Performing Pilates

A Guided At-Home Workout

 

Perform each movement for a total of 10 reps, or 10 reps
per side on single-sided work, three times. Inhale to prepare,
and exhale to move. Try not to rush through this workout –
the slower and more controlled you move, the deeper the work.

Photography by Rich Smith

 

“Pilates is a practice of integrating the mind-body connection with controlled, precise movements. This workout is focused on creating length in the body while challenging your deepest core muscles, glute strength, spinal and pelvic alignment, and more. All you need is a little space at home and a mat!” Ari Sanchez, Owner, SPARK Studio

 

Ari Sanchez Pilates Side Mermaid

 

Side Mermaid

Start in a side plank position, top leg in front of bottom, making sure your shoulders, ribs, and pelvis are stacked. On an inhale, reach your top arm toward the ceiling and overhead, creating the shape of an arc. Make sure your shoulder doesn’t pinch toward your ear! On the exhale, bring the arm back down toward your hip, gaze following, as you slowly dip both hips toward the floor. Don’t let your pelvis twist – imagine you’re in between two panes of glass the whole time. Fire up the obliques by doing 10 reps on each side.

 

Ari Sanchez Pilates Kneeling Side Kick

 

Kneeling Side Kick

Kneel on the mat with arms out to a T shape. Lean over to one side until your hand touches the mat and the opposite knee lifts. Place the hand that is pointed toward the ceiling on your hip, and keep a long spine with hips facing forward. On an exhale, extend your top leg long, engaging your core to help stabilize your pelvis. Point your toes, inhaling as you kick your leg forward. Keep your hips still – imagine they’re in between two walls. Exhale, and flex your foot as you move your leg back. Imagine you’re painting a line with your toes, keeping your leg level with your hip. That’s one rep! This move is all about glute strength, but if there’s too much pressure on the wrist, feel free to use a block or small book to elevate your hand.

 

Ari Sanchez Pilates Roll Down Pulses

 

Roll Down Pulses

Start sitting nice and tall, making sure your shoulders, ribs, and hips are stacked. If the hamstrings are tight, soften the knees but keep the heels pushing into the floor. Reach your arms forward, crossing one on top of the other, like genie arms. On an exhale, start by rolling your sit bones under you, articulating through the pelvis and lumbar spine. Roll down halfway, until you start to feel the fire in your belly! Hold. Imagine there’s a ball of fire in the low belly, and you’re drawing away from it, sinking the hips wide. Slowly pulse down half an inch, then back up half an inch. That’s one rep!

 

Ari Sanchez Pilates Single Leg Bridge Taps

 

Single Leg Bridge Taps

Lay down on the floor, keeping your knees bent and feet flat. Make sure your feet are the width of your hips and your toes are facing forward. Inhale into your spine, and as you exhale, slowly start to peel your pelvis and spine off the floor, articulating one vertebrae at a time. Take it slowly! At the top of your bridge, exhale to bring one leg into tabletop, making sure the hips stay square and lifted. Inhale as you lower to tap the toes to the floor, keeping your spine long and lifted, core connected, and hips square. Exhale to lift back up to tabletop. Try not to let your hips dip, pressing your weight into your rooted heel. Perform 10 reps on each side.

 

Ari Sanchez Pilates Single Leg Stretch

 

Single Leg Stretch

Remain laying down on the floor. On an exhale, curl your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor – focus on keeping the back of your neck long and keeping space between your chin and chest. Exhale again, floating your knees into tabletop. Soften your shoulders as you extend your arms long toward your feet. On the exhale, feel the belly sink heavy as you draw one knee in, extending the opposite leg away from your body while your hands come to your ankle and shin. Make sure your spine and pelvis don’t move! Inhale again, and exhale to switch legs. That’s one rep! 

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