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Getting On The Ball With Pilates

Posted on 1st July 2019 by

This month, Physio and Pilates Instructor, Kim, has chosen her top 5 Pilates exercises you can do with an exercise ball.

We will often bring the ball into our Pilates classes. It adds another dimension and an extra challenge with it’s natural instability. You can pick one up online or in shops such as TK Max, Argos or Sports Direct (just make sure it’s an anti-burst one!).

#1 Scissors in Sitting

  1. Sit up tall on your sitting bones on top of the ball. Position your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Balance your weight evenly through each foot. Relax your arms by your sides or place them on the brim of your pelvis.
  2. Lift your right leg and hold keeping your weight even through your sitting bone.
  3. Lower your leg and foot to the floor and repeat on the opposite leg.

#2 Swimming Level 3

  1. Kneel in front of the ball. Gently walk your hands forwards along the floor until your pelvis is resting in top of the ball. Balance with your fingertips and toes on the mat. Align your pelvis in the neutral position and gently set your centre.
  2. Simultaneously lengthen and hover your right arm and left leg from the mat.
  3. Hold and then lower your arm and leg to the mat.
  4. Repeat alternating sides.

#3 Bridge Hip Dips

  1. Sit on top of the ball and engage your centre. Slowly walk your feet forwards and lower your back until you are in the bridge position. Support your head, neck and upper back on the ball. Bend your knees to 90 degrees. Keep your centre engaged and gently engage your gluteal (buttock) muscles.
  2. Stabilise in the bridge position.
  3. Lower your hips and pelvis downwards without arching your lower back.
  4. Lift your hips and pelvis returning to the bridge position.

#4 Shoulder Bridge Level 1

  1. Lie on your back with your legs in the tabletop position, resting on top of the ball. Position your hips knees and ankles into parallel lines. Align your pelvis into the neutral position.
  2. Gently roll your pelvis and peel your spine away from the mat, one segment at a time rolling up to rest on your shoulder blades.
  3. Hold the shoulder bridge position.
  4. Roll your spine back down on to the mat, one vertebrae at a time to return to the neutral pelvic position.

#5 Plank Walks

  1.  Kneel in front of the ball. Gently walk your hands forwards along the floor until your pelvis is resting in top of the ball. Balance with your fingertips and toes on the mat. Align your pelvis in the neutral position and gently set your centre.
  2. Walk your hands further forwards along the floor. Simultaneously, lengthen your legs and lift your feet off the floor. Your body will align into the ’plank position’ where your spine and legs form a horizontal line. Only walk out as far as you can control.
  3. Hold the plank position.
  4. Walk your hands back along the floor and lower your toes to the floor, keeping your arms and legs long.

Read More 

We have lot’s of informative and educational Pilates articles over on our blog, which you can find here

If you’re interested in finding out more about joining our specialist Clinical Pilates classes at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford, take a look at the details of what we offer, our timetable of over 20 classes a week and more information about getting started with Pilates.


Top 3 Pilates Standing Exercises

Posted on 1st April 2019 by

This month, Physio and Pilates Instructor, Chris, has chosen his top 3 Pilates exercises you can do in standing.

Our mat based classes (as the name suggests!), involve a range of mat exercises in sitting, lying on your back or side. However, Pilates exercises done in standing are very important too. Doing these exercises will engage and work different sets of muscles.

#1 Arm Openings Level 1

  1. Start in a natural standing position.
  2. Lift your arms forwards to shoulder height, shoulder width apart, palms facing inwards.
  3. Level 1:
    • Inhale, rotate the thoracic spine, head and neck to the right, keeping the pelvis still. Let your right arm follow the movement of the spine while reaching forwards with your left arm.
    • Exhale, rotate your body back to the midline, allowing your arm to follow the movement to resume the starting position.
    • Repeat up to ten times alternating sides.

#2 Foot Series

  1.  Starting position in a natural standing position. Centre engaged.
  2. Inhale to prepare.
  3. Exhale, bend your hips and knees 45 degrees.
  4. Inhale, peel the heels off the floor, keeping the hips and knees bent.
  5. Exhale, straighten your hips and knees, keeping the heels lifted.
  6. Inhale, lower the heels to return to the starting position.
  7. Repeat up to ten times and then reverse the direction of movement.
  8. Watch points:
    • Keep your back in a neutral position, so don’t bend forwards or backwards from the spine.
    • Aim to rise and lower largely on the vertical plane only. No shifting of the center of gravity.
    • Try and keep your big toe on the floor.
    • Control the lowering phase slowly.
    • Avoid locking your knees.

