on the forward, inhaling on the back, exhaling on the way down.

3. Spine Stretch: Sit up tall, holding arms forward at shoulder-height and legs extended and open to width of the mat. Inhale and sit taller, getting longer in your waist. Exhale as you dive down between your arms, while trying to touch the crown of your head to the mat between your knees, with your arms remaining extended forward. Slowly begin rolling back up, stacking one vertebra on top of the next like building blocks. Inhale as you roll up and hold your breath at the top preparing for the next dive. Repeat five times.

4. Saw: Sitting as tall as possible again, widen your legs past shoulder-width and extend arms wide to sides at shoulder-height. Twisting from your waist, turn your chest and shoulders to the right keeping your hips still, exhale, and dive head forward to right knee, “sawing” off right pinkie toe with pinkie finger of left hand. Inhale, stacking back up to center. Repeat to the left. Alternate sides five times.

5. Rolling Like A (Cannon) Ball: A twist on the classic “Rolling Like A Ball,” in this version (if you have strong knees and are able), you will add power and lift to stand and jump. Sit on your mat with both knees drawn tightly into your chest and hold each ankle with its respective hand. Your head should be between knees, looking into belly and heels against your bottom. Inhale as you roll back to the bottom of your shoulder blades and exhale, roll forward and up to standing position, releasing the ankles, and using the forward swing of the arms to help you up. Slowly reverse the movement and sit back down, re-assuming the Ball position and rolling back to blades again. Then, roll forward with such power that you stand and jump up in the air with arms overhead and reverse the movements to sit and roll back again. Repeat eight times. (Modification for knee issues: Place hands behind thighs, roll back and forth from blades to tailbone, massaging the back.)

 

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