Copyright (c) 2012 Claudel Kuek
“It takes about two years of training full-time before anyone is able to understand the Pilates method well enough to communicate it to other people,” says Ron Fletcher 90, a student of Joseph Pilates who is credited with bringing Pilates to worldwide attention. Pilates classes should not hold more than 8 persons in each class. Many moves involve deep muscles that would be difficult to observe, and body adjustments by your teacher through visual and verbal cues can be supervised closely in a smaller class. Your Pilates teacher will make sure that you are doing your workout properly and correctly. You should see a transformation in your body after three to four months of training with an experienced and certified instructor.
Pilates is an individualized program so it can cater to everyone’s personalized needs. The Pilates exercise routine is known for its ability to strengthen your body and improve your posture, flexibility and balance. Pilates is not only popular amongst those who are recuperating from injuries, Pilates is often top choice amongst those looking to take their fitness regime to the next level. A growing list of celebrities have spoken out about the benefits of Pilates and have declared themselves huge fans of the Pilates method. “Pilates is the only exercise program that has changed my body and made me feel great,” enthuses Jamie Lee Curtis.
Pilates is a total system of exercises designed to build core strength while lengthening and strengthening every muscle in your body. Jennifer Aniston declares, “I am a Pilates person. It’s great. I had a chronic back, a pinched nerve and a hip problem and it’s completely solved all of it. I love it! It makes me feel like I’m taller too.” Forty and enviably fabulous looking, Jennifer Aniston’s toned and trim arms are much sought after. Here we have four Pilates exercises to help you achieve the celebrity toned arms of Jennifer Aniston and her friends.
Arm Exercise with Band (for the shoulders n rhomboids) Sit up cross-legged holding the stretchband loosely like a pole in front of you with palms facing up and elbows down by your sides. Lengthen your waist as you sit on your sitting bones firmly and squarely. Keep your shoulders and neck relaxed while pulling in your stomach towards your spine. As you exhale, lengthen your arms diagonally reaching towards the opposite sides of the room like as though you are presenting a long platter to someone. Keep your elbows slightly bent, your shoulders back, your abdominals lifted and your neck relaxed at all times. Inhale to relax your arms and exhale to repeat. Do this 8 times.
Arm Exercise with Magic Circle (for the biceps n shoulders)
Sitting up tall, legs crossed in front of you, shoulders are drawn down towards your hips, your abs (core) engaged, hold the magic circle in front of you with the palms of your hands, fingertips are long. Keeping your shoulders down, exhale as you squeeze the magic circle together in a few pulses. Inhale as you release. Repeat for 10 reps.
Tricep Extension (for the triceps n shoulders)
Stand with your feet parallel, aligned directly beneath your hips. Bend your knees until your kneecaps are over your toes. Fold your upper body forward as you keep your back straight as a tabletop and ensure that your head is aligned with your spine. Bend your elbows tightly into your sides, bring your fists to your shoulders (you may carry light dumbbells to intensify the exercise). Exhale as you slowly extend your arms straight out behind you fully without moving your elbows away from your sides. Inhale to bring your hands back into your shoulders. Keep your knees bent and abdominals engaged throughout. Repeat this 8 times.
Boxing (for the deltoids n triceps)
From the starting position of the Tricep Extension, exhale as you simultaneously extend one arm straight out in front of you and one arm straight out behind. Turn your wrists so that your front palm is facing down and your back palm is facing up (you may carry light dumbbells if you find this exercise too easy). Inhale as you return your fists to your sides. On the next exhale, repeat with the other arm leading. Ensure that both arms are aligned with the body and your abdominals are engaged. Keep the movement slow and controlled. Repeat for 8 reps.