As a teacher, I sometimes have to remind myself that I STILL have many lessons to learn.
(Thank goodness for that!)
I teach pilates day after day, going through the exercises, coming up with new ways to present the work…but the best method for me to enhance my clients' experiences is to do pilates workouts myself.
I mentioned yesterday that I'm dealing a bit of lower back strain from lifting my daughter improperly. To get myself back on track, release some of that tension and still get a great workout…I decided to do a pilates-based workout. Here's what I did on my rainy Tuesday!
TODAY'S WORKOUT: Lynda Lippin's Pilates With Ring & Roller MP3 workout.
Lynda has a few other workouts and also offers 2 Free E-books for pilates back pain and should/neck tension. I highly recommend those titles as well.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Purchase a pilates magic circle and a one of the many styles of foam rollers. I also use a bit of a thicker pilates & yoga exercise mat. I've got a bony back and it feels much better than even the carpet.
If you don't have a laptop or some type of mp3 player (Ipod, Iphone, or other), you will need one. Most cell phones even let you put mp3s there, so get something you can play mp3's on and make sure you have enough space for a basic exercise mat. I had my laptop in the livingroom with my mat on the floor nearby. Keep your set up simple.
Do some sort of movement preparation or warm up. Simple dynamic stretching and even just taking a 10 minute walk will get your body warmed up for the workout. I did a quick search for “dynamic stretch warm-up” and found this site…but I saw many others!
First, you will notice Lynda has a very commanding voice. You will thank her for this clarity later…because often audio workouts are really tough to follow! She will guide you through the exercises very clearly. And even if you are used to doing a pilates dvd or taking a pilates class, you should have no problem following Lynda.
Part 1 is the Magic Circle or Pilates Ring workout. The moves are simple, but not easy. You will definitely feel them the next day. The last time I did this workout, I felt them later the same day! The entire sequence is a great butt/thigh tonight workout…sure to get you that lifted pilates bum you've been looking to achieve. You'll also get the some great arm exercises that you won't want to rush through. Follow Lynda's pace and you'll gain the benefit of maximum core activation. It's been some time since I did magic circle regularly, so this was a huge change for me. I loved how focused I had to be in order to feel my abs working along with my arms (or butt/thighs).
Another huge benefit to doing the magic circle work for the butt and thighs is that it will strengthen your pelvic floor too. Ladies, even if you don't do your kegels (which you should do daily), this will help you remember them and stengthen the muscles in a different way.
New mommies…do not skip this part of the work out.
The Pilates Ring workout flows from working out the butt/thighs to arms, to side lying legs/hips, and core work with the roll up and hundreds.
Next up is the foam roller section of workout. If you have tailbone issues (and usually you know who you are) put some sort of cloth, towel or very thin padding over the roller. Some rollers come a little squishier than others, so don't be afraid to try them out.
The series starts out with pilates principles to get you moving & stabilizing your hips first and then your shoulder girdle. I often add a similar sequence to my own clients workouts…but this movement series focused on warming up the lower back just a bit more and I loved that! Right now, I'm working through some lower back strain, so Lynda's descriptions and flow through the moves really got me warmed up.
If you generally do a lot of gym workouts or workout with weights…without a lot of stretching…then you will love the 2nd half of the foam roller workout. Lynda guides you through stretches for your lower back, uppper back, thighs, hamstrings, and calves. She also has other mp3 workouts that might be more suitable for you if you have neck/shoulder pain or lower back pain, so definitely check these out.
After you complete the 30 minute pilates workout, your body will feel stretched out, warmed up and really ready to start the day. Drink a lot of water after these types of stretching and muscle release sessions to avoid any soreness later.
The mp3 workout is very inexpensive and totally worth the purchase. I highly recommend this workout specifically for people who travel a lot, find themselves sitting a bit too much or anyone who has a very physical job. The foam roller provides so much muscle release and relaxation!
Let me know if you buy it and get a chance to do the workout! I'd love to know what you thought too!
If you like this audio workout, you'll also want to check out Lynda's other audio workouts:
Also, you can always find a bunch of shorter text/video workouts at:
If you have tried other pilates mat or pilates reformer audio workouts, please let me know! I'd love to know about them.