Singapore’s Pilates Stretch Exercises for your Legs and Feet

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If you are anything like me, you love wearing the season’s most coveted high heels. Beautiful as they are to the touch and to the sight, these heels throw one’s postural alignment off-center causing an imbalance which leads to stiff and strained muscles. Rest assured, we have developed the following Pilates stretch exercises to ease the aches and pains that come with the constant wearing of your favourite high heels.

Throughout these movements, do ensure that your spine is lifted and your shoulders are rolling back and down towards your hips. Lift up and out of your back as you keep your abdominal muscles contracted (engaged).

1. Foot Muscle Stretcher

Sit forward and on the edge of your chair with your legs hip-distance apart and at 90-degree angles. Place a dish towel on the floor in front of your toes. Keep your heels touching the floor throughout as you stretch your toes over the towel and begin by curling your toes to roll the towel and gather it up. When you have the entire towel in a roll (scroll), reverse the exercise by unrolling the towel until it is flat in front of you again. Remember to breathe!

2. Foot-ankle Muscle Lengthener

Sit on the floor as you stretch your legs straight out in front of you. Point both of your feet as strongly as possible, then flex them back as far as you can. Imagine pressing your toes to the touch-screen button and then using your heels to do the same. Do this a few timeswhile breathing calmly and deeply.

3. Calf Strengthener

Standing tall on your feet, heels together, toes apart. Contract your abdominal muscles as you inhale and slowly rise up to your toes. Ensure that your heels are glued together. Press your inner thighs together to engage your buttocks and backs of legs even more. Hold for a count of 3 as you remain in tip-toe position. You may lightly touch the back of chair or wall for support. Exhale as you slowly lower yourself back down to the floor. Complete 5 sets.

Yours in vanity fitness,

Claudel Kuek

Fitness FAQ for Pilates Blog Singapore

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Thank you for sending in your fitness questions!
Allow me to address them two at a time. Am
always delighted to be able to serve you and to

help in every which way I can. 🙂



I am sick of my flabby arms. How do I get rid of them? I have tried to lift some dumbbells (2kg, in repeated sets of 15) at home for the last few months but have only succeeded in toning my biceps slightly. My arms still look fleshy overall. I am a 35-years-old female.
– Pat Kee

Using those same dumbbells, place your arm behind your back in a
straight line with your shoulders. Keeping your shoulders down and your elbow very still, bend only your forearm in towards your body so that your dumbbells are now very close to your arm-pit. Inhale as you straighten that arm behind you again and exhale as you flex to bring your forearm in towards your body. Do this 15 times and then switch arms.

I injured my right knee ligaments some years back and recently felt some pain whenever I try to stand up from a squatting position. I would like to do some light exercises to ease this pain so I won’t get rheumatism when I’m older. Please recommend some suitable exercises I can do which can tone my legs at the same time.
– Terry

Standing up tall, heels together, toes apart, place your hand gently
on the back of a chair for support. Contract your abdominal muscles as you inhale to rise gently up to the balls of your feet. While on tip-toe, exhale and lower to bend your knees out to the sides for a count of four. Keep your tailbone tucked under you and your abs engaged to avoid losing your balance. Lower your heels to the floor in this bent-knee position and then stand up to straighten your legs as you squeeze those inner thighs together. Repeat 10 times and reverse the movements.


Pilates Singapore ~ Fitness Exercises with the Magic Circle

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If you find yourself running around in circles, always out of time for a workout, Claudel Kuek has a suggestion: Use the Magic Circle to stay in shape.


The flexible ring, which has two padded handles to ensure you do not end up with unsightly marks on your skin, provides firm resistance and is great for toning the muscles. Roughly the size of a car’s steering wheel and under 1kg in weight, it can be packed easily when you travel.


