In a mat Pilates routine, fitness expert Radhika Karle takes us through exercises to build upper body strength. She advices to keep the arms and shoulders relaxed as during exercise they may push towards the neck which can make the neck muscles stiff. Here’s the process that she follows in the routine:
1. Lateral Breathing: The workout starts with lateral breathing. For this you should sit in a comfortable position with your back straight and fingers on your lower ribs. A trick to get this position right is to think that someone is stretching you from head to toe. Also, keep your head straight as if balancing a coffee. Inhale while expanding your ribs and exhale while contracting.
2. Arm Circles: After breathing exercises you should move on to warm-up exercises like arm circles and protraction, and retraction of shoulder blades. These exercises help you get ready for the next step of your workout.
3. Sternum Drops: Strength building exercises like sternum drops and opposite arm- leg reach come in the middle part of the workout. You should stay steady and gradually improve your pace while doing these exercises. Move on to elbow wides and tricep push-ups to exercise all muscles of your arms. These exercises along with plank and reverse plank are also effective in building core strength.
4. Relax: While finishing this workout routine, go back to lateral breathing and relax. This helps your body transition from the workout phase to the relaxed phase. After this workout you can feel energised and ready to take on the challenges of the day!
Remember to not stress yourself too hard. Consult your doctor if you feel uneasy while performing any of the exercises.