Kiss Your Bloat Goodbye With These 3 Super Simple Exercises
The holiday season is a time for family and fun. The last thing you want to worry about is added stress from uncomfortable bloating. Keep stress levels—and bloat—at bay with some Pilates core work!
Having a strong core enables the body to work overtime when needed. It also supplies length to create space for more motion throughout all the bodily systems. So, when it’s time to indulge, you'll be fully prepared thanks to a few simple moves that will leave you in a more comfortable state of body and mind.
How might Pilates exercises make you more comfortable during the holidays? Well, engaging your core can increase blood circulation and activate the lymphatic system—which in turn can release gas and de-stress the body! The Contrology Method of Pilates reminds you to zone in on your breath and connect to your body. You can naturally find more power in your movements with a mind-body connection that helps calm the nerves and release endorphins—it's a win-win!
These are some of my favorite exercises for when I need to relieve bloating. To perform this movement all you need is a mat!
The quadruped is my favorite exercise to help de-bloat! Not only does this exercise improve core control, but it is also challenges your cross-over stability and shoulder stability and can be modified for all levels.
- Start on your hands and knees on your mat (on all-fours) with your knees planted directly under your hips.
- Round your back in a “C” curve, looking in toward your belly.
- Arch your back by dropping your belly down. Then lift your head and chest forward and up.
- Continue for five to eight reps.
- To progress this exercise, extend your right leg straight back while remaining in quadruped position.
- As you round your back, pull the right knee into your chest, as you arch your back, extending the opposite leg straight behind you.
- After five to eight reps, you can repeat this flow on the other side.
- Note: Keep your shoulders and hips even throughout exercise and your spine in neutral.
Seated Spine Twist
This move works your abdominals as well as your obliques—all while maintaining a neutral spine.
- Start by sitting tall with your legs extended and your feet flat on the floor.
- Raise your arms to shoulder height (parallel to the mat)
- Slowly rotate your torso to the right, going for a large rotation.
- Recoil halfway out of the rotation, then go into rotation on that same side again.
- Return to your starting position.
- Continue to cue belly to spine as you rotate in the opposite direction.
- Note: It is important to hinge only at the hips and maintain a neutral spine and straight line from wrist to wrist
Finally, we have the swimming exercise. This movement works your whole body and is easy to modify (see my notes below).
- Start by lying on your mat, face down with your arms reaching overhead and your legs underneath.
- Press your pelvis slightly into the floor to anchor and stabilize the hips.
- Maintain the spine in its position while extending one hip and flexing the opposite shoulder to lift the leg and arm slightly higher.
- Begin to pump the opposite arm and opposite leg up and down as you inhale for five counts and exhale for five counts.
- Repeat five to eight times.
- Note: If the opposite movements add too much stress on your spine, you can rest your forehead with your arms on the mat and perform the movement with your legs.
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Manuela Sanchez has always believed in movement as a catalyst for healing. She is a professional, freelance dance artist and encountered Pilates through a dance injury. Recovering from several injuries and witnessing the power of Pilates in herself she wanted to spread that to others. She began teaching Pilates in 2011, receiving over 500 hours of training and certification in Mat and Pilates Apparatus from Studio Anya in New York City. Since then Manuela has taught group and private classes at Studio Anya, Moving Strength and Sanctuary Pilates all in NYC. She continued her teaching career in Miami, helping to open the first Club Pilates of Miami and also taught at Iron Flower Fitness and SoFlow Fitness and Wellness. Besides Pilates, she has also been trained as a Yoga (500 RYT), Barre and TRX instructor throughout her journey. Manuela moved back to her hometown in Brooklyn and help open the first Club Pilates in NYC in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. She continues to spread Pilates love as their lead instructor and represents the brand citywide. She loves sharing her knowledge of fitness with her fellow New Yorkers and hopes to continue making an impact through her teaching!