Four Preparatory Pilates Exercises
The Pilates technique believes that the body and mind have to work in unison in order to execute functional and wholesome bodily movements. The mind should be able to control and direct the body effectively. The mind works as a guide to the body’s efficient movement.
The mind must be aware of the body and its functions and capabilities. The body must be prepared for the mind’s work. These four preparatory Pilates exercises will help prepare the body for more advanced workouts.
1. Lie down. Start by lying down with your face towards the ceiling. Arms must be on your sides and extended. Palms must face the mat. Knees must be bent at an angle less than 45 degrees. Feet must be flat on the floor. Spine must be relaxed and properly extended.
2. Relax. Rest your head; loosen up your facial muscles and neck. Extend your shoulders properly by extending them or letting them fall on the mat. Allow your back to extend fully and flat on the mat. Loosen up your stomach muscles. Let your spine extend fully and stretch on the mat. Ease up your waist, your thighs, legs, and feet. Let go of all the tension inflicted on your bones and muscles.
3. Visualize. Imagine that your body is totally relaxed. The muscles in your forehead are all loosened up and fell on the sides. Your cheekbones are eased and drooped. Your jaws are loose and at ease. Your shoulders are settled and eased. Make your spine settle down on the mat to ease the tautness. Slowly inhale and fill your ribcage on the back, the sides, and the front with air. Imagine that your ribcage is expanding. As your lungs are filled with air, each one of your vertebrae is easing up and extending to lengthen the whole spine. Your visualization must be a perfectly aligned body.
4. Materialize. Make sure that your visualization of a perfectly aligned body can be recreated when you stand upright. Your body must align steadily but relaxed and never taut.
Make 3 to 6 repetitions of the visualization step to be able to reproduce the body’s ideal position when standing upright. The body must be able to create muscle memory of the ideal alignment of your body at all times.
Pilates is a great exercise at any age. Start with these simple routines as you workyour way to more challenging steps. Pilates is not only great physically but mentally as well. From the most basic to the more advanced workouts, the mind is in a relaxed and uncluttered state. The basics mentioned can always be used before an advanced routine to put the brain at a calm condition to prepare for the main routines.