Though many find August difficult because of the heat and UV index, it really is to be appreciated. It is still the month where kids are off from school and the days are long and sunny. Granted it can be 100 degrees, with a 100 percent even in the shade, which is rarely anyone’s idea of comfortable. Still that is no excuse to blow off exercising body and choosing to veg out in front of the television bingeing on True Detective. Turn your fan on the high setting, grab your resistance bands and gym shoes and try this spine-strengthening workout from Pilate’s instructor Julie Driver.
Spine Curls with Band Raises
Lie on your back with your knees bent hip width apart. Make sure your pelvis is ‘Neutral” (hipbones level with each other and also with your pubic bone.) Hold the band across your hipbones to increase the work. Breathe out as you start to slowly lift your hips upwards leaving your shoulder blades on the mat. Breathe in and keep the spine lifted as you raise your arms over your head pulling the band apart as you lift. Breath out and roll the spine back to the mat, bone by bone until the hips are again level with the pubic bone and back in a neutral position. Breath in and place arms hands by the side, with bands stretched over the hips. Repeat this sequence 10 times.
Double Leg Stretch
Lie on your back with your knees bent, legs together and the band wrapped around the feet; if you can wrap it around the feet twice for extra security.
While curling your head up off the floor, hold the ends of the band in your hands. Breathe in and straighten the legs into the band at the same time as you take the arms back towards your ears. Breathe out and bend the knees and hips back to the start position at the same time as your bring the arms back to the start position. Repeat 5 times
Sit tall on your sitting bones with a neutral pelvis. Legs straight and slightly wider than hip width. Feet flexed so the toes are pointing upwards. Breathe in as you lift the band over the head without losing the alignment of the spine.Breathe out as you rotate your spine to the left; turn the spine sequentially bone-by-bone starting by turning the head, then neck, then ribcage and waist. Keep the hip bones aligned left to right and do not move the pelvis. Breathe in while focusing on lifting and lengthening into the rotation. Breathe out to reverse the movement, rotating the spine back towards the feet. Repeat 5 times in each direction.
Lie on your stomach, with toes touching and the heels apart. Hold the band across the back of the pelvis, palms facing upwards. Breathe out as you lift your head from the mat and begin to sequentially extend the spine bone-by-bone off the mat until just the lower ribs are still on the mat. At the same time roll the heels towards each other and squeeze the legs together. Simultaneously reach the hands down the body towards the feet as you gently pull the band apart. Breathe in and think of lengthening the spine and legs away from each other. Breathe out to replace the spine back on the mat bone by bone, relax the legs and lower arms back to the start position. Repeat 5 times.
Kneeling Hip Extension
Start by kneeling with hands under your shoulders and knees under the hip joint. Wrap the band around your left foot and hold the ends of the band separately in your hands. Breathe out to extend your left leg; the band will stretch as you lengthen your leg behind you inline with the hip socket. Breathe in Return leg to the start position. Repeat 5 times on each leg