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10 Quick Pilates Exercises for Busy Days: Integrating Movement into Everyday Life

Embracing Calm in the Chaos: Practising Pilates Breathing Techniques in the Office
Finding Serenity Amidst the Busy: A Moment of Mindful Breathing at the Desk

As Pilates teachers, we often hear our clients say they don't have time for a full workout. But what if we could integrate Pilates into our daily routines, making the most of those spare moments? Here are ten simple Pilates exercises that can be seamlessly incorporated into a busy day, perfect for those who find themselves desk-bound or short on time

1. Desk Chair Spine Twist: While seated, keep your feet flat on the floor and sit up tall. Place your hands on the back of your chair for support. Inhale, lengthen your spine, and as you exhale, gently twist to one side from your waist. Inhale back to centre and repeat on the other side. This twist helps release tension in the spine and improves flexibility.

2. Pelvic Tilts at Your Desk: Sit on the edge of your chair with feet flat on the ground. Gently rock your pelvis forwards and backwards. This subtle movement not only engages your core but also helps improve lower back flexibility.

3. Breathing Exercises While Boiling the Kettle: Practise Pilates breathing while waiting for the kettle. Focus on deep, controlled breaths, expanding the ribcage outwards and upwards on the inhale, and contracting the abdominal muscles on the exhale. This calms the mind and engages the core.

4. Shoulder Blade Squeeze: Whether sitting or standing, draw your shoulder blades towards each other and downwards. Hold for a few seconds and release. This exercise improves posture and relieves tension from prolonged sitting.

5. Calf Raises While Brushing Teeth: Stand straight and rise onto the balls of your feet, then slowly lower down. This can be done while brushing your teeth, helping to strengthen the calves and improve balance.

6. Seated Leg Extensions: While sitting, extend one leg out straight and hold for a few seconds, then lower it back down. Repeat with the other leg. This engages the thigh muscles and aids circulation.

7. Wrist Stretches at the Keyboard: Periodically stretch your wrists by extending the arm out and gently pulling back on the fingers with the other hand. This prevents strain from typing or mouse use.

8. Ankle Circles Under the Desk: Rotate your ankles in circles under the desk. This maintains ankle mobility and reduces stiffness.

9. Standing Pilates Saw: Stand up, stretch your arms out to the sides, and twist your torso, reaching your opposite hand towards your foot, like in the Pilates Saw exercise. This helps stretch the back and sides, keeping the spine flexible.

10. Neck and Shoulder Rolls: Every hour, take a moment to gently roll your shoulders and neck. This releases tension and maintains mobility in these areas.

Finally: These exercises are quick, unobtrusive, and can be easily fitted into even the busiest of days. As Pilates teachers, we can encourage our clients to incorporate these movements into their daily routines, ensuring that their Pilates practice enhances their everyday life, even when a full session isn't possible. Remember, every little movement counts towards a healthier, more balanced body and mind.


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