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Pilates Practitioner 101: Spring Break for Weeks 25-26

Updated on December 30, 2016
Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe has been practicing Pilates at her local gym for 3.5 years, and even at home during the winter season.

Sports injury poll

Have you ever sprained a knee during any exercise class?

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Taking a Brief Spring Break

Two weeks ago, I’ve sprained my knee during yoga class. Since then, I’ve stopped during my home practice for Pilates, due to throbbing knee pain and nausea with headaches. My doctor have ordered me to rest my knee and taking anti-inflammatory medicines, until I’m feeling better. I hope to return to my home practice and gym sessions in 1.5 weeks to resume my Pilates and Hydro Pilates classes. When I attended my Hydro Pilates class last week, I thought the heated water in the catch pool would help out. Sadly, I still felt nausea and the pain in my knee. So my next Pilates hub will be around the end of this month.

Hopefully, I'll go back to creating my own workouts again with a variety of modified and new exercises to even out the balance for the rest of April and into May. I hope to have better balance with my knees for the planks and other balancing exercises.

Doing the Side Plank is a Tricky Balancing Exercise for Arms and Legs for Stretching

Renewed Spring Arrival of Pilates Class

For last week’s Pilates class, our class size was back to normal and we went back to the ring, once again. This time, we’ve gotten down to business on our backs and warmed up with a pelvic tilt and some stretches. As usual, we’ve did the 100 in a couple of ways with our legs up in the air, lowered, table top, on our stomach, and with the ring for two routines and various levels for our feet. We’ve did the plank and side plank with extended or straight elbow variations, and also by raising and lowering our legs. We also did the single and double leg stretch with the ring, along with the double leg circle, the side kick series with double leg lower lifts, the corkscrew, the side sashay and reverse side sashay, hot potato, the bicycle/backpedal exercise. We’ve learned a few new exercises to the routine: the single and double toe tap and the pigeon pose to close out the routine.

During this week’s Pilates session, we had a pretty average-sized class on that spring afternoon. We had two new Pilates practitioners and gotten down to business. On our backs, we did the Arms Over and Angel Wings warm-up exercises with squeezing the ring and then rotating it in our hands. Then we did the 100 with the ring on our backs, two variations of the single straight leg stretch, double straight leg stretch, the side kick series with the single leg and double leg circles, the side sashays and bicycles, hot potato, single and double leg taps and single and double side leg lowers, the 100 on our stomachs, swimming, side planks, bent elbow and straight arm planks, shoulder bridges with and without a raised leg, a "V" sit exercise when we lifted and raised our arms and legs in the air, and finished it with the side stretches to close it out with the wide-legged stance.

Doing the One-leg Circle With a Stretch Band is a Great Way to Modify and Vary Your Pilates Routines

Resistance band poll

Have you used the resistance band for your Pilates routine?

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Stretch it out With the Resistance Band

In Pilates class, the resistance band can help you with stretching exercises, especially since you can't reach behind your back. They're great to work for your upper body workouts, which focuses on the biceps, triceps, shoulders and core. You can use your resistance band for these Pilates exercises to your workout to give it some variety and modification: one leg circle, Pilates leg bend and stretch, Pilates kick back, and the frog.

If you want to buy an exercise band, there's two different kinds to look for--regular bands, that look like big ribbons, and bands that are made out of tubing. The tubes are usually cinched in the middle and have handles. The type of bands depends on what type of exercise you're using it for. They're portable, versatile, and low-tech pieces of equipment one can have, since they provide adjustable resistance for stretch and strength exercises.

You should buy one that meets your needs. Here's a couple of things that you should consider on buying your own resistance band:

  1. Make sure it's long enough. The rule of thumb is to get one that's 8 inches within your height.
  2. Most of them are made out of latex. If you're allergic to latex, buy the latex-free ones.
  3. Get the right resistance level right for you. They're often sold in packs with different resistance levels. For Pilates, you should aim for the medium to medium-heavy range.
  4. The tubing bands are offered in heavier weights. If you want a lot of resistance, tubing is the way to go.
  5. Many are sold with resistance band lesson plans or DVDs (like the Beginner Pilates Kits). Look for these, if you're new to stretch band workouts.
  6. Some latex bands are sold with a detachable handle option. This is great for simulating Pilates Reformer workouts.

The Mermaid Sretch is Great to do on Land and in Water to Cool Down in Your Routines

Taking Another Splash in Hydro Pilates

For my 5th Hydro Pilates session, we warmed up with the usual body twists and leg lounges in the water. We did some shoulders rolls and shrugs and did some side stretches. We worked on the Pilates stance and did some squats in the water. For balance, we did the tree pose, the chair pose, Warrior III (a new pose) and knee pull ups (another new one), along what the planks and side plank exercises in the water with the side sashays, the bicycles, and finished with the mermaid stretch and another side stretch.

For my 6th Hydro Pilates session, we warmed up with the same side stretches and squats in the water. We balanced on our left, right, and both feet . We did some knee pull ups, the tree pose, Warrior II, a couple of plank and side plank exercises with the side sashays, bicycles, mermaid stretch, spinal twists, and wide-legged stance.


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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Good for you Benny. Yoga has more to do with breathing and meditation, while Pilates is more on balancing and control your breathing. Two different exercise methods to tone your core muscles.

    • Benny01 profile image

      Ijeoma Peter 2 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria

      I have been doing some yoga exercises, thanks to the hubs I 've been reading here on hubages, and I think there is no much difference between yoga and pilate.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Aww thanks for stopping by Bill. No worries on the pronunciation on Pilates.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This reminded me that I mispronounced pilates for years....I was pronouncing it like pirates. LOL Bev still laughs when she thinks about the day someone corrected me and how I turned red with embarrassment.