The festive season is fully upon us now! Life gets busy and we don’t have time to workout or take care of ourselves. Here I have put together your 12 days of Pilates schedule to countdown to Christmas and honour your body by staying strong and fit!
More often than not people complain of their muscles and their body feeling too tight, stiff and sore- including me! Unless you spend a great deal of time stretching (and who really has all this spare time?) then this is unlikely to resolve. Most workouts involve you using your muscles, contracting them, and therefore the muscles will tighten and remain slightly tightened if we do not lengthen them afterwards.
Stretching workouts also make us feel good, they stimulate your parasympathetic system- this is the functions opposite to your adrenaline release, so they create calmness, peacefulness, and relaxation. The element of core exercise here allows you to sweat a little and feel energised from strength building. So try this quick workout to enjoy strength and feel relaxed with stretching- the best of both worlds!
Hello! I’m trying to be a little more regular with your pilates workout videos so here is the latest one! I hope you’re enjoying them, and using them?! I’d love to hear from you if you are! So the latest one here is suitable for all levels of fitness, and we try to incorporate some stretching exercises along with strengthening at the same time.
Spikey balls- AKA Massage balls, are a great Pilates prop but very often underused and misunderstood! They can be a great addition to your workout for adding extra challenge, increasing your body awareness, or releasing tight muscles. Let’s discuss these points further:
With all the New Year health kicks starting off this month we will find many people taking up new sports, gym memberships and activities; or those who are already in a training plan may be pushing harder than normal. The most common, inconvenient, and often debilitating aspect of these new regimes is muscle cramps. Muscle cramps can occur any time, any place, at any part of your training.
Muscle cramps can occur for a wide range of reasons:
A topic that everyone who works out discusses at some point! Stretching is a fundamental part of any exercise routine, any injury prevention programme and for anyone who wants to take care of their body.
Muscles are contractile tissues, which means they are designed to contract and tighten in order to allow your body to function, however, if they are not provided with stretching techniques to counteract this the tissues remain with a degree of tightness. Over time this can become greater and greater.
Another favourite area for tightening up and causing us problems! The hip joint is a large, complex joint but it is actually often a tight joint, surrounded by the gluteals and smaller rotator muscles that can shorten and restrict the hip even more.
These surrounding muscles are used so much for pelvic stability, which becomes essential for all sports, not least in running. They support the impact from the ground and if well developed, they can reduce the load through the smaller joints like the knee and ankle. However, because they are working so hard they tighten so easily!
Try these 5 hip opening stretches to loosen the hips:
Everybody hates them. Everybody feels theirs could be more flexible. Everybody is probably right unfortunately! The hamstring muscles are notorious for being tight, because of their location crossing both the hip and knee joints.
In order to fully stretch them you must have the hip and knee fully extended, and hold your stretch! This is a rare position to be in day-to-day and almost all sports and activities involve flexing these joints, so the hamstrings rarely experience full stretch.
Stretching is so important for easing tight muscles and sore spots, and the upper body is especially prone to this because we spend so much of the day sitting, crouched forwards, and yes slouching too! Even if you have good posture, most activities and sports all involve rounding the shoulders and leaning forwards- all the positions that stress the chest, neck and shoulders.
Try these 5 stretches to relieve the upper back, chest, neck and shoulders: