It is usually pretty rare to see a large body builder stretching or foam rolling or practicing mobility-based exercises to counteract all of the weight they’re throwing around on the daily. Yet that’s precisely what you need in order to create balance and functionality in the body. Simple everyday movements like reaching for something on a top shelf or crouching down low to get something that rolled under your couch can be, for the bodybuilder type, more challenging than squatting 225 lbs. Pilates can be am amazing cross-training tool when paired with weightlifting - not only for increased flexibility, but for balancing strength in all muscles as well!
Pilates is the ideal modality for complementing weightlifting
While perfect for building strength, traditional weight lifting typically lacks a functional component, thus decreasing your range of motion and flexibility, leaving you sculpted and simultaneously more prone to injury. Which showcases exactly why Pilates is the ideal modality for complementing weight lifting. Pilates is geared towards generating balance in the body, increasing range of motion, improving flexibility, and challenging the body in functional ways so that you can move through life with ease.
Tack these few moves onto the end of your weightlifting routine for improved performance and increased mobility in all of your body’s planes of motion:
Have a seat with your legs straight out in front of you, a little wider than shoulder width distance. Start with your arms straight out in front of your shoulders, parallel to the ground. Rotate your upper body to the left as you reach your right arm toward your left toes and your left arm behind your body. Roll your spine back upright, arms forward, and repeat, rotating to the right. Complete a few repetitions on each side, focusing on the rotation of the spine and the stretch in the hamstrings.
Lie face down on the ground with your legs straight behind you, feet hip distance apart. Place your hands beneath your shoulders, elbows bent toward the sky. Press into your palms to extend your spine and lift your chest off the ground, keeping your shoulders away from your ears. Slowly lower back down to the ground. Repeat 6-8 times.
Have a seat on the ground with your legs in a Z shape (ie: your right knee bent to the right with your shin bone in front of your body and your left knee bent toward the sole of the right foot so your left shin bone angles behind your body. If that position is too limiting, you can also perform this with legs straight out in front of you). Place your right hand to the outside of your front bent leg, the right leg, lift your left arm up and over as you side bend to the right. Maintain the shape of the legs and switch to side bend to the left. Repeat 2-3 times each side before switching legs and repeating the movement.
Written By: Jenna Morris