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Pilates Practitioner 101: Summer Breakthrough for Weeks 41-42

Updated on January 9, 2017
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.

Regaining Some Power

The past two weeks, I’ve continued my Pilates and Hydro Pilates classes, just to get stronger and build up stamina. I’m still feeling a bit tired with my ongoing summer cold and will try to resume my home practice this fall, hopefully during Labor Day Weekend. I’m taking things slow and at my own pace and still hope to pick up momentum soon.

Give Yourself a Challenge in Pilates With Push-ups on the Exercise Ball

Late Summer Fun in Pilates class

For last week’s Pilates session, the return of the big medicine balls came back. Last fall was last time they were used in practice. The only difference for this time around, I had better control of the ball, when it had slipped from my grip last time. We’ve done a shorter version of the 100 with the balls—it’s called the 50—and laid on our backs on our mats. Then we’ve progressed to do the single straight leg and double leg stretch, the knee pulls-ups and roll-ups, the regular 100, the single leg stretch and some push-ups with the Criss-Cross. With the balls between our ankles, we’ve rotated them with our feet and then went in the other direction, which was quite challenging. We’ve also done the plank on the ball, and the sidekick series with the double leg lowers, side sashays and reverse side sashays, bicycle and backpedal, single and double leg circles, and the hot potatoes. Sans balls, we’ve also did some side planks on bent and extended elbows and one swimming cycle, and one-leg planks, too. We’ve finished it with cat-cows and Pilates stance.

For this week’s Pilates session, we had a new prop in our routines: the black resistance bands. We’ve warmed up on our backs with the arms over stretch and proceeded to do the 100 on our backs. With the bands, we did the 100 on our backs, the Criss-Cross, the single and double leg stretches with the straight leg stretch. Without it, we’ve done a couple of planks and side planks on the mat, the same sidekick series of the double leg lowers, the sashays, the bicycle/backpedal in the air, single and double leg lowers, and the hot potatoes. We did the single and double leg stretch with the single straight leg stretch, one swimming cycle, the knee pull-ups and roll-ups, the scissors in the air, and the torso twist. We’ve finished with the neck tucks, the cat-cow, down dog, mermaid stretch, and the Pilates stance.

Rippling Waves in Hydro Pilates

After a week off, I’ve returned to my 27th Hydro Pilates class. We’ve warmed up with some body twists and side stretches with leg and knee raises. We also squatted in the pool, did one press and pull side stretch, and leaned forward for the hinge stretch. We’ve also used the wall to do the plank, the one-legged plank with one-leg circles. We’ve done some knee raises, leg lifts, squats with straight and bent legs, and some press and pull side stretches on both sides, and the hinge stretch. On the steps, we’ve done some planks and reverse planks with raising and lowering our legs, even one-armed. We’ve included the sidekick series with the backpedal/bicycle, both versions of the side sashays, chair squats, knee pull-ups. As for the tree pose, I’ve continued to use the wall for support to balance. We’ve finished with the warrior pose sequence on both sides, the mermaid stretch, spinal twist and Pilates stance.

For my 28th Hydro Pilates session, we’ve warmed up with some breathing exercises with the leg/foot raises, body twists and side stretches. Then we squatted, and have done knee pull-ups, and press-and-pull stretches with the hinge reach. We’ve used the wall for the planks, both regular and one-armed, and did the side planks with both legs and one leg with one leg circles. We’ve done some kicks with straight and bent legs on both sides. We’ve done the side kick series with the sashays, bicycle/backpedal, leg raises/lowers, and pulsed our feet in the cold water. We’ve also We’ve did some squats with straight and bent legs and did the knee pull-ups, the tree pose, some more knee kicks and raises. To finish out that session, we’ve cooled down with the warrior pose sequences, the mermaid stretch, spinal twist, and Pilates stance.

For my 29th Hydro Pilates session, we’ve warmed up with the leg/foot raises on both sides with some body twists and side stretches. We’ve done the wide stance to do the squats in the pool, followed by a press and press side stretch and a hinge stretch. We’ve used the wall to do the planks, both one-legged and one-armed, with one-leg circles. We’ve done the chair squat, after we’ve finished the tree pose and sidekick series with the leg lowers, side sashays and bicycle/backpedal. We’ve done a couple of knee pull-ups on both sides with the mermaid stretch and spinal twist. To cap off the session, we’ve did the warrior one and two poses and ended with the Pilates stance.

For today’s 30th Hydro Pilates session, we’ve started our class with the leg and foot raises on both sides to warm up our bodies. After some body twists and side stretches, we’ve proceeded to do the wide stance for squats and a press-and-pull side stretch with a hinge stretch. Back to the wall, we’ve used the bent and extended elbow planks, both with one-legged and one-armed on both sides, with one leg circles. Once again, we’ve done the tree pose for balancing and started the sidekick series with the side leg lowers, the sashays ad bicycle/backpedal in the water. After a couple of knee pull-ups on both sides, we’ve did the mermaid stretch and the spinal twist, concluding with the warrior one and two poses and Pilates stance.


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    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Ezzly for stopping by. Go for it. I'll be returning back to the gym next month.

    • ezzly profile image


      3 years ago

      fantastic, I really need to get some exercise !

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Yes it is for sure!

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 

      4 years ago

      sure strong stuff

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Linda! I so appreciate your kind words. :-)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Way to go, Kristen! I was working out as I read your hub...if we don't use it we are going to lose it! :)

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Flourish. It helped me with back pain and so much more. Now to hopefully get back to home practice...

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      I admire your dedication to exercise, Kristen.

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Alicia. I do. I hope to go back to home practice in the fall, when I'm feeling like it. My Pilates instructor likes to mix things up from time to time. :-)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm amazed by the number of exercises that you do, Kristen! It sounds like you have a great routine.


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