Exercise with your better half is a great time to spend quality time together; it is fun as well as great to support one another in the journey of health and well-being!
Here are three Pilates inspired exercises to get you started. We are using a resistance bend, you can substitute the resistance bend with a long towel.
1. Draw a Sword - Kneel, sit, or stand side by side with your partner, holding the resistance bend with the hand farthest from your partner. Begin by inhaling while looking at each other (don’t forget to smile). Place the hand holding the resistance bend in front of its opposite hip. Exhale as you extend the arm to side at waist height looking away from your partner. Inhale return to starting position looking at your partner with the arm bend. We recommend to begin with a light resistance between 5-10 repetitions. Trade places with your partner and repeat the whole sequence on the other side. This a great exercise to strengthen your rotator cuff muscles.
2. Side Bend - Kneel, sit, or stand side by side with your partner, holding the resistance bend with the hand farthest from your partner over your head with the back of your hand facing your forehead. Inhale as you side bend towards your partner, there will be no tension on the bend. As you exhale extend your spine to vertical spine alignment. As you bring your spine to vertical alignment the bend will tighten. Inhale as you side bend towards your partner. We recommend starting with 5-10 repetitions. Trade places with your partner and repeat the whole sequence on the other side. This is a great exercise to stretch the side of your body while strengthening the triceps.
3. Seated Spine Stretch Forward - Sit facing your partner with legs apart, wider than shoulder distance. If sitting with your legs extended in front of you is challenging, consider bending the knees, or sit on a pillow to elevate the hips higher than the legs. Both partners will begin sitting tall with vertical spine, arms extended forward at waist height. Partner A will begin by exhaling while bending the spine forward keeping the arms extended, while partner B will begin by inhaling and bending the elbows, pulling the bend back while maintaining a tall seated posture. Partner A will inhale while rolling the spine to a tall vertical seated posture while bending the elbows, pulling the bend back, as Partner B will exhale while bending forward. The goal is to find harmony and rhythm in the movement and breath even though the movement and breath are opposing one another. We recommend beginning this exercise with 5-10 repetitions.