Should I be doing Pilates homework?
The real question should be – can my one hour weekly Pilates session sort me out? – and the honest answer is NO not as much as you’d like. Have a read of this short article – it’s brief!
And she’s right – a Pilates class once a week, no matter how good your teacher is, is NOT going to change years of slouching, poor movement patterns and poor posture. It will however, keep reiterating the key principles, so you can practice elsewhere – and I don’t mean ‘homework’ in the traditional sense. This would imply trying to find ‘free time’ which very few of us consider as free. Work, housework, children, the garden, elderly or ill family and friends, pets … oh my god the list is endless. And finally on top of all that, it can be a step way too far to go and put your leggings on (men wear them too), push the sofa to one side and get a mat out!
Good news is here though – if you view every waking hour as an opportunity to put into practice what we’ve paid good money to learn, you will reap the benefits.
I’ve listed below a few of the things we do on a very regular basis which (if done with thought and Pilates technique) can build strength, flexibility, body awareness, balance and confidence incredibly quickly. Which means that if you use your life as your gym, you can use your weekly class to fine tune your movements, prevent bad habits and keep you on track.
Pilates squats with a bit of rotation – sitting down, picking stuff off the floor, loading and unloading the dishwasher, going to the loo (we all do it)
Lunges – picking stuff off the floor, getting down on the floor
Hip hinge – leaning over your sink to wash your teeth, doing the washing up
Floating arm with a bit of side reach and sometimes a smidgen of back bend – opening the curtains, getting stuff off high shelves (and I don’t mean magazines!!!)
Back bend – checking for cobwebs, has that bulb gone? Bonfire night (which comes around way too quick!)
Waist twist – looking over your shoulder when driving, getting something behind you
Knee opening – getting out of the car
Hip opening – walking
Spine Curls – lying on the floor to put your bottoms on
Standing on 1 leg – walking S – L – O – W – L – Y, doing the stairs
Threading the needle – getting something from under the bed
Roll downs – to put on your shoes
Diamond press and Sphinx – lying on your tummy watching the TV
Standing correctly – so much opportunity it’s ridiculous!
A combination of everything – when you’re getting dressed etc, etc,etc…
The list is massive. So really there is no barrier to you moving better and improving day by day. It is SOOOOOO worth it. And as JP said:
“Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking, nor outright purchase.”
– so true. Consistency, perseverance, routine, repetition all slowly turn our movements into better movements which no one else can do for us, and (note to self) that absolutely includes me x