Pilates Equipment for Better Stretching

by CRNPilates on January 6, 2012

Pilates was largely made famous for its ability to elongate muscles, but that’s not the only reason why the fitness method has soared in popularity. Conveniently, if you ask me, Pilates equipment was also designed with stretching in mind and is incredibly effective for this, no matter what your intention or flexibility level! A couple favorites…

Stretch on the Cadillac!

Have some time after mat class? Try using a Pilates Magic Circle as a means to assist your hamstring and hip stretch. Lay on your back, keeping your legs straightened out in front of you and your shoulder blades flat down on the mat. With the Magic Circle in your left hand, thread your  right foot through the circle, resting the metatarsal on the pad of the circle. Keeping your foot where it is, straighten the right leg and pull your Magic Circle closer to your nose and out towards the left shoulder. The more you pull your right hip down and maintain squareness, the more intense of a stretch you will feel.

If you are finishing a session on the Cadillac, ask an instructor if he/she is available to spot you for this front-of-body stretch. Laying flat on your back with your head near the edge to the Cadillac, hold on to the poles on the right and left sides of you and slip your feet into the foot loops above you. Straighten the legs and let your upper back drape over the edge of the Cadillac behind you. You may feel the stretch in your hip flexors, abs, and thighs. Plus, you will get some good blood flow to your head! =)

Enjoy the benefits of being a Pilates student, and feel free to ask your instructor for more stretching tips. Nothing feels better than a good stretch after a good work out - and nothing better for your body, either!

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