Heat Up Your Core with Headstands
After 11 years of teaching Pilates, I am still in awe of the human body! As a dancer I always loved creating new choreography that pushed my body and challenged my mind. To me, dance is more than just following steps, it is a way of discovering my body's movement capabilities. It wasn't until I began incorporating Pilates into my repetoire that I could feel my body begin to move more fluidly as one complete unit. By strengthening the entire core (front and back) my movements became stronger and more solid. In fact, I felt more balanced and secure when attempting new and demanding dance moves. I found that from then on exercises weren't about one body part, they were about the entire body working as a whole. By gradually exploring new and challenging core strenthening exercises, I am able to heat the body, burn calories and work my appendages all in a very short period of time. One of my new favorite moves takes you from a plank to a modified headstand. Headstands, also known as inversions, are cleansing and therapeutic to the body. Any time your heart is above your head you are in an inversion. Inversions help your joints and spine decompress from the effects of gravity and daily activities and scientifically have been proven advantageous for the cardiovascular, lymphatic, endocrine and nervous systems. An inversion is a perfect exercise for the complete body. Follow my lead and I'll walk you step by step through this killer exercise. It can be done on a reformer or practiced at home against a wall. Take your time, have fun and feel every part of your body come to life!! https://youtu.be/V03oxNJ1BqQ
Start on your hands and knees. Come down to your forearms and interlace your fingers with your pinkies on the ground. Make sure that your elbows are narrow enough so that you can grab them with opposing hands. Keeping your fingers interlaced, one at a time extend your legs straight back so that you are in a plank position. Keeping your ribs closed, lower abdominals in and tail bone long, hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Slowly come down on your knees.
Start the same way-on your hands and knees. Come down to your forearms and interlace your fingers with your pinkies on the ground. Make sure that your elbows are narrow enough so that you can grab them with opposing hands. Keeping your fingers interlaced, curl your toes under, lift your hips up, straighten your legs reaching your heels to the ground. Walk your feet toward your head, pushing your forearms into the ground so that your head barely touches the floor. The more your push the arms into the floor the more you can pull your shoulders away from the ears and down your back. Lift your right leg up as high as you can toward the ceiling and then bring it back down to meet your left. Lift your left leg into the air as high as you can, bring it back down to meet your right. Repeat the leg lifts three times. Walk your legs back to plank, pause, sit back into child's pose and relax. You did it!