Featured Review

Basic Mat Pilates Routine

January 4, 2016

I used to think of Pilates as exercise for people who weren't "ambitious".  It was too easy.

 

Then I herniated a disc on June 29, 2014.  I couldn't run or lift.  I could barely move.  I was devastated.  Not move?  That's like a death sentence for me.

 

Some friends of mine had been trying to get me to go to a nearby Pilates studio for the last year.  But I already had my workout routine and I was very happy with it and not sure I wanted to stop any of it to make time for Pilates.  Because, you know, Pilates is exercise for the people looking for the easy way out.  It wasn't exercise in my mind.

 

Fast forward to that fateful day at the end of June.  I had been recovering from a hamstring tear, but running and lifting anyway before it completely healed.  Instead of running, I hopped on the elliptical to give it a break.  I stumbled twice during the session.  Weird.  But I kept on going.  Then I met my trainer to begin lifting.  I was on a balance disc doing back rows when, all of a sudden, I felt something in my back shift and had shooting pain.  I couldn't stand; I couldn't move from that bent position.   We immediately stopped the session and I went and saw my chiropractor.  He ordered an MRI on the spot.  I think he knew what I had done but didn't tell me.  I cried when I got the results, but then I immediately began searching the internet for ways to relieve the pain.  I found some stretches and began juicing every green thing known to mankind to help fight the inflammation and injury...  

 

Not being able to do anything else, I called the Pilates studio and began going there a week later, strictly for rehab. Well, I've been going for 1 1/2 years now, and though it's still not my favorite, it is absolutely magical.  I don't completely understand how it works, but it just does!  Within 3 months I was able to run again and began lifting a little, but very light weights.  I was too scared to do anything heavy or jump until almost a year later.  But to be able to run again!  Oh, it was heaven!!  And, not only did my back not hurt, but I no longer had any hamstring pain.  NONE!  And I gained back almost complete flexibility in that hamstring!  I had spent the previous year going to physical therapy, getting PRP injections, and regular (painful) massage to break up the scar tissue.  All with only minimal results.  The pain and immobility never went away.

 

I'm kicking myself for not going to Pilates sooner, but sometimes we are just forced into things.  Pilates is now my physical therapy.  And my core has become so much stronger.  I have learned to move my body in different planes.  I'm becoming slightly more graceful (which, I'm sure you can tell by my very unprofessional videos, does not come naturally to me at all).  

 

This simple, basic mat routine has been a game changer for me.  It is something simple you can do at home on the floor in your living room while watching your kids jump on the couches.  About a month ago, I began doing it every morning soon after I wake up, and I continue to gain more flexibility in my hips and hamstrings.  It's MAGICAL!  

 

So, I am sharing with you the Magical, Basic Mat Pilates Routine!  It is a great warm-up before your  workout.  Give it a try and keep at it.  You'll feel a difference within a few short weeks.  Consistency is the key.  Once you get the hang of it, it only takes about 10 minutes, max!  Who couldn't use 10 minutes of FREE physical therapy every day?!

 

Printable PDF

 

Basic Mat Pilates Routine

 

Exercise  /  Reps

Hundreds 10 10-count breaths

Roll-up 6 total

Single Leg Circles 5 each direction

Rolling Like a Ball 6 total

Single Knee Stretch 8 each leg

Double Knee Stretch 8 total

Single Leg Strech 8 each leg

Double Leg Stretch 8 total

Crisscross 8 each leg

Spine Stretch Forward 8 total

Open Leg Rocker 6 total

Corkscrew 4 each direction

Saw 8 each leg

Single Leg Kick 8 each leg

Side Kick Series

 Forward-Back 10 total

 Up-Down 10 total

 Circles 10 each direction

 Bicycles 8 total

 Leg Beats 30 beats

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