Thursday, January 28, 2010

I fought the Pilates ball and the ball won!

I love doing Pilates.
I love video workouts.
I walk with my kids for exercise too, but we all know that you don't get your heart rate up walking with your kids unless you have a runaway stroller on your hands.
So I do Pilates. On DVD.

I *heart* Pilates. I love the slow breathing, the calm movement, and the soothing stretches. It's all so slow. S L O W. S L o w

Pilates has a bit of a trick to it and the trick is the breathing. It's almost the opposite of how you normally breath doing exercises. But once you conquer the breathing, you feel it. Oh, my friends, you feel the burn the very next day.

Another trick to Pilates is to do the exercise on the workout ball. First of all, the ball requires that you pay more attention to your muscles and breathing. And we all know: I need to pay more attention (to life in general, but here especially).

Here's my story. It all starts with a new DVD.
We start with familiar moves. Moves I know all too well. And I don't need to follow Jennifer--the girl on the DVD whose been crammed in the back and is doing moves for those who can’t keep up who want to do variations of the exercises.

And it begins...

Ok, now stand up with the ball behind you. Put the top of your right foot on the ball behind you and roll the ball back with your foot.

Oh, this is new.

Breathe deep and as you exhale, making little circles with the ball.


My son comes up and hugs my leg.

Not now, son.

--your foot is in front of your knee. You don't want to hurt it--

Wait, wait. Go back, who's going to get hurt?

That's right. Now breathe deep. And repeat.

Repeat what? I don't know what's going on here.

(My son understands repeat as he comes up and hugs my leg. Again.)

Now one more time--

I haven't done it the first time--

That's it. Now come to a standing position.

I decide to put my boy into a bouncy chair and continue my routine. We're on the floor now.

Now for some abdominal work. Place the ball on your head.

Easily done.

Inhale to start and exhale and go down one vertebrae at a time as you lie down.

I'm back in my groove.

Now, keeping the ball on your head, arms by your ears, come up to a seated position.

Um...easier said than done.

If you are finding difficulty, follow Jennifer.

Heck, no!

And now for our final move, the Mermaid.

Oh, this is new.

From a seated position extend your legs sideways and bend them. Then cross your ankles. Put one arm over the ball...wonh-wonh-wonh-wonh. You should look like this:

pilates picture

Mermaid - Pilates Stretch

by Peter Kramer, courtesy of Kolesar Studios, (c) 2006

(Only your supporting arm is on the ball and your legs are extended a bit more. Imagine it. You can.)

This feels like a good stretch.

We're going to roll up onto the ball.


I look to Jennifer to guide me but she's still getting into position. Slacker.

Now with control, roll up onto the ball.

I roll up the ball.

And then I keep going up. Up, up and away and I roll over, legs splayed, arms flailing as I fly to the other side of the room.

I'm sprawled on the floor, the ball leaving me as it rolls away. My daughter, who is sitting on the couch points out, "That's not how they do it on the video, Mama."

I laugh. "Nope. It's not quite like that."

And exhale.

I exhale.

If you are doing this exercise for the first time, follow Jennifer.

Oh, shut it!


Sissy said...

So funny! I would be following Jennifer too, but we only had a ball for about 10 minutes before I fell off and deflated it. Buh bye!

Amy said...

BAHAHAHA! That's funny!

Camie said...

I love chocolate! lol
Funny post! Sounds like me trying to follow a work out video - Let's just say I am not so graceful.

On another note Dear Husband got me the Wii Fit for my b-day! It's pretty fun! Takes working out at home to a whole new level!