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Pilates
The Routine
Part II
Cool Down
Heart Rate Calculation
Contact Me
Perfect Pilates
 
The Pilates technique focuses on improving strength, flexibility and posture.  In this routine you will get long, lean muscles, better balance and incredible abdominals.
 
Great results are guaranteed with this routine if you:
 
1.  Stick with it - Complete this workout 3-5 days per week for the best slimming and strengthening results.  The whole routine only takes about 10-15 minutes and you can take the weekend off!
 
2.  Step it up gradually - If you've never done Pilates, do most of the moves 6-8 times.  As you become stronger, add reps to keep your muscles challenged.  Your ultimate goal is 12 reps per move with perfect form.  (except for ceiling presses, your goal is 20 reps).
 
3.  Focus on form - While doing these exercises, concentrate on pulling your belly button in and up toward your ribs, not down toward your tailbone.  This will ensure that you're engaging the deep abdominal muscles, which when strengthened, will flatten your middle, improve your posture and help prevent back pain.
 
4.  Combine with a Cardio Program - Pilates ia  first-rate strength and flexibility program, but don't neglect heart-raising activities that burn calories and improve your cardiovascular system.  Walk, run, swim or dance 3-5 times per week in addition to this routine for ultimate benefits.

For Ultimate Good Form
 
To tone upper legs and increase overall stability, concentrate on engaging upper inner thighs.  Think of riding a horse and imagine you are hovering above the saddle.
 
Awaken your back - Extend your arms in front and push down on the air as hard as you can without moving your hands.  Feel your back muscles tighten?  These are your lats.  Maintain that feel throughout each move.
 
Slow and Steady - Controlled movements force small helper muscles to support larger main muscles.  This developes balance, coordination and the long, toned Pilates look.

But Don't.....
 
Don't hold your breath.  Keep abdomen flat and expand your ribs like an accordion.  Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth as if blowing through a straw.  There is no right or wrong time to breathe during moves, just breathe naturally.
 
Keep shoulders down.  Don't let your shoulders do all the work during the ab portion.  Pull them down before each move and keep them low.
 
Don't forget to stretch.  Stretching lengthens muscles and prevents soreness.  After your final move, do a good 10-count stretch on all muscles groups.