I’m sure you are already doing regular workouts at home. This post will help with your Pilates workouts at home.
Our upended lives have created new daily routines. To me these new routines are a reminder that each person has to take responsibility for their own health and wellness. Time to figure out what you CAN do for yourself (instead of can’t do).
You can control what you eat, how to stay safe and when to exercise. Let’s use this “safe at home” time to make exercise a natural automatic habit. Maybe you’re at just 1x a week workout. Good! After 3 weeks let’s make it 2x a week. You get the idea. And there’s a Big Yes to: Can you do a workout every day? But, maybe a couple of those workouts include more stretching.
Bottom line, make a small commitment that is successful and then build upon on it. The tips in this post will help you get the most out of your Pilates workouts at home by pointing out common mistakes to watch for.
These are the 3 most common mistakes in the Pilates form.
Keeping neutral in an abdominal curl,
Keeping shoulders down,
Hand/wrist placement on all fours.
These 3 things have something in common, they require you to control your body. Pilates exercise is specifically for teaching or training the body how to perform more efficiently.
This post will cover the #1 & #2. Next post will cover #3.
Neutral position takes a while to master. Neutral position does not feel “natural” because the body takes the easiest (or laziest) way to move, always.
What happens when you lie on your back?
Lie down with legs and arms stretched out. Your back will pop off the floor in an exaggerated arch. Bring the knees up… and the body will flatten the low back to carry the load, while the ribcage will still lift off the floor.
Just because this automatically happens doesn’t mean it’s supposed to. Especially during your workout routine.
Fix common mistake #1:
When on your back in a Pilates workout keep neutral spine position by practicing it with feet on floor and knees bent.
Tailbone stays in contact with floor and back of ribcage stays in contact with floor. There should be a small space under the low back. Practice holding this while you lift your head and shoulders off the floor. Master this and the entire ab series will give you the abs you’ve been dreaming of. Video of this is on my instagram Thrashy50
Fix common mistake #2
Shoulders are not earrings! Keep your neck visible by practicing holding the shoulders down during your Pilates workout.
It’s easy with this teaching exercise. Place your fingers on the wall right in front of your shoulders, move shoulders up then press them down 5-10 seconds. Now move fingers up on wall at eye level, shoulders up then down, hold 5-10 seconds.
Now raise fingers above head (shouldn’t hurt). This is harder, but doable. Shoulders up then down and hold again.
You might notice as the fingers go higher that the ribcage will start to push forward making the back arch, Avoid this! Keep breathing (Pilates breathing) & keep front ribs pulled in and deliberately hold shoulders down as you inhale. Video on instagram Thrashy50
If the shoulders are up then the neck muscles are worked and shortened. This can cause neck pain and headaches. Use the muscles around and under the shoulder blade and this will connect the shoulder girdle to the abdominal wall of muscles.
Shoulders down literally means “working from your core”. The shoulder girdle will become more stable and your abs will work harder and therefore get stronger. The hardest position to keep the shoulders down is any exercise where the arms raise higher than the shoulders.
So how do you fix common mistakes? Practice.
Pick one of the above common mistakes and make it a project. Every time you do your Pilates workout consciously make your body attempt to improve it. You might think that’s enough, not yet! Try to incorporate it into 2 or 3 other Pilates exercises to improve your project. That means spend 5 minutes on an exercise that forces you to work on the common mistake you selected.
I guarantee that this method done gradually and moderately will improve common mistakes you might make and turn it into proper Pilates technique.