More often than not people complain of their muscles and their body feeling too tight, stiff and sore- including me! Unless you spend a great deal of time stretching (and who really has all this spare time?) then this is unlikely to resolve. Most workouts involve you using your muscles, contracting them, and therefore the muscles will tighten and remain slightly tightened if we do not lengthen them afterwards.
Stretching workouts also make us feel good, they stimulate your parasympathetic system- this is the functions opposite to your adrenaline release, so they create calmness, peacefulness, and relaxation. The element of core exercise here allows you to sweat a little and feel energised from strength building. So try this quick workout to enjoy strength and feel relaxed with stretching- the best of both worlds!
If you want to do the full workout then try the 15 minute Pilates with stretching workout here.
Follow each picture as the description explains. Before starting each exercise ensure you engage your core and keep this strong throughout. This is not suitable for those completely new to pilates or those with lower back pain.
Complete each exercise 10 times, and remember to repeat on the opposite side. If that feels easy enough, complete everything for a second time!
Leggings from MyMantra get 15% off using my code “FreshlyCentered” at the till (I receive no benefit in promoting this, it’s purely for your enjoyment!). Mat from Manduka eko® mat, Acai – standard 180cm/71″
1) Leg circles- Stretch one leg out fully straight. Slowly start rotating form your hip joint around in a circle. The further out wide, and lower down you go, the harder the exercise challenges your core. Keep your toes pointed and knee straight for a full hamstring stretch.
2) Scissors- This is a really intense exercise. Lengthen one leg along the mat and extend the other up to the ceiling. Raise your head so that you can grasp the top leg. Gently draw this leg towards your chest, then swap the legs over quickly and pull the opposite leg to your chest. The lower leg reaches down to the mat.
3) Saw stretch- Sitting with your legs outstretched. Reach your opposite arm down towards your toes as far as you can reach, then rise back up to the centre. Swap and try on the opposite side. Continue to alternate from side to side trying to reach further down your leg each time.
4) Arm rotational twists- Begin in kneeling, thread one arm (right arm here) underneath the left arm then on your return open it outwards and up to the ceiling to open the chest and shoulders. Reach all on one side before swapping to the other.
Hope you enjoyed the workout and are feeling great afterwards!