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The Top 5 Pilates Exercises to Get You Started!

Breathing: Although simple - If you breath correctly, you will find it easy to relax and provide adequete oxygene to your muscles. You will notice the difference when you breathe correctly as it will enhance your overall experience. Breathing is a major part of all pilates exercises. You simply breathe in through your nose for a count of five, and out through your mouth for a count of 5, with a shushing sound. Make the breaths into short, rhythmic bursts - in,in,in,in,in and shush,shush,shush,shush,shush. Never rush your breathing and don't go overboard to the point that you feel light headed and fall over.

Toe Lifts: This will help you with core balance. Core balance works in harmony with the alignment of your feet supporting your whole body. You will be amazed at how much strength your toes possess to balance your body. This movement strengthens the muscles on the top of your feet and increases the blood flow into your toes. Poor circulation to your feet can lead to stiff muscles and problems that affect the rest of your body.

This is a very simple exercise designed to improve circulation and enhance your awareness of balance. Start standing with your feet together inlign with your body. Hold your head straight and keep your arms rested at your sides. Start simply by raising your right foot toes slowly up as far as they will go and then back down again. Do this a couple of times alternating feet. Then lift up the toes of both feet at the same time pressing the metatarsal bones at the base of your toes strongly and evenly into the floor. ** Remember - Do not roll your feet inward or outward while performing the exercise. And do not lean back as you lift ** You should be breathing in as you lift, and breathing out as you lower your toes. Try closing your eyes as you exhale and lower your toes. Keep your eyes closed for five repetitions and you will notice an improvement in your sense of balance.

Finger Flicks: This exercise improves the circulation in your arms and hands. The increased blood flow into the fingertips helps to flush out toxins and reduce arthritis or stiffness in the joints. It's also a good forearm workout and is excellent for relieving aching elbows. Start standing with your feet together inlign with your body. Hold your hands down in front of you below your waist and make loose fists by rolling up your fingers with your thumb on top. In this exercise your arms should always be fully extended as they move in a circular motion into six main positions. 1. Down and in front. Hands facing inwards. 2.

Raised to shoulder height and in front. Hands facing inward 3. Stretched straight up. Hands facing inward. 4. Stretched out to the sides. Hands facing upwards. 5. Lowered to 45 degrees. Hands facing down.

6. Lowered to sides. Hands facing inward. The idea is to strongly flick your fingers open continually throughout all the positions. Do eight flicks while you stand in position 1 and four flicks as you move to position 2. Do eight flicks while standing in position 2 and four flicks as you move into position 3. Continue this pattern. ** Remember - Keep your wrists still and your arms straight ** The Hundred: This is a classic pilates exercise so named because it takes a count of 100 to complete. This exercise strengthens core abdominal muscles and expands the chest and ribcage.


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