5 Pilates “Oovments”

Balanced Body Master Instructor Christine Crooks has come up with a fun and fast workout using our popular Oov. Got an Oov? Click on the video below to watch the workout in action or read it step-by-step. Need an Oov? All Valentine’s Day long, if you buy one Oov we’ll give you another at 50% off! (valid in the US, Canada, and the UK).

  1. Movement: Bridging 2

Mental/Physical Benefit(s): Circulation and articulation! When we bridge, we get some of the benefits of circulation back to the heart, oxygenation through the trunk, as well as mobilizing the spine when we articulate up and down from the floor. Don’t forget about opening up the hips after sitting too long (maybe during a long holiday meal). The BONUS to bridging on the Oov is the ankle mobility/stability factor. YES! Complete the chain through the ankle

How to do it:

  • Set Up: Lying on your back, arms by your sides with the large end of the Oov under your feet, small end facing perpendicular to the body
  • Action: Pressing through your feet, roll your spine off the ground until the hips are in line with the knees. Holding your bridge up, try to point and flex your feet to rock the Oov forward and back. Roll your bridge down
  • Reps: 5-8 Reps; Rocking feet 3-5x each

 

  1. Movement: Roll Ups

Mental/Physical Benefit(s): Take the Roll Up and sprinkle some much desired extension onto it. While you are getting the abdominal strengthening of the roll up, there’s the challenge of stabilizing on the Oov as you roll all the way up to a seat and back down to that delicious extension at the end. Not to mention the chest-opening and abdominal stretching. Don’t forget to breathe!

How to do it:

  • Set Up: Sit on the saddle, with the small end of the Oov towards your feet and the large end behind you. Lay back over the Oov with arms reaching overhead and extend legs forward (neutral pelvis position to support low back)
  • Action: Nod your chin to chest and lift your arms, peeling your spine off the Oov. Exhaling to roll up to a seated position with arms forward. Roll back down into the Oov, reversing the way you came up, setting the head and arms down last
  • Reps: 4-6 Reps

 

  1. Movement: Side Lying Assisted Lateral Flexion + Leg Circles

Mental/Physical Benefit(s): Lateral stretches and strengthening is not only important for spine health, but also for the connections of our upper and lower body to coordinate together. If we focus on deep breathing during a side stretch, we can also incorporate enhancing lung capacity into our MANY benefits. However, one of the lateral system’s biggest jobs is our standing balance (which you can test yourself with the last exercise

How to do it:

  • Set Up: Sit with your bottom hip in the saddle of the Oov and the large end supporting your waist/ribs. The bottom arm is extended in front of the body on the floor, top arm is stretched out overhead, and the top leg is extended on the floor in line with the body. Lay down on your side
  • Action: Part 1) Start lifting the body in a side bend, exhale and press the bottom hand into the floor to assist. Hold for a breath in, then slowly lower back down and stretch the top arm over. Part 2) Press bottom forearm onto the floor to prop up your torso. Lift the top leg, keeping the knee straight, and circle the leg. Reverse circle direction
  • Reps: Part 1) 4-6 Reps; Part 2) 5 circles each direction. ***Repeat sequence on other side***

 

  1. Movement: Swimming

Mental/Physical Benefit(s): Going back to our back body strength like in the first course, “Bridging 2,” Swimming is the main course. With the limbs fully extended, the core is in one of its most demanding positions. A bit of upper back and shoulder strength, mixed with hip extension, then topped off with whole body coordination. This really is our perfect opposite to all the sitting we do. ***Recommendation: Do this exercise BEFORE the big meal, and the morning after

How to do it:

  • Set Up: With the Oov flipped over, lay yourself down with your stomach/ribs on the large end and your pubic bone on the saddle. Extend your arms and legs out, creating an “X” shape
  • Action: Lift your chest off the Oov until you feel your back muscles engage; hold. At the top, lift one arm and the opposite leg, trying to maintain balance. Set them down and then lift the other arm and leg. Continue alternating, trying to maintain balance on the Ovo
  • Reps: 6-10 Sets

 

  1. Movement: Standing on Ovo

Mental/Physical Benefit(s): Standing on the Oov is the ultimate test of what your body just accomplished: postural alignment, dynamic stability, coordination, and single leg balance (just to list a few). When we take all these tasks and teach our body something new, the Oov is a great tool to facilitate and test those skills. The “whipped cream on the pie” of it all is the endorphins and “good feelings” we get when moving our bodies

How to do it:

  • Set Up: Align the Oov with the large end towards you. Set one foot on the top of the Oov, lining up the second and third toes with the groove
  • Action: Stand on the Oov and let your other leg float beside it. Try moving your arms up and down or out to the side. You can also try bending and straightening your balancing leg! Test your balance by challenging it!
  • Reps: Hold your balance on one leg as long as you can, then switch to the other leg

Christine started her movement education path in college achieving a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology from CSU Sacramento (2011), as well as a Minor in Dance. Her combined interest of those brought her to Pilates, receiving her comprehensive training with BASI Pilates (2013). Building on knowledge from experience in physical therapy clinics, Pilates studios, and educational conferences, Christine then became a Pilates Master Instructor for Balanced Body Education (2019). In maintaining a continuous goal of expanding movement knowledge, she utilizes her mechanical and kinesiological understanding along with innovations of contemporary, Pilates-informed movement. To put it simply, she strives to help every body find their most balanced quality of movement, and feel good doing it!

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