In just over one minute you’ll learn how to incorporate a Pilates Ring into your Shoulder Bridge Pilates exercise. The Shoulder Bridge usually works the hamstrings and glutes, but by adding the Pilates Ring you’ll also be working the inner thighs as well.
By creating an unstable base, you can turn some beginner Pilates moves into a more advanced or challenging workout. It’s an easy way to get a more “all-body” workout in the same amount of time. In the following video, the instructor and model review how to take some simple moves and make more challenging using one or two Balance Discs (or Balance Cushions). One exercise also uses the Pilates Ring. We offer two Balance Discs in our store: Balance Disc by TKO and an environmentally friendly, phthalate-free vinyl Balance Disc by Natural Fitness. These balance discs can be incorporated into many Pilates exercises, Yoga poses, and other exercise routines.
10 Exercise And Motivation Tips
by Matthew Sawyer
The most difficult part of any activity that is beneficial to the mind, body, and spirit is the motivation it takes to get started. Once that desire from the depths of your being nags at your psyche deeply enough, you will have what it takes to be on your way to improving your health and well-being.
Exercise is one of those things that we need on a daily basis, but the need is often substituted for other lethargic activities. One of the reasons is that activity lends itself to more activity and inactivity lends itself to lethargy. In order to get motivated for exercise on a regular basis, it’s necessary to start somewhere to begin this domino effect.
1. Have a set of 1- 5 pound weights at your disposal and pick them up throughout the day, doing a few repetitions of arm curls and over the head lifts. Start with a repetition of 10 or 12 and increase gradually.
2. Drink water regularly throughout the day so that any increase in activity that will cause you to perspire more will not result in fatigue associated with dehydration that may subconsciously curb your desire for more exercise.
3. Burning rosemary essential oil incense or putting a drop or two in a quart of water will invigorate and give incentive to move. Being a good aid to muscle and joint limbering, it will also help to ready muscles and limbs that may seem stiff and stagnant.
Once you have accomplished these steps that will motivate you to start a program of exercise, while keeping them in place, begin the next series of steps. Your desire to continue by following the above and feeling improvement to your well-being will spur you on to a more strenuous program.
Devising a Program
4. Don’t do the same kind of exercise all the time, and do activities you like to do.
5. Invite a friend. Statistics show that those who exercise with another person are more likely to stay motivated.
6. Stretching exercises when you arise are a good way to get the blood flowing and the feeling for a need to move.
7. Daily routines of shorter, 15 or 20 minute spurts of exercise will keep you energized and motivated for more.
Now that you have a program in place, and perhaps a friend who is joining you, there are some final steps to add. These ten steps together will serve to help keep you wanting more exercise.
Climb and Acknowledge
8. Keep setting new goals, and reward yourself when reaching them with almost any non-food type reward.
9. Keep a record of the milestones and goals you have achieved. Note any positive differences in attitude and any other physical and mental improvements.
10. Take time to recognize and remember who you are and be thankful. Don’t compare yourself to others. Take time to appreciate yourself. Strive be the best you can be, and know that is the best there is to be.
The soft, weighted Toning Balls that we carry are 2 lbs each and are sold as a pair. They are manufactured by Natural Fitness and are made with the environmentally friendly phthalate-free vinyl. The size and texture of toning balls make them easy to grip and can improve your hand and finger strength as well.
The following exercises could also be done with hand held weights – such as our neoprene dumbbell weight set, that offers weights from 2lbs to 5lbs for those looking to up their weights in these exercises.
Another way to increase the intensity of the workouts below (without increasing the weight) is to up the repetitions or the number of sets. Or, if you know an intermediate or advanced level of the exercise or pose, try that while using the weights. For example, if you practice yoga and are familiar with a “Blowing Tree”, you could perform this variation while holding the weights as well. Feel free to experiment, but pay attention to your body!
Toning balls are a popular accessory to a variety of different exercise routines, including Yoga, Pilates and basic calisthenics. Toning balls are an alternative to hand held dumbbells or weights and are made of a soft vinyl material. Toning balls come in weights between 1.1 pounds and 5.5 pounds per ball and are held in the open palm with a gentle grip. For light weight training and as added resistance to popular Yoga and Pilates exercises, the balls also help individuals with balance, coordination and flexibility. Performing a 20 to 30 minute workout with toning balls adds interest and effectiveness to any exercise routine.
