Pilates is an amazing form of exercise that was developed by Joseph Pilates more than 60 years ago. Pilates classes can be found in just about any YMCA, health club and community center. Millions of people all over the world experience the many benefits of doing Pilates every day. Some of these benefits include:
Improved core strength
Improved posture awareness
Improved ability to breathe fully and deeply
Improved ability to relax and focus
There are hundreds of mat and equipment exercises to choose from in the Pilates repertoire. Each exercise has a one or more benefit. When you go to a Pilates class at ABS Pilates in Columbus, Ohio, you should know that I take great care in choosing the exercises that will benefit you the most. For example, if you are a runner, I will choose exercises to improve your hip flexibility, leg strength and core strength. If you have a history of lower back pain because you sit for extensive periods of time for your profession, then I will choose exercises that get you out of that flexed position and work and stretch you in the opposite direction.
While I love almost every Pilates exercise for the benefits it offers, I have several favorite Pilates exercises that I go to more often then others.
HERE ARE AMANDA B. SMITH’S TOP 5 FAVORITE PILATES EXERCISES….
The Hundred…..I love the Hundred because it really heats up the body. It improves your lung capacity. It prepares you for the exercises that are coming. And it is a killer abdominal exercise.
Roll Ups…..I usually include Roll Ups in every class and session I teach at ABS Pilates because it improves abdominal strength and spinal flexibility. I have also witnessed how many of us lose the ability to sit up from a lying down position. We will often catapult ourselves out of bed in the morning. The roll up helps us regain or maintain the strength and flexibility needed to get up in the morning with “Grace and Beauty”.
Flight…..Flight is an exercise I use at ABS Pilates of Columbus Ohio when I am working with individuals who sit a lot during the day (90% of my clientele). It is designed to strengthen the back muscles, open the chest and shoulders and reverse that slumped position.
Push Up……I love, love, love this exercise because it is a full body exercise. I call it the “I will make sure I can get off the commode by myself when I am 90 years-old” exercise.
Sidelying Leg Series…..This series of exercises include side leg lift, leg circles and front kick. I will use this series of exercises in many of my classes because of how well it strengthens the gluteus medius. This is a muscle that is weak in many of us and we don’t even know it. This muscle is needed to help stabilize the pelvis when we run, walk and climb stairs. When it is weak, it will often cause hip bursitis, knee pain and foot problems.
These are my top 5 “go to” Pilates exercises. While I will often use one or all of the above exercises in the classes and sessions I teach at ABS Pilates in Columbus, Ohio, I make sure I choose the appropriate exercises to meet the needs of the client who is in front of me at that moment.
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