Pilates Workout

Pilates is a great way for people with diabetes to get moving because it helps improve flexibility, balance, and strength through gentle, fluid movements using your own body weight. Try pilates at home with this workout developed for people with diabetes by Dawn Marie Ickes, a licensed pilates instructor in Studio City, California.
  • The Hundred

    A: Lie on your back with your thighs raised perpendicular to your torso and knees bent so your shins extend parallel to the floor. Reach your arms straight up in front of you, then exhale and press your back to the floor while lifting your chest and chin toward the ceiling. Keeping arms straight, push them slowly toward the ground and pump up and down as if slapping water. Be careful not to strain your neck muscles.

    Repeat 10 times. Begin with one set of 10. As you improve, add sets until you can do 10 sets (100 repetitions).

    B: For more experienced students, raise legs straight at a 45-degree angle and complete exercise.

    Targets: Strengthens abdominals, stabilizes pelvis, and works arms and shoulders. (The name comes from the 100 repetitions seasoned practitioners complete in each session.)

  • The Bridge

    A: Begin on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

    B: Take a deep breath, then exhale and curl your pelvis upward, lifting one vertebra at a time until you reach just below the shoulder blades. Inhale and hold for three to five seconds, then exhale and return to the start position.

    Repeat up to 10 times.

    Targets: Works pelvis, torso, and thighs (hamstrings).

  • The Clam

    A: Lie on your right side with your knees bent, feet touching, and abdominals tightened. Depending on your comfort, arm can be folded behind head or extended. Exhale.

    B: Keeping your feet together, press your right leg into the floor and lift your left knee, like a clam opening its shell. The movement should come from your leg, not your pelvis. Inhale and return to the starting position.

    Repeat eight to 10 times on each side.

    Targets: Tones hips and will help keep pelvis stable as you move around in your daily routine.

  • Pilates Push-Ups

    A: Begin in a standing position. Roll your shoulders forward and reach your hands to the floor. Walk your hands out until your body is extended flat in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders.

    B: Keep your body in a straight line and your neck straight. Bend your elbows to lower yourself until 2 to 4 inches above the floor, keeping your elbows close to your body and back straight, then push back up to the plank position.

    Repeat three to five times. Note: If the push-up is too difficult, just hold the plank position for 10 seconds.

    For more experienced students: Inhale and reverse the sequence to come back up to a standing position.

    Targets: Tones muscles of torso, chest, arms, and back.

  • Single Leg Stand

    A: Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Tighten your abdominal muscles and shift your body weight to one leg. Lift your opposite leg slightly off the ground while drawing your spine up, as if making yourself taller.

    Hold the position for five to 10 seconds, using a chair for balance if necessary. Repeat on the opposite leg.

    B: For more advanced students, try raising your arms.

    Targets: Enhances balance -- especially useful for people experiencing diabetic neuropathy.

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