Pilates resistance band workout

18 Minute Pilates Resistance Band Workout | Intermediate Level

Today’s Pilates resistance band workout will  strengthen your muscles, improve your posture, and increase your flexibility. All you need is a resistance band (a.k.a exercise band or Theraband) and your workout mat.

Pilates emphasizes core strength, postural alignment, mobility and breath, making it a really important component of your overall workout routine.

But to fully reap these benefits, your flow should be focused around the six Pilates principles: breathing, concentration & control, centering, balanced muscle development, flow, and relaxation.

Before we unroll our mats for today’s video, let’s take a quick peek at each of these principles.

Breathing

In the words of my old mate Joe Pilates: “Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it.” Breathing calms our wandering mind and allows us to focus on our physical body. In Pilates we INHALE through the nose and EXHALE through the mouth; a strong exhale activates the deep abdominal muscles. If you get confused with the breathing just remember to exhale on the most challenging phase of each movement.

Concentration & Control

Intentional movement focuses on form and alignment, rather than speed and repetition — it is better to do five perfect reps of an exercise, than 20 without paying attention. I encourage you to listen to your body, maintain your alignment, and modify any exercises that feel too challenging.

Centering

The core is the center of the body and acts as both your anchor and your compass. In Pilates we initiate the core before every movement, even for something as simple as lifting an arm or a leg. To activate your abdominals, exhale through your mouth while drawing the belly button towards your spine. If you notice your belly push out during an exercise, stop what you’re doing and reconnect your abs.

Balanced Muscle Development

Our body is designed to move in multiple directions, and we can use our Pilates workout to honor that. In today’s video we are tapping into EVERYTHING: front and back, side to side, bend and flex, and stretch and strengthen… it’s going to feel great!

Flow

Rhythm and flow is my favorite aspect of Pilates. It feels so natural for my body to move in a way that is fluid and functional, while also creating a calm sense of balance for body, mind and spirit. At first you may feel a little clunky trying today’s routine, but after repeating it once you will be able to flow with ease.

Relaxation

Remember, Jennifer Dene Wellness is about feeling fit, feminine and fabulous in the simplest way possible. Don’t make exercise harder than it has to be, and don’t believe the hype that workouts need to be exhausting to be effective. Use as much effort as you need to in order to perform each exercise correctly, but then no more. Relax your shoulders, relax your jaw, and at the end of the session take a few moments to simply lie on your mat and enjoy the stillness.

Choosing The Right Resistance Band

In the video I chat about choosing a the right resistance band for Pilates workouts. The bands that you can buy in a set of three, with three different weight tensions, tend to be too heavy and short for Pilates. Instead, I buy a long roll of Theraband and cut it into three generous lengths; blue is a nice weight for intermediate fitness levels. (Purchase your exercise band here.)

Now let’s do it to it!

Pilates Resistance Band Workout

This is an intermediate Pilates mat workout. If you are a beginner, move more slowly and take the most basic option in each exercise. I wanted to get as much done in 18 minutes as possible so I’m moving at quite a clip, you can always pause the video if you need a little more time. I recommend repeating today’s workout three times this week.

 

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

Did you enjoy today’s Pilates workout? I hope so! Which of the six Pilates principles do you find most challenging, and which comes most naturally to you? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

With love,

JDW Signature

Low Impact Arm Exercises

3 Fun & Effective Arm Exercises (Using The Wall)

Today’s upper body workout will target your chest, shoulders and mid-back, without putting too much strain on your wrists. You can do these three moves back-to-back as a mini-workout, sprinkle them individually into your normal exercise routine, or add it to last week’s low impact leg workout for a full body strength series.

I used to hate upper body work. I couldn’t do a pushup to save my life and planks were the bane of my existence … naughty Pilates instructor.

But one day I grit my teeth and set my mind to getting stronger, and that’s when I began to see real changes.

O.K, so I’m by no means “jacked”.

Obviously!

And I don’t think that anyone will ever call me The Jenninator — which is probably a good thing, come to think of it — but I am satisfied and a little proud of myself to have gotten to where I am.

These days, if you’ll allow me to brag just a little, I can do full pushups, lift some fairly heavy weights, and rock out a 5 minute+ plank. That’s nothing to be sneezed at.

But it took time. A couple of years in fact. Which is a nice reminder that yes, slow and steady does win the race when it comes to fitness.

The three moves that I’m sharing with you today are the kind of low impact arm exercises that helped me build that strength. While they’re not overly complicated, they are surprisingly challenging, and are a perfect addition to your current routine no matter what level of fitness you are.

These are the kind of exercises that might not look like much, but after 10 reps…phew! Just remember:

Moving slowly, and maintaining excellent form, will get you stronger faster than smashing out dozens of reps incorrectly (which will just lead to injury).

Below the video I’ve added a few tips about each move, so be sure to read them before you get started.

Then I would love to hear from you, so please join in the discussion at the bottom of the page!

Cactus Glides

This is exercise is terrific and surprisingly challenging, especially if you do a lot of work that keeps your arms in front of your body (hello computer time, driving, ironing…).

The constant forward position that we adopt during our daily activities tightens the chest and weakens the mid back, which is why cactus glides should be a part of your daily routine.

Tips:

  • Keep your ribs pulled in and press the mid back (i.e. the section in between your shoulder blades and around the bra line) firmly against the wall.
  • Your hands may not be able to touch the wall at the beginning. That’s ok and it gives you something to work towards.
  • If you need a little elevation you can sit on a few cushions. This will help you lengthen your spine.

Spinal Balance Push Up

The primary focus here is on lengthening the spine and maintaining a neutral pelvis. To do this:

  • Push the heel of the extended leg firmly in to the wall with all 5 toes pointing straight down.
  • Both hip points are also pointing directly down to the ground.
  • Lengthen the crown of the head away from the foot, maintaining a flat back.
  • Firmly press into the hand that’s on the floor, and spiral the inner elbow forwards, keeping a little bend in that arm.
  • To advance, lift the arm, without changing anything else in the body.
  • To advance even more, bend both elbows, tucking them in towards the ribs, for a narrow pushup. The leg lifts in opposition so the spine shape has not changed, it has simply hinged.

Wall Push Ups (Clap)

These may not seem challenging at first, especially if you tend to do regular push ups, but it’s all about the technique.

  • Maintain the long spine that you created in the previous exercise.
  • The only thing moving is the bend and straighten of the elbow joint.
  • As you power away from the wall and take that clap think about your abdominals doing the work, and draw the belly button in even more deeply.
  • Need a little extra? Lift one leg a couple of inches, but don’t change the hip position.

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

Is upper body training part of your current workout routine? What upper body exercise have you struggled the most with in the past? And what has been your favorite?

Let me know by leaving a comment below!

With love,

JDW Signature

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