Warming up prior to exercise and cooling down is extremely important if you are to avoid injury. The objective of our warm up exercises is to raise the body’s temperature to prepare the muscles for activity. At the beginning of each session at the Edinburgh Pilates Centre, you will do a set of warm-up workouts to get you centred and ready for the rest of the session. In this time you have the opportunity to tell Chris of any potential niggles that have been causing you discomfort. This enables him to adapt the session accordingly. Each week you should feel improvements even in the warm-up with these 3 movements.
For all of these warm up exercises, start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart and flat on the mat. Repeat each move 10 times before moving onto the next one.
Pelvic Curl – Small Movement
- With your hands by your side, palms facing down, your head against the mat – if you have a little cushion there to keep your spine straight then that’s advisable – relax your neck. Begin to centre yourself with your breathing and try and maintain a neutral position in your pelvis.
- Whilst exhaling, pull your abdominal muscles inwards, clench your gluteus maximus and slowly engage them to curl your shoulders off of the mat. Really hold your core here, keep your pelvis neutral and relax your neck and shoulders to get the most out of this move.
- Inhale whilst slowly articulating each vertebra back down to the starting position.
Pelvic Curl – Larger Movement
- Follow the first step of the from the previous movement, this time instead of a small lift to get your shoulder off of the mat, engage your abdominal muscles for longer to get a larger range of motion to get your shoulders and upper back off of the matt.
- Then inhale whilst slowly articulating each vertebra back down to the starting position.
- Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart and flat on the mat. Behind your head, link your fingers together and bend the elbows so that they are pointing outwards. Ensure that your chin is stretched by tilting it towards your chest.
- Inhale filling your lungs, then exhale and slowly and with control engage your abs to lift your head and shoulders off of the mat whilst making your elbows reach for the ceiling. To feel the movement more, pull your abs in further.
- Pause at the top and inhale. Exhale slowly and return to the starting position with as much control and awareness of your body as possible. Repeat this sequence 10 times.
These pilates warm up exercises have been tailored by Chris, so that you can easily practise them at home. However, we recommend learning the correct posture and movements in class with Chris, to prevent injury. If you’re new to Pilates, join Chris for an assessment class and witness the benefits for yourself!
Give Chris a call on 0131 652 1904 to find out more.