Stretching for Vitality

Posted by Marjolein Brugman on Monday, March 7, 2016

In today's chaotic, stress-filled world, a little exercise goes a long way to adding joy and vitality to your day. If you do nothing else, at least find 10 minutes to slowly stretch your whole body. Stretch to your full extension, relax in that position by exhaling into the stretch and then stretch a little more.

Relax before you begin, in order to allow your body to align naturally and to prevent the injury that comes from elongating tense muscles.

Stretch slowly with continuous movement and no jerkiness or pulling. The key is to exhale into the stretch and imagine the muscle lengthening.

If you have a Pilates Performer, then do the following exercises:

Leg Lowers and Elephant will actively elongate the hamstrings at the back of your legs

Church Stretch and the other Upper Body Stretches on the Upper Body DVD will actively elongate the muscles of the shoulders and chest

Eve's Lunge will actively stretch the hip flexors, hamstrings and calves

The Standing Russian Split series and all the variations seen on the Box and Pole DVD will actively stretch the entire inner, outer, upper and lower, front and back of the legs

The Down Stretch as seen on the Intermediate and Level 2 DVD will actively stretch the hips

Here are 3 more that are not on the DVD's:

Monkey Stretch

Sit on the platform with your bottom in the middle and both feet on the foot bar, in the center and parallel and place both hands on the foot bar outside of the feet, reaching forward. Your back is curved forward.

Inhale and gently push your feet away from the bar to straighten your legs as you reach forward continually holding onto the bar. Straighten as far as you can then bend your knees and return the platform. Inhale and exhale as you repeat the same movement this time trying to straighten the legs a little further. Repeat this stretch 5 times.

Upper Back Stretch

Sit on the platform with your bottom in the middle and both feet on the foot bar, in the center and parallel and place both hands on the foot bar outside of the feet, reaching forward. Your back is curved forward.

Inhale and gently push your feet away from the bar, attempting to straighten your legs as you reach forward continually holding onto the bar. Straighten as far as you can then exhale and pull on the bar with both hands feeling the stretch in your upper back as you pull your upper back backwards. Inhale and relax, exhale and pull on the bar with your hands further stretching your upper back. Repeat these 5 times then bend your knees and return the platform. 

Piriformis Stretch

Sit on the platform with your bottom in the middle and your right foot on the foot bar, in the center and parallel. Straighten your right leg, bend your left leg and place your left foot on your right knee. 

Place both hands on the shoulder pads behind you.

Inhale and gently bend your right leg allowing the platform to begin to return. As your right leg bends and the platform comes in exhale and feel the stretch in your left buttock. Inhale and straighten the right leg, exhale and bend the knee to feel more of a stretch in the left buttock. You may enhance the stretch by using your left hand to push gently on your left knee. Repeat this 5 times on each side.

We are offering you two ways to get our Free AeroPilates Stretching Sequence & Exercise System. First, you can Become a member now and dowload it from your member page or you can go to our Free Offers store page and place them in your cart. You will not be charged at checkout. 


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