The body you keep.
Exercise is about way more than how toned our muscles are; it’s an awesome way to invest in ourselves, says pilates expert Joanne Bezzina.
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When we take time to breathe and move we have the opportunity to appreciate our strengths and what our body can do for us.
Movement is an opportunity to check in with how you are feeling that day.
These Pilates exercises deepen the relationship we have with ourselves by encouraging us to make a connection between our mind and body. Treat yourself to 10 minutes of the movements below to connect, and feel fierce for the rest of your day.
Double Leg Stretch
Lie on your back and draw your knees into your chest. Place your hands on your shins. Keep your lower back long and your hips weighted on the floor.
Use the connection between your arms and legs to fire up your centre, like a party popper ready to pop!
Breathe out and reach your arms long by your ears and your legs long out in front of you. Keep your upper body curled forward with the tips of your shoulder blades just off the ground. Your lower back needs to remain gently connected to the ground — the lower your legs go, the trickier it is to maintain this.
Inhale and return back to the start position, and at this point deepen your upper body curl.
Bust out 8-10 reps of this move!
Side to Side
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet in the air – this is table-top position. Reach your arms out away from you with your palms down and your chest nice and open. Feel as though your collarbones are melting off your body.
Exhale and create a twist through your waist, rolling onto the side of your pelvis — your legs will follow by drifting to one side, but keep your upper body connected to the ground.
As you inhale, use your expanding ribs to return you to the start position. Notice the way your body feels before rotating to the other side.
Aim for 6-8 reps on each side!
Kneel with your legs in line with your hips and your hands in line with your shoulders. Lengthen your spine from the crown of your head all the way to your tail. Feel the support that each limb gives your body.
Take a few breaths in the most 3D way you can — filling your whole body up like a balloon.
As you exhale, slide your right hand forward and your left leg back along the floor while keeping your shoulders and hips super-steady.
Float your arm and leg up off the floor as though you are making a continuous line with your spine — not too high — aim for long lines. Pretend that you still have all four limbs holding your body steady.
When you return to the start position, keep your body as still as possible.
Do 4-6 repetitions on each side!
Standing Roll Down
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Tune in to the way you distribute your weight through your feet — you might like to close your eyes to help your focus. Notice if you sway forward or back or have more weight on one leg than the other. Aim for equal distribution across both feet and between the ball of your feet and your heels.
Just as though you are standing against a wall, begin to peel your spine away starting from the head and reach towards your toes. Imagine you are reaching up and over a freshly painted picket fence — don’t get paint on you! It doesn’t matter how far you go but aim to keep the weight through your feet the same as you move.
Breathe in at the bottom and as you exhale, re-stack your body back to your starting position. Finish by gazing far into the distance (this will help to really lengthen out your spine).
3-4 repetitions of these, please!