Classical Pilates Exercises for #MarchMATness

Have you been looking to learn more about Pilates?

Every moment of our life can be the beginning of great things.
— Joseph H 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.

Joseph H Pilates with Romana Kryzanowska

Joseph H Pilates with Romana Kryzanowska

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

1.  Hundred

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

Click here for the video

hundreds marchmatness2019 jessi fit pilates

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

Click here for the video

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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

Click here for the video

pilates single leg circles pilates blog march matness 2019

5.  Rolling Like A Ball

Challenge your balance stability and control while massaging your spine!

Muscles Used: Abs and spinal stabilizers

Click Here for the video

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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…

Click here for the video

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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

Click here for the video on IGTV

Inhale the good stuff & exhale the rest.

Inhale the good stuff & exhale the rest.

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)))

spine stretch forward #marchmatness pilates exerise

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.

lick here for the live video

open leg rocker pilates exercise march matness jessi fit pilates

10. Corkscrew

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….

Click here for the vid

corkscrew classic pilates mat

11. Saw

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!

Video is here


12. Swan Dive

Dive into this advanced chest opening dynamic move! It can feel a bit like a belly flop so peep the video to see the beginner ways t break it down.

Swan Dive video is here

swan dive marchmatness mm2019 pilates exercise

13. One leg kick

Get a leg up as you stretch your thighs, work your back and open your heart…

Click here for the video demos

single leg kickclassic pilates exercise for march matness

14. Double Leg Kick

Double up on a thigh stretch with a chest strech. More lower back strengthening with an extra shoulder stretch….

Video is here

double leg kick blog pilates blogger #marchmatness

15. Neck Pull

Ready for a challenge?  This move will mobilize your spine, strengthen your core, stretch your legs , and open your chest.  

Watch the video to see the beginner modifications 

neck pull pilates blogger classical pilates #marchmatness

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.

I go over quite a few variations here in the video…

bicycle scissors jessifitpilates march matnss romanas pilates exercises

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.

Click here for the vid..

blog shoulder bridge how to do pilates

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

Click here to see it in action in San Francisco..

Pilates Spine Twist for March Matness jessi fit pilates

19. Jackknife

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.

Copy of jackknife for march matness advanced pilates exercise pilates video

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

side kicks blog pilates workout pilates move pilates exercise

21. Teaser

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.

teaser ab exercise classic pilates workout jessi fit pilates

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.

Vid is here

#marchmatness pilates exercises hip twist swimming jessi fit pilates

23. Swimming

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.

Click here to see it

pilates blog for pilates march matness 2019  leg pull front leg pull back
kneeling side kicks #marchmatness2019 pilates exercise core hips butt

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. 

Click here to kick it with me

side bends jessi fit piales march matness exercise

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

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27. Boomerang

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

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29. Rocking

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

rocking blog marchmatness pilates exercise

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

Click here for the last vid

blog control balance push ups  for pilaes march matness pilates blogger

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