Pilates On The Go

Pilates On The Go

With a busy schedule it can often be challenging to get to a specific fitness class. Pilates professional, Sarah Shell, takes us through some pilates exercises that can be done in any location and at any time!
Grab a blanket or a mat and get outside! With such great weather lately, I find myself at the park with my kids or playing in our backyard a lot. For most mom’s getting to the gym is very difficult so here are a couple of challenging, whole body exercises you can do at home or at the park with your kids! 

Mermaid side stretch/Warm up

Starting Position

Sit on your mat, both knees bent, with your right leg in front and your left leg behind you. Lengthen your spine and place your fingertips on the floor at your sides.

Action

Inhale and lift your right arm up in line with your shoulder as you bend laterally toward the left side as if bringing your left shoulder towards your left hip. 

Exhale as you return to your starting position. Then continue on the opposite side. Repeat 4 times before switching your legs so your left leg is in front and your right leg is behind you. 

Special Instructions

Stretch to the point of “mild discomfort”, not to the point of pain. Keep your shoulders pulled down, head and neck in line with your spine. Pull your belly in towards your spine.

Scissor variation/Ab exercise

Starting Position

Lie on your back, legs straight and your left leg crossed on top of your right leg. Arms are straight down by your sides, lightly pressing the backs of your arms into the mat. Press your lower back into the mat so your abs are tight.  

Action

Lift your left leg straight up above your hips. Lift your right leg a few inches above the mat (45 degree angle). While keeping the right leg still, bring your left leg down to meet the right leg and back up to starting point. Hold the right leg still as you bring your left leg down to meet the right and back up above your hip. Repeat 8 times before switching to other side. 

Special Instructions

Don’t let your back arch, try to keep your lower back pressed into the mat and your belly flat. Squeeze your inner thighs to connect your legs together. Keep shoulders relaxed and back of arms pressing into the mat.

Modification

Keep your legs slightly bent to take pressure off your lower spine. If you are having trouble keeping your back from arching, keep the lower leg all the way down onto the mat.

Side Plank Thread the Needle/Obliques and shoulders

Starting Position

Come onto your side with your right hand (advanced version) or right forearm directly under your right shoulder. Feet can either be stacked (advanced version) or with your right foot right in front of your left foot. Engage your abdominals by pulling your naval to spine and lift your hips up until your body is in a straight line from head to feet. 

Action

Reach your left arm up to the sky right above your left shoulder. While keeping your hips lifted, rotate the torso towards the floor. Thread the arm under the body and follow your hand with your eyes until you are looking at the mat. Rotate the torso back to your starting point. Repeat 5 times before switching to the other side. 

Special Instructions

Even though you are working your side waist (obliques), keep pulling in the front of your stomach. Shoulders are dropped away from ears. Squeeze your inner thighs to help keep your hips stacked. Keep hips stacked by pulling the top hip forward.

Modification

Start on forearm with one foot in front of other instead of stacked. 

Kneeling side kicks/Glutes and hips

Starting Position

Kneel on the mat, lean over to the right side until the hand touches the mat. Engage your abdominals and lift your left leg straight out to the side so it’s in line with your hip.

Action

Lower the left leg down to tap the mat, bring the leg right back up to your starting point and repeat 20 times before switching to the other side. 

Special Instructions

Make sure the bottom hip is pressing forward so the torso is as straight as possible. If you have ankle weights you can add them for an extra challenge! 

Plank with shoulder taps/entire body, including core, shoulders and legs

Starting Position

Set up in a plank: shoulders over the wrists, legs are straight with feet hip width apart for a wider base and the torso in one line from head to feet.

Action

Engage your abs and glutes so that your body is in a nice straight line, lift one hand up off the mat and touch the opposite shoulder. Alternating hands, do 2 sets of 10. 

Special Instructions

Keep your hips square to the ground and do not rotate as you lift your hand to touch your shoulder.

Modification

Start on your knees if you are having trouble holding the position. 

xo,
Sarah

Sarah Shell divides her time between Los Angeles and Ojai California. She has had a professional dance career for over 15 years that included world tours, commercials and television productions.

Being a dancer, she has always practiced Pilates to stay strong and in shape. As a certified Pilates instructor since 2009, Sarah has been teaching her own style of Pilates that combines components of dance to develop a long, lean, and toned body. She is committed to helping her clients look and feel their best.

shellshapefitness.com@shell_shape

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