Monthly Moves Inspiration for July

Every month, I like to get the books and manuals out to get some inspiration of what exercises or alignments I haven’t taught for a while. It’s easy to stick with old favourites as I’m sure you will appreciate if you are a regular exerciser.

This month in Pilates classes we are working in high kneeling.

I don’t use this alignment much, mainly because of the practical issues of hard floors in studios. But summer holidays have started in Scotland which means classes are a bit quieter and I can spend more time getting clients into the correct alignment using pads.

You can find a video explaining these moves at Wise Women Wellbeing Academy.

Please exercise responsible, if these movements cause any pain, please see your doctor
 

 

This alignment will be in the main section on the class as I want to get lots of hip-flexor stretches in first. Which will help get you into alignment, particularly if you have been sitting all day.

The exercises I will be teaching will be upper body strengtheners using a resistance band and ‘Hinge Back’

Pole Raises
This is a fabulous movement to open your upper body posture. Using a long resistance band:

  • place your hands at the end of the band then rest them either side of your legs.
  • lift your arms up towards the ceiling,
  • then circle your arms behind the body.
  • then reverse the moment.
  • you may want to fidget with the band to get the right amount of resistance for you
  • exhale on the movement, inhale, reset then move on exhale

Repeat 10 times

If you also do yoga, this is a great exercise to help with reverse prayer arms position.

Chest Expander
As it sounds, this movement helps to improve upper body posture. You could do it with or without the band. However using the band makes it more of a strength exercise.

  • place your hands at either side of your legs with the band loosely in them
  • lengthen both arms behind you keeping the arms straight
  • return to start position
  • you may want to fidget with the band to get the right amount of resistance for you
  • exhale on the movement, inhale on return

Repeat 10 times

If you also do yoga, this is a great exercise to help strengthen the upper body without weight bearing. It will help with Chaturanga.
If you are a gym goer, you could use the cable machine for this movement.

Hinge back
This exercise stretches the front of your legs whilst your core works hard to keep your pelvis in neutral.Your buttocks muscles are working hard.

  • raise both arms to shoulder height
  • lean back from knees, keeping pelvis in neutral
  • return to start position
  • exhale on the movement, inhale, reset then move on exhale

Repeat 10 times

If you are working on Camel in yoga this is a great preparation exercise to help get use to this position and alignment.

There are many exercises that can be practised in this alignment. However, I think knees will complain before anything else so I will keep it to a few exercises.

The next exercise after high kneeling alignment in the class will be side lying torpedo as it feels lovely to lengthen out after being on your knees

Recommendations

  • Hip-flexor stretches first
  • Pads under knees
  • Long resistance band to help get the correct arm position
  • Let legs stretch out afterwards

Samantha Valand is the founder of Wise Women Wellbeing Academy.

A comprehensive hub of resources on hormone balancing, healthy eating and exercising in your menopausal years and beyond.


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