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Pilates Practitioner 101: Summer Cutback

Updated on January 5, 2017
Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe has been practicing Pilates at her local gym for 2.5 years, and even at home during the winter season.

Taking a Brief Breather for Summer

During this summer season, due to health reasons from my weight loss and energy levels, including a flare up in my back and right knee, which started last week, I’m going to cut back on my Hydro Pilates classes, until I’m stronger and have regained more weight. I’m going to do one Hydro Pilates class per week, (sometimes twice a week, every other week), and keep my Pilates class, while I’ll try to do my home practice on the off days, when I’m feeling better and strong enough, still three times a week. If it’s nasty weather outside like 50% of rain with or without thunder, or a summer heatwave, it would automatically cancel the class out for me to walk to the gym. At some point, I might take a week up to a month off of Hydro Pilates and resume it in late summer/early fall.

Rotating the Magic Circle on the mat is a Great chest exercise to warm up in Pilates Class at Home or at the gym

Summer fun in Pilates Class

To kick off my summer Pilates session last week, we’ve returned to our regular mat routines with the rings again for another full Pilates routine. We’ve warmed up with our arms over in a stretch and did some new leg extension exercises, including a spine stretch by tilting our legs to the right and to the left. We’ve also did a bunch of exercises with the rings:the 100 on our back and stomachs and with the ring, the chest lift with and without rotation, the criss-cross, the roll-ups and mini peel-ups, the single and double leg stretch, the single straight leg stretch. We’ve also added 2 swimming cycles, the sidekick series with the hot potato, the double leg lowers and single leg lowers for top and bottom leg, the side sashay/reverse side sashay, the bicycle and backpedal, and the single and double leg circles to our routine. We’ve also did some planks with pulsing our feet with bent and extended arm, side plank with the mermaid stretch, the swan and swan prep, some downward dog and cat-cows, and finished it with the Pilates stance.

Full speed ahead for my next summer Pilates session, this week, we’ve returned to our regular mat routines with the rings. We’ve warmed up with our arms over in a stretch and did the angel wings, and did some new leg extension exercises, including a spine stretch by tilting our legs to the right and to the left with the rings between our thighs. We’ve also did a bunch of exercises with the rings:the 100 on our stomachs and with the ring, the chest lift with and without rotation, the criss-cross, the roll-ups and mini peel-ups, the single and double leg stretch, the single straight leg stretch. We’ve also added 2 swimming cycles, the sidekick series with the hot potato, the double leg lowers and raises, the side sashay/reverse side sashay, the bicycle and backpedal, and the single and double leg circles to our routine. We’ve also did some planks with pulsing our feet with bent and extended arm, side plank, some downward dog and cat-cows, and finished it with the Pilates stance.

Resistance Bands Comes with an arm Strap to Hold Onto, While You'll Pull and Resist for Each Stretch

Resistance Bands are Great for any Level you Need to Resist in Your Routines and Build Tone Muscles

Making Rippling Waves in Hydro Pilates

For my 20th Hydro Pilates session, we’ve warmed up with some body twists and side stretches in the cold water of the pool and used the resistance band for our props for the whole workout routine. We’ve did 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. We’ve also did the plank and the one-legged plank by pulsing our feet in the water, and also did it with one leg circle on both sides. We’ve also did arm circles and the side plank to do some some bicycle/backpedal exercises and the side sashay/reverse sashays. The two new exercise we've done were the knee pull-ups and the pendulum. We’ve also did the tree pose, in which I was able to balance pretty steady on my right leg without using the pool edge. We did use the steps of the pool to do the reverse plank with one leg and one arm, too. We’ve also did the Warrior stretches with Warrior 3, 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.

For my 21st Hydro Pilates session, we’ve warmed up with some body twists and side stretches in the cold water of the pool. We’ve did some knee raises, leg lifts, squats with straight and bent legs a new exercise when we pulled our arms back in a lunge for both sides, and some press and pull side stretches on both sides, knee pull-ups, and the hinge stretch. We’ve also did the plank and the one-legged plank by pulsing our feet in the water, and also did it with one leg circles on both sides. We’ve also did arm circles and the side plank to do some some bicycle/backpedal exercises and the side sashay/reverse sashays. The two new exercises we've done were the reverse plank against the pool with standing on our toes and extended our legs. We’ve also did the tree pose, in which I was able to balance on my right leg. We’ve also did the Warrior stretches with Warrior 3, a 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.

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    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm sorry that your injuries have flared up, Kristen. Some of the exercises that you mention have interesting names!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Alicia. Yes they do. Some of them are also yoga poses as well. There's got to be some history behind those Pilates exercises.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I haven't really tried Pilates as I am right now mastering tai chi. It looks interesting.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Pilates is a great workout to tone your muscle and work on balance. As for tai chi, it looks interesting as well and pricy at my gym.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 23 months ago from USA

      I hope you recover well. Sometimes it's good to scale back.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Flourish. I'm hanging in there. I'll be posting a new Pilates hub later this week.

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