Saturday, 2 November 2013

My favourite stretches using a Pilates fitness circle

The Pilates fitness circle is a versatile and highly effective tool.  Here are just a few of the many benefits:
  • It provides resistance for muscular strength and endurance
  • It assists in the isolation and activation of specific muscle groups
  • It provides proprioception cues for the neuromuscular system
  • It is ideal for isometric training to increase strength at varying joint angles
  • It adds additional resistance when held between ankles or hands, increasing overall challenge of exercise
  • It is a great tool for dynamic stability for both the hip and shoulder joints
  • It is light-weight, easy to store and transport
Below are some of my favourite stretches to do using the fitness circle.  Next week I will be showing you how to do other exercises using the fitness circle so stay tuned!

1. Hamstring  and IT band stretch
  • Lie on your back with both knees bent 
  • Place one foot into the ring and lengthen the leg up towards the ceiling. 
  • Hold the ring with both hands – palms facing you.  Try and keep the knee as straight as possible and draw the leg closer into your chest on each exhale. 
  • Then, using the opposite hand, draw the leg across the body and up towards your shoulder.  Try and keep both hips glued to the mat. 
  • NOTE: Imagine your stretching your hip away from your foot.
  • Hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds.

2. Spine Twists
  • Sitting cross-legged and tall through your spine
  • NOTE:  Imagine the crown of your head is being pulled up to the ceiling
  • Place the circle against the breastbone and wrap your arms around the outside of the ring. 
  • Inhale to prepare and exhale, use your obliques (waist muscles) to twist to the right, inhale to hold and exhale slowly come back to your starting position.
  • Alternate sides and repeat for 4 times on each side.
Buy a Fitness Circle today for only £22 http://www.pilates-mad.com/product/pilates-resistance-ring-double-handle



 

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