Pilates Reformers, Pilates Chairs, Pilates Regimen
Beginning a new workout routine can be intimidating. While starting with an apparatus such as a Pilates Reformer or Pilates Chair can be beneficial, it's a good idea to start off with sequences that can be done on a soft mat. Through this method, it is easy to build abdominal and leg strength, an open chest, and a focused mind. The following is just a sample of some beginner Pilates poses to get you started.
To start, lie on your back and point your toes away. Tuck your chin and lift the shoulder blades slightly while looking down at your stomach. Raise your legs a couple inches off the floor, then raise your arms, palms down, 45 degrees up. Slowly breathe in while beating your arms about seven inches up and down for a count of five. Do the same breathing out. Relax after a count of 100.
The Roll Up
Lying on your back with arms extended on the floor over your head and toes pointed, lift your arms directly into the air in front of you and point your toes upward. Inhaling, tuck your chin to your chest and roll your spine off the Pilates mat. Roll your body forward until your head touches your legs (eventually, this will happen).
One Leg Circle
Lying on your back, stretch one leg to the ceiling and press the other firmly to the mat. Bring the up leg toward your nose and across the body in a circle and stop at the top. Reverse directions and repeat five times. Do the same with your opposite leg. Remember to maintain your abs and pelvis still.
Seated with your knees bent, feet on the floor and hands on the floor by your hips, reach forward and lock your hands around your legs. Roll backward until your head is plane with the floor, then roll to the starting position.
Double Leg Stretch
Lie as you do when starting the Hundred. Lift your pointed toes eight inches off the mat, stretch your hands toward your feet along the side of your body. Slowly bend your knees and grab your legs, pulling your knees to your chest. Release your legs, and return to hands stretched at your sides with feet eight inches off the ground. Repeat.
Using a Pilates Reformer or Pilates Chair
The above exercises, and plenty more, can be improved upon with a Reformer or Pilates Chair by adding resistance and facilitating proper form. Doing a Pilates routine for even as little as a few weeks will improve your core strength considerably and preparing you for more serious exercises using these tools.