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Hi, my name is Hannah Attenburrow and welcome to Beyond the Studio Pilates, your online health and wellness resource and Pilates community.

I have been practising Pilates for over ten years and as a competitive cyclist for a lot of those years can vouch for Pilates restorative ability to keep my body in tip top condition after hammering it on the bike.

During my time as a Pilates instructor there are three moves that I add to most of my Pilates classes both in real life classes in Fishbourne, Westbourne and Havant and in my new online Pilates classes which I run daily.

These three Pilates moves are my favourites! They can be adapted for different abilities.

Click on the pictures below to view videos of each move.

Exercise one – Shoulder Bridge

A real favourite of mine shoulder bridge is a wonderful all over body workout. Perfect for cyclists and runners, shoulder bridge lengthens out your quads, builds strength in your glutes and hamstrings and mobilises your spine.

Exercise two – Roll Down with Press ups

When Joseph Pilates invented Pilates (called Contrology back then) the final exercise was a roll down to press up.

The Roll Down is one of my favourite Pilates exercises that relieves back tension and stretches your legs. The rolling motion strengthens the abdominal muscles and helps improve the blood circulation throughout the body. This is a great move that increases mobility in the back, spine, neck and hamstrings.

I always suggest starting with a few roll downs before adding on the press ups just to bring you into focusing on the breath and the movement before adding on any additional movements.

The press up

A classic press up does more than just work your arms. They also work your shoulders (deltoids), chest (pectoralis major), core (rectus abdominis), hips (obliques) and legs (quadriceps).

You can either start from a box position bringing your weight over your hands or from a plank position with your knees off the ground. Work at the level that is suitable for your ability.

Press up – single leg

Exercise three – Swan Dive

Swan Dive is one of my favourite back exercise, it strengthens your upper back whilst promoting good mobility in your thoracic spine.

Think about drawing your core muscles in and your ribs down towards you hips, avoid pushing your belly into the floor when performing swan dive.

Over Christmas why not try adding in a few of each of these Pilates exercises to your day, Joseph Pilates used to say to practise Pilates everyday. Going to the gym each day is probably unrealistic but many Pilates exercises, like the three above can be done at home easily with no equipment.

Let me know how you get on!