I know it’s a strange title..I was reading an article from Elle magazine about the actress Jennifer Lawrence’s workout during the shooting of one of the movie of X-men saga. Well, assuming that Jennifer Lawrence did this workout, the article promotes the method “the Feel good plan” which is therefore one ensemble of common sense rules such as: start your day with a walk/run outside of 20-30 min, 15 min of gluteus and legs routine, stretching should be part of the routine as well, utilize the weight of your body instead lifting weights, healthy snacks no junk food (really?), if you want sugar or sweets, choose the organic one and homemade (really !?). The article ends with a series of exercises to repeat for one min each, including push up, side planks etc..
Honestly, who doesn’t know these rules, or hasn’t done these exercises at home or at the gym? The exercises looked familiar.. of course it’s Pilates!
A lot of Pilates exercises can be done at home, you need just a mat.
Often people don’t say it’s Pilates, because it’s a complex discipline involving many principles and because they think it’s not “tough” enough, but at the end of the day, you are doing Pilates. “How” you are doing it, it’s your business and actually it depends on how they explained the exercise to you. I assure you that even a plank feels different if you are doing it in the “Pilates way”.
So, here is the Plank that Joseph Pilates incorporates as transition before Push up.
– starting from a standing position, inhale as you bring the arms up, engaging abdominals and legs.
– exhale as you roll down bringing the hands to the floor (feel free to bend the knees in case you have tight hamstrings); leave the head heavy and feel the streching behind the legs
– walk your hands forward in 4 steps until you form a line from the top of the head to the heels: you are in plantar flexion, toes on the floor, the pelvis slightly under the line of the shoulders, hands right under the shoulders.
– keep the posture for 10 seconds, progress for 20 and 30 secs.
To make it easier:
– start in quadruped position (hands and knees), extend one leg and the other
– stay on your forearms instaead of the hands, if you have wrist issues
To make it harder:
– maximise the plantar flexion and the lenghtening through the body
– put your hand on a Bosu or a Fitball
– remove one support, take your right hand to your left shoulder or lift your right foot (alternate)
This is a full body exercise, abdominals have to stay active to stabilize otherwise all the weight will go on your arms and/or back. This is also a fundamental exercise to prepare in more complicated and dinamic movements like the Leg Pull front on the mat and the Control Front on the Reformer.