My journey to overall health and wellness... Thanks for coming along!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Without it, I probably would end up much like this guy on the solid sheet of black ice that is the walk between my front door and the train. My core has been working overtime lately! If you are like me, and live in a place where you are basically ice skating around during the winter (or you are just prone to falling down- which, let's face it, is like me too), Pilates can help keep you on your feet.

I love to incorporate balance exercises into my classes. Here is my personal fav...

The Quadruped

I like this one, because it's a great way to focus in on the transverse abdominals that wrap all the way around your core like a band. In order to maintain balance and keep your spine and pelvis neutral, you must tighten that band- as if someone is tightening a corset around your waist. Let's break it down...

1. Come onto all fours with your knees directly underneath your hips and your wrists underneath your shoulders.
2. Keep your back nice and flat like a table top and pull your navel in away from the floor and tighten all the muscles around your waist hugging them in towards your spine.
3. Without changing anything in the torso, lift your RIGHT arm and LEFT leg off the floor, reaching them in opposite directions and balance.
4. Repeat with the other arm and leg.

** Important things to remember:
- Keep pressing your spine up in between your shoulder blades. Your blades should feel like they are moving away from each other on your back, rather than pulling together.
- Spread your fingers nice and wide and press into all your knuckles to avoid too much strain on the wrist.
- Always keep both hip bones pointing down towards to floor. Don't let the hip of the extended leg turn out and lift higher.
- Don't hang your head! Keep your gaze about a foot in front of you on the floor.
- If it's too much with both an arm and a leg up at first... just do one at a time and work up to it.

bottom image by Jay Sullivan Photographer

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