30 Day Pilates Body Challenge: Day 1 – Legs

Hi, beauties! Welcome to the 30 Day Pilates Body Challenge. I’m Robin from The Balanced Life and I’m going to be leading you through this series for about 10 minutes every day, so we’re going to get to know each other pretty well by the end of the challenge and I’m excited to get started. I’m excited for you to experience the benefits of Pilates. You’re going to be surprised. I know I’ve been repeating myself but I really want you to do two things before we get started. One, find yourself an accountability buddy. So maybe it’s an old friend, maybe it’s a sister, a relative, someone that you can check in with each day to just be like, “Yep, got my workout done” and it’s a great excuse to stay in touch with someone that you don’t get to talk to maybe every day. So send them the link to the challenge, ask them to be your buddy. And second, I really want you to join me on social media. So we’re going to be using the hashtag #30daypilatesbody on Instagram and Twitter. And I understand if you like to keep your account private. I have a private account as well, so if that’s you, then I encourage you to set up an account just for the challenge, just to be a part of what we’re doing and so I can check in on you, I can cheer you on, and you can see what other people are doing as well. So at the time I am filming this challenge I am about four months postpartum of my second baby, so I’m totally in this with you guys, okay? I am NOT like coming at this from a really advanced level right now. Sure, I’ve been teaching for a long time so I’ve got a leg up, but I’m really trying to regain my strength and so I want you to know that we are in this together. You’re going to hear me grunting and huffing and puffing right along with you, okay? So our first workout is a leg workout. So we’re going to get started. We’re going to take ten minutes today to just strengthen that lower body. So all you need is a mat, maybe a chair for balance if you don’t feel like you’ve got great balance. So that’s up to you. We’re going to start with our legs sit bone distance apart, which is also known as hip distance apart, and just relax your shoulders. Take a nice big inhale and as you exhale just nod your chin and just slowly roll forward. So a nice easy roll down. Knees are soft. Inhale at the bottom, exhale draw the abs in, and stack your way back up again. Let’s do that two more times. Inhale, exhale roll it forward, inhale, and exhale roll it back up. Good. Nice and easy. Just getting movement through the spine, warming up the body. Arms are just hanging. Good. And slowly coming back up. Let’s take the arms up with a nice big inhale, interlace the fingers and stretch to the sky. Good. Take a nice wide stance for me now and take your arms to a tee. We’re just going to stretch up and over to one side, and go the other way. Just gently warming up. And then I just kind of want you to twist side to side. Again, just getting the blood flowing, that’s the whole point–in case you’re doing this first thing in the morning or on a cold snowy day like I am right now. All right, good, bring those legs back to sit bone distance apart or hip distance and you’re going to do a squat. I’m going to turn sideways so you can see what I’m doing. This is a reformer Pilates exercise on the mat, so here’s what we’re going to do. You’re going to sit your hips back as though you’re sitting in a chair or you’re going to, you’re imagining that you’re going to. Your arms come forward, and then you’re just press back up, ready? Inhale, and exhale, inhale, and exhale. Abs are drawing in, and equal weight in your whole foot, maybe a little bit more weight in your heels than in your toes. Good. And five, and six, seven, standing nice and tall, go ahead and put some energy in those arms. Might as well get as much as we can out of the workout today. And good. On the next one come up and hold, and then lower down and hold a deep squat. Little pulses. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, standing tall. From here lift your heels just a little bit, so just like I slid a book under your heels. That’s about as high as I want you to go. Same thing, with a little bit more of a balance challenge. Back, and up. This is where you may want a chair if your balance isn’t really reliable. Three and up, four and up, five, lifting tall. Three more. Three, two, and one. Hold here. Little pulses. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, stand tall and lower the heels. Nice job. Turning now in a wide stance. So take it pretty wide because I want you to feel comfortable. I want your knees to feel okay. Now rather than squatting back, now we’re thinking of going straight down, like straight down a wall, okay? So nice wide stance, arms to a tee. Just bend and straighten, bend and straighten. Good. Three, and four, don’t forget to draw those abs in. Every time, no matter what we’re doing in Pilates, we’ve got that core engaged, right? Good. Three more. Two, one, hold it down. Little pulses. Ten times. Eight, good. The lower you go, the harder it is. Five, four, three, two, one, stand tall. Raise your left heel, lower down. Lift up, down, and up. Good. Three, four, I’m in an external rotation–just slight, not really extreme, just enough to get into those external hip rotators. Good. And hold. Little pulses. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, standing tall. Opposite heel comes up. Ten, good, nine, think of that pelvic floor contracting and lifting as you come up, six, good, four, three. Last two. Two and one. Lower down. Hold it, and pulse. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, and up. Are you feeling the burn yet? I am! Both heels up. Again, if you need a chair here, now would be the time to grab it. Otherwise both heels up, nice and slow. Good. Nine, don’t forget about that pelvic floor coming down. This is seven, six, try to steady those ankles if you can, four, three, two, one. Going down for our pulses. Lower down and ten, nine, eight, seven, you can do this. Good. Two, one. Just hold it. I know you feel the burn because I feel the burn. Or at least hopefully I’m not the only one. Just hold. Sink a little lower, little lower, stand tall. Good, and stretch it forward. So just let yourself hang out here for a moment. Maybe slide the hips side to side, and roll your way back up. Okay, one more exercise. It’s not quite a Pilates exercise but it’s good for us anyways. So you’re going to come sideways on your mat. Your hips or your pelvis is going to stay upright. You’re just going to bend your knees into a bit of a lunge here. So pelvis is upright, torso is straight. We’re just going to pulse down, down, down. Good. We’re doing 20 of these. Six, seven, so this isn’t a classic Pilates exercise but we can take our Pilates principles to it, thinking of engaging the core, lifting the pelvic floor, and maintaining our alignment. Uh-oh, I lost count. Let’s do four more. Four, three, two, one. Okay, other side. Square yourself off. Pelvis is upright. Bend the back knee. Little pulses. I promise I’ll count this time, okay? Five, seven, keep breathing, nine, ten. Ten more. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, and lift tall. Shake it out, you guys. Hopefully I’m not the only one that was feeling that in my legs. All right, you guys, thank you for joining me for the first day of the challenge. We’re only going to get stronger and more flexible and more toned from here. So I’ll see you back here on your mat tomorrow.

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