Here are nine of my favourite movements which you can add to your daily Pilates or fitness routine. They work the whole body to hydrate and massage soft tissue, allowing changes and healing to take place.
Enjoy these exercises. Play with them, teach them, and let me know what you think. As always, take care of your body first and only do moves that are safe and effective. Thanks to Kath Gannon and Jenelle Pike for being such inspiring models. Cheers, Geri Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org
INSTRUCTIONS: Lie supine, eyes closed, heaviest part of the head on a squishy ball. • Using minimal effort roll the head from side to side. • Then, gently make small circles with the head on the ball, feeling tension leaving the head, neck, scalp, face and shoulders.
INSTRUCTIONS: Side support or side lying position, both legs extended. • With top leg in line with the hip, and top arm in line with the shoulder, swing limbs in opposite directions allowing the torso to move as well. • Start small and slowly increase the ROM.
INSTRUCTIONS: Sit with pelvis slightly forward on top of ball, feet apart, hands behind head. • Roll the ball forward as the body extends backward over ball. • Straighten legs and flex forward, rolling ball back and reaching arms toward feet. • Roll pelvis forward to return to sitting position. • Starting with the feet against a wall makes this exercise easier to teach.
INSTRUCTIONS: Lie supine with roller below scapula, hands behind head, pelvis on floor and legs bent. • Extend back over roller, keeping pelvis down. • Stay extended and lift pelvis off floor. • Remain extended to return pelvis to floor. • Close elbows and flex forward.
ADDITIONAL FASCIAL RELEASE ON ROLLER:
Gluts: Seated on roller. • Roll across base of pelvis.
Quads: Prone, thighs on roller, hands on floor. • Roll quads between pelvis and knees.
Hamstrings: Supine, thighs on roller, hands on floor. • Roll hamstrings from pelvis to knees.
Calves: Supine, calves on roller, buttocks lifted, hands on floor. • Roll between knees and ankles.
Side bending: Kneel with side to PTB and feet off edge, hold PTB with straight arm, torso upright, other arm extended to side. • Side bend torso toward the PTB, pressing hip to opposite direction.
Rotation: Kneel facing PTB with one arm on bar and other reaching toward bar. • Rotate arm and chest in line with PTB, extend chest and turn head to follow arm.
Archer: Kneel facing PTB with one arm on bar and other reaching under bar. • Pull the elbow back rotating chest, keep eyes fixed on the PTB.
INSTRUCTIONS: Lie sideways over the arc with foot on footbar. • Press carriage away as top arm extends over head. • The foot position can be varied. • Arm circles can be added in the extended position.
Heel taps: Stand with feet parallel and arms at sides. • Reach one heel and opposite arm forward. • Quickly change to the other arm and foot, and continue.
Spinning and twisting: Stand with feet parallel, arms and knees bent. • Twist by moving arms to get chest rotating, then add pelvis.
Ski Jumping: Stand holding poles, jump forward and back, one leg forward, other back, and side to side
Stand, hands on solid surface, spine extended, buttocks further back than feet. • Press pelvis forward to a standing plank position, heels remain on floor. Keep spine extended to lift heels off floor, taking body forward. • Reach heels back to floor, press buttocks back and flex spine.
Stand with the ball under one foot. • Roll the foot on the ball until you feel pain, tenderness, or restriction. • Do a combination of pumping the foot into the ball, pressing down, and rolling over the sensitive areas. • Repeat on the other foot. • Release each foot twice, discovering if there is less sensitivity the second time, or if the tenderness is in different areas.