Pilates is more than just a trendy fitness fad. The method has been practiced since the 1920s and is here to stay, thanks to Mr. Joseph Pilates himself! Pilates exercises focus on aligning the breath, with the mind and body to facilitate controlled movement. When performed properly, the method helps develops functional strength, improved posture and alignment, and aims to condition to achieve whole body health.
When improving joint mobility, stability, and flexibility, Pilates exercises will do the job. Pilates exercises train internal strength where you body needs it most. The movements are performed slowly with control to really maximize inner strength to produce muscular length, plus it’s challenging and safe for all fitness levels.
LEG PULLEY ACCESSORY
The Leg Pulley accessory is a dynamic way to strengthen, lengthen, and create balance of the muscles in and around the hips. This accessory allows you to develop control and precision through a series of leg movements while also developing stability in your pelvis when the limbs are moving. Core control is challenged as the legs move away from the midline, requiring additional abdominal activation. Therefore, the leg pulley accessory is no joke and can be the challenge your body needs to enhance your movement quality.
TRAIN THE MOVEMENT
When performing leg pulley exercises on your Total Gym, understand what your training goal is and how you plan to achieve it. It’s important while learning the exercise, to train each specific movement with mindfulness and intention. Remember these exercises are about moving with control and stabilizing the action within your core.
INCLINE LEVELS: Since the Total Gym allows gravity to resist or assist your challenge, you will need to explore how your body feels in each position. The Lower the incline, the challenge is placed on stabilizing the lumbo-pelvic hip joint. Whereas increasing the incline will challenge lower limb strength.
WHY YOU SHOULD INCORPORATE LEG PULLEY EXERCISES
Maintaining healthy joints that are mobile, strong, and flexible is a continuous goal, especially as we age. Incorporating exercises geared towards accomplishing this is worth addressing. A few important benefits include:
• Improves hip mobility & range of motion
• Strengthens abdominal muscles
• Focuses on pelvic lumbar stabilization
• Improves hip disassociation
• Improves hip flexor control
• Increase hip mobility, joint strength, power output, and prevents injury
As with any exercise program, your own limitations can be addressed, adapted, and designed appropriately for your specific goals.
HIP MOBILITY SERIES
As a precursor to this Pilates workout, I recommend checking out the 3-part blog series dedicated to the importance of training hip mobility, stability, and flexibility on your Total Gym.
Here’s a shortcut to these blogs if you happened to miss this information:
PILATES LEG PULLEY WORKOUT
There are many variations of leg pulley exercises, but I’ve chosen my favorites so that you can really learn the exercises, “train the movement”, and experience the benefits of developing hip strength in different body positions on the glide board.
FOCUS : to improve hip mobility, stability, flexibility, and prevent injury
ACCESSORY : Leg Pulley
BODY POSITIONS : Prone, Supine, Side Lying
NOTE: Most of the exercises listed below were introduced in the “ 3 Part Blog Series: Hip Mobility”. There are 6 additional exercises programed into the routine.
*New exercises are highlighted below*
Set Up :
• Medium Incline (adjust for your strength level)
• Connect Leg Pulley Accessory to the glide board
• Perform the following exercises listed in order slowly with control
• Perform 5-10 reps per exercise
• Focus on stabilizing the core and only moving from the hip joint
• Utilize a breath that moves with your body’s movement
Prone Leg Pulley Exercises :
1. Straight leg lifts
2. Hamstring curls
3. Glute press back
4. Diagonal lifts
5. Glute press up
Side Lying Leg Pulley Exercises :
6. Hip circles (both directions)
7. Leg lifts
8. Leg kick front
10. Inner thigh sweeps
Supine Leg Pulley Exercises :
11. Leg circles
12. Bridge kicks
13. Double straight leg lowers
15. Fig 4 stretch
*REPEAT OTHER LEG*
Check out the video to learn how to properly perform these Pilates exercises with the leg pulley on your Total Gym.
*Only the highlighted exercises are demonstrated in this video. To learn proper form of the others, please refer to the Part 1-3 Hip Mobility Series videos.
When properly executed with mindfulness and control, your body effectively strengthens from the inside out.