Classical Pilates Exercises for #MarchMATness
Have you been looking to learn more about Pilates?
March Matness is a universal celebration of our passion for Pilates. March Matness was created by Benjamin Degenshart and it’s my fourth year participating!
Classical Pilates is Pilates exactly as Joseph Pilates’ created it 100 years ago. Joe Pilates created his method after healing himself from asthma and polio and rickets--- all through movement.
He was also a nurse, a boxer, a circus performer, a gymnast and a bodybuilder.
When he arrived in NYC from Germany his teachings caught the eyes of Martha Graham and George Balanchine (who both revolutionized the dance world). His original exercises all have a certain flow, breathing pattern and order in which they are to be performed. I feel grateful to have studied underneath his protegee Romana Kryzanowska in 2005. I loved the discipline it takes to perform these moves perfectly.
Classical Pilates is also done in often done with an imprinted spine. In more contemporary forms of Pilates a neutral spine is used. These days I tend to teach in a neutral spine- as I teach my fitness blend of FIT Pilates. But I love revisiting the Classic work and it’s great to be able to perform the moves in multiple ways- both in its original form and with adapted modern fitness principals. In my one on one sessions I use a mix of both Classical and Contemporary exercises depending on the persons goals, abilities and needs.
In 2016 & 2017 I joined in to #MarchMATness exclusively on Instagram. Last year I went all out here on the blog and Youtube. This year I wanted to do something a bit different.
I will be going Live on instagram each day to do these moves with you! I cannot embed those videos here just yet, (please ask Squarespace when)….Soooo please use the links below the photos to see the replay:) Make sure you’re following me on the gram so you can tune in each day and ask questions in real time! The number below corresponds to the date in March that I will go live on:
Check the Youtube library from 2018 here
The first in the series an intense ab movement is meant to warm you up! The goal is flexion of your spine and stabilization of your hips. Youll also use strengthen your abs big time and increase your heart rate if you pump your arms big.
Muscles Used: Abs, Breathing/ Diaphragm and Triceps
2. The Roll Up
Let’s work our abs and spinal articulation. Articulation mean we’re looking at well your spine moves in a sequence. The goal is to move fluidly through the spinal bends. Plus well get a nice spine stretch and learn to stabilize our hips.
Muscles Used: Abs
3. The Roll Over
This advanced move will work your abs and spine and teach you shoulder stability and stretch your legs. It’s a challenge on your control and coordination, please exercise caution on your neck.
Muscles Used: Abs & Shoulder Girdle
4. One Leg Circle
Raise a leg to this exercise if youre looking to stabilize your hips, strenghten your abs and mobilize your his and legs.
Muscles Used- Abs and Inner Thighs
5. Rolling Like A Ball
Challenge your balance stability and control while massaging your spine!
Muscles Used: Abs and spinal stabilizers
6. One Leg Stretch
This is how you deepen your abdominal strength and mobilize your hips.....
Muscles used: Abs
Plus your bum at hips will learn to stabilizing the torso.
Plus let’s stretch it as we mobilize and work on hip flexibility
Careful With- Knee, back neck and hip issues (head down is always a great way to modify) The video below goes over mods for neck…
7. Double Leg Stretch
Fun Fact- this is one of Joseph's favorite exercises! It builds upon the move from above and doubles your ab engagement with it!
This exercise strengthens abs atose and hips. It teeaches you to stabilize your body from your center plus it stretches and mublizes your legs and hips.
Muscles Used: Abs Hips Shoulders
8. Spine Stretch Forward
If your spine needs to stretch- check this out to lengthen your legs and you build strength and space in your spine. Learn to flex and articulate your spine for optimal spinal health.
((The live video did not record)))
9: Rocker With Open legs
Rock this move for greater control, hip mobility and rolling is always so fun. Plus you’ll be strengthening those abs as you stretch the back of your legs.
Twist lift and tone with this oblique focused exercise. It’s all about rotating your spine as you stabilize your shoulders. Click below and work that core….
After the intense ab engagement on that last one-the saw will give a chance to breathe and stretch.
