Rescue Global Lifestyle Family Pilates 1440x420

Family Pilates

15 February 2021 - 5 min read

Build core strength and flexibility for the whole family with Jane Lefever, Pilates Instructor.

Arm raises with rotation

Maintain a healthy rotational movement in the spine. Work with your breath to ease tension in the body.

  • Standing tall with the head balanced over the ribs, and ribs over the pelvis. Lengthen up through the crown of the head. The arms rest beside the body.
  • Breathe out and raise the arms out to the sides and overhead. Breathe in to hold.
  • Breathe out and as you turn the head neck and torso to the right, allow the arms to float back down. Rotate back to the centre.
  • Repeat to the left.
  • Repeat x 3

 Squats

Mobilise the hips, knees and ankles and strengthen the glutes

  • Start in standing.
  • Maintain an appropriate level of connection to your centre. Breathe in and flex the hips, knees and ankles evenly. Maintain a neutral spine. The arms float forwards.
  • Breathe out and press into the feet to return to standing.
  • Repeat.

 Heel raises

Mobilise and strengthen the ankles and start to challenge your balance

  • Start in standing with the weight evenly distributed through the feet.
  • Breathe in to prepare and lengthen your spine.
  • Breathe out and roll through the feet to lift the heels off the floor to rise up on to the balls of your feet. Keep the spine stable.
  • Breathe in and lower the heels back down with control.

 Balance work

Challenge your balance

  • Start in standing with the spine in neutral and weight evenly distributed through the feet.
  • Breathe in to prepare, lengthen the spine.
  • Breathe out and float the first leg into a knee fold position.
  • Hold and then return the foot to the floor.
  • Alternate sides.
  • Add-on:
  • Challenge your balance further by floating the arms to the ceiling.

 Roll down to plank.

Mobilise the spine and strengthen the front of the body

  • From your neutral standing position, breathe in, lengthen the back of your neck and gently nod the head forwards.
  • Breathe out as you continue to roll your spine forwards and down, vertebra by vertebra, moving the upper back, mid-back and then the lower back. The hips and pelvis move last. Maintain your connection to your centre.
  • Breathe in at the bottom.
  • Breathe out, bend the knees if you need to, and bring the hands to the mat, walk them out until you are in a plank position.

Plank

An isometric hold to strengthen the front of the body

  • Hold the position with the shoulders over the hands. Do not let the hips drop. Lengthen the legs. Focus on your breath.
  • Alternative: come down to resting on the knees and forearms
  • Release back to child’s pose

Supermans

Strengthen the core, mobilise the shoulders and hips and challenge co-ordination

  • Start in the 4-point kneeling position with the hands under the shoulders, and the knees under the hips. The spine is in its neutral alignment and gently supported by a good abdominal connection.
  • Breathe in to prepare and breathe out slide one leg behind you, with the toes in contact with the floor and then lift it to hip height, simultaneously take the opposite arm away along the floor and then lift, ideally to shoulder height.  Maintain a still and stable spine as the limbs move. Breathe in and return the arm and leg back to the start position, maintaining neutral pelvis and spine. Repeat, alternating the starting arm and leg.

Dart

Strengthen the back of the body and open the front of the body – the perfect counter-balance for screen time!

  • Lie on your front. Align your pelvis and spine in neutral, your legs are hip width apart and parallel. Your arms are lengthened beside your body with the palms facing the ceiling.
  • Rest your forehead on the mat.
  • Breathe in to prepare.
  • Breathe out and extend your head, neck and chest of the mat. Your lower ribs remain in contact with the mat but you open your chest and shine your breastbone forwards. Lengthen your arms away, lift them slightly and turn the palms in to face your legs.
  • Breathe in to hold.
  • Breathe out to return to the start position.
  • Repeat.
  • Press back to child’s pose to release.

Toe taps

  • Mobilise the hips and strengthen the core
  • Lying on your back with the pelvis and spine in neutral.
  • Breathe in to prepare and on your out breath double knee fold the legs.
  • Breathe out and lower your right leg until the toe gently taps the floor and breathe in to return to the start position.  Maintain a connection with your centre throughout and keep the pelvis and spine still and stable.
  • Alternate sides – the slower your move the more work you will feel!
  • You can add to the challenge by working the arms raised towards the ceiling, palms facing each other.

