A lot of people tend to think that Pilates is just an exercise for women. This is simply not the case. Pilates is for everyone, especially men
. I’ve been taking Pilates classes for the past two years or so, and I love it. There is nothing that trains my core, abs, and hip muscles like Pilates. I’m far from the only man who swears by Pilates. Several NFL players have incorporated Pilates into their training because of the way Pilates improves core strength, balance, and flexibility.
Being such a fan of Pilates, I decided that I wanted to begin teaching Pilates as part of my personal training. This past weekend, I received training on Pilates Mat from PHI Pilates to become a qualified Pilates Mat instructor, and so soon I’ll be offering Pilates mat classes. Until then, I’m going to be incorporating this training into my exercise programs for clients.
One of the interesting things I learned this weekend was more about the one of the guiding principles of Pilates, breathing. Typically in class, I though the breathing portion of the warm up was just to relax; but in reality, proper Pilates breathing is a great mobility exercise for your rib cage as well as an ab exercise, since it works one of the deep lying abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominis.
With that in mind, here is a simple Pilates breathing exercise you can do anywhere, anytime.
- Gently place your hands along side your rib cage.
- Take a deep inhale through your nose, and really focus on inhaling in such a way that your rib cage pushes East to West, pushing the hands away from the body.
- Make a deep exhale through your mouth, making a “sh” or “ha” sound as you do. Really concentrate on squeezing every bit of air out of your lungs by engaging your ab muscles. Think about pulling your belly button in close to your back as you do so.
- Repeat 5-8 times
Try incorporating this breathing as part of your warm up and cool down routine.