Step 1 – General
Utilize weighted toning balls to work arms, shoulders and upper torso strength and flexibility. Toning balls are popularly used in Yoga and Pilates workouts by balancing them in the palm of the hand for added resistance or muscle toning exercises. Adding even a slight weight resistance to such poses as Warrior’s Pose, Tree pose and basic calisthenic or isometric exercises like jumping jacks, shoulder raises and arm circles is helpful.
Work the arms by holding a ball gently in each hand, arms at your sides. Start with your feet a little wider than hip distance apart. Using a 1 to 2 pound ball, lift both arms above the head, pause and then lower. Repeat this exercise between 12 and 15 times, repeating the set twice.
Stand with the feet just over shoulder width apart. Tuck in the abdominal muscles and, holding a ball in each hand, bend slowly forward at the waist until your back is level or parallel to the floor, arms hanging downward. Holding the stomach in and looking downward, extend your arms outward. Raise the arms until they are level with your torso, even with the shoulders and hold. Count to 5 and then slowly lower to the original position. Repeat this exercise between 10 and 15 times. Repeat this set two times.
When performing a Pilates Criss Cross, hold a light pair of toning balls in the hands near the side of the head instead of clasping the hands behind the head. Lie down on the floor, legs bent and lifted above your hips. Tuck in the abdominal muscles and lift the head and shoulders off the floor. Extend one leg out while the other pulls in toward your chest. Switch legs, pushing the opposite leg outward while bringing the other knee toward your chest.
Hold onto a light set of toning balls when performing Yoga moves like the Tree Pose. Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Gradually shift most of your weight to the right foot and bend your left knee, lifting and resting your left foot along the inside of the right leg. Beginners may only be able to place the foot at ankle or calf level. Balancing, lift the arms over the head, keeping them either shoulder width apart or bringing the hands together high above the head, depending on your balance, comfort and strength level. Hold this position for 1 minute, rest a few moments and then switch sides.
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/39437-toning-ball-workout/#ixzz0yEbZMoLa
Follow along with this short 3-minute video on how to perform the Heel Squeeze exercise using a Pilates Ring for resistance. You’ll see two variations of the Heel Squeeze and you’ll work your glutes and hamstrings when trying it out.
In the following 7-minute video you’ll learn four exercises for toning your arms. But in addition to your arms, you’ll also work your upper back, shoulders, and chest. Three of the four exercises are using an elastic exercise band, also known as a Pilates Band. The fourth just requires open wall space.
One of the benefits of the Pilates Bands is their portability. They are so lightweight and can be folded or rolled so small that you can take them anywhere, making them great for people who travel or like to workout outside without having to carry much with them.
In this Intermediate Pilates video you’ll learn four Pilates exercises incorporating the Pilates / Yoga Ball. You’ll do Push Ups, Tricep Lifts, Sit Ups, and Lower & Lift working your arms and stomach. Grab your Pilates Mat and Pilates Ball and enjoy this six-minute video routine, or watch last week’s Part I, in addition to Part II, for a longer workout.
Four easy-to-follow Pilates exercises in less than 5 1/2 minutes. These exercises will require the use of a Stability Ball (also called a Balance Ball and many other names) and a Pilates Mat or Exercise Mat. When buying a mat for Pilates, you’ll want one that offers nice cushioning for your joints, so we recommend at least 1/4″ thickness. You’ll also want a mat that offers a non-slip surface. When choosing a Stability Ball, be sure to select the right size for your height. We also sell both PVC and eco-friendly PVC-free vinyl for you to choose from.
Part II of a video series showing how to perform four additional intermediate Pilates exercises using an elastic exercise band, or Pilates Band. For Part I, see last Thursday’s video.
Here’s an easy-to-follow video on how to incorporate the Pilates Band into four different Pilates exercises. What you’ll need before starting this six-minute long video: an Exercise Mat or Pilates Mat and a Pilates Band, which is an elastic exercise band.