Pilates and these amazing Red Ropes brought strength and center back to my life and back after surgery a few week ago. After consultation with your doctor, Pilates can be a valuable part of your PT routine and is becoming more widely used for increasing range of motion, developing core strength and balance in surgical rehab. For me, I felt safe and secure in the ropes, the weight was off my back and I could focus on building strength to support my healing surgical wounds. Joseph Pilate developed the technique to assist with range of motion that the body struggled against due to gravity. In WW1, physical therapy was not as it is today. Imagine if he had at his disposal our modern techniques and equipment to further enhance his vision of stretch health for the mind, body and soul…- RR
A basic routine you can do it at home (doctor permitted)
1. The Elephant
“This exercise specifically targets the hamstrings and calves. Some abdominals are working as well because you’re pulling your legs. It’s also great for someone who wants to improve their flexibility and mobility,” Ostrowska says. Depending on your flexibility, you can keep your entire hands down or your fingertips touching the floor. Ostrowska recommends using yoga blocks (or books) if you’re not able to touch the floor.
2. The Clam
This Pilates move may sound gentle and easy, but don’t be fooled by its innocuous-sounding name. While lunges, squats and leg raises aren’t to be skipped, adding the clam to our lower-body workouts will bring the heat to your lower half. “This movement strengthens the gluteus medius, which enables a steady walking gait,” Ostrowska says. Remember form is key to get the maximum calorie burn from this exercise. And once you’re ready for more resistance, you can place a band or tie a towel around your thighs.
“Even though the 100s are an abdominals exercise, the lats and triceps are engaged while your muscles are beating rapidly. Your inner thighs and quads are also working as you squeeze your legs together,” Ostrowska says. This classic Pilates move makes a great exercise for improving your cardio endurance. Pumping your arms up and down rapidly five counts while inhaling and five counts while exhaling trains your core and lungs to work harder. “Additionally, for those that need extra athletic training, it’s possible to pump your arms and inhaling for five counts and exhaling seven to eight counts. This is a great way to improve lung capacity,” Ostrowska says.
4. Swan with T
If you’re familiar with the superman pose, the swan with T engages some of the same muscles but packs an extra punch to your shoulders and arms. Pro tip: Ostrowska says you should keep your eyes looking down, then you lift your chest as much as you can. Your neck shouldn’t be arched, which is what most people tend to do. “The neck is the extension of your spine and it should move with it. As you peel yourself away from the floor, your sternum should be coming up as well. This is a back exercise,” Ostrowska explains
5. The Snake
This pose is one of the most challenging Pilates exercises, according to Ostrowska, because there is a lot of spinal articulation and shifting your weight from your arms to your feet. “This exercise is reminiscent of the Chaturunga in yoga, where the triceps are the emphasis. But with the snake, you’re working your shoulders, back and oblique muscles,” Ostrowska says.