How to LOVE the Pilates Exercises you HATE

How to LOVE the Pilates Exercises you HATE

What you don't like,

                 you do twice!

  • Romana Kryzanowska quoting Joe Pilates

Tackling the exercises we hate to do can be a tough challenge.

Thanks Lesley Logan, for suggesting this topic. Grrr…

How to LOVE the Pilates Exercises you HATE

My Los Angeles colleague Lesley and I are currently collaborating on a YouTube series. Lesley is the owner of Profitable Pilates.

So far we've covered topics ranging from how to care for yourself during your busy workday, to a tutorial on everyone's favorite exercise (?) the Hundred.

Check out Lesley's videos on her channel.

Here's the latest collab on my channel – you guessed it! – all about how to love the exercises you currently HATE.

Oh for sure, there's lots of reasons to be a hater:

  • The Hundred
  • The Teaser
  • Mountain Climb on the Wunda Chair (Ew…)

Just to name a few of our usual suspects…

What's to be done?

I've included a handful of strategies which I've found to be helpful on our Pilates path.

If you've got sure-fire methods of your own to tackle our particularly horrible little exercises, I hope you'll leave me a comment below and share with us here.

You won't be surprised by my first suggestion I'm sure.

1. Do all of your OTHER exercises. 

How to LOVE the Pilates Exercises you HATE

Every exercise currently in your workout will make even the most HATED exercises much much better. When one exercise gets better they all get better.

How nice.

Keep consistent with your own workouts, and take weekly lessons. First of all make sure you have fun doing the exercises you enjoy!

2. My self-imposed 30-Day challenges

How to LOVE the Pilates Exercises you HATE

Finding new and creative ways to visit forgotten exercises/apparatus has been amazingly beneficial to my workout and my teaching.

Here on the blog you may remember my 30-Day challenges. The first one was my Small Barrel Project in which I imposed a posture intervention on myself.

The Small Barrel exercises were never amongst my HATED exercises, but clearly I had underestimated their power and place in the method for years…

A Wunda Chair Challenge was my next 30-Day task… sadly even I failed to complete this challenge. Soon I must give it another go…

I did find a few exercises to HATE on the Wunda Chair.

Giving yourself a time frame for consistency as well as a finite number of exercises can reward you tenfold.

Spending quality time on unfamiliar exercises – or exercises you never do – can transform your body and your experience of the exercises. You'll view them through new eyes and understand them even more deeply in your body.

3. The Power of the Private Lesson

How to LOVE the Pilates Exercises you HATE

I dearly love my weekly lessons with Karen Frischmann. However I'm such a creature of habit I love to work on the Reformer in every lesson. I LOVE the Reformer, it's no secret.

I love the Mat too and sometimes we'll do the Mat in my lessons.

But surely I should visit some of the apparatus which are not my go-to or my favorite.

So lately I've changed it up a bit. I have been working on the Cadillac exercises.

#gasp

And the High Chair.

And I've found some new ways to be a hater!

Here's my list of 5 exercises now on top of the HATE list:

  • One Arm Swan on the Wunda Chair
  • Leg Springs in the Air on the Cadillac
  • Side Sit Ups anywhere in the studio
  • Standing One Leg Springs on the Cadillac
  • Seated Mermaid on the Cadillac

Hmmm… I see a little theme here… one-sided exercises and back extension exercises reign supreme atop my HATE list at the moment.

And that's the beautiful thing: Once-hated exercises become our most beloved.

These things take time.

4. Thank You for Being a Friend

How to LOVE the Pilates Exercises you HATE

Years before I took my first Pilates class I longed for a workout buddy to stay accountable. Sadly, working out was not a big priority amongst my friends at the time.

No takers. Frownie Face…

Now it's easy to find friends all over the world who speak the same language.

#ThePilatesMethod

Grab a Pilates friend and get on the Reformer! Your colleagues surely won't HATE the same exercises you do so you won't be able to skip them.

Brilliant!

If you must do an exercise that everyone HATES I hear misery loves company…

Get your HATE on!

How do you work on the exercises you HATE?

Share with us in a comment below. Thanks for reading!

And here's where to find me in 2018!

I am my own Spine Corrector: How to Lower your Legs in the Hundred

I am my own Spine Corrector: How to Lower your Legs in the Hundred

In my weekly lessons (mostly on the Reformer because I am obsessed), Karen Frischmann has been encouraging me to reach my legs/thighs long and away from my center.

At first I admit I had no idea what she was talking about.

It was not until months later in the midst of the Overhead on the Reformer that I understood.

I am my own Spine Corrector.

Over time, using the entire Pilates system, the gifts we receive from each of the various apparatus get built right into our bodies.

How nice.

It's no secret that the firm support of all the apparatus act as a template for the shape of our backs: lying down on the Mat, Cadillac and Reformer; upright and tall along the Electric Chair and Arm Chair.

But what about the round apparatus? Surely they are our teachers too.

31 Days of the Hundred

March MATness 2016 coaxed me to get up close and personal with my Pilates Mat exercises.

In the Hundred, figuring out how to maintain the length and strength of my back despite my legs reaching lower became one of my pet projects for March (and beyond, evidently).

A noble pursuit.

I begin my Hundred lying down and lift everything into position.

Wherever I park my legs I can get the job done, but are they really connected to my center?

Perhaps not.

Enter the Spine Corrector.

I am my own Spine Corrector: How to Lower your Legs in the Hundred

The Spine Corrector is an amazing apparatus that truly lives up to its name. With the opening and ‘correcting' of the spine, this apparatus also promotes an opening of the hips, thighs and shoulders.

Over time, the muscular action we cultivate in the Spine Corrector exercises will infiltrate the body.

And elsewhere in the system we've got numerous occasions to be our own Spine Corrector:

  • High Scissors and High Bicycle on the Mat
  • Other inverted exercises: The Overhead, Corkscrew, Control Balance
  • The Hundred and the Ab 5 on the Mat: Yes you are working your stomach, but there's a lot of hip opening and seat action to complement your abs of steel.

One clear example is the High Scissors and High Bicycle on the Mat.

We do the identical exercises on the Spine Corrector.

I am my own Spine Corrector: How to Lower your Legs in the HundredI am my own Spine Corrector: How to Lower your Legs in the Hundred

Now you see the Spine Corrector…and now you don't!

Or do you?

Now let's take that same idea and apply it to another inverted exercise, the Overhead:

I am my own Spine Corrector: How to Lower your Legs in the Hundred

S-t-r-e-t-c-h those legs up and over the imaginary Spine Corrector behind you.

Now to the Hundred to look for length in the back by being our own Spine Corrector.

Perhaps the hardest of all…

I am my own Spine Corrector: How to Lower your Legs in the Hundred

I can use the same feeling in each of these examples: the same scoop of my stomach and I can imagine reaching my thighs and legs over the apparatus which is now imaginary.

An integral facet of our minds, imagination is a fantastic tool to control our muscles.

Romana Kryzanowska spoke about the 5 parts of the mind inherent in our Pilates workout:

Pilates is “Intelligence guided by the will using memory and imagination assisted by intuition.

You know how I feel about control.

The mind in charge of the body.

My favorite.

It is called ‘Spine Corrector

Remember the Spine Corrector is best at doing just what its name suggests. As it lengthens and balances our various curvatures, our lower body learns a new way of moving along the Spine Corrector.

And over time…you are your own Spine Corrector!

Give these tips a try in your next workout.

Questions? Leave me a comment and let's have a chat.