YouYoga

YOGA THAT LETS YOU BE YOU

Pilates isn’t just for the Core July 31, 2012

Darrell Duane-Wray, Certifited Pilates Teacher

 
 
 
Last Saturday I challenged my Chair Pilates class at YouYoga to get off the chair, and to try a few series of standing movements.   The goal  was to focus on developing some upper body strength, as well as improving posture.  The students practiced 3 individual, standing, upper body movements which have been outlined below.  These movements were done with the aid of a wall to help increase body awareness, along with proper body alignment.  As the student’s body awareness grows,  these exercises can be done without the wall to develop greater strength in the upper body, and core.  The beauty of these movements is they require little to, no equipment…..just your willingness and effort to move, and connect with your own body.
  
 
Zip-up  (2 lb weights if desired)
 
  • Standing up straight (shoulders, hips, knees and toes in alignment) back against the wall,  or if more advanced away from the wall.
  • Arms down at your sides.
  • Inhale and begin by, bending your elbows out to the side as you draw your hands up the mid-line of your torso.  Plams face in-ward, and fingers tips face each other.
  • Exhale and lower the hands and arms slowly, resisting gravity as you go.
  • As you gain body awarness, add 2lb weights to increase intensity.
  • Repeat 8 to 10 reps.
 
 
  Bicep Curl (2 lb weights if desired)
 
  • Standing in the same position as the Zip Up.
  • Arms down at your side, this time palms facing forward.
  • Bend the arms at the elbows, as you inhale lift the palms up towards the shoulders, and exhale as you bring them back down.
  • As you gain body awarness, add 2lb weights to increase intensity.
  • Repeat 8 to 10 reps. 

 

Wall Push 

  • Standing up straight facing the wall.
  • Extend your arms straight onto the wall from your shoulders, palms sealed to wall.
  • Walking your feet back to add more resistance.
  • Inhale, engage your core.
  • Exhale, bend your arms allowing elbows to go out to sides, and lower your body towards the wall.
  • Inhale, push back up to your starting position.
  • Repeat 8 to 10 reps.
     
     

Most students participating in Chair Pilates classes are unable to share in a traditional mat Pilates practice; however, at YouYoga we don’t want that to limit our students growth!  So, there are many ways to adapt a practice to help meet each students individual needs.  These standing arm movements are just a few examples of how we can help improve your upper body strength, while at the same time bringing more stability to your body’s core.  Remember, Pilates begins in the core and moves out to the rest of the body giving you increased awareness, strength and balance.  We look forward to seeing in Chair Pilates soon!

 

Helping you connect in Mind and Body,

Darrell-Duane Wray, Certified Pilates Teacher

 

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