This article is part of our new series: The 2018 Pilates Power Gym Challenge. We challenge you to master a variety of exercises on the Pilates Power Gym during 2018 (we’re starting a little early). Each month we will put the spotlight on essential Pilates Power Gym exercises targeted at a specific area of the body.
This month we highlight exercises for your feet and calf muscles.
In the footwork exercise, you have an easy way to stretch and flex the arches of your feet. It is important to strengthen your arches so you can prevent foot pain. Strong arches mean strong feet and less chance of injury.
“Your foot’s centerpiece is the arch, the greatest weight-bearing design ever created,” says Christopher McDougall, author of a book on running. “The beauty of any arch is the way it gets stronger under stress; the harder you push down, the tighter its parts mesh.”
On the Pilates Power Gym, you do the footwork exercise laying down! Here are the instructions:
Use any 3 power cords to begin with to see which tension you like best. It should be on the lighter side as a beginner.
Lie flat on the Glideboard and rest your toes on the Footrest. Breathe in and push the footrest away with the muscles of your right leg. Breathe out as you slowly return to the starting position.
Now press with the muscles of your left leg. Breathe out and return slowly to the starting position. Change legs and imitate the running step as much as possible.
Yes, it is possible to “run” while laying down on the Pilates Power Gym. The running exercise is similar to the footwork exercise, but it has a greater effect on your calf muscles.
According to personal trainer, Andrea Cespedes: “The calf muscles act to stabilize your ankles and feet. When your calves are strong, they are better able to provide this service and can help prevent rolling or excessive pronation or supination — in which your foot turns inward or outward, respectively.”
Also, your calves help lift the heel when you run, walk and jump. And a shapely, muscular calf muscle looks good too!
Here are the instructions for the Running exercise:
Use any 2 power cords to begin with to see which tension you like best. It should be on the lighter side as a beginner.
Begin by placing the balls of your feet on the foot bar. Bring your knees and thighs together and place your arms along your body on the carriage. With an inhale take the carriage all the way out extending through the legs. Do not hyper extend or lock the knees, keep your legs glued together. Exhale and drop the right heel and simultaneously lift the left heel. Repeat on the other side. With every exhale push one heel down and lift the other heel up getting full extension so one heel goes as low as it can as the other heel is going as high as it can.
Start slowly, but rhythmically inhaling and exhaling, keeping your pelvis in neutral position so that you engage your abdominals. This is a really great exercise to strengthen the legs but it is also a good exercise to strengthen the abdominals. Speed it up as you desire, it should feel like you are running in place. When finished, bend your knees back up until the carriage has retracted.
Choose which Pilates Power Gym model is best for you – click here to see a comparison of the PRO and PLUS models. – T.Y.
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