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Get Flexi With This Resistance Band Pilates Warm-Up

Posted on: by Wanita Nicol
Kirsten Percy doing a side bend as part of the resistance band pilates warm-up

Spent the day at your desk? This warm-up will loosen stiff muscles, wake up tired limbs and get you ready for action.

Hitting a heavy workout cold – particularly in winter – is a fast track to the physio’s office. “Warming up the joints and muscles you’re going to use in your main workout will prevent injury and strain during the workout,” says Kirsten Percy of Point Pilates in Cape Town, who designed this sequence. All you need is a light, stretchy band. After a few roll downs, perform the moves in order, moving from one to the next without rest. Do one or two rounds.

Watch Kirsten perform the moves: 

1. Back scratcher

What it works: Opens chest, works arms and shoulders

Duration: 1 min each side

Hold the band behind your back. Move your left hand slightly up on the band and hold the band slightly above your head with the right hand. Maintain a constant tension with a “flossing” or “scratching” action with the band. Work with your available shoulder range of motion.

2. Puppet

What it works: Rotator cuffs

Duration: 2 sets of 6 reps on each side.

Hold the band with both hands behind your back. Place your left hand on the left side of your pelvis with your right arm bent 90 degrees. Flex your right arm, maintaining the 90-degree bend in your elbow.

READ MORE: Build Lean Muscle With This 15-Minute Resistance Band Workout

3. Standing Glute Walk

What it works: Glute med

Duration: 12 reps, repeat starting with other foot first

Stand in the middle of the band, feet hip width apart, knees soft. Cross band and hold the ends, keeping elbows flexed and fixed next to your sides. Lengthen through your spine. Step out into the band with one foot and then out with the other foot. Out, out, in, in = 1 rep.

4. Biceps Curls Combo

What it works: Abs and biceps

Duration: 3 sets of 4 reps

Stand in the middle of the band, feet hip width apart, knees soft. Perform a biceps curl with one arm then the other arm; then curl both arms simultaneously twice. That’s one rep.

5. Squat and Press

What it works Glutes, quads and arms

Duration: 3 sets of 4 reps

Stand in the middle of the band, feet hip width apart, knees soft, holding the ends of the band in each hand. Squat as low as you can, pull the band into a biceps curl, then press your arms overhead. Keep your back and neck lengthened throughout. Bring your arms back in and straighten back to start.

READ MORE: 5 Squat Variations To Sculpt Your Bootay

6. Shoulder release

What does it work? Shoulders

Duration: 4 reps

Hold the band in both hands, shoulder width apart or wider depending on your shoulder mobility. Lift the band above your head and gently pull the band down your back, trying to maintain straight arms.

7. Side Bend

What it works: QL, abs, obliques, erector spinae

Duration: 4 reps

Standing on one end of the band with your right foot, hold the other end of the band with your right hand. Inhale and extend your arm out to the side; exhale and reach your arm over, bending your body to the left. Do three gentle pulses, then inhale and return to start.

Want to get the most of your warm-up? Become a better runner with warm-up workout, plus four pilates moves for every body. 

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