In this edition of Pilates for XTERRA, 5x XTERRA Japan off-road triathlon champion Mieko Carey demonstrates side plank exercises with spinal rotation to improve your range of motion and strengthen your running and swimming form.
“These exercises, in conjunction with hip abduction for glutes, improve your obliques which we use all the time in XTERRA, especially when the body rotates during swimming and running, and when we’re rounding corners on our mountain bikes,” said Carey.
Carey explained how these side plank exercises can be performed with your knees bent, with your legs crossed, or with your legs together. The knees bent option is best for those with shoulder problems, and you can also lay on a pillow for further comfort.
“If you feel the side abs instead of feeling burning in your shoulder during the side plank, then you are doing it right,” Carey exclaimed. “If you are feeling too much pressure on your shoulder then your elbow might be too far out.”
For those new to the side plank exercises, Carey suggests starting with 3-5 reps on each side, two or three times a week and work your way up to daily routine.
“Remember Pilates is body weight exercises, designed to be low impact that you can do everyday when your body is ready.”
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.