Happy Thursday! Hope your short work-week is going well. Tues and Wednesday seemed to drag, but for some reason, this morning feels like it’s going by extremely fast! (I’m going to venture a guess and say it’s because I’ve been in the office since about 7:20. Apparently I’m really productive in the mornings when I want to be.)
Not even going to pretend a mug (or 2) of black coffee doesn’t help.
This week has been pretty busy – between Pilates Teacher Training, Pilates classes, running (so far this week? a 10.5 miler, a 5 miler and a 4 miler), work, and life, I’ve been exhausted at night, but yet still able to spring out of bed in the morning (again, really unsure when this happened to me.) On second thought, I credit the incredible weather SF has been having lately.
Going back to last night’s Pilates class – my favorite instructor was teaching (I base my favorites on how much I hate them during class, and how much I love them once class ends. In her case, on a scale of 1-10, I’m at about a 9.2 of hatred during class, and a 12 of love the second class ends. She’s that good.) She was a college athlete that found her way into Pilates, and she seriously kicks your booty. So naturally, I was pumped for a solid workout.
Her method? 1 minute Tabata supersets of all the exercises, with quick pauses for water/stretching but then jumping right back into the next one. Your heart rate stays elevated the entire hour and by the end of the class you wish you were in yoga just so that you could take 5 minutes to lie on your back in the dark while calming music plays. And this is coming from the girl who usually hates that part of yoga. (And any situation where om-ing is involved).
Last night she incorporated an ab series to what I recognized from my teacher training as what Pilates people lovingly refer to as “The Nasty 5”. Believe me when I say that these get nasty. (In an abs burning, all you want to do it put your damn head, shoulders, shoulder blades and neck down on the reformer/mat forever.) Ready to seriously tone your core? Give these a try.
“The Nasty 5”
- Hundreds (video here)
- Single leg stretch (video here)
- Double leg stretch (video here)
- Single straight leg stretch (scissors) (video here)
- Criss cross (bicycle) (video here)
Going through these exercises, I like to do the hundred with my legs straight at about a 45 degree angle. The single, double and straight leg stretch shouldn’t be done super fast, but you can definitely pick up the pace a bit to really get the heart a-poundin. Doing a minute of each and then repeating the cycle 3 times will definitely get those abs burning!
You can bet that once I get to start teaching, my classes will be just as heart-pounding. You can sit and stretch at home, pilates is for toning and strengthening! (That being said I’m currently accepting volunteers for practice teaching… any takers? Seriously, it’s free.)
Time to finish up the day before heading to Pilates tonight! (With Hawaii a mere 13 days away I’ll take all the core-work I can get!)