Inspiration

EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

The Four Sides London Team

August and September 2020

Leg pull in prone (hovers) into plank on Reformer

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Good For:

  • Abdominal and core strength
  • Upper body strength
  • Deep neck flexors

Reps/sets:

  • Endurance: Hold between 5-10 seconds in each position and repeat as form is maintained. Repeat for 1 minute x 4 sets
  • Resistance can be altered by changing the springs on the reformer. A lighter spring will challenge the core more and heavier will work the whole body

Test it out: 

  • Reformer classes
  • Mat classes - this can be adapted onto the mat as a variation of the plank series
  • Pilates 1:1’s and 2:1’s

July 2020

Scooter lunge on the Reformer

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With our reformer classes back on I wanted to share one of my favourite reformer exercises! A butt burner and a fantastic workout for your whole lower body and core whilst challenging your stability. If you come to my classes you’ll know my variations are endless!!

 

Good For:

  • Global leg strength as they work your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and core
  • Lower body endurance
  • Single leg stability
  • Great conditioning for runners

Reps/sets:

  • 4 minutes of different variations each side x 2-3 sets

Test it out: 

  • Our Reformer Pilates classes

June 2020

Lunge into Knee Drive

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With us all having to workout in our own homes our workouts can easily become repetitive. I love lunges as they are fantastic for working your whole lower body including legs and core whilst challenging your stability. With so many differnet variations they will never cause your progress to plateau or workouts to lose their shine.

 

Good For:

  • Global leg strength as they work your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and core
  • Lower body endurance
  • Single leg stability
  • Great conditioning for runners

Reps/sets:

  • 15-20 reps each side x 4-6 sets (30 secs rest between sets)
  • Start with bodyweight and progress you can add a hop into the knee drive
  • It is also a great exercise to add into a full body circuit of: High plank shoulder taps, walkouts and jump squats. Try 40secs work, 20seconds rest for 3 consecutive rounds!

Test it out: 

  • Our S&C and HIIT Pilates classes

May 2020

Progressive 4 point kneeling pelvic floor/ deep abdominal exercises

PF Anna 1
PF Anna 2
PF Anna 3

Good For:

  • Abdominal strengthening during pregnancy
  • Pelvic floor and core strengthening
  • Improving tummy muscle separations
  • Pelvic stability
  • Upper limb strength / shoulder stability

Reps/sets:

  • Squeeze the ball between the knees, engage/ zip up the pelvic floor and tummy muscles and hold and breathe for 10 seconds. Repeat x 6 x 2 sets
  • Squeeze the ball between the knees and zip up through the pelvic floor and tummy muscles while you extend the arm by your head. Repeat for 1 minute alternating sides x 2 sets
  • Squeeze the ball between the knees, engage/ zip up the pelvic floor and tummy muscles and hover knees 1 inch from the ground – hold for 10 seconds. Repeat x 6 x 2 sets

N.B Work progressively through these exercises ensuring there is no doming/ bracing of the abdominals and you maintain a neutral back/ pelvis.

Test it out: 

  • In our LIVE online antenatal/postnatal Mat Pilates classes

April 2020

Hip Flexor Stretch with arm openings

Hip flexor 1
hip flexor 2
Hip flexor 3

Good For:

  • Posture
  • Hip flexor length
  • Upper back mobility
  • Shoulder mobility

Reps/sets:

  • Hold stretch whilst alternating arm openings, 6 x each side

Test it out: 

  • In our LIVE Mat Pilates classes

March 2020

Ski Prep- Squat Jumps (advanced)

With the ski season upon us it's time to prime those legs. Maxmise your ski holiday with repeated squat jumps. You should have hopefully built the base strength in your legs with squats, splits squats, deadlifts, hip thrusters, calf raises, leg press exercises pre Christmas progress to squat jumps to really help negate the dreaded day 3 ski leg stiffness.

