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Do you find yourself sitting all day? Here are three great Pilates exercises to do throughout the day when you find yourself sitting a lot. A great way to open up in the opposite direction and to create balance and length in the body. So, get up off your seat and try them now…

Four Point Kneeling Superman

Starting on all fours on your mat, think about engaging your abdominals first and centering yourself on the mat. Then carefully lift one leg and the opposite arm. As you lift, think about lengthening, reaching forward and back to stretch and open the front side of your body. Try not to lean to the opposite side as you lift. Stay strong through your centre by scooping the belly button towards the spine and gently lifting your pelvic floor muscles. Challenge yourself by holding the position for 10 seconds each side. Repeat six times each side.

Back Extension

Start by lying flat on your tummy with arms by your side. Take a few deep breaths to relax and soften. On the next in breath, gently draw your shoulders together as you float your chest and legs off the mat. Hold as you breathe out and lower again on the next in breath. Be aware of keeping your glutes (bottom cheeks) active and think about lifting your belly button away from the mat as you lift. Take a nice child’s pose stretch after four repetitions.

Side Plank

This can be modified by keeping the knees bent and can also be done on the forearm rather than the hand for a little more support for the wrist and shoulder. Be sure to keep the hand or elbow directly underneath the shoulder. Lift the upper body and hips up off the ground. You want to think more about the underside keeping you lifted (think about drawing the bottom ribs up) rather than the support arm. Your little arm is not designed to hold you up so stay strong through your midsection, that’s where the strength should come from. Reach your top arm over your head for an added stretch of the top side and try to keep the hips level. Hold for as long as you can up to 30 seconds and repeat for each side.