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Pilates Practitioner 101: Spring Return

Updated on January 30, 2017

Ready for More Pilates

After a month off to rest my sprained right knee, (and two weeks to recover from a spring cold), I’ve returned back to Pilates and Hydro Pilates this week. And the timing could’ve been more perfect, since my back started to acted up from being stiff and inactive. I’ve also returning to my home Pilates practice in the living room, and sometimes in my bedroom, temporarily, this weekend. Since I didn’t get a chance to do what I wanted this month of modifying my routines and adding new ones, I’ll be starting that routine next week to kickoff summer countdown in May.

The Scissors Exercise is Challenging on the mat for any Beginner Pilates Practitioner

Pilates break poll

Have you ever taken a break from Pilates, due to illness, injury or weather?

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Returning to Pilates class

For this week’s Pilates class, it was back to the average sized class, which was less than 10. Instead of the usual rings, we did the original mat routines by warming up with the pelvic tilts. We started with the 100, the single straight leg stretch, the double leg stretch, the criss cross, the straight leg stretch, and the sidekick series on both sides with the bicycle/backpedal, the side sashay and reverse side sashays, the double leg lower lifts and the double leg circle. We also did some new Pilates exercises I don’t know the name of, (and I would get back to you on their names in my next hub in two weeks), but we did the scissors on the mat, (something I didn’t differently and wrong for home practice). We also did the two-pulse point flex exercises, the 100 on our stomachs, swimming, and a couple of planks (bent elbow and extended elbow) along with the side plank, the child’s pose, the arm-leg reach with a single leg circle, and Pilates stance to finish the routine.

For Hydro-Pilates, the Plank is a Great way to Stretch in the Water, Heated or Cold, Both Sides

Splashing Around in Hydro Pilates

For my 7th and 8th Hydro Pilates sessions, we’ve warmed up with some body twists and side stretches in the cold water of the pool, which really should’ve been warmed up. We’ve did some squats with straight and bent legs and some press and pull side stretches on both sides. We’ve also did the plank and the one-legged plank, when we raise one leg and later do a one leg circle in another set of exercises, followed by foot circles. We’ve done this also on the other side. We’ve also did arm circles and the side plank to do some sone bicycle/backpedal exercises and the side sashay/reverse sashay set of exercises. One one exercise we’ve did was the one-bent arm plank with one arm by leaning in and out from the wall. We’ve also did the tree pose, in which i chose to use the wall, since I knew I would be unsteady with my healing right sprained knee would give me difficult to balance. We’ve also did the Warrior I/Airplane pose, the Warrior 2/Reverse Warrior Pose and another set of the press and pull stretch pose, and the chair squat pose in the water, too. To finish out the session, we’ve did the mermaid side stretch and the spinal twist and the pilates stance.

Yoga strap poll

Would you use a yoga strap for Pilates stretches?

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To Modify Your Exercises, use Yoga Straps as a Prop for Those Stretches

Consider a Yoga Strap for Your Pilates Workouts

If you have a yoga strap, also known as the Yoga Belt, you can use them for stretches in your Pilates workouts, when you can't reach certain places with your arms. Like the Yoga blocks, it helps you feel more comfortable and enable you to perform exercises with correct form and alignment. Without straining your other body parts--neck and shoulders in particular--the Belt focuses on enabling you to perform certain stretches correctly. It can also help you achieve certain positions, extend and lengthen your reach in different positions, such as reaching for your feet, or holding your hands behind your back, like in the Double Leg Kick. When we don't need the elastic quality of the band, the Yoga Belts can be used to replace the Elastic Bands in the more static stretches. If you don't have one, you can use the belt from your bathrobe, as long as it's sturdy enough.

Yoga Straps are Inexpensive to buy for the Perfect Stretch in Pilates

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    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Good for you, Cat. Thanks my friend. It still does hurt a tiny bit--but I still have medicine when I need it for the rest of the month. Yikes. Revision surgery? I'm glad it's working out for you. xx

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 

      3 years ago from Los Angeles

      It's a big "ouch!" in my budget; however, it has allowed me to continue working on my feet and postpone revision surgery. My instructor knows how to correctly guide me with my limitations/weaknesses and shows me how to work out w/ bands and stretches at home. Glad you're feeling better:)

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Cat, thanks so much for commenting. I wish I can do Pilates expensive, but it's so expensive for those sessions. Maybe in the future. Hydro Pilates are challenging for sure. My knee is feeling better, not exactly 100% but close enough for now.

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 

      3 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hello Kristen, I really enjoy reading your hubs! Since I have trouble getting up and down from the floor, I have been working with an instructor for over 3 years in the Pilates studio using the reformer, Cadillac, and wunda chair. I started w/ physical therapy there after a failed hip replacement and continue to reap the benefits of core strength, flexibility, stamina, alignment, and balance. I still have physical limitations and need revision surgery, but these wonderful exercises keep me going. Love your tips and writing about hydro-Pilates too since pool exercises are SO great! All the best on your knee recovery:)

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Yikes! I'll be careful. I still have plenty of medicine for this month to take before my classes or if it acts up. I'm glad it was just sore and sprained and not serious like a knee operation. xx

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      3 years ago from England

      Yes be careful, my aunt had an op on her leg many years ago, it did take a while to get better, she hobbled around on crutches for what seemed ages! lol!

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Nell for your kind words. Good luck with your exercise, Nell. I'm taking it slow with my knee, until it's 100% better.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      3 years ago from England

      Glad you have recovered, I really need to get on with some exercise as my waist is expanding! lol! good luck with it, nell

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Alicia. My knee is about 90% better as I'm taking things slow and nice and easy. It's a great workout for your core muscles.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm glad that you've recovered enough to return to Pilates, Kristen. It certainly sounds like good exercise!

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      I'm glad I've made you smile. Anytime you want to compare notes on yoga poses, please let me know.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 

      3 years ago from Minnesota

      You are welcome, Kristen. I had to laugh because it has been some time since I have been called a "fellow yogi". :)

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Susie, thanks for commenting (I'm so glad it got approved last night). So glad you're a fellow yogi and visiting my friend.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 

      3 years ago from Minnesota

      I have never gotten into a routine with Pilates.

      But, yoga is a part of my everyday life, Kristen.

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hi Billy. Yes it was. Some yoga poses are also Pilates exercises. Way to go Bill!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I didn't know the plank was a pilates exercise. We just started doing it last week...that and yoga....feels great. :)

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