Good For:

  • Skiing prep
  • Strengthening the quadriceps
  • Lower body endurance

Reps/sets:

15-30 reps x 4-6 sets (30 secs rest between sets). Start with body weight or progress to a powerbag on back max weight 20% body weight

N.B. If you are unable to do squat jumps then apply the same reps and sets with squats but add weight to maximise fatigue and muscle ache

Test it out: 

  • Our S&C for All classes

February 2020

Curl Up Over Pilates Ball

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The variations are endless and I like to mix them up!

Good For:

  • Upper abdominal endurance and strength
  • Rib closure post natal
  • Rectus Abdominis endurance and strength
  • Diastasis rehabilitation

Reps/sets:

Try the following variations aiming to build up to 4 minutes

    1. Curl up and hold for 10 seconds x 6 reps
    2. Curl up and over ball for 1 minute
    3. Curl up and hold- raise arms overhead keeping rib closure for 1 minute
    4. Oblique curl up alternating sides for 1 minute

Test it out: 

  • Our Mat class, Pilates Circuit class, DRAM class

 

January 2020

Squat Jump

Squat jump 1
Squat Jump 2

With the ski season upon us it's time to prime those legs. Maxmise your ski holiday with repeated squat jumps. You should have hopefully built the base strength in your legs with squats, splits squats, deadlifts, hip thrusters, calf raises, leg press exercises pre Christmas progress to squat jumps to really help negate the dreaded day 3 ski leg stiffness.

Good For:

  • Skiing prep
  • Strengthening the quadriceps
  • Lower body endurance

Reps/sets:

  • 15-30 reps x 4-6 sets (30 secs rest between sets)
  • Start with body weight or progress to a powerbag on back max weight 20% body weight
  • NB. If you are unable to do squat jumps then apply the same reps and sets with squats but add weight to maximise fatigue and muscle ache

Test it out: 

  • Our S&C for All classes

Other key exercises for preparing for skiing would be: splits squats, deadlifts, hip thrusters, calf raises and the leg press.

December 2019

Box Plank

Box plank 1
BOX plank 2
Box plank 3

Good For:

  • Core and oblique strength and endurance
  • Trunk rotation control
  • Scapular and neck strength and stability
  • Skiing prep

Reps/sets:

  • 30 secs x 4 sets
  • Can be varied by using a slider on the floor or a mini loop to add resistance

Test it out: 

  • In our Mat Pilates, Pilates Circuit classes

October 2019

Handstand Practice/ Decline Plank in TRX

Handstand Practice 1
Handstand Practice 2

Good For:

  • Abdominal and core strength
  • Whole body alignment
  • Upper body strength

Reps/sets:

  • Endurance: Hold 30-60 secs
    Upper body strength: Press ups 8-15 reps x 3 sets

Test it out: 

  • Pilates circuit, S&C for Mums and S&C classes

September 2019

Modified roll downs

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Good For:

  • Core strength
  • Segmental control of lumbar spine

Reps/sets:

  • 10 reps; 3-4 sets

Test it out: 

  • In our Pilates Mat or circuit class

July 2019

Modified split squat - glute focus

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Good For:

  • Hip and pelvic stability
  • Glute strength
  • Abdominal and core strength
  • Unilateral stability

Reps/sets:

  • Strength: 10-15 reps with appropriate weight x 4 sets

Test it out: 

  • S&C 30, S&C intense, S&C for mums

June 2019

Theraband Bent Over Row to Tricep Extension

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Good For:

  • Mid back and upper body strength and endurance
  • Shoulder strength and stability
  • Abdominal strength
  • Unilateral stability

Reps/sets:

  • Bent over Row - 20 reps x 3 sets both sides
  • Tricep Extension - 20 reps x 3 sets both sides

Test it out: 

  • Try it in our: Mat Pilates, Pilates Circuit, S&C 60 and S&C 60 for mums

May 2019

Scooter

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Good For:

  • Hip and pelvic strength and stability
  • Gluteal and hamstring strength
  • Single leg functional control
  • Foot and ankle balance and stability

Reps/sets:

  • 30 secs x 4 sets
  • Can be varied by using a slider on the floor or a mini loop to add resistance

Test it out: 

  • Try it in our: In our Mat Pilates, Pilates Circuit and Reformer Pilates classes

April 2019

Oblique twist in four point kneeling

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Good For:

