Pilates is a form of exercise and meditation that’s similar in some ways to yoga. One reason so many people in Oakland, California, are adding it to their exercise programs is that almost anybody can do Pilates exercises. In fact, there are even exercises that experienced fitness freaks find challenging, but there are also plenty of exercises that are geared toward beginners. Here are three easy and effective Pilates exercises for beginners in Oakland:
1. Straight single leg stretch
Stretches are a big part of Pilates, and one fantastic stretching exercise for Pilates beginners is the straight single leg stretch. To begin this stretch, you’ll lie down flat on the floor. You can make this more comfortable on hard floors by lying on a yoga or Pilates mat. Now, curl your head and shoulders slightly off the floor and raise your right leg until you can place your hands around your thigh just below the knee. You should feel a good stretch in the back of your leg. Hold this stretch while breathing slowly in and out several times. Finally, slowly lower your leg and then your shoulder and head back to the floor. Repeat these same steps to stretch your left leg.
2. Single leg circles
Another Pilates exercise for beginners is called single leg circles. This exercise is designed to target the quads and hamstrings in your leg, and it also helps work the abs, too. Begin this exercise by lying flat on the floor. Then, lift your right leg until it’s about 90 degrees from the floor. Keep your toes pointed toward the ceiling and start drawing small clockwise circles with your toes. Do two or three clockwise circles, and then reverse direction. Do two or three counterclockwise circles before slowly lowering your leg back to the floor. Then, repeat the steps with your left leg. To make this exercise more challenging, you can gradually make your leg circles bigger.
In spite of its intimidating name, the saw is a Pilates exercise that’s perfect for beginners. This exercise focuses on working your abs, but it also helps stretch your shoulders and upper back at the same time. Start this exercise by sitting down on the floor. Stretch your legs out in front of you with your toes pointed up, and then open your legs so that they’re slightly more than shoulder width apart. Next, hold your arms straight out from your shoulders. This will be the base position for this exercise. From the base position, twist your upper body to the left. Reach your right hand down toward your left foot and do three pulses, or slight forward and backward movements. To complete the exercise, sit up and untwist your body until you’ve returned to the base position. Then, repeat these steps on the other side of the body.
SOL Physical Therapy offers Pilates sessions in Oakland, CA
At our Oakland clinic, SOL Physical Therapy has a team of fitness and physical therapy professionals that can help you get your Pilates fix. Our team routinely uses Pilates to help people strengthen their bodies, relax their minds and recover from injuries.
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an appointment.