Monday, 4 March 2013

Monday Moves: Back of Steel

Like everyone else, I too am pressed for time. All the time. 
Despite the fact that I may end up wasting time by the end of the day, by either binging or watching shows, I am always in search for quick-fix exercises that require minimal indulgence of time and effort but yield maximum results. 

It's irrational of me to demand such unholy (and to some, impossible) results. But as Paulo Coelho has said:

'When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it'

The universe did conspire, and I found pilates.
Pilates are body strengthenng exercises that besides weight loss also contribute to making your core muscles strong for better coordination and balance.
As part of the pilates series, I shall be narrating exercises for beginners and then gradually work towards advanced exercises. The development shall be from top to toe.
The monday today focuses on the back.

Beginners: Breast Stroke - Prep

Place a mat on the floor and lie straight facing down. Pull your legs together and your arms on either side of your body. Fold your arms to place your elbows on the ground with your palms facing down and in line with your ears. 
Inhale, and widen your shoulders and pull in your abdominal muscles towards your belly button.
Exhale, and pull up your head and chest from the floor, while keeping your elbows, feet and chest pushed to the ground. 
Inhale and hold position as you count to 3.
Exhale and then return to starting position.
This is 1 rep.
Work up to 5 - 8 reps.


Intermediate: Breast Stroke - Letter 'T'

Lie face down on the floor with your feet together and hands spread perpendicular to the body.
Raise your head and chest off the floor slowly, with feet planted firmly on the ground, facing down.
As you inhale, lift up your arms off the floor with plams facing downwards.
As you exhale, pull your arms back (your palms still facing downwards) towards your hips, to align them with your body, while at the same time lifting your head and chest even higher. 
Remember to keep your waist and feet set on the floor and not lift them.
This is 1 rep.
Bring to starting position and work up to 5 - 8 reps.

woman exercising upper back

Advanced: Swan Dive

This is an advanced form of pilates and should only be done once you've mastered the beginner and intermediate stage. 
Before you begin to do the swan dive, be sure to warm up to prevent muscle tearing or pulling.
Lie facedown on the floor with your arms stretching straight over your head and in line with your body, and your toes touching the ground.
Inhale, and lift your arms and toes off the ground at the same time. Imagine that your arms and legs are being pulled in opposite directions, and apply pressure accordingly. 
Exhale as you count up to 5.
Inhale and bring your arms back behind you (like described in the above exercise) on your sides. Pull in your palm so that they face your body.
Exhale as you try to rach your toes with your arms. Count up to 5.
Bring arms to initial position and your whole body to ground.
This is one rep.
Work up to 5 - 8 reps.


Phew! I need to do these more.

*gets up with crackling back and sore arms*

Good luck for a back of steel to show off to the man of steel!

there's a new steel in town , mister

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