  • Lower back and pelvic stability
  • Shoulder stability
  • Oblique/abdominal strength
  • Glutes/hamstring strength

Reps/sets:

  • 30s x 3 each side

Test it out: 

  • Try it in our:  Mat class, Pilates circuit and Pilates HIIT class

March 2019

Single arm/ leg Aleknas

Dead bug1
Dead bug 2
Dead bug3

Good For:

  • Functional abdominal strength
  • Shoulder strength and stability
  • Trunk stiffness and rib control

Reps/sets:

  • Single arm in crook lying (Kettle bell/ weight optional) 10 reps x 3 sets both sides
  • Single arm and opposite leg (Kettle bell/ weight optional) 10 reps x 3 sets both sides

Test it out: 

  • Try it in our: S&C Intense 30, S&C 60 and S&C 60 for mums

February 2019

Box Plank

Box 1
Box 2

Good For:

  • Functional abdominal strength
  • Shoulder strength and stability
  • Retraining abdominals following a back injury

Reps/sets:

  • Reps/sets: 4 sets of 30 seconds

Test it out: 

  • In our Pilates mat, HIIT, reformer and circuit classes

January 2019

Modified plank with clam

Side bend 1
Side bend 2
Side bend 3

Good For:

  • Hip strength and stability
  • Shoulder strength and stability
  • Oblique strength and endurance

Reps/sets:

  • Reps/sets: 3 sets of 30 seconds

Test it out: 

  • In our Pilates and mat circuit class

December 2018

Plank ups

Plank 1
Plank 2
Plank 3

Good For:

  • Scapula strength and stability
  • Core strength and endurance
  • Triceps and pectoral strength 

Reps/sets:

  • 12 reps x 4 sets
  • Or you could also add in to a high intensity circuit with 45 seconds on and 15 seconds off, 3 - 4 rounds

Test it out: 

  • In our S&C and HIIT Pilates classes

November 2018

Split kneeling row

Kneeling row 1
Kneeling row 2

Good For:

  • Pelvic function
  • Building muscle through the core: hip-trunk-shoulder
  • Lateral trunk and pelvic stability

Reps/sets:

  • Aim for 15 reps each side - 4 sets

Test it out: 

  • In our S&C classes

October 2018

Isometric Nordic Hamstrings

Hamstring
Hamstring Reformer

Good For:

  • Hamstring strength and power
  • Protecting your low back
  • Rehabilitation of the pelvis and spine
  • Recovering from a hamstring tendinopathy or strain

Reps/sets:

  • Aim for 10 seconds maximum exertion x 5 x 4

Test it out: 

  • In our S&C and Pilates classes

September 2018

Bulgarian Split Squat

Split squat 1
Split squat 2

Good For:

  • Unilateral strength
  • Balance
  • Glutes, hamstring and Quadricep strength

Reps/sets:

  • 10 reps each leg x 4 sets
  • You could also add bodyweight mini jumps for 30 seconds to add some high intensity to your workout

Test it out: 

  • In our S&C and Pilates HIIT classes

August 2018

Single leg bridge

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Good For:

  • Hamstring and glute strength and toning
  • Lumbar and pelvic stability
  • Core strength

Reps/sets:

  • 12-15 reps/3-4 sets

Test it out: 

  • In our Pilates Mat 6 and Pilates circuit class

 

July 2018

Plank prep

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Good For:

  • Lower back and pelvic stability
  • Abdominal strength and endurance
  • Shoulder stability

Reps/sets:

  • Strength: 8 reps x 4 sets
  • Endurance: 12 reps x 3 sets

Test it out: 

  • In our Mat 6 and Pilates Circuit 4 classes

 

June 2018

TRX - 'The Waterskier' (single arm rotational row)

Waterski 1
Waterski 2
Waterski 3

Good For:

  • Shoulder stabilty and strength
  • Core stability
  • Abdominal strength and tone
  • Thoracic / upper back mobility
  • Posture

Reps/ sets:

  • Work capacity: 12-15 reps x 3-4 sets

Test it out: 

  • In our Pilates circuit and Strength and Conditioning classes