Pilates: Exercises For Plus Size Women
Pilates: Exercises For Plus Size Women
VideoJug's yoga expert Sophie Rycott shows you a great series of Pilates exercises to strengthen your key muscles to conquer back and shoulder pain.
Step 1: You will need
- 1 exercise mat
- 1 rubber exercise band
- some comfortable clothing
- 1 small towel or cushion - optional
- 1 small support - also optional
Step 2: Exercise One: The Dart
Step 3: To prepare
Lie face down on your mat with your legs and feet together. If you are uncomfortable lying like this then place a towel or cushion just under your rib cage and use it throughout this and the following exercise.
Have your arms down by your sides and relax your shoulders forwards.
Step 4: Breathing
You will inhale deeply through the nose to prepare, aiming the breath towards the back of the rib cage and exhale deeply through the mouth.
When you exhale, think of flattening the abdominal region. Imagine gently pulling your belly button towards your spine.
This exercise will be performed over 4 breaths.
Step 5: The exercise
Inhale, open your shoulders back, exhale, reach your hands towards your feet while extending your upper body off the floor. Inhale, hold the position thinking of lengthening your head one way and feet the other, then exhale and gently return to the mat.
Repeat this four times, concentrating on keeping your neck in line with your back, then relax. You will feel your upper back and shoulders working.
Step 6: Exercise Two: Pull Down
Step 7: To prepare
Take hold of your exercise band in both hands at a place where you feel sufficient tension in the band and reach your arms over your head, elbows slightly bent.
Once again, check the tension in the band.
Step 8: Breathing
The same principles apply as before. This exercise will also be performed over 4 breaths.
Step 9: The exercise
Inhale to prepare, exhale pull the down out and down in front of your head while extending your upper body off the mat, inhale, stay, thinking of lengthening your feet and head in opposite directions, exhale to return back to the mat.
Repeat this four times, concentrating on keeping your shoulders down and neck aligned. You will feel the muscles around your shoulder blades and shoulders working.
When you finish, put the band to one side, sit back on your heels and round your back over your knees to relax the muscles you've worked.
Step 10: Exercise Three: Hug A Tree
Step 11: To prepare
Change position to sit down with your legs crossed. If this is uncomfortable for you, either have your legs out in front or sit cross legged on a small support.
Place the band around your back, just under your shoulder blades and hold onto either end, fists facing down. Adjust where you hold the band if you need more tension.
Step 12: Breathing
This exercise has two breathing patterns. For the first, you will inhale to prepare then exhale over three counts to perform the movement and inhale to prepare again.
The second you'll inhale prepare and then exhale just once to perform the movement, then inhale to prepare again.
Step 13: The exercise
Inhale to prepare, opening your arms to the sides, then exhale over three counts and each time round your arms forwards, bringing your fists closer to each other. Inhale to return and exhale over three to repeat again.
Do this four times - then inhale to prepare, bringing the arms back out, exhale and perform the movement in one fluid action.
Also repeat this four times, concentrating throughout on keeping your neck in a neutral alignment, shoulders down and abdominals strong. You will feel your pictorial and shoulder muscles working.
When you finish, put the band down.
Step 14: Exercise Four: Push Ups
Step 15: To prepare
Position yourself towards one end of your mat on your hands and knees, with your legs together and toes tucked under. Walk your hands forwards to slightly more than shoulder width apart until you feel your w