Kami's Favorite Pilates Mat Exercise: Side Body Twist on the Mat 

Intermediate/advanced exercise

My favorite Pilates mat exercise is Side Body Twist. It is an exercise that is typically performed on the Cadillac and the Stability Chair, and I discovered through a Pilates on Fifth video that it can be modified to be done on the mat. It is a challenging exercise that will strengthen the abdominal muscles, especially the obliques. To quote Katherine and Kimberly, who taught me this exercise, "Timing is important in this exercise, so don't give up on the first try!"  I hope you enjoy the challenge and grace of Side Body Twist on the mat as much as I do. 

☺Kami

Starting Position:

Start side-lying at the front of the mat with the body in a long, neutral line from the head to the toes.  The bottom arm reaches overhead with the palm facing the floor, while the top arm is long with the palm down resting on the thigh.

Inhale:  Stabilize the shoulder while gently pressing into the mat with the bottom arm and begin to side-bend the torso toward the ceiling while reaching the legs off the mat.  Allow the top hand to slide along the thigh toward the foot (shown in photo #1).

Exhale:  Continue to gently press into the mat with the bottom arm and rotate the torso to face the legs as the top hip comes to rest on the mat.  The back arm is providing support during the roll-up movement.  Flex the hips to create a V with the legs and the torso.  Reach the top hand toward the feet to create Teaser position (shown in photo #2). 

Inhale:  Stabilize the shoulder while gently pressing into the mat with the bottom arm.  Begin to rotate the torso forward, bringing the top hip off the mat and lowering the legs toward the mat.

Exhale: Control the movement back to starting position.

Complete 3 to 5 repetitions on each side.

Modifications:

  • Once in the Teaser position, the bottom arm can come off the mat and reach toward the ceiling.
  • Since the weight of the legs can make this exercise difficult to achieve at first, the knees can bend during the rotation of the torso. 

The Pilates on Fifth video can be seen here, on YouTube.

 
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Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming Pilates Classes

 Pilates on the Go
Saturday, May 3, 2014
10 a.m. to 12 noon
Classroom 2

Designed with today's busy lifestyle in mind, this workshop will allow you to tailor your workout to your individual needs. Challenge your abs and arms one day and legs, buns and core the next — or put it all together for a great full body workout. A perfect class for frequent travelers, busy moms or anyone needing to find a way to fit in a regular workout.

  • Take-home workout plan is included. 
  • Class capacity is eight participants*.
  • Minimum of 6 participants required.
  • Registration deadline is Wednesday, April 30, 2014
  • Members: $15 Non-members: $20 

Instructor: Monica Anderson

Happy Feet: Pilates for Feet
Saturday, May 17, 2014
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Classroom 2

This workshop will teach you why it is important to focus on foot fitness and how happy, healthy feet improve balance and ease of movement. Learn how to exercise toes, arches and ankles, both individually and together. Discover how taking care of the feet can help reduce foot pain.

  • Take-home Happy Feet workout is included. 
  • Minimum of 6 participants required.
  • Registration deadline is Wednesday, May 14, 2014
  • Members: $15 Non-members: $20 

Instructor: Kami Prince

OsteoPilates
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Classroom 1

OR 

Thursday, May 22, 2014
12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Classroom A

Osteoporosis is an epidemic in the United States. It does not discriminate. It affects children, young adults, men and women. Exercise is recommended, but how and what kind is the question.

  • Increase awareness of proper spinal alignment.
  • Learn how to adapt traditional Pilates exercises.
  • Learn proper body mechanics for daily activities.
  • Walk away feeling taller and more aligned.
  • Based on The Meeks Method created by Sara Meeks.
  • Class capacity is eight participants*.
  • Minimum of 6 participants required.
  • Registration deadline is Monday, May 19, 2014
  • Members: $15 Non-members: $20 

Instructor: Marla Musyt

Pilates at the Gym
Saturday, May 24, 2014
10 a.m. to 12 noon
Fitness Floor (meet at fitness desk)

Pilates is more than exercises performed on a mat or in a studio. It is a philosophy and a mind-set. This workshop will demonstrate how to use Pilates principles to maximize your workouts on standard gym equipment such as the cable cross machine, exercise band and exercise ball. It will also introduce exercises on the TRX and sled incorporating Pilates techniques.

  • Build core and functional strength.
  • Improve posture and balance.
  • Increase flexibility, coordination, and endurance. 
  • Class capacity is 8 participants*.
  • Minimum of 6 participants required.
  • Registration deadline is Wednesday, May 21, 2014
  • Members: $15 Non-members: $20 

Instructor: Marisol Wrightsel