The Pilates Party Continues- Week 3 #MarchMatness

Have you joined the pilates party yet? 

pilates party jessi fit pilates march matness

No machines, just you and the mat. This is part 3 of 4, honoring the man, the maestro and the legend Joseph H Pilates.  

Join in and do a classic mat move for every day this month. 

Mat work requires so little but gives you so much.  Learn to tap into what Joe called your “powerhouse”, the center of your body or your core.  This is how you retrain your abs to protect your spine, with the side effect being leaner, stronger abs and a longer slimmer waist.

Joseph Pilates training opera legend Roberta Peters.

Joseph Pilates training opera legend Roberta Peters.

Created by Benjamin Degenhardt, March MATness is a global  Pilates party. It's celebrated around the world as participants share photos, videos and written word to social media. 

It’s our way of paying homage to our fitness legend and pilates creator!

Marilyn did it...

Marilyn did it...

If you would like to warm up before diving back in, click - here for a 7 minute warm up...

The Neck Pull:

This intense ab and hip strengthener will also stretch the muscles all along the back body.  Changing from flat spine to rounded spine really gets those deep abdominals going! 

Working: Ab Strength & Spinal Mobility

I'm showing three versions, one with my elbows hugging in to help me articulate my spine up and down the bench slower and without lifting the legs.  

In the second version, I'm trying to keep the elbows open with my shoulders down, which is way more challenging.

In the third version, I'm twisting and smiling😃

To modify try bending the knees.

Scissors and Bicycle

I always love the way I feel after spending some time with my feet in the air.  Get a leg up and let's pedal an imaginary bicycle in the sky.

Feel like a kid again:)

Feel like a kid again:)

A good goal is like a strenuous exercise- it makes you stretch. Mary Kay Ash

Working: Butt, Back of Thighs, Abs and Low Back

Did you know that inversions help to increase blood flow to the brain? They always give me a new perspective.  To learn this advanced move, watch the video above!

pilates bicycle and scissors jessi fit pilates

Shoulder Bridge

shoulder bridge pilates jessi fit pilates

Do you want to tone your booty?  Then prepare for liftoff!  This is pretty advanced, not for beginners or those with injuries.  

 As Joe used to say- a healthy spine can move in all directions. 

The version to the left is super advanced, but watch the video for beginner and intermediate versions that will get you into this one soon!

Muscles Used: Butt, Hamstrings, Inner Thighs, Abs, Shoulders,  and Lower Back 

The Spine Twist

Do U even rotate bro?

Another great Pilates way to elongate the spine and strengthen the hips and core.  Let's combat computer posture and work the sides of your waist or obliques AKA the muffin top area.

Muscles Used: Abs & Spine Rotators

Twist and Shout with me- click below!

Twist and Shout with me- click below!

The JackKnife

Upside down, pilates turns me.

Upside down, pilates turns me.

Adding in another inversion to flip your view! 

The Jackknife is advanced way to lengthen your spine and learn some serious core control.

I don’t recommend it for neck injuries.🎉 It’s my ultimate #BendDontBreak solution to cure your movement blues or boredome

jessifitpilates jackknife exercise

1.  With feet in a v shape lift legs up and overhead, no lower than parallel to the floor. 

the jackknife pilates exercise jessi fit pilates

2.  Keep triceps & upper back engaged so the weight stays off the neck. Inhale. Shoot toes up over your nose, lifting one vertebra at a time. 

jack knife jessi fit pilates advancd pilates

3. Engage Abs & glutes, as you roll the spine down exhaling. Try to keep toes over eyes. 

jack knife with jessi fit pilates- how to do the jacknife

4. Return to start position with your flat back position

Be in control of your body not at its mercy. Joseph H Pilates

Muscles Used: Abs, shoulder girdle, and butt

Side Kick Series 

"In the mountains, the shortest way is from peak to peak: but for that you must have long legs" Friedrich Nietzsche
Kick your toes to nose!

Kick your toes to nose!

And if you weren't blessed with long legs, the Pilates Sidekick series will be your new secret weapon. These moves help keep legs looking long by toning and mobilizing the hips and thighs.

There are an endless amount of- variations on this series, and the video will show five of my all time faves for fast burning bootylicious fun

Muscles Used: Abs, Hips, Hamstrings and Butt


It sure is a tease!  But if you want to master this, keep pushing through.   When I first started doing Pilates I found this to be so challenging.  To roll the spine up and down the mat as we keep the lef at a 45 degree angle is no easy feat!  

Careful on the concrete kids!

Careful on the concrete kids!

It's favorite move and I am known to stop drop and teaser quite often over on Instagram, and I want you to be able to do it to.  It requires a ultra strong abs AND hips. 

YES you will feel these in your hip flexors and yes it may burn. If you have been sitting for work or commutes then these muscles may have lost the strength to execute this move smoothly.

The video takes you through beginner modifications to advanced varitaions.  Step by step and I added some fun music in to keep you grooving though it with a smile.

Hip Circles

hip circles march matness jessi fit pilates

Do you want to mobilize those rounded shoulders after a long day over a desk?

Hip Circles really help to open the chest and shoulders as you strengthen the abs hips and thighs. The object is to keep the torso still as you circle the legs.  


Muscles Used:  Abs. Back, Shoulders

Rotating or twisting moves are an important part of spinal health and these moves can keep you functionally strong for a life time!


If you would like to see all these fabulous exercises in one ab focused workout see the video below!

Do you have a bestie that loves Pilates too?  Share this article with her and try some of the moves together:)

If it's your first time here on my blog, welcome!  Comment below and let me know what you want to see next!  Don't forget to click the button below so you never miss a free online pilates workout from me!