Here’s why your Pilates instructor will encourage you to find alternatives.
With many jobs revolving around computers, a lot of us spend a good chunk of our days sitting in a chair. And while the comfort of a chair may be good for our daily productivity, too much time spent sitting can be damaging to our health. Even if you work out regularly – jamming a day’s worth of activity in an hour or two in the evening isn’t enough to overcome the hours of inactivity at work. The solution, according to a pilates instructor? Be active while at work.
Now this doesn’t mean you have to get out of your chair and slip off to the corner to do 1,000 push-ups every hour on the hour. In fact, you don’t need to even break a sweat. Below, Sheppard Method Pilates will detail three exercises you can do at work (during a trip to the restroom, or a stroll to the water fountain no less). All you need is a wall and a can do attitude; and the following advice from a pilates instructor, of course!
The Wall Sit
Picture perfect posture while in a seated position. Now remove the chair and lean your back up against a wall. This, in a nutshell, is the wall sit. Ideally, you want your legs to bend at the knee at a 90 degree angle, with relaxed arms and a flexed core. You can either hold this position for an extended period of time, or choose to do a version of a squat – sliding up and down the wall every three of four breaths. To start, hold the position for 30 seconds in a constant squat, or do 3-5 “squats” up and down the wall. Repeat two to three times.
The Wall Back Bend
Stand with your back against the wall, then take a small step forward. With your arms hanging down at your side, inhale and then raise your arms overhead. Reach for the wall behind you, while simultaneously raising your chest higher and higher. Once your fingertips reach the wall behind you – and you’ve extended as far as you can go – return to the position you started in. Repeat two or three times.
The Roll Down
Similar to the wall back bend, begin this movement standing with your back against the wall and take a small step forward. Round your back and bend down toward the floor, all the while pulling your abdominals in. Go slow until you’ve reached your lowest point, then return to the starting position squeezing your seat as you go. With this exercise (a poor man’s hamstring stretch, and almost the opposite movement to the wall back bend), you’ll ideally never touch the wall.
Pilates Instructor Recap
While a lot of us want to be our best, healthiest selves, work and other things tend to put a wrench into our plans. But by performing the three exercises above laid out by a pilates instructor, you’ll be better able to achieve your health goals.
Contact a pilates instructor at Sheppard Method Pilates to learn more about our pilates studio and pilates classes!
(All information retrieved from pilates.about.com)