Around The Clock in 1 Minute: Enjoy A Classical 1940’s Archival Pilates Mat Exercise

Around the Clock in 1 Minute 

Nothing tones up the abdominal obliques quite at fast as the ‘Around The Clock in 1 Minute’ exercise from Joseph Pilates 1940’s archival mat exercise menu.

It can be used in place of or in addition to the ‘famous 5’ stomach series in the Contrology Mat.

Exercise Instructions: start on the mat with head and chest lifted, knees deeply bent and hands at ankles. (see illustration) Stay condensed in rolling like a ball position as you bump/roll twice clockwise using upper body, then stretch limbs straight open on the 3rd bump/roll, stay lifted in upper body (similar to teaser and  double leg stretch position), quickly curl back into your ball position and continue all the way around your clock, then start again counter clockwise. Complete the entire clockwise/counter clockwise cycle within ONE minute.

I have been adding this into my level 4 and 5  group classes in various teaching locations and my students report fantastic results. I observe laughter and hear some funny comments as they go  through the clockwise and counter clockwise motions.

My classes are typically well attended by athletic men, who are pleasantly surprised to find the classical (traditional) Pilates very satisfying, challenging to their strength, fitness and increasing in their flexibility.

I also have an excited following of women reporting results of rapidly toned, strengthened longer leaner limb muscles, flatter abdominals, toned and well shaped firmer buttocks after a few weeks of regular attendance 2-3 x per week of my classes.

Pilates brings its most defined results when practiced at least 3x per week, which is why I decided to start this blog. Each post will have something new for you to practice at home between class or lesson attendance. My goal is to help each person improve their Pilates skill with correct and precise technique to create uniform development in their bodies which will result in improved energy, muscle tone, balance and overall improved health.

I welcome questions, emails and requests for specific exercises. I will do my best to answer everyone ASAP thru email or address what I can here in this blog.

Natalie Shook PMA-NCPT is a graduate of Advanced Program at The Pilates Center in Boulder and a Host Advisor for the TPC Teacher Training Program. Strategic Pilates Studio is located in Somerset Meadows, Longmont, CO for more information regarding schedule, classes, one on one, etc. Email natalie@strategicpilates.com Call or text Natalie @ 831-241-8097

This Week’s Actual Pilates: The Side Kick Leg Series

Side Kick Series

The side kick leg series in the traditional Pilates mat sequence is something I will never omit when I teach my Pilates mat classes. This series always shows up in it’s proper place in the exercise order according to the level I am teaching. This delightful exercises series teaches hip differentiation, offers sideline activation, improves dynamic stability, and encourages uniform balance and development of the body.

This series offers the basic few and then several enjoyable variations to add as the body’s level of precise movement ability and strength increase. Today I will just post the basics with very simple instructions, but I will keep editing, expanding and adding more variations for you, so keep checking back to this post and more as you progress within your workout. Stay committed and you will see progress.

How to do the side kick leg series: Align your body side laying on your mat, bring the legs slightly forward, do not bend the knees. Support the head with one hand and place the other near the belly on the mat. Be sure your hips are stacked, nothing falling forward or back. Keep eyes looking straight ahead, not at the feet.

FORWARD & BACK: Lift the top leg with a flexed foot (standing position) at hip height, inhale deeply and swing the leg forward and then a little further. Point the toes and exhale fully as you now swing the leg behind you keeping the limb long and strong without bending the knee. Keep your torso stable, strong and aligned as you move with your breath. Repeat 10x each.

UP & DOWN: Heel’s together toes apart (that famous Pilates ‘V’ Pizza shape with the feet) The top leg is slightly turned out from the hip, begin with a pointed toe position. Inhale as you bring the leg up, flex foot at the top before you exhale to bring the leg down. Repeat 10x each. Tip: Make sure you are staying aligned as in the set up, where are your eyes looking while you are moving? Are you breathing?

Here is some recommended reading, but it is not as fun as this blog: “Return to Life Through Contrology by Joseph Pilates”

Natalie Shook PMA-NCPT is a graduate of Advanced Program at The Pilates Center in Boulder and a Host Advisor for the TPC Teacher Training Program. Strategic Pilates Studio is located in Somerset Meadows, Longmont, CO for more information regarding schedule, classes, one on one, etc. Email natalie@strategicpilates.com Call or text Natalie @ 831-241-8097

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