We always take some pictures while the Fit2B Studio camera is rolling, and so we’d like to share a few with all the moms, dads, and families who follow us, along with exercise tips of the movement that was captured. This one was posted on our facebook yesterday, and it’s such a good one!
Gate Pose with a Pilates Twist:
I love this pose because it works the whole core without stressing the abdominal connective tissue, thus making it quite safe for those with diastasis recti abdominus. I like using a weighted ball or block to elevate the pose and take pressure out of the wrists (I had gestational carpal tunnel with my first, so I know how it feels!). Read the following form queues carefully before trying it.
To Begin Gate Pose: Start from a standing position, and step back into a reverse lunge. Keep your body upright as you lower your back knee to the floor, supporting your spine with your hands on your front knee. Now bring both knees together into a kneeling position. Lean sideways and plant your hand directly below your shoulder. Bring your hips forward until they are in line with your shoulders. Keep your hips and shoulders stacked: one shoulder over the other, one hip over the other hip. Extend your top leg out and up as far as you feel comfortable. Reach up with your free hand or put that hand on your hip. Draw your navel to your spine with each exhale. Try raising and lowering the top leg 5-6 times, then do a bicycle pedaling motion, then try circling the leg in both directions 5-6 times. Be sure to keep your wrist neutral (no fold in the skin on the back of your wrist) if you have wrist issues. Keep your neck neutral, too: don’t crank it into weird places; keep your neck long and extended. Switch sides by tipping back up onto your knees while keeping your core tight. Wiggle your hips and roll your shoulders out to relax before doing the other side.
The mermaid is one of my most favorite exercises of all time because of how it strengthens and tones ALL of the abdominal core muscles while stretching those same muscles at the same time! It’s always a delight to see people do it for the first time and then watch their progression. This exercise can be modified and performed by EVERY age and population, and it is wonderful for limbering the spine and conditioning the core. Please read ALL the form queues below before doing it on your own… To Begin the Mermaid: Start from a seated position with your legs crossed “criss-cross applesauce” or basic lotus style. As you advance you can fold your legs to one side or the other to work one set of obliques more than the other before switching. Keep your spine long and your neck neutral, lean from side to side. Do not give any of your weight to the floor; just brush your fingertips against the ground on each side. Only raise your arms as high as your shoulders allow; if you have impingement syndrome or rotator cuff issues, keep your elbow in line with your shoulder at all times. The breath is the KEY to making the mermaid move through your whole core, so breathe in when your body is level at the center, and breathe out as you lean toward each side. As you exhale and lean over to each side, draw your navel to your spine – DON’T HUNCH or CRUNCH FORWARD! If you have trouble pulling your belly-button inward without crunching forward, you may have a weak transverse abdominus (TVA) or a diastasis. Peform up to 12-15 repetitions on each side.