This Pilates Foam Roller Workout Gives You Strength and a Stretch

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Here’s my dirty little secret, Pilates reformer and Megaformer machines intimidate me more than just about any other fitness modality out there. These workouts require balance, control, and a whole lot of strength—and frequently, I imagine myself shaking so much from the movements that I fall off the machine completely. Needless to say, if you, like me, aren’t ready to try out a reformer or Megaformer in the studio, there are a whole host of workouts that you can do at home that can help slowly introduce you to low-and-slow, Pilates-inspired modalities.

In the latest episode of Good Moves, East River Pilates trainer, Brian Spencer, goes through a 22-minute Pilates foam roller workout that you can do anywhere you can place a mat. The movements in the routine target the slow-twitch muscle fibers that help improve balance, mobility, coordination, and agility, and the bigger muscle groups that you work more frequently in your legs, glutes, arms, and core. SLT founder and CEO, Amanda Freeman, previously explained to Well+Good that the reason a Megaformer workout is so effective is that moving carriage creates instability in your muscles, which forces them to stay engaged and activated. In this workout, you can use a foam roller to create a similar level of instability.

In addition to strengthening, the workout also uses a foam roller to release your muscles, and it’s really meant to deliver you the experience that you want. “If you ever get into a release and want to stay there, go ahead and press pause on the video, because that’s the benefit of working out from home,” Spencer says. The most important thing to remember throughout the workout is that—though you may feel your muscles start to shake—it’s essential to maintain control the whole way through. Move slowly and work on engaging your muscles rather than sprinting through the positions, holds, and presses.

Ready to get started? Grab a foam roller and a mat and hit play on this 22-minute Pilates foam roller workout that mimics the reformer.

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