Box Away Holiday Stress!
Joseph Pilates was certainly a renaissance man when it came to fitness. He studied so many different disciplines, including yoga, gymnastics, Kung Fu and body-building. He was a professional diver, gymnast and bodybuilder before working as a boxer and circus performer.
His early experiences from learning how to heal himself through exercise as a young sickly child, to working with German citizens in internment camps, helped him develop his Pilates method. When he moved to the States in 1925, he and his wife Clara set up a studio in Manhattan, and he continued to train students as well as invent more equipment and develop new exercises up until he passed away at the age of 83.
I personally love Pilates standing arm series and find it is the perfect portable workout during the holidays. If you only have time for one move, I recommend Joe’s Boxing exercise. You can perform boxing with or without light hand weights to work the upper back, rear deltoids, biceps, triceps, core, hips, thighs and buttocks.
Pilates Boxing targets so many muscles at once. The mini workout can help alleviate stress in the body by relaxing the tops of the shoulders and freeing up the neck, while reducing stress in the mind by mentally boxing away any self-imposed pressure to “do it all”.
In between wrapping presents and writing holiday cards, take a break and box away. Incorporate boxing breaks whenever you feel the tension mounting to feel strong, fit, confident and stres-free all season long!
Stand with your feet parallel, bend your knees and hinge forward from your waist. Bring your arms up near your ears and make loose fists with your hands, or hold a set of 2-3 pound hand weights. Keeping your elbows high and the tops of your shoulders down and back, punch your right hand forward (palm towards floor) as you extend your left arm behind (palm turned up towards the ceiling). Come back to center and switch, left hand forward, right hand back. Continue for a set of 8-10 reps. Keep your core strong and a long, neutral spine the entire time.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!