I’ve been looking forward to this segment of pilates because I’ve not attended a pilates session before! Although I teach yoga and people usually confuse yoga with pilates, telling me that it’s quite similar, I was still so excited to experience it for myself!
With the adrenaline rush from teaching two yoga classes in the morning and trying to arrive before the stipulated time, I was experiencing some tension headache on that day. Sadly, I was late too. HAHA.
BUT that didn’t dampen my spirits and I was all set to conquer this new experience as I stepped in! The Instructors were all very friendly and the studio was bright and spacious with lockers for your belongings (how awesome?!)!
When Priscilla came in and told us we were to be assessed based on 10 different exercises, my heart sank. I was expecting to flow through a class and enjoying the relaxation + movement! Nevertheless, it was also important that we go through this assessment to find out more about ourselves (with results that I was very pleased with) so it was a fun experience!
According to their website, I believe what we went through is the Mobility Fitness Assessment.
This one to one session (55mins) takes you through 10 exercises which determine where the imbalances of your body are that could potentially contribute to aches & pain in your body and also reduce sports performance.
Clarity brings definite improvement.
The above is SO TRUE.
Read on to see the poses we went through as part of the assessment/challenge! P.s. Go through these to test yourselves as well? *winks*
1. Forward fold roll ups and downs
10 reps each side; options are given
Option 1 is to keep your back toes on the mat while shifting the weight to balance on the other foot – all while keeping the hips stacked above the ankles! And now the hard part, ADDING THE ROLL-UPS (and downs!)! Definitely challenges your balance and thighs! THE BURNS!
Option 2 has your back foot lifted while keeping everything else the same as above! This option gives you FULL points so I definitely went for this!
My verdict: Relatively easy because yoga does a lot of balances like these too but the roll-ups and downs are something different that I can consider adding to my own sequences for more challenge! I REALLY felt the burn by the 8th rep and each roll-up and down because so much tougher to balance on!
2. Side bend with a towel
Static holds for one minute on each side
These are quite straightforward, you would want to have the towel length to be two times your chest width between your grips. Anchor the lower body (especially the hips!) and pivot over to the sides and start to lengthen!
My verdict: Very easy because it is a static hold and also because yoga does HEAPS of side bends! It feels nice to be adjusted in the hips though! Sometimes we may not realise the minor movements we make and it’s always good to have someone spot/adjust!
3. Shoulder stretches a.k.a shoulder dislocate(?!)
Just one full round backward and forward
Keeping the same distance (as above) between grips, gently find your range of motion through the movement from front to back and reverse! Remember to keep the spine neutral here!
My verdict: Also very easy because I typically do this a lot as stretches for my shoulders and chest! Also, this is a good stretch for us who are desk bound at work! So, not something new to me but I think it scared many of the other girls.
4 & 5. Planks and Side Planks
Static holds for one minute on each side
Starting in plank first and always remember to protract the shoulders and push away from the mat to actively engage. Option to come down to forearm if the wrist is uncomfortable.
Option 1 is the full expression of side plank with the feet stacked on top of each other (full points for this!). You may also rest the top foot on the mat instead of stacking the feet if it is not feasible.
Option 2 is to have the knees down for support if the wrist does not have the strength to hold the body weight up or if balance is also a factor in holding the pose.
My verdict: Very easy because I LOVE PLANKING. My class sequences includes tons of planks! I held my side plank with my hips very lifted to engage my obliques and power through the sides of the body, but was a little surprised when Vera came by to adjust me back to a level side plank. I thought taking it to a more challenging level would be good but I guess pilates is much more focused on alignment here?
6. Swimming on the mat
One minute of dynamic coordinated movements with opposite hand and feet lifted about one A4 paper length off the mat!
This is quite straightforward, just keep those thighs and arms lifted!
My verdict: Tough because I never liked this pose even in yoga (we call a similar pose locust post, and locust sounds disgusting). However, I still think I did well here because although I don’t like this pose, I still make it a point to revisit this every now and then. The tough part lies in the BURN.
7. Levitation/ quad work?
Static hold for one minute with spine neutral
My verdict: Relatively easy but the only challenge is mental (why does one minute seem so long when we exercise?!). Quads definitely start to feel the burn nearer the end!
8. Seated Twists
One minute static holds on each side
Just make sure the heels are aligned with the base of the mat to start and when you pivot to turn, your heels do not jut out from the mat (ensures that your hip is anchored and the twist comes from the torso).
My verdict: Very easy because once again, yoga does TONS of twists as well! One thing to note is that I never liked twists and I was terrible in twists when I started yoga! So the takeaway here is not to worry and just do it. Your time will definitely come with your consistent efforts!
9. Hollow body / abs hold
Static hold for one minute
Option 1 is to keep knees bent but chest is still lifted to engage the abs!
Option 2 has minute variations; the lower you are to the ground while keeping your legs lifted, the more points you have!
Option 3 to hold your thighs if you really cannot hold it anymore!
My verdict: Easy peasy because I really love core work! Plus maybe Blogilates helped a lot too!
10. Bridge pose variation?
Static holds for one minute each side; the bent leg can have the feet placed beside either the knee or the ankle of the other leg. Placing it at the ankle is much tougher but gives you full points too!
Starting position before lifting the bum.
Bums up and squeeze!
My verdict: Tough. I never tried this variation of bridge pose before so definitely adding it in to my class sequencing as well?! It is definitely good work as a challenging alternative to the regular bridge pose! I was almost dying by the end and placing the feet beside the ankle really is no joke!
Sneak peek into the studio!
That’s Priscilla giving out all her instructions for torture!
During our assessment! Spot me! 🙂
Lovely Cheryl and Valerie! Cheryl bought us donuts!!! YUM!
MATCHA YUM IN MY TUM!
After my challenge! Here with Jolene!
Also, check Pilates Bodytree out if your interested to get assessed to be your best (geddit it rhymes 😉 LOL)!
Pilates BodyTree Pte Ltd
- 99 Amoy Street #01-01, Singapore 069919
- 1 Marine Parade Central, #11-09, Singapore 449408