Archives for category: Pilates Series

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


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.


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.

I have heard that each pregnancy is often very different and unique. I have to admit, I stubbornly thought that was ridiculous until I experienced it myself. Regardless of the fact that I am having another boy, this pregnancy has been a lot different. I won’t go into each detail though. I do want to focus on one super cool aspect.

I felt this baby, Alexander, move MUCH earlier than I ever felt Jacky move. I am 18 weeks pregnant and I have been feeling him wiggling around in there for weeks now. It started off very faint. To the point where I wasn’t even convinced that is what I was feeling. As the days passed I began to understand exactly what I was feeling again. Now I feel him move every day, multiple times a day!

One of the coolest things I can do is actually make him move with some Pilates. It all started with a prenatal mat series I did on my vacation.

It starts with a series of half roll downs with bent legs. Roll halfway down, then all the way back up. You continue to build on that. You move onto rolling halfway down, holding, then tiny pulses up. The next part of the series is rolling halfway down, holding, then twisting to the right (obliques!) for several counts. Coming through center, hold, twist left for several counts, come center, roll up. Repeat.

Immediately after that you lie down for bridging. Once I articulate up into a bridge the little man moves to the very front of my lower abdomen. I can actually feel a little ball of a baby. I can feel him shifting around as an entire unit in there! It becomes so pronounced that my husband was able to feel the little baby ball (as I call it) as well! It never fails. I have done this series multiple times now and I can always count on him to wiggle his way to the front of my body and say hello to me!

It is no secret that I love fitness (um my blog name!) So when I find something even extra cool about it, I am overjoyed. I would do that series regardless of finding baby Alex in there, but the added bonus is a few moments of utter connection with my sweet unborn son. I love having this body awareness that Pilates (and proper fitness) provides you. Sometimes it feels like I am walking through this world with an extra sense. Or a more intense sense of feeling. Not emotional feelings, but a the actual physical sense of feeling within my own body and person.

Prenatal fitness is so important to me. Not just for myself. I advocate it to all women I know. I am probably annoying to those who don’t enjoy working out (which that concept is beyond my ability to comprehend, haha!) I truly feeling that staying active is vital to a long and healthy life. It gave me a nice healthy pregnancy the first time around. I didn’t know what I was doing then as well as I do now, with my added education in this field, but I found classes and videos. I searched for the answers then. The day I went into labor (past my due date!) I attended my prenatal swim class. I know every body is different and some women are severely restricted while pregnant, but if you are not, get up and move. Groove, dance, run, walk, find a class, do some planks, swim, just move. It is good for you. It is good for baby. And maybe, just maybe, your little one will poke to the front of your belly and say “hey momma! Thanks for moving and grooving this morning!”

On that note I will go up to my Pilates room and move myself. Tonight, we have plans for a swim in our pool. On top of chasing around a 3 year old boy! Moving is all I do. Ha!

I have been itching to start a bit of a series on here. I want to share my favorite moves and pieces of equipment/accessories. I have been putting it off for various reasons. First it was that we were in the middle of a move. Then I was busy unpacking and starting my summer hours at the studio. NOW my husband has begun remodeling my Pilates room/in home studio. Despite the fact that my Pilates stuff is currently shoved into a small space in our guest bedroom that has a queen bed, rocking chair, a desk, a dip station, and a weight bench, I am going to give this a shot. I figured I could start with one that I photographed while living in our previous home. Sigh, it is not the gorgeous in home Pilates studio that is being created right now, but it will do. I am hoping that after my room is done these posts will get a little more photo heavy.

So that brings us to this first move I want to talk about. It is a favorite of mine. I do it on a daily basis. The High Bridge.


You can see how old this photo is by my charming decor in the background! Anyway, I love it. Why? It opens everything up. I initially started doing it for digestion. I was looking for moves that specifically help with digestion and this was one of them. I found that it took me time to be able to hold it higher and longer.

How do I get into a high bridge?

  1. I always warm up. I never start out trying to just go into this position. You can and likely will hurt your back. You also may not find the flexibility you are looking for. Roll downs, regular bridging, swan on the chair, jackknife, and  shoulder stand are just a few of the things I do to warm up. I usually wait until the end of my work out to go into this. So my entire body is nice and warm.
  2. I will always do a few Mat or Chair Bridges immediately before extending up.  If I am doing a Mat Bridge, I lay flat on my back. Feet in hook laying position (flat on the floor) Arms are long at my side. I inhale to prepare and on my exhale I curl my hipbones toward my belly button as I articulate up one vertebrae at a time, stopping at about my bra line-ish area. I will pull my belly deep towards my spine, inhale, exhale and articulate back down. I will do several of those. Sometimes I will do variations, pulses at the top, lower/lift one leg. The point being, my spine is being warmed up for the grand finale.
  3. When I am ready to open myself to this position I take a few deep breaths. Melting my shoulders away from my ears. Feet are still flat on the floor. Sometimes I will scooch them in closer to my butt. I inhale and exhale starting to curl up, I bend my arms and place my palms near the side of my head. I continue to curl up, striving to place even weight on my hands and feet. I take it slow. Seeing how my back is moving. On a great day I get nice and high. At this point in my practice, it is likely higher than this photo above.
  4. I am focusing on breathing, pulling my belly deep towards my spine, keeping my weight even between hands and feet, and letting my heart and front of my body really open and elongate in this position. I squeeze deep into my hamstrings and glutes. My arms are engaged while getting a stretch. I relax my head and neck, trying to avoid drawing tension into them.
  5. By now I have been able to add some variations. I can come into a high toe, so heels lifted. I can also extend one leg up at a time. That takes tremendous core strength and pelvic stability. It is something you have to build on as you master this position.
  6. To get out, I take in a deep breath and on my exhale I slowly start to articulate down, being mindful that the tension is not in my neck. Shoulders come down first, my arms slowly release their strength and as my spine articulates down I bring my arms back towards my sides. I melt into the mat. I will always cross my legs and hug them close to my chest. Letting my spine settle and taking a moment to enjoy the end of my favorite pose.

I love this position because it is a challenge. It takes practice and strength to do it. You have to be open in your mind and body in order to achieve the height and openness you are looking for. There are days where I barely get up at all. I can feel how tight my body, spine, and in many instances my mind, are that day at that moment. I have to clear my head, I have to allow myself to relax. When I am in the pose and I want to stay nice and lifted I have to surrender myself to the position. I have to think about my breath and where I am feeling the weight and stretch of my body. I cannot be thinking about anything else that is bothering me. If I do, I will not find the work I want to find in this position. Sometimes I count. I want to eventually be able to hold it for a minute. I can currently get to 30.  It feels amazing to melt back down into the mat. There is a sort of high that comes with this position. When I melt down and let my back settle, rocking side to side, knees close to my chest, I just get that moment of relaxation. I always turn to this position when my digestion is bothering me. That usually means I take 10-20 minutes to do a mini workout, even if I worked out earlier. Since I am so focused on warming up my spine for this challenging position.

I hope that if you are working on your high bridge that you find the joy in it that I do. If you haven’t tried this yet be open to the idea of it. Take your time. Warm up and build on this position one step at a time. Remember, if you are not a certified Pilates or fitness instructor it is a good idea to work with one before attempting advanced and challenging moves. We will help you better understand the movement and we will help to keep you safe.