Archives for category: matwork

I am planning to create more Pilates posts on my blog. Including….

**Drumroll**

Videos! I have become pretty comfortable with creating Pilates and workout videos over the past year. I really enjoy it, which is the most important thing. I feel it is time to expand them to this blog. I am not one to make New Year resolutions, because I feel that if you truly want to change, you shouldn’t wait for an arbitrary date on a calendar. You should change when you are ready, whenever that moment may arise. Therefore, I wouldn’t call this a resolution but rather a moment in my life where I am feeling ready to focus a bit more on this, hopefully. I have also learned this past year to not set my expectations quite so high because life has a funny way of telling you what’s actually up. That being said, I am excited to share my first video here. This is not a whole class. Rather, one of my go-to mat moves. I will be including reformer and wundachair work as well. You may find yourself watching a video of a workout with my tiny humans, they like to pop in every now and again.

Without further ado, I present……

Matwork: Leg Pull Down

This will work your glutes, hamstrings, core, shoulder stabilizers, serratus anterior, spinal erectors, and pectorals. It is really a total body move, if done properly. An added benefit is the stretch you get in your calves and achilles tendons. Yummy yum yum! Stretching is one of my favorite things in the world.

Now on to the nitty gritty….

You will want to keep proper plank form and alignment. Wrists under shoulders. No sagging bellies or hips. A long line from the crown of your head to the tips of your toes, especially when lifting one leg. Think length as you reach your toes away from your body and rock back and forth. Breathing the entire time. I do tend to recheck my alignment after I bring both feet back on the mat, that is fine. It is good to be aware of what your body is doing at all times. If you need a moment to reposition yourself before transitioning onto the next leg, then take that moment. Relax your shoulders, pull the belly in, make sure your hips are even, etc. You are brining the mind/body connection to your workout.

I finish this with a little upstretch. I lowered my heels for a deeper hamstring and calf stretch. Then, always one to sneak in a pinch of core work, walk my hands back to my feet and have one more nice stretch. Roll up to standing one vertebrae at a time.

 

 

Voila! The first Fit MommaBoom video on this blog. I do post many on Instagram as well, so please follow me there. And be sure to subscribe to this blog for updates in your email!

Until next time…..stay sweaty!

 

I have been participating in MarchMATness challenge this month. I haven’t missed a day. Matwork got me started with Pilates. I  went to a class with my mom when I was in high school. I fell in love instantly. It actually took me a while to be convinced about the amazingness of the Chair and Reformer. I was really loyal to my Matwork. I now understand why they are all wonderful. But Mat was where it all began for me. This month has been nothing short of fun. Returning to things I haven’t done in a while, mostly because I was pregnant.

Yesterday’s challenge, The Hip Twist, humbled me a bit. I was really struggling to do it on the mat. My shoulders are so tight. Lately, the rounded over nursing position has been taking its tole on me. 6 months baby! Not to mention the 39 weeks of pregnancy before that.

My core is not exactly where it used to be. It is getting there. It is close, but I still have some rebuilding to do. I was 3 years post baby before I got pregnant with Alexander. I had THREE years of rebuilding under my belt. I was at my strongest. Now, I only have 6 months, so I must cut myself a little slack.

I have been running for nearly 10 years. I can actually recall when I started getting into it. Not the exact date, but the timeframe. In a month or two it will be 10 years. I wasn’t as hardcore into it as I am now when I began. I do know, if you run, you’re a runner. It doesn’t matter how, when, where, you do it. If you move your body into a run, you’re a runner. With that though comes tight hipflexors for me. I stretch them, but my hips are just in their own world. I also am still recovering from the separated pelvis my lovely last born gave me. It doesn’t bother me too much, but I can tell there are imbalances at times.

All of that together, The Hip Twist is a challenge for me. I was getting so frustrated. Then I thought about doing The Teaser on my WundaChair. Surely, I could turn this into a Hip Twist modification.

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I did. It worked so much better for me. I wasn’t pulling into my shoulders. I wasn’t holding my breath. I wasn’t straining my arms, trying to figure out how to get them to stretch behind me the way I wanted them. I could move my hips in small circles while keeping my low belly pulled in and engaged. It worked! I added two medium springs, for support. I wasn’t looking to press the pedal down. Although, with time I could see turning this into a whole little series. Teaser into Hip Twists! Food for thought for the next coming weeks for me.

That is what I love about Pilates. In one moment I can make a small change that will entirely challenge me in a new way. I can make myself shake just by changing a spring. At the same time, adding a spring can mean added support and assistance when I need it. There is no shame in modification. You must continually work to perfect your form. You cannot perfect your form if you are flat out struggling to even move in the slightest amount. It is better to work gradually towards building your strength, balance, and control, rather than trying to muscle through something with your shoulders in your ears and your belly popping out.

When I was all done with my modified Hip Twists I hopped off my chair. I walked around to the other end. My back facing the pedal. I rolled down, walked my hands out in front of me. I brought my feet onto the pedal. I then did 15 pushups without blinking. So while my Hip Twists may be a work in progress, my pushups are on point. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Pilates can help to highlight the former and correct the latter.