Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Workout Wednesday: The Series of 5

Happy Wednesday! It's been awhile since I've done a Workout Wednesday post... So I thought to go along celebrating March MATness this week, I'd share the Pilates Mat Series of Five.

I often get hear from clients "I don't have a lot of time to workout at home. What are some quick exercises I can do?" or "I really want a stronger core. What exercises should I be doing everyday?"

I always come back to The Series of Five.
The Series of Five is a group of 5 exercises (hence the name), that targets the core while stretching the body. Now, truly all of Pilates focuses on the strength of the powerhouse. In Pilates, you never work muscle groups in isolation. All Pilates exercises begin with moving from the center of your body. But if you ever do The Series of Five, I'm certain you'll feel your core fired up. You might also hear The Series of Five called The Stomach Series or The Abdominal Series.

I have a love/hate relationship with The Series of Five haha. As in- I find it always challenges me, makes me work hard, and definitely helps me strengthen my core, but sometimes when I get to it in my matwork series I'm like "I'm not ready for this...." But then I remind myself of the treat following the Stomach Series- Spine Stretch Forward (which I'm sharing on Instagram today.)

I took my first mat class back in 2011, so after working with the The Series of Five for awhile now, here's some tips I have for these exercises:

1. Try to find the flow between each of the exercises in the series. It helps to think of keeping your body setup the same for each exercise.
2. The setup for each exercise is: lift your torso off of the mat to the tips of your shoulder blades, keep the torso solid and still, scoop your belly, and press the back of your rib cage and spine into the mat.
3. If you feel tension in your neck and head, keep the head down.
4. Use your breath! Make sure to take full inhales and exhales.
5. Work towards doing 8-10 repetitions of each exercise.

We could talk for a long time about each exercise in The Series of Five, but to keep it simple, here's a glimpse of each exercise.












Follow me along on Instagram here for a better look at these exercises and more March MATness. Yesterday, I shared my take on Single Leg Stretch and Double Leg Stretch on Instagram.

The Series of Five are great exercises to do if you want to squeeze in a few minutes of abdominal work each day. Even if you don't do much Pilates, you could even do The Series of Five as a core warmup before a run for example. The Series of Five is a great group of exercises for anyone. Enjoy!

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