For me there is nothing better than Pilates for creating strength, preventing injury and actually tightening the trouble spots using small and controlled movements to wake up the muscle fibres.
Pilate’s remains the most popular exercise discipline in the country and the great thing is everyone can do it! I have a 90 year old lady in one of my classes, practising alongside girls in their 20’s. I even once had a 100 year old gentlemen participate in a Pilates class (he had a newspaper clipping with him to prove his age!!) and through constant use of the core muscles these two were still managing exercises some much younger but sedentary individuals would find impossible.
The original Pilates is a set of 34 exercises (variations and additions have been introduced through the decades) and 10 minutes of Pilates a day will maintain body alignment and posture but you may reach the point where you wish to advance the key moves.
Many people will do this by working with equipment ranging from balls, bands and rollers to bigger structures such as the Reformer, barrel and Pilates chair. It is possible to purchase home versions of these but I for one definitely do not have the room for a Pilates Reformer.
Balanced Body, an American Pilates company, have created the Motr. A core reformer, able to replicate many of the Pilates moves found in the original reformer or mat Pilate’s sequences but presenting them on a Plastic roller with extension cords.
It’s easy to pack away, has a handy carry strap and conveniently fits behind the sofa.
The unstable nature of the Motr forces the core muscles to activate to support the lower back. The extension cords add resistance to body weight exercises and increase the use of the core in simple conditioning moves such as reverse rows, bicep curls or chest press.
It could be argued that instability = more functional movements, as in day to day activities who is going to be standing with both feet hip distance apart in a steady state? By testing the balance we imitate the body in motion.
The Motr retails at around $300 and is available through www.pilates.com.
To spice up your at home Pilates routine try these basic moves:
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