Plus learn to stabilize your hips - which strengthens your glutes or butt. The twisting action targets obliques and those hamstrings will get a nice stretch too!
13. One leg kick
Get a leg up as you stretch your thighs, work your back and open your heart…
14. Double Leg Kick
Double up on a thigh stretch with a chest strech. More lower back strengthening with an extra shoulder stretch….
15. Neck Pull
Ready for a challenge? This move will mobilize your spine, strengthen your core, stretch your legs , and open your chest.
16. Scissors and Bicycle
This booty lifting move will tone and strengthen lower body. It also counts as an inversion and i love the way I get to kick my feet in the air.
17. Shoulder Bridge
This advanced booty lifting mve will flip you upside down as you tone hips butt core and thighs… Beginner booty lifting mods are available for this leg quaking exercise.
18 . Spine Twist
Let’s get twisted. I mean babe....Have you rotated today?🤣 It’s usually done as an afterthought in so many workouts but let’s prioritize it with pilates
This pilates style inversion is an advanced way to lengthen your spine and learn some serious core control.
Learn to really flex your spine and work those abs and hips. Click here to learn it.
20. Side Kick
Get a leg up and kick it Pilates style with the #SideKickSeries - these will keep your lower bod on fleek . They strengthen and stretch hips, thighs and butt. Fire up your core and learn to stabilize sideways!
I go over quite a few version in the video, click here
The ubiquitous Pilates teaser- it looks like a boat pose from Yoga and it’s on every Pilates book cover….
It’s probably my favorite move so I'm showing you a whole BUNCH of variations, from preparatory moves that are modified so beginners can join, to the full Teaser 3 variation.
Work your balance as you strengthen abs and hips- click here for the vid.
22. Hip twist
Hip hip hooray! It’s time to twist our waist as we open our chest and strengthen our hips. This is a great exercise if you need to stretch your shoulders and learn torso stability and tone the obliques.
Swim your way into a strong back body. Breathe and learn coordination as yo open your chest and heart.
The video is combined with Hip Twist, click here to see it.
24. Legpulls (Front and Back)
Do you love planks? Then you’ll love the Pilates Leg Pull Front & back! Even if you don’t love planking you know you want to strengthen your abs and arms!
Tune in to see beginner through advanced progressions and variations. I know that many people need to modify planks and Im going through some modifications in the video.
25. Kneeling Side Kick
If you combine side lying Kicks with side planks this is what you get!
If you’re looking to challenge your stability and tone your sides hips and butt then you’ll want to try it.
I’m not going to say that I always loved this advanced move but I’m sharing some of my favorite beginner and intermediate variations from my livestream the other day.
26. Side Bend
You can do side bends or sit ups but please don’t lose that 🍑🍑🍑 Is it just me or does that song come into your head when you hear side bends!
Since you know I love planks I go through a whole bunch of variatins from Beginner to Advanced. Let’s learn a new way to bend and not break. Video is here
What goes around- swings around again in this twisting inverting and core strengthening balancing act! Part teaser with a twist and part inversion with a dash of a roll you’ll rock your way to a balanced bod.
Confused about where to start? I break it down here in the video
28. Seal and Crab
Coordination, breath and spine health are all key players in these two rolling moves. Let’s work on hip mobility as we roll into fun moves that feel like play. In the video I’ll show you new ways to master them
Let’s work our cores, open our chests and strengthen the muscles all along our spines.
If texting has your neck in knots - then this move has your back! Rocking which is a lot like Bow Pose in Yoga.
everyone should feel the benefits so in the video I break it down for all to try! Click here to see it
30. Control Balance
"Concentrate on the correct movements each time you exercise, lest you do them improperly and thus lose all the vital benefits of their value".- Joseph H Pilates
The Control Balance from the Pilates method is a great move showing that. Also shown is the FINAL move for MarchMatness- Push Ups!
Watch till the end to see a few mods and a flow that would be great for warming up before these.
31. Push Ups
I have had suuuuuch a blast going live every day on the gram! I’ll be going live twice a week starting next month. Make sure you’re following me there so you can ask me questions and workout in real time with me!
Photography by @BodyMovesPhotography
Graphic Design by @ JessiFITPilates