Everyone knows home important exercising is, but many people overlook the importance of stretching! Regardless of age or flexibility, everyone can feel the benefits of stretching. What we don’t realize is that our daily routines contribute to tight muscles and joints making us feel pain in places we don’t enjoy. Stretching has proven to reduce stress, increase energy, reduce pain in problem areas, reduce injury and much more! While Pilate is a great workout, it is also a great way to stretch and increase your flexibility. Some of my favorite Pilates stretches that make my body feel better are feet in straps and deep lunges on the reformer.
To do Feet in straps, start with two red springs and lie on your back on the reformer while holding the straps in both hands, press off the foot bar and one by one, place your feet in the according straps. Press out with both feet and bring both of your legs straight up to feel a deep calf and hamstring stretch. Once you are feeling comfortable, open both legs into a wide “V” and feel a deep stretch within the hip flexier and hamstrings. Next, bring both feet together to a “butterfly” stretch and feel the stretch within your glutes. Feel free to hold any position as long as you want or experiment with whatever makes your body feel good!
Deep lunging on the reformer is how I like to end each Pilates class because it is a great way to get one last deep stretch within the psoas that leave me feeling great walking out of the studio. To do deep lunges on the reformer, start with one blue spring and place both hands on the foot bar while standing to the left side of your reformer. Place your left foot on the floor directly next to the reformer, place your right foot against the carriage head rest and push back and feel a deep stretch within your psoas. Release head and shoulders down to the foot bar to feel an even deeper stretch! Repeat on right side of the reformer.
These simple stretches only take a few minutes but will guarantee a better feeling body