We all know the importance of a strong core. And we certainly all wish we had one. So for week five of our six-week Pilates challenge with One Hot Yoga & Pilates Instructor, Tahlia Ware, we’re focusing on the Pilates principle: centering. The workout is designed to build a strong core through stabilised movements. Get ready to feel the burn.
“All Pilates exercises begin at our centre. The centre is the source of our movement and the focus of our practice. With a strong centre we ensure safe movement not only during exercise but also throughout our daily lives. We refer to our centre as the ‘Pilates Powerhouse’. The ‘Powerhouse’ is the area between the lower ribs and pubic bone, which includes the muscles of the abdomen, lower back, pelvic floor and glutes,” says Tahlia Ware.
Pro Tip: Once you are confident with the exercise, try reaching both arms up to the ceiling throughout the exercise. This will provide less stability for the body therefore increasing the challenge.
Safety Tip: To avoid bringing the pelvis into hip extension, the straight leg should not go below the bent leg as it lowers. Lessen the range of the working leg to focus on the pelvic stability. It is more important to have the hips still than it is to create a big movement. Think of lifting from the little crease at the bottom of your butt, not from your back to keep the spine safe.
Pro Tip: Imagine your body is a plank of wood as you hinge back, lowering the whole shape down as low as you can before slowly initiating the roll back onto the mat from your lower abdominals. Make sure each part of your spine rolls onto the mat individually.
Safety Tip: If Neck Pull is difficult to execute with completely straight legs, the knees can bend slightly to lessen the challenge, with the feet flat on the mat.
Pro Tip: Keep lifted in between the shoulder blades, do not allow the upper body to sink when the hips lift off the mat.
Safety Tip: Look straight ahead throughout the exercise, be mindful not to let the head drop back to keep the neck and shoulders safe.
Pro Tip: This advanced exercise requires some serious shoulder stabilisation. Be sure to maintain hip position and abdominal contraction throughout the exercise. Keep the glutes strong to be sure there is no change to the body’s position as the working leg lifts and lowers.
Safety Tip: Be sure to feel confident executing ‘Leg Pull Prep’ first before trying ‘Leg Pull.’
Pro Tip: Once having completed the full exercise, try then opening the legs out to a V, slightly wider than hip distance apart. Repeat the exercise reaching the body forward, in between the legs to increase the stretch through the inner thighs and open the hips.
Safety Tip: Keep the abdominals working throughout the exercise. It is important not to force the stretch but rather gently relax into it. Think of allowing the body to release a little bit further with every ‘exhale’, increasing the stretch with every repetition.