In this Pilates Video you are going to learn three exercises, two Pilates, Core Strength Exercises and one Upper-Body Toning and Strengthening Exercise.
Keep your core muscles, your TVA (Transverse Abdominis) slightly engaged throughout to make these exercises safer for your lower back. Always consult a GP / physician before starting a new exercises regime, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time on a regular basis.
(1) Pilates Push-Up & Roll-Down >> Focuses on increasing upper-body strength (arms, chest), improves spin & back mobility a small bit.
Stand tall, arms, shoulders and the neck area are relaxed. Roll-down into a push-up position, place your hands wide, to the right & left of the mat, aim to keep you neck long, avoid dropping your head if possible to avoid tension in the neck. Keep your hip lifted, maintain ideally a straight line – ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, top of your head. Breath in as you lower your upper-body, breath out as you push away from the mat or floor. Roll up on the next breath out and come into a standing position.
(2) Swiss-Ball / Gym-Ball Roll-Out >> Focuses mainly on increasing your “global abdominal” strength (it strengthens various abdominal / stomach muscles at the same time)
Kneel in front of the ball, your wrists rest on ball, your elbows are slightly bent. Maintain a straight line from your knees to your shoulders and the top of your head. Keep your shoulders and neck loose and relaxed. Breath out as you roll out, breath in as you roll back up.
Avoid dropping your hip and keep your TVA, core muscles slightly engaged to protect your lower back.
(3) Russian Twist with a Gym / Swiss-Ball >> Focuses on toning your waist / increasing oblique strength and gets your thighs, buttock / gluteal muscles and mid / lower back a bit as well.
Rest the top of your upper back and the back of your head on a gym-ball, lift your hip to create a straight line from your knees to the crown of your head, keep your hip lifted and your ankles below your knees. Reach with your arms towards the ceiling, palms facing inwards. keep the shoulder relaxed. Breath out as you turn from your waist to the right, remember to keep you hip lifted, breath in as your return to the centre, turn to the left on your next out breath, breath in returning to the centre.
(1) Do a brief warm-up of 5-8min including some rotational and loosening moves for your neck, back, shoulders and your lower back or do some cardio exercises for 5-8min e.g. brisk walking.
(2) Do each exercise up to 10 times, assuming your back, neck, shoulders, knees and other joints etc. agree with the movement and there is no pain. Do three sets of each exercise.
(3) I suggest to keep an exercise and activity diary, which will allow you to recognize progress.
Make a note of
(3.1) when you exercise time/date/duration,
(3.2) how many reps / sets you do,
(3.3) how the exercises are getting easier over time. I came up with a rating system.
I use a scale from 1 to 10 ( 1 = very very easy; 10 = extremely hard, nearly impossible).
Let me know how you get on and if you have any questions.