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  vivapilates@bigpond.com

  1. HEAD ON A SQUISHY BALL: revives and releases muscles and fascia of the face, neck, skull and shoulders. Great for clients who come into the studio with a stiff neck, tight shoulders or a headache. 

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. 

  1. SIDE LYING STRETCH AND KICK: a full body exercise to strengthen and stretch the spiral lines and front and back superficial lines.

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.


  1. FULL BODY STRETCH ON THE SWISS BALL: strengthens and stretches the front and back superficial lines, and the front deep line.


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.


  1. FLEXION AND EXTENSION OVER THE ROLLER: revives all the fascial lines. Rolling any part of the body releases restrictions and rehydrates the fascia. This exercise opens the chest and stretches the hip flexors.


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.  


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.


  1. KNEELING SIDE BENDING, ROTATION & ARCHER ON THE CADILLAC: stretches and strengthens the spiral, functional, arm and lateral lines. Kneeling takes the stretch down the side of the legs.



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.


  1. REFORMER + ARC SIDE STRETCH: stretches the deep front, arm and functional lines and strengthens and stretches the lateral lines.  This exercise may also increase lung capacity and contribute to thoracic mobility.

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.


  1. HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING: jumping, kicking, jumpboard and other forms of plyometric exercise keeps the fascia resilient.  All the fascial lines are targeted in a dynamic way.


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


  1. FULL BODY FASCIA STRETCH: stretches the superficial front and back lines and the deep back line, and may also release restrictions in the SIJ.

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.


  1. FOOT RELEASE ON PINKY BALL:  stimulates pressure points on the feet and plantar fascia to release tension and alleviate problems such as plantar fasciitis.


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.