Safe Yoga and Pilates Tips

WHILE WE LOVE THE PILATES APPARATUS FOR INGENIOUSLY DELIVERING SUPPORT AND RESISTANCE AT THE SAME TIME A FULLY EQUIPPED HOME STUDIO IS NOT AN OPTION FOR EVERYONE

You know what else isn’t an option? Skipping at-home sessions because you can’t get to the studio. Did you know that Joe would even give his students homework to do in between workouts?

Luckily for us, one Pilates instructor and physical therapist is simulating the equipment exercises with a prop she invented. “When I started to incorporate Pilates into my patients’ treatments, I often had patients ask me, ‘These Leg Circles (on the Reformer) feel great, but how can I do this exercise at home?’ I did not have an easy answer,” recalls Martina Hauptmann, who works with clients at Center Strength Pilates and Wellness studios in Denver.

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So she dusted off her childhood sewing machine, and eventually, Hooked on Pilates Handibands were born. Designed to be used with or without apparatus (or even attached to a door jamb), the latex-free prop adds an extra dose of resistance to Pilates work typically done on the Reformer, Cadillac and mat. The bands, which are completely adjustable for height and resistance level, have a padded handle on one end, and a double loop for the lower body on the other; a smaller loop fits around the arch of the foot and the larger one can hold the thigh, knee or elbow.

“The Handibands are a wonderful option to increase variety and introduce clients to the feel of Reformer exercises while doing mat classes,” adds Hauptmann. “They can also be used as a highly portable option for instructors traveling to clients’ homes or wanting to do Pilates classes outdoors.”

Handibands are available in two resistance levels—a lighter orange and a heavier green—and come with a DVD featuring a how-to primer and another on the Pilates principles, plus three short workouts. Instructors, check out The Handiband: Instructor Manual, which guides your through 150 exercises, and/or take a workshop with Hauptmann, which are regularly held throughout the U.S. (Handibands, $39.99-$41.99, and manual, $49.99; www.hookedonpilates.com).

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