Finally gearing up for an exciting summer adventure? Maybe checking a new summer activity off your bucket list? Perhaps you’re eager to get in the water and try something new! No matter what that activity is, Pilates can help prepare your body for any new challenges it might face.
Snorkeling is a favorite summer activity for travelers and beachgoers everywhere, but it can be deceivingly difficult!
You may be treading water for extended periods of time, and that requires endurance, upper and lower body strength, and more than anything, core strength -- also known as the powerhouse in Pilates!
Prep for safer, stronger summer fun at your local Club Pilates studio.
Focus on breathing activities and breathing patterns. Prone work is optimal, as prone movements mimic the movement and position of the water activity!
Such movements can be practiced on both on the mat and on the Reformer.
PILATES MOVEMENTS AS SOLUTIONS
Goal: strengthen your core! Generally, there's a misconception that your core doesn't include your back, but it absolutely does! In preparing for summer activities such as snorkeling, ideally we want to focus on core abdominal strength, core lower back strength and hip strength - especially in the hip flexors.
MOVES TO TRAIN AT HOME AND IN THE STUDIO
On the Mat: Focus on breath work and seated breathing. Integral to all Pilates practice is breath work, which not only regulates the mind, but also changes the body! Pilates utilizes breath work in every movement, and this is especially important for water activities like snorkeling. One dynamic full-body move to try on the Mat is quadraped.
To perform Quadraped:
Directions: Start on hands and knees, and while keeping your core tight and hips square and stable, alternate stretching one arm in front at a time. Progress to: Extending one hand out front, while at the same time, extending the opposite (contra-lateral) leg behind.
On the Reformer: Swimming and Long Stretch movements will be your best friend! (At home tip: you can perform this movement on a Mat as well!)
To perform Swimming:
Lie on your stomach (otherwise known as prone) on the long box, with your arms stretched in front of you, and your legs and feet engaged behind you. Alternate lifting your opposite arm and leg (creating a swimming motion), increasing postural muscle activation. Then, add rhythmic speed to increase demand on coordination and shoulder/hip stability.
Whether you're just enjoying a dip in the pool, or plan to frolic with some sea life, book your next Pilates class and enjoy your summer activities pain free!