Set up:Lie on your back, knees and feet bent and hip width apart and arms extended above your chest with ball in hands. Double knee fold (see exercise number 2) Place ball underneath your calves and relax your legs over the ball.
Action: Breath in to prepare the body. Breathe out and rock onto one side of the pelvis aiming to keep your knees together and avoid sheering them. Return to the middle initiating with your centre and repeat on the other side. Repeat this action 6 or 8 times on either side. Move slowly and enjoy the movement and rest for the legs.
Checkpoints: This exercise is fairly easy just be sure not to roll to far. In Pilates “less is more” and your challenge is to maintain good joint alignment throughout movement. Keep your chest grounded on both sides.
Benefits: Encourages oblique strength and spinal rotation. With the feet being above the heart it offers some circulation benefits whilst allowing some rest for the feet and legs.
Set up: Start on hands and knees.
Action: Slide one leg at a time behind you and tuck your toes arriving in a plank. Twist your feet in the direction that you want to face. The top leg is in front of the bottom leg. Reach your top arm out reaching for the ceiling. Hold this for 10,20 or 30 seconds and move over to the other side. Repeat 3 on each side. Add frequent rests in between each repetition where necessary.
Checkpoints: Check the alignment of your lower back when passing through your plank before your side plank. You want to avoid dropping your hips to low. Aim to keep pelvis, chest and head in line. An easier variation is t0 lower the bottom knee to the mat for support.
Benefits include:Promotes shoulder, spinal and pelvic stability. Improved core and upper body strength. Promotes good body awareness making you mindful of your posture.