100

Further strengthen the abdominals and build stamina

  • Lie on your back with your spine and pelvis in neutral. Legs are hip width apart and the knees are bent with the feet flat on the floor.
  • Breathe in to prepare and on your out breath double knee fold the legs.
  • You can work with the head resting down on the mat or breathe in to prepare and breathe out to curl up the head neck and lengthen the arms alongside the body, slightly lifted off the mat. To add more challenge, lengthen the legs away from you.
  • Breathe in and for count of 5 beat the arms 5 times.
  • Breathe out and for a count of 5 beat the arms 5 times.
  • Remain stable through the torso, gently drawing the tummy button in towards the spine.
  • Repeat for 5 to 10 breaths.
  • Return the head to the mat at any point in there is a feeling of strain in the front of the neck.
  • To finish lower the upper body to the mat and hug the knees into the chest to release.

Bicycle legs

Work in to the obliques

  • Lie on your back with your spine and pelvis in neutral. Legs are hip width apart and the knees are bent with the feet flat on the floor.
  • Breathe out and knee fold one leg at a time into the double knee fold position.
  • Maintain an appropriate level of connection to your centre throughout.
  • Breathe in to hold.
  • Breathe out and lengthen the right leg away from you, simultaneously gently draw the left knee in towards you.
  • Breathe in as the legs swap.
  • Repeat.

Roll-ups

Articulate the spine and strengthen the front of the body

  • Sit upright with legs lengthened out in front of you, hip width apart. Breathe in and raise the arms to the ceiling.
  • Breathe out and flex the spine into a C-curve; maintaining the curve, roll off the sit bones and roll down to the mat, sequentially. Breathe in and hold
  • Breathe out to raise the arms back up and then follow by nodding the chin and raising the head and shoulders of the mat, rolling the spine back up. Lengthen the C-Curved spine forwards over your legs, drawing your tummy in and having your arms in line with your ears. If you cannot roll back up then bring the legs in towards the torso, place the hands behind the thighs and rock up.
  • Re-stack the spine to its neutral start position and raise the arms to the ceiling.
  • Repeat.

Seated windmill arms

Stretch in to the sides of the body to release tension

  • Sit upright with your legs bent and the soles of the feet connected. Your feet are a good distance from the body, to allow space in the hip joints. Your pelvis and spine are in neutral. Fingertips rest on the mat either side of you.
  • Maintaining an appropriate level of connection to your centre throughout, breathe in and raise your right arm out to the side and overhead.
  • Breathe out as your reach up and over, leading with your head, sequentially bending your spine to he left. Allow your left arm to slide further along the mat as you bend.
  • Breathe in to the sides of the ribcage to hold.
  • Breathe out return the spine to vertical and lower the arm down by your side, as you do so raise the left arm up and start to reach up and over to the right leading with your head, sequentially bending your spine to he left. Allow your supporting arm to slide further along the mat as you bend.
  • Repeat alternating sides.

Cat/Extended cat

Mobilises the spine, hips and pelvis. Focus on the breath and movement working together.

  • Begin in 4-point kneeling with the hands under the shoulders, and the knees under the hips. The spine is in its neutral alignment and gently supported by a good abdominal connection.
  • Breathe in to prepare
  • Breathe out and roll your pelvis under, tucking your bottom underneath you and opening the front of the hip joints, as you do so your lower back will gently round and flex. Allow this flexion to come up all the way through your back and gently nod your head forwards creating an even balanced C-curve.
  • Breathe in wide to the lower ribcage to help maintain this lengthened C-curve.
  • Breathe out as you simultaneously roll the head and the pelvis back to the neutral starting position.
  • Repeat the movement – this time once you’ve returned the spine and pelvis to neutral move the spine into gentle extension, drawing the breastbone forwards and looking ahead.
  • Return back to neutral
  • Repeat the whole sequence

 Pigeon stretch

  • Begin in 4-point kneeling with the hands under the shoulders, and the knees under the hips. The spine is in its neutral alignment and gently supported by a good abdominal connection.
  • Bring the right knee forwards to behind the right wrist with the lower leg resting across the mat in front of the left thigh. The foot is flexed at the ankle.
  • Gently lengthen the left leg away behind you.
  • From here come down on to your forearms and fold your upper body forward to feel the stretch into the hip and thigh
  • Hold for 2 to 3 breaths.
  • Bring yourself gently up to resting on your hands again and as you press down into the hands to slowly lift the torso, draw the left leg back, simultaneously, un-cross the right leg and return to the start position.
  • Repeat on the second side.

Breath work

Finish with some breath work to boost concentration and focus

  • Sit in a comfortable position and rest the hands on the lower ribs. Gently breathe into the nose and feel the ribs expand into the hands. Pause. Breathe out through the mouth feeling the rib cage soften down. Pause.
  • Repeat the sequence.