Video:How to Do Simple Pilates Stretcheswith Audrey Laurelton
Pilates stretches can fall into a range of difficulty levels. Watch this exercise video from About.com to learn some simple Pilates stretches for beginners trying to increase their flexibility.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Do Simple Pilates Stretches
Hi, I'm Audrey Laurelton, owner of Equilibrium Pilates in Montclair, NJ. I'm here for About.com today to show you how to do some simple Pilates stretches, beginning with spine stretch forward.
Spine Stretch Forward
You are going to open your legs a little bit wider than the mat you are sitting on. Extend your arms out in front of you at a 90 degree angle, toes flexed up to the ceiling. Take a big inhale and lift as tall as you can. Drop the chin to the chest and exhale forward, creating a nice c-shape in the spine, arms stretching out towards the mirror in front of you. Pull the belly in, roll up nice and tall. Squeeze the tush, lift tall, drop the chin and with an exhale stretch forward, keeping a nice c-shape in the belly as the arms reach out in front of you. Then draw the navel in, rolling up vertebra by vertebra.
Saw Pilates Stretch
Next, we'll do the saw. You want to stretch your arms out to the sides. Careful that the wrists don't go behind the shoulders. You are going to lift tall. Twist to the right. Keep the feet flexed as we exhale across the body and exhale, stretch long, pressing the back arm up towards the ceiling. Pull the navel in, roll up nice and tall, reaching to the ceiling through the crown of the head and then twist. Exhale as you go forward into the stretch, reaching past the baby toe. Pulling in, roll up really tall.
Mermaid Pilates Stretch
We'll bring the legs together and transition into the mermaid. Try to stack the legs right on top of one another. If that's not possible, you can let the top leg gently fall over the other one. If you can get your legs stacked, you are going to reach around and for your bottom ankle. Reach up and as we exhale over, we are going to stretch out those side muscles that just worked during our last exercise. Then, just sit up tall, swing the legs over, and make sure you do the other side.
Thank you for watching and for more information, go to: health.about.com.