Pilates Shanghai Blog

A blog about Pilates in Shanghai and China

Holiday Mat Exercises

December 14, 2015 — Derrick Cope

As previously mentioned, I am sending some exercises to practice during Christmas so that you don't become a Christmas Grinch!

The are generally pretty easy but should keep you mobile and happy through the Holiday Season.
The routine should take around 40 minutes.
In the Christmas spirit of giving, if you send me a picture of you doing Pilates over the holiday, I will give you a free reformer class!

Mat Exercises

  1. Dead Bugs -Inhale and Exhale with the pelvic movement. Forward and backward as well as side to side. Finish in the center.
  2. Bridging -Exhale as you curl up to the brigde. Inhale and pause.
  3. Shoulder Organization -Inhale to roll shoulder in and up. Exhale to roll them back.
  4. Single Leg Dropout -Exhale and allow one leg to lower toward the ground. Keep the pelvis stable.
  5. Dead Bugs -Exhale to touch one foot to the ground. Maintain the pelvis stable.
  6. Assisted Rollup -Exhale to curl the head, neck, and shoulders off the ground. Push into the hands to sit up.
  7. Single Leg Stretch -Exhale to pull the bent leg into the chest and stretch the straight leg to the ground. Inhale to change legs keeping the pelvis stable.
  8. Roll Up -Inhale to lift arms up. Exhale to roll to a forward sitting position. Inhale straighten the spine. Exhale to return to supine.
  9. Single Leg Circle -Exhale to circle leg in and away. Inhale to return out and up. Reverse directions.
  10. The Hundreds -Exhale to roll up head, neck, and shoulders, reach arms forward. Pump arms 5 times with inhale and exhale. Return to supine after 10 sets. note:the traditional exercise is with straight legs.
  11. Side Lying -Inhale as the knee comes forward exhale as it goes back. Keep the torso quiet.
  12. Side Plank -With your elbow beneath your shoulder, exhale to lift into side plank.
  13. Mermaid -Inhale to elongate and exhale to side bend into the rainbow stretch.
  14. Swan Prep -Lying prone, inhale to curl up the head neck and shoulders.
  15. Single Leg Kick -Inhale to bend the knee and flex the foot. Exhale to straighten the leg and lift the thigh. Maintain the pelvis stable.
  16. Swan Dive I -Exhale to curl straightening the arms. The spine should be in a uniform arc, eyes level.
  17. Double Leg Kick -Inhale to bend both legs. Exhale to straighten arms and leg while lifting chest.
  18. Scissor -Exhale to rollover, balance on shoulders. Scissor legs symmetrically.
  19. Standing Roll Down -Exhale roll down toward toes. Pause for an inhale before returning to vertical.

Have Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
See you in class.

Tags: pilates, shanghai-pilates, reformer, christmas-pilates, synapse-pilates

Sitting Well

August 16, 2015 — Derrick Cope

Summer is drawing to a close and Fall is approaching. Many of you will be spending long hours at your desks.There has been a lot of research on sitting recently and the only conclusion is that there is no good way to sit. If you do have to sit then it is important to sit with good alignment.

The pelvis has three bones: the ilium, the ischium, and the pubis.The spine connects into the back of the two ilium. If we want the spine to be straight the pelvis needs to be vertical.

When sitting, the sitbones should be aimed down at the ground.

When the pelvis is tilted the spine will too arched. When the pelvis is tilted backward the spine will be rounded. When the sitbones are aimed down the pelvis and the spine can be vertical.
A simple exercise you can do in your chair is to tilt the pelvis and round the spine to wake up the muscles and improve posture..

Pilates class has lots of exercises that practice sitting.

Shortbox series on the reformer is a good way to practice sitting well.

Tags: pilates, posture, sitting