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Tuesday, 26 February 2008
Here is a quick guide to doing double leg lifts, so get your mat ready.
Lie on your back and extend your legs straight up toward the ceiling. Rotate the legs out slightly, keeping the heels together and inner legs pulled in the center line, in Pilates stance.
Place your hands behind your head, keeping the elbows and wide and chest open.
Inhale and on the exhale, pull your abdominals down to the floor. Allow that motion to press your lower back into the floor as your curl your upper torso up off the floor. You will maintain this core strength torso position throughout the exercise.
Modify this exercise by leaving your head down. This is a good way to work up to this challenging exercise. If you leave your head down you can have your arms stretched out along your sides, palms down. Keep the chest open. You may also want to try placing your hands under your hips. This helps relieve a lot of pressure on the lower back.
Inhale: Keeping abdominals pulled in and the back pressed to mat, lengthen your legs out of your hips as you lower them.Go only as far as your can maintain control and good alignment. Do not let your back pop up off the mat. Use your upper abs. to maintain the lift of the chest. Don't try to hold your self up by pulling on your head and neck with the elbows and hands(a common temptation)!
Exhale: With control deepen the abs. even more as you return the legs upright.
Check your position - Pilates stance, open chest, wide elbows, abdominals pulled in.
Repeat the exercise 6 - 8 times.
Protect your back! This is a challenging exercise to do correctly. Try working up to it by leaving your head down, and whatever you do, do not let the lower back peel up off the mat as you lower your legs - use your powerhouse and keep those abs. pulled in.Breathe. Your abs. are pulled in and working hard, so this is a good opportunity to practice breathing deeply into your back and sides.
Enjoy and have fun.