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Down to the Core

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Down to the Core

In the 1920s Joseph H. Pilates developed a form of movement that encourages the body and the mind to work synergistically. This unique method, which came to be known as Pilates, integrates the body as a whole rather than focusing on muscle isolation exercises.

In the 1920s Joseph H. Pilates developed a form of movement that encourages the body and the mind to work synergistically. This unique method, which came to be known as Pilates, integrates the body as a whole rather than focusing on muscle isolation exercises.

Pilates exercises focus on developing a strong core, consisting of the deep abdominal muscles as well as those found closest to the spine. All movements focus on a connection with the core musculature–even when training the upper or lower extremities.

Hundred

Starting Position

Lie face-up with legs in tabletop position (hips and knees bent at 90 degrees) and abdominals flattened. Keep arms by your sides with palms facing down toward the mat. Relax shoulders.

The Exercise

INHALE Nod your head slightly toward your chest (maintain an egg-width distance between chin and chest).

EXHALE Pull tummy in gently and curl your upper body away from the mat into a mini sit-up position, ensuring lower back doesn’t arch away from the floor. Keep arms hovering at shoulder level.

INHALE for 5 counts, keeping your upper body lifted and steady while doing small vertical pulses with your arms.

EXHALE for 5 counts, continuing to pulse arms strongly toward the mat.

Complete 10 sets (total of 100 counts).

To Finish

INHALE Keep your upper body lifted.

EXHALE Gently lower your upper body to the mat.

Hip rolls

Starting Position

Lie face-up with arms by your sides, knees bent, and legs hip-width apart.

The Exercise

INHALE to prepare.

EXHALE Flatten abdominals and curve your tailbone under and up, tilting the pelvis. Slowly peel your spine off the mat, one vertebra at a time, lifting the hips so that they line up between the shoulders and the knees. Keep your neck, shoulders, and ribcage relaxed with abdominals gently drawing in and up.

INHALE Keep your pelvis lifted.

EXHALE Roll your spine back down, one section at a time.

Complete 8 repetitions.

Breast Stroke Prep

Starting Position

Lie face-down on mat, pelvis neutral. Bend your elbows, with forearms resting on the mat. Keep your neck and legs long with your feet together and your nose pointing toward the mat.

The Exercise

INHALE to prepare.

EXHALE Slide shoulders away from ears. Use upper back muscles to lift your upper body away from the mat, allowing slight pressure on forearms. Keep bottom ribs in contact with the mat.

INHALE Stay lifted and lengthen spine from head to toe.

EXHALE Lower torso to the mat with control, maintaining a lengthened spine.

Complete 3 to 5 repetitions.

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