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|| SIDE BEND || The Standing Side Bend is a great exercise to stretch the side body as well as to strengthen the side abdominal muscles. This movement feels especially good first thing in the morning to energize the body at the start of the day.
1 — Begin standing tall in mountain pose with feet together or feet can be hip width apart if that position feels more comfortable.
2 — Inhale to reach the right arm up towards the ceiling and exhale to take a side bend up and over to the left, as the left arm reaches down the side of the left leg.
3 — Hold stretch for 1-5 breaths and repeat on the left side.
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1 — Start in a seated position sideways so the body is touching the wall. Lie on your back and get your booty to touch the wall.
2 — Extend legs straight up against the wall with feet pointed up towards the ceiling. Slide legs open to a straddle position and hold for several minutes if possible.
______________________________________________ *Place a blanket or bolster under your tailbone if you need more support for the lower back.
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Check out my post on the Splits59 blog for the Workout Wednesday feature! I love using the stability ball for strengthening and stretching.
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(Photo by Audrey Lackey)
Incorporating stretching into your daily workout routine is essential as it can increase flexibility, range of motion, and can prevent and relieve pain. The stability ball is a great tool and one of my favorite props to use for both strengthening and stretching. Try stretching your back on the ball following these simple steps:
1 — Start by sitting on the ball and walk your feet forward, keeping the knees bent until the ball is under your back with your shoulders and head supported.
2 — Lying back on the ball, keep arms by your sides and knees bent about hip width part or extend arms back and straighten the legs for a deeper stretch (as pictured above).
3 — Hold the stretch for 20-30sec and repeat 2x.
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Quite often people ask me, “What is Pilates?” “Is it stretching?” “Is it like yoga?” The best description that I can provide is that Pilates is a method that works to build core and overall strength, flexibility, balance, and a longer, leaner physique. Classical Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat with or without props in addition to on various pieces of equipment developed by Joseph Pilates.
Ever wonder exactly what a Pilates workout on the equipment entails? Find out in this collage video of exercises performed on the reformer, Cadillac, and wunda chair!
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Be mine this Valentine’s Day as I teach a special Pilates Mat Class at Yoga Agora, Sat, Feb.14, 830-930pm, $10. The class will incorporate classical Pilates matwork and a fusion of yoga and dance based exercises that build strength, flexibility, and balance. We will focus on proper alignment, breathing, and fluid movement. Each participant will be given a treat at the end of class that is sure to leave you feeling loved this Valentine’s Day.
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