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If you are looking a for a quick pilates reference, take a look at this pilates animation. This a quick & easy, clearly explained diagram of the pilates mat exercise: Classical Pilates for Beginners:
The One Hundred. Pilates exercises focus on breathing, alignments of the spine & build strong torso muscles.
* Zip and hollow (engage the Powerhouse).
* Tuck your chin; and roll your head up far enough to see your belly. Keep the front of your neck long.
* Right knee to chest, left knee to chest.
* Stretch your arms long to your sides.
* Bounce a ball under your hands by moving your arms up and down about 7 inches!
* Breathe in for five pumps.
* Breathe out for five pumps!
* Repeat for a total of 10 full breathes (100 pumps).
Classic Pilates Cueing:
* Pump 2,3,4,5
* Pump 2,3,4,5
* Breathe in and pump five.
* Breathe out and pump five.
* Zip up and keep your eyes on the belly!
Repetitions: 100 pumps, 10 full breaths.
* To warm up.
* To engage the concentration.
* To engage the powerhouse.
* To co-ordinate the breathe with the movement.
* Glue your spine to the mat.
* Roll your shoulder blades away from your ears.
* Engage your gluteals, and press your inner thighs together.
Don't let an injury or weakness stop you! There is always a modification, so take your time and find the right one for you. If in doubt, seek advice!
* Shoulder injury - pump softly, or just lengthen your arms away.
* Weak neck - Rest it on a pillow, and keep your knees bent.
* Weak lower back - Keep your knees bent, and if necessary keep your feet on the ground.
* Weak hip joints - Keep your knees bent, and if necessary keep your feet on the ground.