#3 Side Leg Lift Level 1

  1. Starting position – Right lunge. Left leg extended to the side, with the tip of the big toe resting on the floor. Trunk hinged forwards from the hips at around 45 degrees. Hands on waist. Centre engaged.
  2. Inhale to prepare.
  3. Exhale, reach your left toes away and then lift your left leg horizontally up from the hip, keeping the pelvis stable. Hold.
  4. Inhale, reach and lower the leg to the floor.
  5. Repeat up to ten times and then repeat on the opposite side.

Read More 

We have lot’s of informative and educational Pilates articles over on our blog, which you can find here

If you’re interested in finding out more about joining our specialist Clinical Pilates classes at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford, take a look at the details of what we offer, our timetable of over 20 classes a week and more information about getting started with Pilates.


Pilates with Resistance Band

Posted on 1st January 2019 by

There’s a very simple piece of kit you may have seen or used in one of our Pilates classes, the humble resistance band! It doesn’t look much but it’s a great way to challenge your Pilates exercises. It comes in a range of different strengths, depending on how much you’d like to challenge yourself!

We’ve put together some of our favourite Pilates exercises for doing with the resistance band.

#1 Roll Up

  1. Starting position: Sitting upright. Neutral lumbo-pelvic position. Legs extended in front. Legs extended in front, hips adducted, knees slightly flexed (to allow neutral spine position), ankles in mid ROM dorsiflexion. Theraband looped around the feet and held in each hand. Upper spine and back of the neck lengthened.
  2. Action: Inhale to prepare. Exhale, roll off the back of the sitting bones in a small range of motion to round the pelvis and the lumbar spine. The ribcage and upper quadrant should remain still. Keep the head and neck upright. Inhale, roll forwards onto the top of the sitting bones to resume the neutral spine starting position. The ribcage and upper quadrant should remain still. Keep the head and neck upright.
  3. Tips: Keep the feet on the floor. Do not poke the chin forward.

#2 One Leg Circle

  1. Starting position: On your back, knees bent, feet flat. Neutral lumbo-pelvic position. Resistance band looped around one foot. Hands holding the band. Back of the neck long.
  2. Action: Inhale to prepare. Exhale, float the left leg into the tabletop position then extend the knee. Inhale and hold the extended knee position keeping the band feeling taut. Exhale, circle outwards and downwards in a clockwise direction in a small, controlled range of motion. Inhale, complete the circle on this leg by circling inwards and upwards to finish where the circle started.
  3. Repeat circling this leg 6 – 8 times in the clockwise direction then exhale as you lower this leg to resume the neutral spine starting position.
  4. Repeat 6- 8 clockwise circles on right leg then repeat on 6 – 8 counter-clockwise circles on the left leg. Repeat 6 – 8 anti-clockwise circles on the right leg.
  5. Tips: Keep the pelvis still while doing the leg circles. Keep the knee facing the same direction through the movement to avoid hip rotation.
  6. If you are confused with the breathing, you can start doing the movement without focusing on the breathing..

#3 Shoulder Bridge

  1. Starting Position: The rest position. Neutral lumbo-pelvic position. Resistance band looped around both knees with the band feeling taut. Arms resting long beside the body. Back of the neck long.
  2. Action:
  3. Inhale to prepare. Exhale, gently roll the lower back into mat, lift the tailbone upwards towards the ceiling and continue to peel your spine off the mat, bone by bone until you are resting on your shoulder blades. Maintain tautness in the band.
  4. Inhale and hold the shoulder bridge position. Move your knees out towards the resistance of the band and back in again 6 – 8 times while maintaining the shoulder bridge position and normal breathing.
  5. Inhale and hold the shoulder bridge position. Exhale, and lower the shoulder bridge by drawing the breastbone downwards towards the mat, continue to peel your spine back onto the mat bone by bone until the tailbone connects the mat and the spine returns to neutral.
  6. Tips: Do not extend the thoracic spine (the shoulders must never be higher than the hips). Do not put your weight through your shoulder and neck but rather on your shoulders. Use segmental motion for the lift and lowering, peeling your spinal vertebrae 1 at a time like we do in class.

