In this new series, Pilates for XTERRA, 5x XTERRA Japan off-road triathlon champion Mieko Carey will demonstrate proper form and explains the benefits of Pilates exercises one at a time.
In the first video Carey focuses on swimming “Not in the water, but on a mat,” she jests.
“The swimming exercise is an excellent way for XTERRA athletes to strengthen their back extensor muscles, glutes, and core,” said Carey. “It’s good for people who work at desks all day too, because it will help you stay in a good posture during the day in your chair.”
The swimming exercise looks easy on the video, but looks can be deceiving.
“It’s important to take it slow and do it correctly. Inhale up, exhale down, and feel the energy all the way from the tips of your toes to your fingers,” said Carey. “Focus on squeezing your stomach and your butt muscles, keep your head down, and maintain a steady breathing pattern.”
Carey, who lives in Guam where she owns and operates BX Body Pilates, learned to love Pilates and became a certified instructor after using it to successfully combat debilitating sciatic nerve pain. You can find her first introduction to Pilates for the XTERRA Family video here.
“I am so excited to teach my XTERRA family about Pilates and how it can help with balance and flexibility and healing,” said Carey, who raced for 12 years on the XTERRA World Tour.
Pilates Swimming Program:
- Lie on your stomach on a mat, legs hip wide, arms out and forehead down.
- Squeeze abs and inhale as you put left leg and right arm up, exhale down. Switch sides
- Do 4-to-6 cycles of 10 inhales/exhales (scale to your ability).
- Next, lift both legs, point toes, squeeze glutes, lift rib cage, and swim! (Inhale through nose).
- Do 2-to-3 cycles of 5 inhales/exhales (scale to your ability).
- Relax, come back to child’s pose, then slowly stretch your spine, pelvis, and ribcage to upright position.