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Spring Loaded Pilates

Winter in Chicago may still be in full swing but if you blink spring will be here before you know it. To get jump start on getting fit for spring, below are some great spring loaded exercises to help you with springtime fitness.

For a great upper body workout using the reformer and padded platform extender the Front Rowing exercise series are designed to provide strength and tone to the upper back, chest, forearms, triceps and abdominals.

To perform each exercise you will need to be seated on the padded platform extender against the shoulder rest feet facing the foot bar, legs crossed with neutral spine. Place a pole between the straps and begin the following exercises:

Scapula Isolations
Start by holding arms long, reaching forward.
Inhale: Prepare
Exhale: Protract the scapula (push one shoulder blade forward) while slightly rotating the torso.
Inhale: Return to starting position
Perform each side 5 xs per side.

Chest Press
Start with palms facing down and elbows bent
Inhale: To prepare the body.
Exhale: Extend the elbows to press the pole forward
Inhale: Flex the elbows and return to start position.
Repeat 5-8 times.

Wrist Flexion and Extension
Start with arms overhead, palms forward, elbows bent, pole above the forehead.
Inhale: To prepare the body.
Exhale: Flex the wrist while maintaining “arm overhead” position.
Inhale: Extend the wrist while maintaining “arm overhead” position.
Repeat 5-8 times

Triceps
Start with arms overhead, palms forward, elbows bent and pole above the forehead.
Inhale: To prepare the body.
Exhale: Extend the elbows to press the pole up and forward.
Inhale: Flex elbows to return
Repeat 5-8 times

Ab Prep
Start with arms overhead, palms forward, elbows bent and pole above the forehead
Inhale: To prepare the body.
Exhale: Maintain bend in elbows , keep arms close to sides of body and flex upper torso forward.
Inhale: Return to starting position
Repeat 5-8 times

Practice these five exercises for a sleek, toned and fit upper body and you will be ready for spring and summer in no time.