Pilates Based Stretches

The key to these stretches in alignment

As an introduction to Pilates take a look at these stretches and alignment points to start to change your body

FOOT ALIGNMENT

We tend to start from the ground up when looking at postural alignment.

 

In standing take a look down at your feet. 

Are they turning out, maybe theyr're turning in. Maybe they're doing different things. 

 

Stand with your feet hip socket width apart. 

Place the feet in parallel - they should look like the number 11 as you look down at them.

Notice where the weight is in your feet as you lengthen your head back up 

OPTIMUM POSTURE

Now you've got your feet in alignment, think about what is happening through the rest of your body, particularly now you've possibly changed your foot position. 

 

Feel as if the crown of your head is reaching for the ceiling. Imagine a weight hanging off your tail bone (coxxycx). 

There will always be a curve in your spine, but we need to find length and space in those curves. 

How does that feel?

 

ROLL DOWN FROM STANDING

Now that we've started to find length in your spine, we want to articulate ALL the joints within it. given there are xxxx in the spine alone, the roll down is an efficient way to do this. 

 

Find length in the spine, start to nod forwards as you roll through the neck (cervical) spine, keep rolling through the upper back (thoracic spine) and finally the lower back (lumbar spine). 

 

Go slow at any points that feel stiff, breathe the whole way through and try not to grip any muscles. 

 

Notice where the weight is in your feet now. 

As you roll back up feel the tailbone reaching for the floor to restack your spine bone by bone. 

CALF STRETCH

Using a yoga block or a book, place the ball of your foot on the block, and step forwards with the other foot. Mind your balance! 

 

The back heel should be reaching for the floor, but not necessarily touching. You should feel a strong stretch through the back of your calf. 

 

Repeat on both sides 

HAMSTRING STRETCH

Laying on the floor, take hold of a theraband, a towel is a good alternative. Wrap the band around the ball of your foot and lay yourself onto the floor. 

With the foot in the band lifted towards your cheast and the other on the floor, start to reach the foot in the band to the ceiling.Look at your foot and imagine you're standing on the ceiling. 

 

The stretch should be in the back of the leg (your hamstrings) and maybe in the calf (the lower leg). 

Lengthen the other leg long along the floor also to add to your stretch.  

GLUTE STRETCH

Place your left ankle over the right knee. Make sure your ankle bone is across the knee not on it. Float the right knee in towards you. Mind you are not twisting through the pelvis, both sit bones (the bones you sit on) ar epointing towards the wall underneath you. 

This can be a strong stretch particularly if you suffer with sciatica, so go gentle. Breathe and allow the muscles to release. Repeat as needed.

 

STRETCH

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Margate Pilates Studio Ltd.

21-27 Eastern Esplanade

Margate

Kent

CT9 2HL