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How to Warm Up for Pilates
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Let go of some of the tension you have been carrying and really
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Hello, I'm Renee Beshures, owner of Boulder Body Works of Boulder, Colorado, and I am here today for About.com to teach you how to do a warm up for Pilates. The following simple exercises will embody the Pilates principals of centering, control, concentration, breath, flowing movement, and precision.When warming up for Pilates, one of the first things that I like to do is lie on the back and do an an imprinting exercise. Your knees are going to be bent, your legs are going to be hip-width distance apart. It can be one of the most challenging exercises because it is asking you to let go. Let go of some of the tension you have been carrying and really drop in to a different experience. You are going to shed any excess tension. Just let it all go. Relax your head, your neck, your shoulders. Release your ribs, feel the back abdominal wall release, release tension in your legs. As your vertebrae lengthens, you will feel that your spine will get heavier on the mat, creating a sense of leaving an imprint in the mat. The pelvic curl is a very powerful Pilates fundamental exercise. It warms up the back, it brings tone to the pelvic floor, and it strengthens the abdominals. To do a pelvic curl we are going to start laying on our back, arms at our side, legs are hip-width distance apart. The pelvic curl is a very small movement, and it is a movement of the pelvis rotating around the axis of the hip joint.What we are going to do today is what's called the Baby Swan and we are just going to begin introducing gentle extension into the upper thoracic spine. Swan is excellent for opening the chest and strengthening the back. It will also strengthen your inner thighs, your gluts, your hamstrings and your abdominals. So to begin, you are going to lie on your belly, you are going to bend your elbows, and  place your hands directly underneath your shoulders. You are going to draw your deep belly up towards your spine, an arching motion to bend your upper back, opening up your chest and stretching your belly. To come back down, you are going to draw the deep belly in, engage the inner thighs, and sequentially bring your belly, your ribs, your chest, your head, back to the mat.  Thanks so much for watching, and for more information on Pilates please visit us at About.com.              
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