Claudel Kuek, 45, runs PowerMoves Pilates And Dance Studio in Bishan Park. Despite being a fan of traditional pilates, which involves machines such as the Reformer, she is also an advocate of the use of fitness equipment like the Magic Circle as it is so handy. “The Magic Circle gives your regular routine added resistance training (much like using weights), thus it helps to pump up the intensity of your regular pilates mat workout,” she says.


“Best of all, it strengthens areas that are the hardest to get at such as the pelvic floor muscles and the inner thighs.”


The Magic Circle is available from PowerMoves

(tel: 6455-2221) for US$75 (S$113)




MAGIC CIRCLE ARMS

What it works: Arms, shoulders, chest

How to do it: Sit on the floor, legs crossed in front of you and upper body erect. Flexing the core region and pulling the shoulders down towards your hips, hold the Magic Circle in front of you with the palms of your hands on the handles and fingers extended. Exhale as you squeeze the Magic Circle in a few, short pulses. Inhale as you release. Repeat 10 times.


MAGIC CIRCLE LEGS

What it works: Hips, thighs

How to do it: Lie on your left side, body in a straight line from neck to feet, and lift your upper body off the floor by placing your left forearm on the floor. Stabilising yourself with both palms on the ground, hold the Magic Circle between your ankles and squeeze it as you exhale. Hold the squeeze for a few seconds and release as you inhale. Repeat 10 times on each side.


MAGIC CIRCLE BRIDGE

What it works: Core, buttocks

How to do it: Lie on your back, knees bent and feet placed hip-width apart. With your arms by your sides, hold the Magic Circle between your knees. As you exhale, flex the abdominal muscles and slowly lift your hips and then the lower back off the floor. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed as your legs squeeze the Magic Circle. Exhale as you slowly return to the start position. Repeat five times.


Fitness Article by Pradeep Paul

Fitness Exercises by Claudel Kuek


PowerMoves Pilates Studio in the Park


Pilates Exercises for Pre and Post Natal Women in Singapore

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Pilates works on developing functionally strong abdominals, a flexible and powerful pelvic floor and a supportive back which is of utmost importance to all women involved in pregnancy and childbirth. Along with these essentials, Pilates also guides you through the discipline of ideal alignment and coordinating movement with breath.

Integrated into all PowerMoves Pilates sessions is also legwork and upper body routines so that your every session is a full-body integration workout. Pilates can transform your pregnancy and fulfill your need for the knowledge and the skill towards a more comfortable, rewarding and wonderful experience in pregnancy.

Come join us for our prenatal and postnatal Pilates Exercise Programmes (Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons). Call 6455 2221 to book your Pilates sessions in our Bishan Park studio today.

Pilates as a lifestyle and philosophy because it works,

Jumpstart your Pilates Exercises thru the Pilates Reformer

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The Pilates Reformer is a sleek Pilates equipment that resembles a bed; attached to it are springs of varying resistance with adjustable bars and straps to give one’s regular Pilates exercise workout the extra oomph.

The stretching and contracting of the springs attached give you added resistance, as well as teach you to control your muscles during the movement instead of powering along intent only on completing the number of repetitions indicated. Pilates Exercises on the Reformer require one to focus on the details of each movement, for it is in the details that make the difference in every move. Coupled with precision and control, your Pilates Reformer workout will take you from simply superficial to intensely beneficial.

With the use of the Pilates Reformer, you will enjoy all the stretching benefits of yoga plus the great muscle tone of a nautilus workout. Added to that, after just one session, you will find yourself feeling refreshed and alert with renewed self-confidence!

Two other techniques used to take your regular Pilates routine up a notch would be to slow down the exercises, hold the body a little longer and focus on connecting and firing up every muscle being engaged, and also, to move your body in opposition, in two different directions to engage more muscle groups as well as increase the resistance of each Pilates exercise.

Do give me a buzz if you would like to find out more about the Pilates Reformer workout and I would be happy to provide more details and an in-depth guide to using the Pilates Reformer.

Pilates to bring out the best in all of us,