#4 Lower & Lift

  1. Starting Position: Lie on your side with your shoulders and hips stacked and a band between your legs, just above the ankles. Underneath arm outstretched in alignment with the trunk. Ensure your back is in neutral and your centre is engaged.
  2. Action: Inhale to prepare. Exhale, reach your top leg away from your body and then lift it upwards on an arc. Simultaneously point this ankle.
  3. Inhale, lower this leg to the starting position. Simultaneously flex this ankle.
  4. Tips: Imagine balancing a cup of tea on your top hip and top shoulder to avoid moving these areas. Imagine that the inner aspect of the top leg is polishing a glass tabletop to help keep this leg lifted at hip height. Imagine that the front hand is resting on a cream cake to avoid heavy pressure through this hand.

#5 Side Kick Press

  1. Starting position: Side lying. Underneath arm outstretched in alignment with the trunk with your head resting on this arm. Hips bent to approx. 45° and knees bent to approx. 90°. Shoulders and hips stacked. Resistance band to be looped round 1 foot and held in opposite hand.
  2. Action: Inhale to prepare. Exhale, lift the uppermost leg to bring the knee and ankle to hip height. Then extend the uppermost hip and the knee as far as control can be maintained. Inhale, flex the uppermost leg to the starting position.
  3. Tips: Keep the pelvis still while doing the leg movement.

#6 Clam

  1. Starting position: Side lying. Underneath arm outstretched in alignment with the trunk. Head resting on the underneath arm. Hips bent up to approx. 45° and knees bent up to approx. 90°. Resistance band looped around the knees. Shoulders and hips stacked one on top of the other. Top hand resting on the floor.
  2. Action: Inhale to prepare. Exhale, lift the top knee upwards, keeping the feet together. Inhale, lower the top knee onto the bottom leg.
  3. Tips: Keep the pelvis still while opening the leg.

You can pick up resistance band from goPhysio in Chandlers Ford for £5 a length. Ask your instructor what colour they’d recommend you use, depending on your level and how much of a challenge you need.

If you attend our Pilates classes and would like advice or guidance on any of this exercises, please ask your Instructor, who’d be more than happy to help!

goPhysio strongly recommends that you consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional advice.



Our Top 6 Pilates Exercises For Runners

Posted on 17th July 2017 by

Pilates can be a fantastic way to keep your body balanced, which is especially important in a repetitive sport like running.

Here’s our top 6 Pilates exercises to strengthen and tone your running muscles, help to prevent injury and improve your running technique and efficiency.

Foot Series

  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart
  2. Bend your knee into a squat, keeping your chest upright and knees pointing over your toes
  3. From the squat position slowly rise up onto your toes (keeping the knees bent) then lower the heels
  4. Repeat 5 heel raises per squat, 10 times

Pilates for Runners Exercises Pilates for Runners Exercises


Shoulder Bridge 

  1. Lying on your back with your knees bent
  2. Squeeze your bottom to lift your hips off the floor
  3. Slowly extend one leg in line with your body, keeping the pelvis level
  4. Lower this leg then repeat on the other side
  5. Aim to do 10 on each leg

Pilates for runners goPhysuio


Scissors

  1. Lying on your back, bring both feet off the floor so that your hips and knees are at a 90 degree angle
  2. Keep you back flat to the floor
  3. Slowly lower one leg to tap the toes on the floor, then bring it back up to 90 degrees
  4. Repeat on both legs 10 times

Pilates for runners Chandlers Ford


The Clam

  1. Lay on one side with your knees bent, hips stacked one on top of the other and feet back in line with your bottom
  2. Lift your heels sop they are hoovering 6 inches off the floor
  3. Squeeze your bottom muscles to lift the top knee towards the ceiling, keeping your heels together and not rolling back from the pelvis
  4. Repeat 20 on each leg

Pilates exercises for runners


Swimming 

  1. From your hands and knees draw your tummy muscles in so your spine in straight
  2. Lift one arm up in front of you and the opposite leg out behind you
  3. Hold this balance for 5 secs without rotating or arching your back
  4. Repeat 10 times on each side

Pilates for runners


Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Kneel with one knee in front of the other
  2. Keep your chest upright and slowly push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the front of the back thigh
  3. Gently tuck your tailbone underneath you to increase the stretch
  4. Hold 30 secs each side

Stretches for runners


Read More 

Centring – the building blocks of Pilates

Clinical Mat Pilates

Pilates Timetable

Running Rehab Service